Amazon Web Services vs. Microsoft Azure – Which Is Better For Your Organization?

Amazon Web Services vs. Microsoft Azure – Which Is Better For Your Organization?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are two of the biggest players in the world of cloud services. Together, the companies dominate half the global cloud market, with AWS enjoying a total market share of 33% and Microsoft taking 13%. Given how influential both companies are in the technology sector, business leaders often find themselves asking the question of which one is the better choice.

Many organizations start with a side-by-side comparison of Azure and AWS, but the problem is it’s not so much a technology decision as it is a business decision. Both providers are great performers with a whole lot to offer, so it would be unfair to simply suggest that one is better than the other. You need to consider internal factors like your business's goals and priorities and which technology better aligns to its needs. Here are some of the most important points to consider:

Features and Services

For the most part, selecting one provider over the other comes down to the specific tasks you want handled in the cloud. In fact, many companies take a multi-cloud approach, using different providers to handle different workloads. While both the major platforms have many things in common, such as automated scalability, security, compliance, and identity management, there are some important differences when it comes to more advanced features and services.

AWS offers the widest range of tools and services for customization, with more than 100 in its arsenal. It is constantly adding to its repertoire to cover new areas of cloud computing ranging from mobile services and analytics to application steaming and industry-specific features, such as game-development and eCommerce tools. Azure, by comparison, has a smaller catalogue of services, though many customers claim it makes up for this with higher quality, as well as better integration with industry-leading business solutions like Microsoft Office 365.

Integrations and Compatibility

For many businesses, the choice between AWS and Azure should be fairly obvious, since a large part of the decision depends on which software and systems you are using already. If your business already relies heavily on solutions such as Office 365, SharePoint, and Exchange, then it makes sense to go for Azure which, unsurprisingly, includes simple integrations for all of these tools as well as any others developed by Microsoft.

AWS clearly has a stronger relationship with the open-source community, which prioritizes openness and customizability over vendor protections Microsoft has traditionally kept itself clear of the open-source community, although it has opened up a little recently. The short answer is you’ll likely want to go for an AWS-based infrastructure if your business isn’t heavily invested in Microsoft.

Ease of Use and Onboarding

Just as many IT departments and technology companies prefer Linux over Windows as a server operating system, many prefer AWS over Azure due to the larger range of features it offers and more advanced functionality. There’s no doubt that AWS offers a lot of power in the form of multiple possible configurations, extensive third-party integrations, and practically unlimited customization options. However, the extra power comes at the cost of a deeper learning curve.

Being a Microsoft platform, Azure will be instantly familiar to Windows administrators, which means it doesn’t require learning something new from scratch. Furthermore, it is easy to implement a hybrid cloud system combining on-premises Windows-based servers and workstations with computing instances running in the cloud. For many companies, particularly those prioritizing easy implementation and onboarding with minimal disruption, Azure is the obvious choice.

Final Words

AWS is clearly the market leader, which is partly due to the fact it offers the widest range of functionality and customization options. Nonetheless, Azure is undoubtedly easier to implement and use, making it the platform of choice for existing Microsoft customers and Windows administrators. But, there’s nothing stopping you from having both, particularly if you want to build a highly customized and adaptable cloud computing infrastructure that aligns with your corporate goals.

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