Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are the two most popular and trusted public cloud providers in the market. But how can you decide which is best for your company? We are ideally placed to help you decide the right route.

Once a business has decided to move to the cloud, the next option is which public cloud provider to choose. The two leaders in public cloud are Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. At one time, a decision could be assisted with a comparison table of the key differences in cloud services. Now, it is much harder to create a clear-cut AWS vs Azure comparison. So, what does your business need to consider when choosing a public cloud service provider to begin its digital transformation?

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Security

Microsoft Azure and AWS are very secure platforms that can both host highly sensitive data and offer advanced data protection. They meet the compliance standards most UK businesses are concerned with, such as ISO27001 and PCI DSS standards. Everyone is worried about data security but if you’re running in a public cloud datacentre you’re going to be far more secure with virtual (backups and disaster recovery) and physical security (two factor authentication and biometric entries) measures than running an on-premise server room which heavily relies on physical security like door locks.

Scalability

It is important to realise that both cloud providers offer infrastructure that is much more flexible and scalable than on-premise hardware. Scalability is practically infinite for AWS and Azure, meaning you can spin up and remove new servers in just minutes. Both are as easy to scale but each has their own distinct ways of doing it. For additional services, AWS has a lot – but Azure does too. They both have in the region of 300-400 each, so whatever it is you require, you’re covered.

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Costs

If you want to manage your IT costs and improve your network’s abilities, cloud is the answer. Microsoft is constantly striving to increasingly lower costs, and Amazon updates to remain competitive, so the cost of the cloud changes all of the time. New costs for cloud services are updated and released every month. Both providers constantly assess services to discover ways of improving their value for money. For your business there may be cost differences between AWS and Azure based on the services you require, the size of your business and how much computing power and storage it needs, among many other variables.

Versatility and Hybrid

Some companies need the ability to host some of their servers and data on the cloud, and some on-premise. This might be to meet tight security regulations or because they have agreed to store customers’ data on-site. With Azure you can bring your licences with you to cloud and do what is called Azure Hybrid, which brings your licencing costs down. With AWS you pay for the licences in your machines as part of your monthly pay as you go billing. However this isn’t a critical difference anymore because of the options available. Everything is managed as a service for you. Multicloud is also an option in order to use both AWS and Azure services together. Both AWS and Azure offer valuable hybrid and Multicloud solutions – which is best for you simply depends on your specific needs.

So what are the differences between Azure and AWS?

Using Microsoft Office 365 may push you towards Azure as it is natively compatible due to the fact it is already running on the Azure cloud platform, and for the tie in with Active Directory. However, AWS also offers an Active Directory service as well. A huge 90% of Fortune 500 companies trust Azure as their cloud provider.

AWS is the most mature public cloud, as it has been running and developing since 2006. It boasts over a million active customers. Some companies might still need to keep legacy systems and apps for auditing or financial purposes, for example legacy systems containing financial data that run in Server 2003. That can lean companies towards AWS, because Azure doesn’t allow you to run Server 2003.

Interested in the cloud?

The differences between Azure and AWS are small but vital. In order to choose a cloud provider that will benefit you, speak to an unbiased cloud expert like Perfect Image. We will discuss where you are currently with your infrastructure, what you need, and where you want to be.

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