Microsoft Azure vs AWS: Which One Is Right for You?

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Technological advancements, mainly in cloud migration, have changed the scenario for organizations by offering scalability and flexibility. Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are the two dominating players driving this shift. 

It is essential to understand both while choosing between them, as each has its own perks and disadvantages. 

Definition Comparison of Microsoft Azure vs Amazon Web Services (AWS)

  • Microsoft Azure: Microsoft Azure was launched in 2010 and is a popular and detailed cloud computing platform that provides IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. It smoothly integrates with other Microsoft products, making it a perfect choice for businesses that have funded the Microsoft ecosystem.
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS): Amazon launched AWS in 2006, a detailed and evolving cloud platform that provides IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. AWS is known for its scalable, innovative, and reliable products, including tools for content delivery, computer power, and database storage services. 

Core Functionalities Comparison of AWS and Azure

Let's understand some prime features that differentiate AWS and Azure:

Compute ServicesOffers Virtual Machine Scale Sets for automated VM scaling based on demand.Provides Auto Scaling groups for similar functionality.
Storage ServicesIt has extremely scalable object storage with Azure Blob Storage.Offers Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), a mature and broadly adopted object storage service.
Security ServicesIntegrates seamlessly with Azure Active Directory for centralized identity management.Offers AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) for similar functionalities.
Database Services

It provides managed services for several database engines, including MySQL, Oracle Database, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server.


For relational databases, it provides Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), and for NoSQL databases, such as MongoDB and DynamoDB, it provides managed services.
Networking ServicesProvides Virtual Network, a software-defined network for secure communication within the Azure cloud.Offers Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) for similar functionalities.
Management ToolsOffers Azure portal, a web interface for managing and monitoring Azure resources.Provides AWS Management Console, a web interface for managing AWS services.


Understanding the Cost Models between Microsoft Azure vs. Amazon Web Services (AWS)

When choosing among the platforms, cost is the prime factor to consider. AWS and Azure provide an option of pay-as-you-go pricing. This guarantees that you will be charged extra for the resources you really use. Yet, the pricing structures can be tough and based on different factors such as reserved instances, resource type, and usage duration.

FeatureAzure CostingAWS Pricing
Pricing Model

Models are Azure Hybrid benefit, Pay-as-you-go, and Reserved Instances



Models like Savings plan, Pay-as-you-go, and Reserved Instances

Perfect for unpredictable workloads. Billed hourly or per minute. 

  • Virtual Machine (Standard B1s instance): ~$0.11 per hour 
  • Storage (Standard LRS block blob): ~$0.023 per GB per month

Perfect for unpredictable workloads. Billed hourly or per second. 

  • Virtual Machine (t2.micro instance): ~$0.009 per hour
  • Storage (S3 Standard): ~$0.023 per GB per month
Reserved Instances

Upfront commitment for a set period (discounted). Ideal for predictable workloads. 

  • 1-year Reserved Instance for Standard B1s VM: Up to 72% discount
  • 3-year Reserved Instance for t2.micro VM: Up to 80% discount

Upfront commitment for a set period (discounted). Ideal for predictable workloads. 

  • 1-year Reserved Instance for t2.micro VM: Up to 72% discount 
  • 3-year Reserved Instance for t2.micro VM: Up to 80% discount
Azure Hybrid BenefitApplies to Windows Server and SQL Server licenses in Azure VMs. Leverages existing on-premises licenses for discounts.Not applicable
Savings PlanCommitted use discounts for specific resources over a flexible period.

Committed use discounts for specific resources over a period (flexible). 

  • 1-year Savings Plan for compute resources: Up to 60% discount 
  • 3-year Savings Plan for compute resources: Up to 72% discount



Ideal Use Cases of AWS and Azure

While both AWS and Azure are unique and adaptable platforms, they also serve some particular use cases better than other platforms.

Let's understand the breakdown:

  • Microsoft Azure: Better option to consider for businesses that have made investments in the Microsoft ecosystem and may gain from the seamless integration of Microsoft products is Microsoft Azure. Yet, Microsoft Azure is expert in SQL server and Windows server deployments, Internet of Things (IoT) solution with Azure IoT hub and disaster recovery with Azure Site Recovery.
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS): Nowadays, organizations looking for a trusted cloud platform with an extensive service choice may wish to know about AWS perks. However, it does better in these areas with AWS Lambda for serverless computing, Amazon EMR and Redshift for big data analytics, and Amazon CloudFront for video streaming.

Other Factors to Consider When Choosing a Platform

The following are the crucial factors to consider when making your purchase decision:

  • Global Reach: Both AWS and Azure have a huge global presence with a good range of data centers around the globe. Yet, AWS rules with a slightly wider data center footprint, mainly providing lower latency for geographically dispersed users.
  • Emerging Technologies: Both platforms continually innovate and adopt new technologies. Azure stays on top with expertise in AI with Azure Cognitive Sciences and Azure Machine Learning. Whereas, AWS performs well in serverless computing and containerization with Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) and AWS Lambda.
  • Support: Both these platforms deliver detailed support options, like customer support plans, documentation, and tutorials. However, some users say that Azure support can be a bit more responsive, mainly for those who have already invested in the Microsoft ecosystem.
  • Community and Learning Resources: Both AWS and Azure have active developer communities as well as extensive documentation. Yet, the mere size and maturity of the AWS community may provide a broad set of resources and tutorials.


Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are two strong cloud computing systems with lots of perks. To ensure you pick the best choice possible, carefully consider your budget, resource needs, and company objectives. Don't be afraid to take benefit of the free trials offered by both the platforms before choosing a cloud service. Also, deeply understanding the perks and consequences of these platforms will assist you to take your company to new heights in the ever-evolving world of cloud computing in matters of cost-effectiveness, agility, and scalability.

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