AWS vs. Azure: Answering the Quintessential Cloud Question

In some ways, choosing a cloud provider can be as difficult as the decision to move to the cloud. Creating a shortlist is easy. Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are the two kingpins of public cloud. But choosing one cloud provider over another with confidence? That’s another story.

There are a few issues that make this task difficult. The first is a general lack of cloud knowledge. IT organizations moving to the cloud for the first time are often learning by doing. In order to be in any position to compare the two cloud giants, IT folks must first get up to speed on the various services and how they work.

That brings us to the second challenge. AWS and Azure each offer a number of services, but comparing them is like comparing apples to oranges. They operate differently and oftentimes go by different names. For example, AWS allows you to define “how” your instances scale, without needing to have excess capacity on standby when it’s time to scale out. Azure scaling works differently, requiring you to leave excess capacity in a stopped state, and scaling up by “turning on” your excess instances when load demands it. Elastic Load Balancer in AWS supports sticky sessions through cookies while Azure Load Balancer supports sticky sessions through server affinity.

The other issue we’ve seen come up is that each cloud provider has different strengths and weaknesses. IT organizations must understand what these are and how they fit with their own application requirements, business needs and IT operations. What works for one organization won’t necessarily be a good fit for another.

On Tuesday, April 5, I’m going to help clear up a lot of these issues at the Lansing DevOps MeetUp. I’ll provide a crash course on AWS and Azure, focusing on the pertinent details IT organizations need to know to decide which cloud service provider is right for a specific application, skill set and toolset. I’ll cover:

· Each provider’s history and design philosophy
· A translation matrix that maps each provider’s service offerings
· An apples-to-apples comparison of each provider’s key services
· Specific scenarios where each provider is a better fit

I hope to see you at the Technology Innovation Center in East Lansing. If you’re not in the area, don’t worry. At 7:15 ET we’ll live webcast my presentation, Building A Bridge Between AWS and Azure. Be sure to RSVP or sign up to get the link to the live webcast.

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