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Azure vs AWS: Which is Better for your business?

There are two major players in the cloud market: Azure vs AWS, in third place is Google but for business, the first two are where it's at.

So, how do they stack up against each other? In this blog post, we will compare the two services and help you decide which one is right for you.


How do Azure and AWS compare on price?

While both platforms offer a range of pricing options, making a direct cost-to-cost comparison can be difficult due to their distinct pricing models and different service options.

Generally, Azure is perceived as having slightly higher costs than AWS. For instance, Azure follows a pay-as-you-go approach for virtual machines, whereas AWS opts for hourly charges.

As anyone who has tried to use the price calculators for either service knows, it's not a simple matter to work out a price. Added to that there are various saving plans like reserved instances, spot instances and others which can change the price you pay substantially. 

How do Azure and AWS compare on available services?

Both platforms have an extensive list of services, both their own and partnered services available from their marketplaces. 

Azure emphasises integration with Microsoft products and services, making it an attractive option for enterprises already invested in the Microsoft ecosystem

As a summary:

  • Azure generally has more options for PaaS (Platform as a Service),
  • AWS has more options for IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).

How do Azure and AWS compare on performance & global reach?

Performance is difficult to compare between Azure and AWS, as it will vary depending on the specific application or workload. They are also both global providers with data centres around the world. Although neither has an offering for the Antarctic at this point.

How do Azure and AWS compare in market share?

According to, an article released on the 8th of August 2023, shows that AWS' market share globally has fallen from 34% to 32%. This reflects a large growth in the cloud market and AWS is still showing strong growth. This is a clear lead over Azure which is placed second in terms of global market share. 

So, which one should you choose?

These are the areas I would consider to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Workload Requirements: Assess the specific needs of your workloads. Some services or integrations may be better supported on one platform over the other. Consider your application architecture, databases, and other dependencies.

  2. Integration with Existing Systems: If your organisation already heavily uses Microsoft technologies like Windows Server, Active Directory, or SQL Server, Azure might offer smoother integration. AWS, being more platform-agnostic, may be preferable for diverse technology stacks.

  3. Global Presence: Both AWS and Azure have a vast global infrastructure, but the locations of their data centres may differ. Consider the geographic regions that matter most to your business and where each provider has a strong presence.

  4. Service Offerings: Compare the specific services offered by each provider. AWS has a longer history and a broader range of services, while Azure is competitive and offers unique services, especially for businesses using Microsoft tools.

  5. Cost Considerations: Pricing structures vary between AWS and Azure. One platform may be more cost-effective than the other based on your use case. It's crucial to understand the pricing models and estimate costs based on your expected usage.

  6. Support and SLAs: Evaluate the support options and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) offered by both providers. Consider your organisation's requirements for responsiveness, support channels, and guaranteed uptime.

  7. Community and Ecosystem: The size and vibrancy of the user community can influence your experience with a cloud platform. Consider factors like community support, available documentation, and third-party integrations.

  8. Security and Compliance: Both AWS and Azure adhere to high-security standards, but the specific security features and compliance certifications may differ. Assess your industry-specific compliance requirements and security features offered by each provider.

  9. Future Growth and Innovation: Consider the future roadmap and innovation capabilities of each provider. AWS has a longer history of innovation, but Azure has been rapidly expanding its offerings.

  10. Flexibility and Portability: Assess how easily you can migrate workloads between cloud providers or bring them back on-premises. Avoid vendor lock-in by considering solutions that provide flexibility and portability.

In the end, selecting between AWS and Azure hinges on the distinctive requirements of your business, your priorities, and the particular traits of your workloads. Increasingly, businesses are embracing a multi-cloud or hybrid strategy to capitalise on the respective strengths of both platforms.

We would recommend a thorough review of both platforms and potentially a proof-of-concept project, to arrive at an informed decision.

For a more in-depth comparison of AWS vs Azure please read our article on the subject here.