AWS vs Azure: Pros & Cons for Your Business

The time of a traditional data center is over.

As stated in LogicMonitor’s Cloud Vision 2020 survey, enterprises will manage no less than 83% of their workloads in the cloud by 2020. According to Gartner Research, 80% of companies will close up their traditional data centers by 2025.

In the meantime, cloud investment is skyrocketing. Based on IDC data, companies are to put in over $57 billion in the cloud infrastructure — a 21% increase in 2018. The total worth of the public cloud market is projected to hit the $186.4 billion mark by the end of 2018.

This means only one thing:

Business owners, CTOs, and CIOs have realized that cloud computing is here to stay and have started to move their infrastructure, software, and data to the cloud to become more competitive and to outlast the next big digital disruption.

For sure, your IT-organization wants to jump on the cloud bandwagon as well.

At the end of the day, cloud benefits and cloud features for business are no easy feat to pass by — turn a blind eye to the cloud today and you will fall behind against your competition tomorrow.

Anyway, the questions you might be trying to answer now are:

Which cloud vendor should I opt for to ensure a hassle-free migration? AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform? Or maybe, considering all of that Azure vs AWS rivalry, consider a niche player like Rackspace or IBM?

In this article, I will look into the specific pros and cons of AWS & Azure to help you make an educated decision about which one to choose for your business.

The Best Cloud Provider: AWS vs Azure

Look:

Every business is different — commercially, operationally, and technologically.

There is no one-size-fits-all cloud solution out there, and you should not copy other businesses, even though they are your closest competition.

For instance, AWS can be delivering enormous amounts of value for your competitors, but Microsoft Azure will still be the perfect fit for your company.

Approach the cloud transformation of your business carefully and take any cloud-related information — even this article, yes — with a grain of salt. Only seasoned cloud professionals can come up with an efficient solution for your company.

That is to say, the best cloud provider — be it AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, or any other cloud vendor out there — is a myth.

Let’s focus on the perks and weak points of the two leading platforms, then, and clarify the difference between Azure and AWS.

Amazon Web Services: Pros and Cons

As of Q2 2018, Amazon Web Services controls 34% of the cloud infrastructure market (31% according to a report by Canalys).

This easily puts Amazon in a league of its own when compared to Microsoft, Google, IBM, Alibaba, Salesforce, Rackspace, and other cloud vendors, as shown in the image below (provided by Synergy Research Group).

Cloud provider competitive positioning

More than that, AWS is predicted to strengthen its market share in a few years. As shown below, it is to control 53% of the cloud market in 2020.

AWS market share by 2020

Simply put, AWS continues to dominate the cloud landscape. It will remain the front-runner, even though both Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform slowly but surely establish their presence.

Here are a few pros of Amazon Web Services:

  • Highly flexible
  • Instant scalability
  • Rapid deployment
  • Pay-per-use and pay-as-you-go pricing models
  • Focus on security (AWS shared responsibility model)
  • Hassle-free digital infrastructure transition
  • A wide variety of services and applications for any business — from SMEs to large enterprises
  • Availability of the AWS Partner Network (APN) to oversee the digital infrastructure transition process (if required)
  • Regular and frequent updates of available services and applications
  • User-friendly support

However, AWS is not perfect. Some of its weakest spots are hybrid solutions and legacy systems.

Don’t get me wrong, though. Hybrid options are available; legacy systems can be migrated to AWS cloud, though it may take a long time.

Some organizations may find AWS too complex in a sense that there are too many services and apps that you can potentially manipulate.

To avoid mistakes when moving to AWS cloud, reach out to the APN member companies for assistance.

Note: Squadex is an AWS-certified Consulting Partner experienced in delivering a wide variety of AWS consulting services. Don’t hesitate to contact us for help.

Microsoft Azure: Strengths and Weaknesses

Microsoft Azure is the strongest competitor to Amazon Web Services.

AWS controls the largest piece of the infrastructure-as-a-service pie, but Azure is slowly closing the gap.

According to Canalys research (referenced above), in the second quarter of 2018 Azure adoption soared by 89%, while AWS ticked up by 48%.

Google Cloud fortified its fief in the cloud computing kingdom with a 108% growth rate, too. It is a third leg of the cloud movement now.

AWS vs Azure market share and growth

Note that Azure’s market share was estimated to be 18% in Q2 2018. It is projected to have reached 21% by the end of 2020, according to a survey by LogicMonitor.

AWS vs Azure market share prediction

That is to say, while Microsoft (and Google) is definitely catching up by integrating its on-premises solutions with the cloud, Amazon will remain an undisputed king of the cloud for years to come.

Without further ado, let’s list strengths of Microsoft Azure:

  • Highly scalable & secure
  • High operational performance
  • Lots of cost-efficient options for businesses
  • Focus on Iaas and PaaS
  • Strong hybrid options
  • Open source support

It is also worth noting that Microsoft Azure is positioned as a cloud solution aimed at enterprises. Yet, it regularly gets a bit of a bad wrap for substandard customer support and the lack of adequate technical training options.

Other weaknesses of Azure are:

  • Steep learning curve
  • Comparatively hard to use and manage
  • Expensive (compared to AWS and GCP)
  • Pay-as-you-go is additionally billed
  • Poor DevOps support

Given that, Microsoft Azure is first and foremost a solution for larger enterprises. Small and medium companies may find it too complex and expensive for their liking.

Conclusion

AWS vs Azure. Azure vs AWS…

Making the right call right off the bat here is not that simple. After all, every company is different and should approach cloud migration differently based on its technological footprint, goals, and resources at hand.

Whether you opt for AWS or Microsoft Azure, your solution should take into account your requirements for availability, performance, workload, and so on.

It makes sense to reach out to a cloud consulting company to oversee the cloud migration process. It will assess your requirements and come up with an effective solution specifically customized to meet your business needs.

To learn more about Squadex cloud consulting options for your company, feel free to reach us here.

What are your thoughts about the Microsoft Azure vs AWS rivalry? Who is the best cloud vendor out there? Kindly share feedback in the comment’s section!

Nick Kartman

Technology evangelist passionate about DevOps, Big Data, ML, and Cloud. An avid contributor to the Squadex blog.