Azure vs AWS for enterprise: pros and cons

April 28, 2017


The two market leading cloud providers are Microsofts Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). One of the most common questions enterprises faces when they plan to move up into the cloud is “Azure vs AWS?“. According to Gartners Magic Quadrant Report, these two are clear market leaders that continuously work to improve and expand their services. Advantages such as an understanding of enterprise needs, development platform integration and more might be what matters most to you. 

Worth mentioning is that Azure has been targeted towards enterprise from the very beginning. It started out as a Platform as a Service (PaaS) and their holistic approach makes it easy for developers to build applications without unnecessary doubt or worries. AWS started by scaling up from their infrastructure. Their approach has instead been to stay ahead of the curve and offer services that IT Operations easily can understand and use.

Market comparison and growth

It’s not hard to see why AWS and Azure has grown into the market leading roles they have today. Amazon offer over 70 different services such as Elastic Block Store (EBS) and Elastic File System (EFS). They also offer various services for database management as well as frameworks for simple mobile application scaling and much more. AWS has a massive public cloud with the largest data centers in the world and can match a wide array of different workloads. Anything from very low to very high cost and performance demands can be matched.

That said, Azure is growing and has lately been gaining on AWS. Microsoft has taken working hard to meet AWS by improving and building their offers. With strong relationships to many large companies, Microsoft has experience of enterprise sales. This can prove valuable, as Morgan Stanleys survey of 100 CIOs show that Azure will be the bigger IaaS seller in 2019.

Azure vs AWS: product and capabilities

Both AWS and Azure offer complete cloud solutions for enterprise. Key features for AWS include a bunch of infrastructure and application features that allow for running almost anything in the cloud. However, AWS is the clear winner in the race for the most services.

Regarding the number of services, Azure is closing the distance fast with inclusions such as StorSimple Virtual Array, large-scale virtual machines, as well as SQL Data Warehouse. In addition, Microsoft is further enabling hybrid architectures and workload flexibility with Azure Stack and Cloudify, among more.

Other factors to consider regarding Azure vs AWS is the Azure Security Center. (ASC). The ASC enables a centralized view of security policies and configurations from more Azure subscriptions, opportunities for customers to save time through tools such as SQL Manager or Visual Studio, as well as hassle-free VM migration.

Future and expansion

Microsoft has plans for further investing in cloud expansion, with extra focus on new features and infrastructure. Their Intelligen Cloud unit continues to be central to the company’s growth strategy and Microsoft says that almost 60% of all Fortune 500 companies uses at least one of their three cloud services.

The fact is that both AWS and Azure invest a lot in global datacenters and server farms. For example, AWS recently announced a new region in Mumbai, India, with two available zones. With new regions being introduced in Great Britain, there are now 34 Azure regions around the world. This is more than any other cloud provider in the world. With certifications such as MCSE and many more, Microsoft also offer more certifications than any other cloud provider.

In the end, the battle of cloud providers depend on your needs and situation. Many experts have put their votes on their favourites and who they think will end up as the end winner, but there is still much left to discuss.


Which cloud provider do you think is the best? Leave your favourite in the comments below!