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AWS vs Azure: Which One Should You Choose in 2024

Last Updated : 27 Feb, 2024
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Today, most businesses and startups use on-demand cloud services rather than physical storage devices. Public clouds offer various resources to these companies over the Internet, which can be accessed remotely on a pay-as-you-go basis. It is a much more feasible alternative to purchasing a physical desktop since the company can purchase a virtual desktop environment.


This virtual environment can be instantly created and can be deactivated after its use. The top vendors of these public clouds are AWS (i.e., Amazon Web Services), provided by Amazon, and Azure Cloud, provided by Microsoft. 

What is AWS?

AWS is a child company of Amazon, which was officially launched in 2006. AWS provides on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs to various individuals, companies, and organizations, including governments, on a charged subscription basis. As of 2020, it owns a dominant 33% of all the cloud, which is the highest in the market. Customers who access the AWS services on a regular basis can pay for an individual virtual AWS system, a physical computer, or clusters of either of the two. Fees are based on a combination of usage, hardware, operating system, software, or networking features chosen by the subscriber’s required availability, redundancy, security, and service options.

What is Azure?

The Azure Cloud was announced in 2008 and was soon released in 2010 as Windows Azure. It was later renamed Microsoft Azure in 2014. It is a cloud service created, managed, and maintained by Microsoft for building, testing, and deploying applications and services through data centers that are directly managed by Microsoft. It provides assistance for a huge number of programming languages, tools, and frameworks. These tools and frameworks include both Microsoft-specific and other third-party software and systems. Microsoft lists over 600 Azure services, and it is the next most commonly used cloud after AWS, with a market percentage of 18%. Azure is very well known for cloud service providers such as Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

AWS v/s Azure

Azure and AWS are a lot alike, offering users similar capabilities. Both cloud systems are very comprehensive, providing a wide range of features and services for different needs. We have understood what is Azure and AWS? Now, let’s head straight into the key differences between Azure and AWS to help you understand which might better suit your requirements.

1. Establishment

In 2006, AWS cloud platform was started by Amazon whereas in 2010, Azure cloud platform was started by Microsoft in 2010. Since AWS started much earlier than Azure, it has more experience in the cloud domain than any other cloud service provider. Even when AWS has met the needs of enterprises, Azure has been a consistent competitor to AWS and is quite a competent cloud service for businesses. AWS has a remarkable number of 77 availability zones in the world whereas, Azure has 54 availability zones worldwide. 

2. Services

Both AWS and Azure have solutions to extend the on-premise data center into the cloud and firewall options as well. In networking services, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) enables users to create subnets, route tables, private IP address ranges, and network gateways as compared to Microsoft Virtual Network, which lets users do whatever VPC does. In compute services, AWS has services like EC2, Elastic Beanstalk, AWS Lambda, ECS, etc. Azure has similar services like Azure Virtual Machine, App Service, Azure Functions and Container service, etc.

In storage services, AWS has temporary storage that is allocated once an instance is started and destroyed when the instance is terminated. They provide block storage that can be separate or attached to an instance. Whereas storage services in the case of Azure, Blob and Disk Storage, and Standard Archives are present. Azure also supports relational databases such as NoSQL and Big Data through Azure Table and HDInsight.

3. Popularity

On comparing the popularity index of AWS and Azure on Google Trends over the past 12 months, it is clearly visible that AWS is at the top. 

AWS has bigger community support and trust across its customers and therefore possesses high-profile clients like Netflix, Twitch, LinkedIn, Facebook, BBC, etc.

Azure is not much behind with a lot of fortune 500 hundred companies as its customers which include Samsung, eBay, Boeing, BMW, etc. When AWS is clearly seen as influencing the cloud market, Azure is also seeing catching up progressively.

4. Open-Source Integration

Amazon supports the Open-Source community on a huge level which in turn leads to open-source integration with AWS using tools like Ansible, Jenkins, Docker, and GitHub.

Whereas, in the case of Azure, it offers native integration for windows development tools such as VBS, Active Directory, and SQL databases. Even when Microsoft doesn’t support open-source as much as Amazon does, recently they’ve made changes such that organizations can run RHEL and Hadoop clusters in Azure. AWS works better with Linux servers whereas Azure is friendly for .NET developers.

5. Pricing

Both AWS and Azure have strengths and cater to different needs. AWS is praised for its cost-effectiveness, developer-friendliness, and suitability for a broad range of uses. Azure excels in compatibility with Microsoft environments and specialized services. The choice between them depends on specific organizational requirements and preferences.

AWS Data

Pricing: Amazon has a pay-as-you-go model, charging per hour. A basic instance (2 virtual CPUs, 8GB RAM) costs around $0.092/hour. For a larger instance (256GB RAM, 64vPCU), AWS charges $3.20/hour.

Hybrid Cloud and Security: AWS supports the hybrid cloud and provides security through user-defined roles with exceptional permission controls.

Comparison and Conclusion: AWS is a larger cloud provider with lower costs and is more developer-friendly. The pay-as-you-go model, charging per hour, allows users to save more with maximum resource usage. It’s recommended for organizations needing infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) or a wide range of tools.

Azure Data

Pricing: Azure charges per minute. A similar instance (2 virtual CPUs, 8GB RAM) costs around $0.096/hour, and for a larger instance (256GB RAM, 64vPCU), it charges around $6.76/hour.

Hybrid Cloud and Security: Azure outperforms AWS in hybrid cloud support. Machines are grouped into cloud services, and security is provided by enabling permissions on the whole account.

Comparison and Conclusion: Azure seems more compatible with large firms relying on Microsoft products, serving as an exceptional alternative for cloud service providers, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) providers, and Windows integration. However, it’s considered less flexible than AWS in terms of pricing, with a short-term commitment and fewer options.

6. Databases

Nowadays, all software applications need a database so as to save information. and both Azure and AWS provide the database services, regardless of whether the user needs a relational database(SQL) or a NoSQL offering. Amazon’s RDS (Relational Database Service ), Amazon DynamoDB( Fully managed NoSQL database service) and Microsoft’s equivalent as SQL Server database. These all are highly durable, available, and provide automatic replication.

More differences in tabular form:

Aspects AWS Azure
PaaS It supports Elastic Beanstalk. It supports cloud services.
Caching It supports Elastic Cache. It supports Redis Cache.
Data Warehouse It supports Redshift. It supports SQL Data warehouse.
Big data platform It is a good option for big data. It is not as good as AWS in handling big data.
Database services – MySQL
– Oracle
– DynamoDB
– Amazon aurora
– SQL Sync
Security Security is provided through user-defined roles with exceptional permission controls. AWS also excels in implementing granular IAM and security groups.
Azure Active Directory serves as a centralized hub for managing permissions and authorizations. In contrast to AWS, where setting up users, federation, and access for each account requires individual configuration, Azure enables these tasks to be accomplished from a unified location.
Machine access In AWS, machines can be accessed individually. Machines in Azure are organized into cloud services and respond to the same domain name with different ports


In the decision between Azure and AWS, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Both platforms provide extensive cloud services and strong security features. The choice depends on your business requirements, budget, and IT resources. Opt for Azure if you seek a cost-effective option for smaller workloads. On the other hand, choose AWS for a more scalable and robust solution for larger workloads. It’s crucial to thoroughly evaluate your options and select the cloud platform that aligns best with your business needs.


What is AWS?

AWS is a child company of Amazon, which was officially launched in 2006. AWS provides on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs to various individuals, companies, and organizations, including governments, on a charged subscription basis

What is Azure?

Azure Cloud, developed by Microsoft, was introduced in 2010 (originally named Windows Azure).It is a cloud service created, managed, and maintained by Microsoft for building, testing, and deploying applications and services through data centers that are directly managed by Microsoft.

Why is AWS popular than Azure?

With nearly four years of greater operational experience than Azure, AWS possesses greater resources, infrastructure, and highly scalable services compared to Azure. Importantly, during Azure’s efforts to catch up, Amazon had the advantage of expanding its cloud infrastructure by adding more servers and take advantage of cost efficiencies as it scales up its operations

How does pricing differ between AWS and Azure?

AWS adopts a pay-as-you-go model, charging per hour. In comparison, Azure charges per minute. Azure has monthly commitment options, a free tier, and Low Priority VMs. Both platforms vary pricing by region. The choice depends on usage patterns and budget considerations.



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