Amazon Web Services VS Microsoft Azure: a trustworthy comparison

Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are without a doubt, the biggest products in the infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) markets. Notably, AWS had a four-year headstart over Azure, but the Microsoft platform has caught on fast, courtesy of the tech giant’s bottomless pit of resources. That said, how do these two products measure up to each other?

1. Prices

As with about every other product out there, most people will base their decision on which of the two services to subscribe to based on the costs involved. Notably, AWS and Azure offer very different services, and so it would be pointless – and quite hard – to compare their prices. However, we can look at the general pricing patterns.

For one, Azure charges per minutes used (pay as you go basis) while AWS charges by the nearest hour. Further, AWS offers long-term deals, most notably Reserved Instances, which gives users the option to book instances for 1-3 years for 75% less. While both products offer some free goodies, Azure’s free items, including features like 1GB disk space and 10 free Logic App Definitions, don’t expire and you can use them as long as you wish. AWS, on the other hand, offers a 12-month free trial, which includes free access to 700+ software products for a maximum of 750 hours per month.

 2. Customer Service

Both AWS and Azure provide various types of customer support, depending on the money paid and account type. Azure offers 5 tiers of support ranging from $29 to $1,000 per month with services ranging from basic 24/7 billing and account support to more personalized services such as 24-hour access to system engineers and advisors. Further information on this can be found on the Azure Support Pricing Page. It is also worth mentioning that Azure looks to improve the knowledge of their subscribers through the weekly Azure Fridays podcast, which airs on Channel 9.

Unlike Azure, AWS support prices are not set at flat rates but very depending on usage. Basically, you receive full, advanced AWS support at 10% if your usage costs are below $10k, 7% if you spend between $10-80k and 3% if your usage is above that. The site also produces about 10 webinars and 5 Whitepapers to subscribers on a monthly basis for education purposes.

3. Reliability of Service

No matter how reasonably priced service is, it won’t cut it if it’s not consistently reliable. Being the biggest names in the IaaS industry, both Azure and AWS are highly reliable and even offer 10% money back if the uptime dips below certain figures. Basically, the two services aim for near-perfect availability (99.5) and offer to pay back up to 30%, in the case of AWS, if the availability goes below 99%. Nonetheless, according to the external tests, which were carried out for 30 days, Azure was the more reliable of the two, with an average uptime of about 99.99%. AWS’s was slightly lower at 99.97%.

4. Azure vs. AWS: Are They Right For Your Project?

If you are still wondering if either Azure of AWS is the right choice for your project, we did our research and came up with the conclusions below:

  • AWS – An amazing cloud computing product that, apart from being a pioneer in the field, is always being updated with new features. It’s also strong enough for big-scale projects, seeing as its client list includes Yelp and Netflix. AWS is also useful if you intend to run applications for non-Windows devices.
  • Azure – Made by a renowned tech giant in Microsoft. Azure has a good reputation and is also easy to use. Also, Windows users have an easy time with the service as they don’t have to learn anything new.

To conclude, you can define which concrete solution is better for you relying on how it meets your project needs. While both services are not cheap, they both have free trials and give some free credits to test the platforms. Overall, combining two products can be also considered for getting better outcomes.