AWS vs Microsoft Azure

Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure

In 2014, Gartner listed Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft as infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) leaders in its Magic Quadrant for their ability to execute and completeness of vision. While Microsoft moved from visionary to leader year-over-year, it is a distant second to AWS. Below are five key areas where AWS continues to lead.

Cloud Leadership – AWS has the greatest breadth of services and depth within those services to support any workload. Companies can leverage nine global regions to create better experiences and lower latency for clients.

  • Microsoft Azure: While AWS became generally available in 2006, Microsoft Azure became generally available in 2013. Thus, AWS has a seven-year head start in offering IaaS to the market.

Compute Capacity – AWS is five times larger than the next 14 IaaS providers combined. In fact, every day AWS adds enough compute capacity to power in 2003 when the company was $5B in revenue.

  • Microsoft Azure: Azure is available in multiple datacenters both in the U.S. and world-wide. Since 2005, Microsoft has spent $18B+ to build-out its compute capacity versus $12B+ by AWS (AWS remains the market leader).

Cost Effective – AWS has reduced prices 42 times since 2006. AWS uses its scale to pass savings onto clients in the form of lower prices. In addition, clients only pay for what services they use when they use them.

  • Microsoft Azure: Microsoft has maintained its commitment to match or beat AWS pricing for commodity services. Microsoft is also positioning Azure as having three times better price for performance over AWS.

Operational Performance and Security  – AWS is highly available with companies experiencing 32% less downtime on AWS versus on-premise. AWS is also highly secure providing the industry’s best privacy and security practices.

  • Microsoft is learning to operate and manage its datacenters at cloud scale. It is also working through virtual network topology limitations that prevent deployment of most security-related virtual appliances.

Pace of Innovation –  AWS released 235+ new services in 2013, up from 159 in 2012 and 82 in 2011. If you have a business problem, it is not uncommon to hear, “Wait a month and AWS will release a new service to solve it.”

  • Microsoft Azure: Microsoft continues to rapidly release catch up capabilities related to AWS with significant capability gaps existing in security. Many new services are also listed as “beta” or “coming soon.”

Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure

All contents copyright © 2014, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.


2 Responses to AWS vs Microsoft Azure

  1. Steve Smith says:

    Nice Article. How does AWS or Azure help developers in terms of balancing the day to day life?


  2. Gene Levin says:

    Nice compare and contrast of AWS and Azure. Great, quick read.


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