The dawn of cloud computing has proven to be an essential event in this digital era. Having an on-site data centre is not a necessity now. It has led to substantial cost savings and improved agility for organizations.
A new model of business has emerged called the Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) model. Here a third-party service provider takes care of providing hosting, maintaining core infrastructure which includes hardware, software, storage and servers for the customer.
behemoths like Amazon, Microsoft and Google, have plunged into the market of
IaaS and have upped the ante. These three bigwigs have addressed the data
sovereignty and security concerns which thwarted the growth of cloud services
in its initial days. The market size for IaaS is estimated to be around $32.4
billion in 2018, which was a growth of 31.3% from 2017.
Amazon has traditionally dominated the market for IaaS, but Microsoft and Google are quickly gaining ground. While the new CEO Satya Nadella has ushered Microsoft into a “Cloud first” era, Google is not much behind in the race with its GCP(Google cloud platform). Alphabet, Google’s parent company has spent $ 6 billion on R&D in the fourth quarter of 2018. Which is a 40% increase YOY, most of the spending was on future technologies like cloud and AI.
has increased prices of its on-site only office 2019 packages by 10%,
announcing a clear push towards the cloud strategy.
With competition rife amongst the “Big Three”
of the cloud computing world, customers are bound to benefit. In this article,
we shall compare the three cloud services provided by Microsoft, Amazon, and
leading computing service of the Amazon web services framework is the amazon
elastic compute cloud. The database administrators can optimize for costs using
the ECC with other Amazon web services which promote the right amount of
flexibility and compatibility. The ECC platform could be scaled up or scaled
down within minutes allowing the administrators to optimize their resources.
The ECC allows the administrators to deploy thousands of server instances
gives you the power of machine learning using its AWS auto-scaling monitor. The
monitor continually monitors your current requirements and adjusts its capacity
accordingly, without increasing the price. Amazon guarantees 99.99% service
availability as a part of their service level agreement(SLA).
from this, Amazon offers Amazon Elastic Container service, which supports
Docker containers. With this feature, you could manage the IP address of your
website, access security groups, Cloudtrail logs, Cloudwatch events and Query
the state of your application.
A network of virtual
machines powers the Azure computing feature, which includes development, app
deployment, datacenter extensions, and testing. The Microsoft Azure is
compatible with Windows, SQL, SAP, Oracle and Linux. Azure offers a hybrid
model consisting of an on-premise data centre and a public cloud.
A serverless container
system called the Azure Kubernetes Service(AKS) allows containerized
applications which can be deployed and managed faster. The AKS allows for
continuous delivery and continuous integration experience. It will enable various
teams working in a virtual office to work on a single platform.
AI and Machine learning tools
AWS Machine learning
Amazon is ahead in the race for
integrating IoT and AI into the cloud. Amazon’s lex interface allows you to use
the same technology which has is used in its groundbreaking voice assistant
Alexa. Amazon even allows you to use the power of Sagemaker, and you can use it
for deploying machine learning and for staff training. Amazon’s Lambda
serverless environment is a boon for companies which who wish to completely
untether themselves and deploy their apps from Amazon’s serverless
In 2015 Amazon launched its
machine learning service, which helps developers in creating machine learning
models. One year later, Amazon launched services like AWS Rekognition and
Microsoft has its own resource for
machine learning called the Microsoft Azure Machine learning studio. The
benefit of Azure Machine learning studio is that it allows the developers to
use complex machine learning models through a simple graphical UI.
Storage is one of the critical
functions of any cloud service. Both Azure and AWS have excellent storage
capabilities, with both service providers giving necessary facilities like REST
API and server-side data encryption. Blob storage is the name given by Azure to
its storage mechanism while the storage mechanism of AWS is called S3(simple
storage service). Automatic replication across various regions and high
availability are the characteristics of the AWS storage solution. Both AWS and
Azure use the block-storage function. In the block-storage service, the data is
divided into small, equally sized pieces of data called blocks. This allows for
faster access to the data. Amainfrastructurezon EBS(elastic block storage) is
the block storage service of AWS, which acts as a primary storage device for
Amazon EC2. While there are Azure virtual disks which connect to the Azure
Virtual Machines using block storage.
Both AWS and Azure provide you
with high availability through replication of your VM files to various
different zones. In case your VM is damaged it is replicated quickly. AWS even gives
you the option of taking snapshots of the VM to use them as backups at an extra
Azure provides you with the option
of launching your own operating system using a VHD file. You can upload the VHD
file to a blob and launch it as a VM. The thing is that once you delete your VM
in Azure, the uploaded VHD file also becomes unusable. This is not the case
Hybrid cloud is a strategy in which companies choose to use a combination of different infrastructure environments like public cloud service providers and on-site servers. This approach is taken by companies who cannot afford to use 100% cloud infrastructure due to data residency concerns for e.g.:- banks.
Microsoft is well- established
amongst enterprises as a good option for hybrid cloud infrastructure. Through
Azure stack, businesses can easily use various Azure cloud service through
their own data centre. The azure stack provides you with the freedom of
deploying your applications either on Azure cloud or on your own datacentre
without the hassle of rewriting the code.
Using Azure stack, your company
can avail a host of services like virtual machines, networking, storage, load
balancing, VPN gateway, containers, functions and active directories on your
own datacenters. The hardware support is provided by a lot of vendors like
Dell, Cisco, Lenovo, and Huawei. The pricing is flexible, starting at rates as
low as $0.008 per virtual CPU per hour.
AWS launched its own hybrid
infrastructure by the name of Outposts in 2018 at reinventing conference. An
AWS Outpost is a fully managed infrastructure service wherein AWS provides a
set of pre-configured hardware and software to the on-site location of the
customer. These racks use the same equipment which powers AWS in all the
regions that amazon services. These Outposts can be configured with a variety
of EC2 instances and EBS volume storages. Customers can utilize AWS outposts to
launch and manage a range of AWS services like ALB for load balancing, ECS, EKS for containers
and EMR for big data along with RDS. Outposts allow the customers to use the
same AWS management console, SDK(Software Development Kit) and CLI(Command-Line
Interface) tools which AWS provides today.
Pricing acts as a significant
determinant for those who are considering a move to the cloud infrastructure.
With competition rife between various cloud infrastructure providers, the
pricing has seen a constant downward trend. If you take a look, the prices are
roughly the same, but a detailed comparison is difficult as both offer slightly
different pricing models and come up with many special offers and discounts to
lure more users.
Both Azure and AWS offer free to
try services which let you test the cloud waters, helping you in deciding
whether the cloud is for you.
It helps if there are proven use
cases of companies using cloud infrastructure successfully. Being the oldest
service provider in the IaaS sector, AWS is at a clear advantage here with
names such as Netflix, Astrazeneca, Newscorp, Airbnb, Nike, Lonely Planet and
Pfizer amongst an extensive list of customers who have chosen AWS as their
Azure has also got reputed
customers in its kitty, which includes Ford, NBC News, Easyjet, Pearson,
Wallmart, Twitter, Verizon, to name a few.
The choice of the ideal IaaS
provider really depends on your needs, and there is no one-size-fits-all
solution here. Both the solutions are offered by world-renowned companies who
provide a high-level of security, free look-in services for you to try,
excellent support and pay-as-you-use pricing.
AWS will suit your company if you
want to go with a company which has the highest experience with cloud. AWS also
has a more significant global reach than Azure. AWS offers better flexibility
and a more comprehensive range of services than Azure. AWS is especially
cos-effective and suitable if you are a large organization.
Azure will prove to be a good fit
for companies who have most of their apps and platforms on Microsoft products
like Windows and if you are a startup who is migrating to cloud for the first
An enthusiastic Operations Manager at TopDevelopers.co - a leading directory of mobile app development companies, coordinates and manages the technical and functional areas efficiently. She is an adventure lover, passionate traveller, an admirer of nature, who believes that a cup of coffee is the prime source to feel rejuvenated. Researching and writing about technology keeps her boosted and enhances her professional journeying.