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Deciding Between AWS and Azure

Cloud computing systems and storage solutions are one of the most transformative aspects of the Internet. In the past, you needed to store and access all of your data or computing programs via your hard drive. As you can imagine, this became problematic as there’s only a limited amount of space on a hard drive. The more space you used, the bigger hard drive you needed. Unfortunately, upgrading hard drive space isn’t exactly easy or straightforward—it requires changes to be made to your technology, which can be time consuming, difficult, and costly. Luckily, now we use cloud computing services to store documents, run programs, and access files, but not all cloud computing systems are created equally. There are plenty of different programs that you can choose from depending on your needs and business goals. In this article, we’ll compare two of the most popular cloud systems, Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft’s Azure so that you can better understand how to decide between the two.

Understanding Cloud Computing

Before talking about each system individually, it’s important to have a solid understanding of what the cloud actually is. Where does data go? How is it accessed? Is it safe? These are all reasonable questions that can be answered in one aspect or another.

One of the easiest ways to understand cloud computing is by realizing that anything done through the cloud is basically done through the Internet. The cloud works the same way—it sends data through wireless connections so that it can be stored and accessed via online connections. It’s affordable, simple, and effective in terms of security.

Benefits of Using Cloud Computing Solutions

Benefits of Using Cloud Computing Solutions

As cloud computing systems have become more established, they’ve gotten even more beneficial for businesses and individuals alike. The cloud offers increased flexibility, unbeatable convenience, fewer management issues, and unparalleled scalability. You can upload a document from anywhere that has an Internet connection and give people the opportunity to make and track changes in a uniform document. You’re billed regularly as you go, so you don’t have to deal with management problems. And you have the opportunity to increase your cloud storage at the touch of a finger if you need to. Thanks to advancements in online security, your documents can be encrypted and protected using a strong firewall, passwords, and two-factor authentication.

What to Know Before Shifting to the Cloud

While the cloud offers a number of benefits, there are still a few things you should know before making the switch. First, you need to create a system to compartmentalize your data. Not everything should be migrated to the cloud. You also need to research different cloud computing systems to figure out what will work best for you. Here, we’ll talk about two of the most popular: AWS and Azure.

What is Amazon AWS?

Amazon AWS is a cloud computing system designed and run by Amazon. AWS stands for Amazon Web Services and has been one of the top cloud applications since it was released in 2006. There are plenty of different platforms to choose from within AWS that can help with everything from content delivery, development, and general computations. It is a comprehensive cloud solution that offers different levels to fit your business size and needs. You can use multiple AWS services together or just one. It’s reliable, scalable, and offers flexible options.

Benefits of AWSWhat is Amazon AWS

Some of the main benefits of AWS are the enterprise-friendly services, large variety of services, strong security systems, and the opportunity for autoscaling. There are pay-as-you-go features so that you only need to pay for what you use. This eliminates the need to purchase excessive features. It has comprehensive services that can be used as you need and has one of the most reliable security encryptions in any cloud system. When your company grows, your cloud computing system will automatically grow with it.

Cons of AWS

The main downfall of AWS is that it’s a hybrid cloud structure. This means that AWS uses a combination of private cloud services and third-party public cloud services, which can sometimes result in unexpected circumstances. If you’re not familiar with all of the services that AWS offers, it can also get a little confusing and has a bigger learning curve than other cloud services.

What is Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing system that was originally launched in 2010. Like AWS, Azure has grown in popularity and remains high on the list of the best cloud platforms. There are plenty of integrated features so that you can easily and efficiently connect all of the pieces of your business in one place. Many businesses have trusted Microsoft for years prior to cloud technology, so it’s a natural transition for those just getting started. Azure has a powerful track record and offers trustworthy certifications, affordability, and flexibility in billing.

Benefits of AzureBenefits of Azure

Azure has gone through rigorous testing in order to perfect their cloud technology and have proven to be efficient for use with everything from mobile apps, smart technology, and digital marketing. It has a stronger Platform-as-a-Service than other cloud computing services and strictly uses private servers for all of their data. Azure also has an option to use autoscaling, so it’s extremely easy to use with fluctuating business environments. Finally, one thing that Azure users love most is the ease of integration with other Microsoft products and services. If your company uses any Microsoft software, Azure is a great option.

Cons of Azure

The biggest downfall to Azure is that it occasionally experiences power outages, making it difficult to access data. Since Azure lacks a data backup system to restore facilities, it can lead to instances where your information is completely inaccessible. This is a deal breaker for a lot of people. The overall capabilities are also considered to be limited when compared to other platforms, regardless of the integration with other Microsoft software.

Differences Between AWS and Azure

While each platform comes with its own benefits and downfalls, there are also some major differences between the two. The primary differences between AWS and Azure are apparent in their computing, storage, networking, application, database, developers, and pricing.

  • Computing – AWS uses computers to perform all of the computing requirements of your business. They use Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for their primary scalable computing and management solution. Azure uses virtual machines that need to be programmed and set for the proper software management of your business.
  • Storage – AWS uses simple storage service (S3), a long running storage solution that comes equipped with plenty of tutorials, forums, and documentation to give you a better understanding of how to use it. It also comes equipped with archive storage options. Azure uses Storage Block blob, which is efficient for large uploads and consistent cloud services. While the storage solutions are different, Azure still offers archive services so that you can reduce the data load of important vs. non-important information.
  • Networking – all different cloud computing systems require some sort of networking to work properly. AWS uses a private cloud for their networking purposes that’s run virtually and connected to an API gateway. AWS also offers load balancing to offset any networking problems during production. Azure uses a VPN gateway for network and connectivity. While one isn’t necessarily better than the other, they operate slightly differently.
  • Apps – AWS has a few apps, but there aren’t many additional features available to use with external app hosting. Azure is equipped with deployment tools so that multiple apps can function and be integrated into the cloud technology. Azure also seamlessly integrates with all of Microsoft’s applications.
  • Database – AWS uses a relational database that allows for both SQL and NoSQL solutions. Azure is also equipped to handle SQL, NoSQL, and PostgreSQL.
  • Developers – AWS is great for use in conjunction with on demand open source developers. There are plenty of great options to integrate open source applications as an external feature, as long as it’s properly programmed. Azure requires use through the facility—they must be current active directory members in order to sign on and make any changes.
  • Pricing – over the years, both AWS and Azure have substantially decreased costs to use their respective cloud technologies. This could be because of the prevalence of other technologies in a competitive market, but regardless, it makes it easier for businesses and individuals to embrace the switch. AWS and Azure both offer a pay-as-you-go option based on hourly usage. Azure takes it even farther and breaks their payment down by the minute. While this seems like it could be a downside, it ends up costing a little less in the long run as your time usage is extremely exact.

If you’re interested in using a cloud computing software to keep your business data secure and easily accessible, contact Plego Technologies, the for more information. Our team of experienced developers can help you determine which system is best for your business and how you can take steps today to transition to the cloud.