Perfect Image’s Cloud expert, Paul Anderson, explains the major differences between Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services and what it means for businesses considering the upgrade from an on premise to a hybrid or cloud infrastructure.

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Moving to the Cloud from Physical Servers

Companies are still stuck on the fact that they don’t have to replace their physical server, but they don’t realise it might die at any time. Nowadays, companies reach a crossroads on whether to sweat their assets, re-invest in hardware or evaluate what the cloud can offer. Normally on a hardware side you would be trying to replace things every 3 years, 5 at most, because beyond this, the server hasn’t got maintenance anymore and components are going to fail.

What they have to understand isrisk.

Which cloud provider is right for me?

We’ve always pitched it as one or the other, but it’s not a case of that. It’s about understanding what is right for how your business works, and that might be one complete solution, or a mixture. There’s a modern world of Multicloud where people are using a selection of services from every cloud offering and picking what works best for them together into one solution.

Multicloud Fact:Six out of ten UK companies now use more than one cloud provider.


In AWS, you buy an amount of storage and you pay for it at a monthly rate where it might go slightly up and down, depending on exchange rates etc. Azure has an offering where you can allocate an amount of storage, but you’re only paying for the amount you use. It’s not an assessment of which is better or worse, it is what’s better for your use case and what you’re actually trying to achieve.


Microsoft Azure has always had a strong approach on hybrid cloud and marketed this from the beginning.Microsoft recently announced Azure Stackwhich allows customers to run Azure services on their own physical infrastructure. AWS have also slowly reacted to the hybrid demand from customers.

If you would like to know more about upgrading your system to a cloud-hosted or hybrid infrastructure, request afree cloud consultation.

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Business Continuity Options

It’s important to know that with both cloud services the downtime is minimal so you’re still getting 99.9999% – really high levels of availability. AWS public cloud infrastructure is set up with Availability Zones, so immediately you’ve got high availability by doing that. Microsoft has, as of September 2017, introduced Azure Availability Zones in response to the demand that they catch up with what Amazon already offer as part of the basis of its cloud.

What are Availability Zones?Availability Zones are groups of data centres that are based in different locations, linked together with a strong network backbone. If disaster strikes, the data is replicated in a separate location for quick recovery and minimal downtime.

What can Perfect Image do to assist with security of a new cloud environment?

Where we add the value is with patch management, security and compliance. We offer a support function, backup solutions and data protection to make sure your data is encrypted. We provide a unique monitoring system that we can integrate with AWS and Azure.

For existing cloud infrastructures we can provide them witha cloud consultationfor a tailored report that gives them best practices and guidelines and remediate things that are required as part of the report. It also can recommend cost savings as well. There are so many services that you can be doing things without realising that you’ve created a cost.


You’re getting to that level with on demand services where on the AWS side you can pay by the hour and for Microsoft you can pay by the minute. If you’re operational from 9am to 5pm, why pay for 24 hours? The actual running of the environment will be dynamic based on what you actually use and require. That’s one of the main benefits of cloud technology as whole.

Expert Opinion

What personally do you like best about the cloud and what it can provide to businesses?

For me it’s all about the constant innovation and introduction of new services. The competitive edge between AWS and Azure means that the customer always wins, whether that be with cost reduction, innovation or provision of service. Both are constantly evolving their portfolio to meet the requirements of customers and demands of the modern world.

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Discover more about the differences in the security, business continuity, costs, and storage options between AWS and Azure and what it could mean for your business in our expert’s Guide; simply fill in the form below:

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About Paul Anderson – Service Delivery Manager – Cloud Expert

Paul Anderson has worked for Perfect Image since 2014 when he started at the infancy of our cloud journey as an Infrastructure Engineer. He has since achieved professional certifications in cloud technologies, delivered solutions as a senior engineer, and has lead a team of engineers in the end to end delivery of both AWS and Azure. More recently, Paul has taken up a new role in the business as Service Delivery Manager to ensure that our existing and prospective customers are getting the best possible service and support from the team.

Perfect Image’s Cloud Expertise

Perfect Image has in depth experience ofdesigning, implementing and managing cloud infrastructure. We are acertified Amazon Web Services Consulting Partner, and are part of theMicrosoft Partner Network with a Gold Cloud Solutions competencywhich demonstrates the top tier of experience, ability and expertise of Microsoft and their products.

We are independentcloud consultantswho create end to end solutions to improve your whole business, not just your cloud infrastructure. We have the ability to integrate current platforms and licences that complement your cloud system and boost the performance of your whole business.

Our skilled consultants and engineers have the expertise to assist any business in finding efficiency and cost savings from the adoption of cloud and cloud related systems, and ourmanaged services supportto facilitate the correct solution into your business as a Capex or Opex (Pay as you Go) Utility decision.