Whether they’re on a migration path or are looking at cloud services for the first time, prospects often ask us, what’s the difference between Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure? And why did Atmosera decide to concentrate on Microsoft Azure alone?
- Enterprise IT’s familiarity with Microsoft’s extensible infrastructure
- Microsoft has always had a PaaS-first perspective
- Azure has much more comprehensive compliance coverage for our compliance-centric customers
- Azure has more mature security and identity protocols
- Microsoft’s robust partner programs, ecosystem and infrastructure
We’ll talk through five key reasons why we selected Azure as our preferred cloud platform and look at some of the similarities and differences of AWS vs. Azure.
Similarities and History
First, they are each considered the two biggest, best cloud providers – AWS and Azure are both Leaders in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for cloud IaaS providers:
Gartner - Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide, June 15, 2017 https://www.gartner.com/doc/reprints?id=1-2G2O5FC&ct=150519 (full report available)
Amazon Web Services AWS): is one of the original players in the cloud market, having been around for 11 years. AWS is a key money maker for Amazon, because of the number of big “web-scale” services like Netflix and Airbnb that support hundreds of thousands of users via AWS.
Microsoft Azure: Azure is 6 years old and has caught up quickly in the cloud market. It, too, supports hundreds of thousands of users for Uber, but has a very different key advantage when it comes to enterprise adoption.
In fact, in the spring of 2017, Computerworld reported that Azure had overtaken AWS as the public cloud of choice for enterprise IT orgs (Atmosera’s target market).
Any IT professional with experience in Microsoft products in the enterprise will find easy familiarity with Azure as they look to implement or extend cloud-based services. Azure links well with key Microsoft on-premise systems such as Windows Server, System Center and Active Directory. It also provides extensive support for open-source products (azure.microsoft.com/en-us/overview/choose-azure-opensource) and frameworks to meet the needs of most companies.
That’s a key reason why Atmosera has selected Microsoft Azure as our cloud platform of choice.
And, Azure started from the PaaS perspective and built towards the IaaS world. AWS started from the IaaS perspective and built towards the PaaS world. PaaS is the future… so another key reason we chose Azure was based on Microsoft’s functionality and support of the PaaS world.
Cloud Services: Naming Conventions
In terms of services, here’s a table that quickly defines how AWS vs. Azure Services are named / how they relate to one another.
|AWS GovCloud||Azure Government|
|Route 53||Traffic Manager|
|Redshift||SQL Data Warehouse|
|Directory Service||Azure AD|
*Atmosera has developed the first secure delete application for Blob Storage in Azure – and it’s up in the Azure Marketplace. For more information on Atmosera’s Secure Delete Application for Azure Storage.
Microsoft has published a comprehensive services comparison / naming conventions table for AWS vs. Azure here. Most analysts agree that AWS and Azure have the services available today for serious cloud adoption; and both Microsoft and Amazon have the “completeness of vision” that will allow IT pros to feel very secure in selecting them for public, hybrid (more on hybrid and Azure soon – stay tuned!) or private cloud use.
Both AWS and Azure support the expectations of services from a public cloud: self-service and instant provisioning, autoscaling, security, compliance and intelligent management features – including smart analytics.
Compliance and Security
However, compliance is an area where Atmosera feels Azure has a very distinct advantage over AWS. We have customers in the healthcare and financial services markets where compliance is a big issue in addition to security. Azure has much more comprehensive compliance coverage with 50 compliance offerings listed in the Microsoft Trust Center.
Azure’s compliance advantage is the other key reason why Atmosera is focused on Azure, and some choose to migrate from AWS.
From a security perspective Azure is more flexible than AWS, in our opinion. For example, in configuring security protocols, AWS’s approach is whitelist only – with Allow rules only, while Azure’s approach is to have both Allow and Deny rules available.
Only Azure offers information protection – to control and secure email, documents, and sensitive data that you share outside a company walls. And only Azure supports Active Directory (AD) services for B2C, allowing application developers to leverage this global standard for consumer-facing apps.
The default setting for some Azure elements are more open than companies would want. Atmosera clients have appreciated our help in ensuring they have configurations that don’t create unwanted exposures.
In their Clouds Are Secure: Are You Using Them Securely? Report, Gartner stated: “The cloud business model and the realities of Internet visibility provide huge market incentives for service providers to put a higher priority on security than is typical of end-user organizations, including their technical and process approach, and their undertaking of formal third-party security evaluations…”
Azure’s more mature security and identity protocols are the #4 key reason why Atmosera is focused on Azure cloud services only.
Finally, Microsoft has a very robust partner ecosystem and has invested in programs, resources and infrastructure to support their partners like no others. Microsoft’s partner programs are more mature and more organized than AWS, and are more relevant to Atmosera’s customers. That’s key reason #5 we focus on Azure for our customers.
Thinking of how to migrate from AWS to Azure? Or are you interested in moving some of your business assets or applications to the cloud? For more information on Azure cloud services, and why Atmosera is focused solely on Azure vs. AWS, connect with us.