Will Enterprise IT Win in the Microsoft Azure – Amazon Web Services Battle?

Microsoft Azure Vs Amazon Web services - SuyatiAmazon Web Services (AWS) have ruled the cloud quite comfortably. AWS has gained its importance due to the fact that it works on a completely different set of rules, creating within itself the ability to juggle multiple performance facets ranging from email to document storage services. With all these facilities, AWS has dominated the cloud for a long time, but all this is soon set to change. Microsoft is making a huge comeback and this poses a grave threat to AWS.

Even though Amazon ruled the market, most developers preferred private clouds and this resulted in a huge private cloud failure. The reason for this is that private clouds contain similar problems as that of the traditional IT infrastructure. They’re not just difficult to install, but they tend to be costlier. Enterprises are well aware of Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services being the best choices in enterprise-level IaaS. But how does one justify the right option for business performance? It is best to compare the features and abilities of both before drawing a conclusion.

While AWS has officially been in the market since 2006, Microsoft Azure is a fairly new player and joined in 2010. Having gotten an earlier head start, Amazon had all the time to build great credibility for itself. But Microsoft Azure is not going down easy. It has already established itself as an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). This may not be of much relevance to an enterprise. Enterprises would be more interested in knowing which of these would suit their business requirements. AWS and Microsoft are well equipped to provide services to enterprises of any size. So the question remains – which of these will be perfect for your business?

Hybrid Cloud Strategy

Enterprises have a tendency to keep a part of their operations strongly rooted at their datacenter premises, while another chunk of their operations can be stored in the cloud. Another feature of a hybrid cloud is that developers can store apps on both, the Azure cloud and the local servers. Furthermore, as several of these applications connect with other services or plug-ins, Microsoft Azure’s hybrid cloud permits parts of the apps to stay rooted in the on-premises hardware and easily interface with other parts of the apps that are on the cloud.

At the moment, Amazon is attempting to start up a hybrid could strategy. They also commented on the same during a recent conference. But until this approach is processed and stabilized, Azure takes the lead.

Azure’s compatibility with Microsoft

It’s an undeniable truth that a great deal of Microsoft’s revenue is earned from its corporate customers. Azure is designed perfectly to work in compatibility with Microsoft products. One such example is the Azure Active Directory. The Azure Active Directory serves as a single sign-on (SSO). That’s not all. Azure Active Directory can incorporate an enterprise’s Active Directory that is on the enterprise’s premises to its local directories that is located in the cloud. Another positive point is the financial savings connected to training and deployment that could be gained, if your enterprise is already dedicated to Microsoft.

Open Source Software compatibility

Open Source software and Microsoft are compatible with each other; however, its performance is stable only with a few versions of Linux. So, if your enterprise runs on SUSE or Oracle, you can receive Azure support.

What enterprises do need to look out for is if their operations run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Considering the history between Microsoft and Red Hat, it is not likely that the two will agree on supporting each other anytime soon. So, if your enterprise’s operations are deeply rooted in Red Hat’s solutions, you have AWS as your only choice.

Disaster Recovery Strategy

Azure has a systematic and organized disaster recovery strategy in hand. This is available to all its enterprise customers. Microsoft also guarantees updating its customers with any amendments in its SLAs, 90 days in advance. Microsoft’s service health dashboard is reviewed every 60 days. Enterprises would definitely want to know if there are any changes in the SLAs or deliverables, so that they can mitigate for it accordingly. Some enterprises also use Azure as a back-up to AWS. These enterprises may not want to go all out with Azure’s cloud services and hence have a bracket of their operations based on Azure.

Microsoft all set to go the distance

The performance dynamics of AWS and Azure are undergoing constant changes. Initially, enterprises could have sworn that AWS was a market leader of third party apps in its marketplace. But Azure’s recent announcement confirmed its ongoing efforts to successfully increase its marketplace. Also, with Satya Nadella now captaining the Microsoft craft, Microsoft is all set to sail to great achievements.

Cloud Costs Evaluations

It is difficult to make generalizations considering the cloud costs for AWS and Azure, as there are several variables that affect the same. These costs change from scenario to scenario; and hence enterprises need to create specific requirements to understand the costs involved. Fortunately, for enterprises, both Microsoft and Amazon follow the norm of transparency when it comes to costs. Both companies have calculators on their sites, whereby an enterprise can carefully structure their cloud service requirements and then scrutinize the bill that would generate.

Competition is a good thing as it means that both vendors will only push themselves harder to outperform each other, creating even better service offerings for enterprises in the act. In the end, choosing between AWS and Microsoft Azure is solely a choice to be made by the enterprise.

In addition to the points mentioned above, both companies offer free trials of their cloud services, so that you have a better understanding of the performance and its benefits to your enterprise. Azure and AWS also offer fee tiers to enterprises who need to scrutinize and go a little deeper into the performance dynamics, so enterprises have adequate assistance before they jump to conclusions and make a final selection.

And barring the fact of which vendor wins, the actual benefactors will be the enterprises, as they will reap the performance benefits as a result of the vendors’ innovative ideas.


Author : Stanley Anto Date : 25 Mar 2015