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Cloud Comparison: Microsoft Azure vs. AWS
In the modern day, cloud computing is becoming the new normal for even small businesses. Without access to the cloud, a company could suffer from miscommunication, lost files and worse that'll result in drained profits. The cloud has become essential to how businesses run around the globe, and some companies can't function without it.

Deciding to invest in storage is easy, but picking which one to use can be tough. There are a lot of cloud services out there claiming to be the best. What you need is the right one for your business, not the one that makes the most sense for someone else's. Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, or AWS, in particular, have become pretty popular and offer a wide range of needs, but they're both different enough to force someone to stop and consider before buying.

What Azure and AWS Agree On

Both Azure and AWS have very similar makeups. They offer much of the same capabilities with flexible enough storage and networking for you to customize what you need. Their interfaces and functions are generally the same.

Both services are from large parent companies. Microsoft and Amazon both built their fortunes in technology, but not with cloud computing. However, both companies invest heavily in their cloud services, ensuring your information won't get lost due to lack of funds or servers on their part.

Not to mention, cloud computing isn't the only thing Microsoft and Amazon are getting involved with. They're also both integrating machine learning and artificial intelligence into their cloud services to make more convenient and seamless. They also use the Internet of Things, serverless computing and other cutting-edge aspects to stay ahead of other competitors.

The Price

Though the two product offerings share many similar characteristics, they don't align perfectly, and were never going to. Cost is one of the key differences a lot of people will notice immediately. AWS costs about five times more than Azure based on select pricing plans and what you get for your money. A lot of this has to do with the fact that Microsoft owns the Windows features that make AWS so expensive, so there's some business dynamics at play.

At the same time, the price may not have to matter at all. Both Azure and AWS are available with a 12-month free-trial period. During both free trials, you get access to use all the features of both products without any payments. Also, at the end of the free-trial periods, you get to keep most of these elements at no cost.

Emergencies

Some businesses have the cloud in place for the sole reason of a disaster. After a disaster takes place, no matter what kind it may have been, activating disaster recovery protocols on the data is essential to getting back to a sense of normalcy. Otherwise, a well-timed disaster no one had any influence over might mean the end of a business. Both Azure and AWS have disaster recovery systems in place, but they work differently.

Azure's Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service allows the use of applications despite part of the system possibly being down. The beauty of Azure's design is the ability to replicate the workloads before the time of the disaster, either at the primary location or a secondary site. AWS' version does away with failover testing of all systems if only one application breaks. AWS can single out the problem systems to fix, while working with what's still OK. Both systems have excellent disaster recovery protocols, though they work slightly differently.

Storage and Services

Both cloud services offer a lot of the same, as we went over earlier, but AWS does manage to have a leg up in this arena. AWS has 140 services across all cloud computing systems. In more basic terms, that means AWS offers more options and flexibility than Azure when it comes to tools, storage, IoT integration, security and more.

Azure does have all these features as well, but they aren't nearly as numerous as AWS. Still, quantity doesn't always have to mean quality. Azure also offers machine learning, development tools, security and everything else that comes with AWS, even if there aren't as many systems for it.

Which Cloud Is Better?

Every cloud has a silver lining, which is still true for cloud computing. The decision comes down to what you need for your company. AWS costs more, but it comes with more features. Azure may take a little more time during disaster recovery, but it comes from a company with a lot of expertise in computer software. Both cloud services have pros and cons.

Both AWS and Azure are two of the heavyweight players in the cloud services industry. No matter which one you pick, you'll get great content and service from either. There isn't a right or wrong answer, so do the research and choose what's best for you.

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About the Author

Kayla Matthews is a tech-loving blogger who writes and edits ProductivityBytes.com. Follow her on Twitter @productibytes to read all of her latest posts!
Published Tuesday, April 16, 2019 7:27 AM by David Marshall
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