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AWS or Microsoft Azure?

All Blogs, AWS, Business IT

Amazon Web Services or Microsoft AzureAs more companies embrace the cloud and seek to move their infrastructures into digital environments, they’re faced with deciding which cloud service is best for them. Digicon has extensive experience as both a data center manager and IT service provider, and we chose to join Amazon Web Services (AWS) as an AWS Partner Network Consulting Partner. So why use AWS’s cloud infrastructure instead of Microsoft’s?

Cloud-First Approach

AWS has a cloud-first approach, which centers the cloud as the new way forward for digital technology and services. AWS built all of its systems as cloud native from the ground up. On the other hand, Microsoft is still transitioning its traditional client/server enterprise approach to cloud technologies.

AWS has also chosen to virtualize the basic components of the data center; this gives AWS a tremendous advantage in providing the key benefits of the cloud, such as increased redundancy, reliability, and cost savings. Microsoft has instead taken the approach of extending its operating system virtualization technology; this approach has forced Microsoft to make compromises in the underlying technology to preserve a familiar environment, administrative tools, and licensing model. These decisions directly affect the capabilities of the Azure cloud in terms of redundancy, reliability, and cost savings.

Automation and Complexity

As a cloud-native platform, AWS allows for direct manipulation of the underlying infrastructure through code. Everything that can be done through a web interface can also be done through code.

Microsoft’s approach requires a complex mix of many different methods, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. Some things require interaction with a web interface or a graphical user interface, and some are only available through code. While Microsoft has been migrating to code-controlled infrastructure through PowerShell for many years, adoption and capability is far from universal.

Licensing, Payment, and End Customer Control

AWS doesn’t have a legacy of supplier, distributor, and reseller relationships to maintain. This allows it to provide the same products, services, and capabilities no matter how you choose to purchase AWS services.

Microsoft has a very complicated network of suppliers, distributors, and resellers. Depending on how you purchase, not all products and services are available. Even if you’re buying directly from Microsoft, you may not be able to buy certain products or services. If your vendor isn’t authorized to sell certain products, you have to buy some from one vendor and some from another vendor. This further complicates where you must go to increase or decrease licenses.

Auto Scaling

AWS truly charges on a usage-based model, so most services are calculated on an hourly basis. This level of flexibility allows you to scale up or down based on actual need and doesn’t require a commitment based on projections. Furthermore, AWS offers reduced pricing if you’re able to predict a known minimum, and it uses scaled pricing to charge for usage above what you can predict. This is called reserved instances. AWS also provides tools to assist you in predicting potential savings by using reserved instances based on previous usage trends.

Many of Microsoft’s cloud services continue to use a licensing model that limits your ability to scale up and down based on usage but requires you to manually increase and decrease available licenses on a monthly basis.

Our Conclusion

For the above reasons, Digicon has chosen AWS as our primary cloud services partner. Still, Microsoft is a very important component in our overall cloud strategy, and we continue to recommend and use its products when it’s the best choice for our customers. More than half of our total workloads use Microsoft Server operating systems on top of AWS infrastructure. We believe that Windows 10 is still the best end user operating system for PCs and laptops. We actively support and implement Office 365 and OneDrive for email, productivity applications, and user storage needs.

You can count on Digicon to understand and recommend the best mix of services for your specific needs and help your organization to navigate the complex IT marketplace.

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