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AWS vs Azure + The Hybrid Cloud

Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft’s Azure are competitors in the cloud computing market. The best option will vary business to business, and it’s wise to compare the differences and similarities between the two services. AWS provides users with the EC2 instance, or a virtual machine, which comes with a variety of different options for CPU cores and memory. Instances can be launched across different regions and availability zones, which provides a layer of protection in case one region or zone becomes unavailable. Much like AWS, Azure provides a VM as its virtual machine option, and users must select a virtual hard disk. AWS provides more flexibility in this area, as the EC2 allows for more configuration than Azure’s VM’s. In terms of storage, AWS allows users to use S3, EBS, and Aurora or Glacier. S3 is a block storage that can be accessed over the internet and works better with structured data, while EBS is object storage that can only be accessed through an EC2 instance and works well with unstructured data. Aurora and Glacier are two options for archival storage, with Glacier being the more affordable option. Azure provides users with Blob storage, in which files can be any type or size. This system works well for large amount of unstructured data, and is broken down into two subcategories: block blobs, which are up to 4MB blocks and used to upload lots of data, and page blobs, which are 512-byte pages used for “read and write” operations. One of the bigger differences between the two services is Hybrid cloud capabilities.

Azure offers Azure Stack, Hybrid SQL Server, and Azure StorSimple to support hybrid cloud computing. For example, a company’s onsite servers can be run on Azure Stack. Overall, Azure offer substantially more resources for company’s looking for hybrid cloud computing. AWS has historically focused more on pure cloud computing, but still offers services like Storage Gateway, Direct Connect, and DynamoDB Local. Azure recognized and invested in hybrid cloud computing support long before AWS, and therefore has better offerings and integration for customers. In class we only worked with Amazon AWS, but if we were to get a job at a company that wants to use hybrid cloud computing, we would need to know the benefits of using Azure over AWS in that scenario, at least until AWS offers better support for hybrid cloud computing.

Hybrid cloud computing is a popular system for many companies. Hybrid cloud computing allows data and applications to be shared between an on-premises private cloud and the public cloud. The main idea of hybrid cloud computing is that it provides an extra layer of security by denying third parties to access the entirety of an organization’s data. Like any other cloud system, companies can temporarily purchase the resources they need as they go, instead of having to purchase, integrate, and maintain new on-site equipment. Using hybrid cloud computing, companies can reserve on-site storage for sensitive data, and keep this data behind a firewall, reducing the risk of the data being compromised. The cloud can then be used for other, less sensitive computing operations. Many companies avoid migrating to the cloud because they are reliant on legacy systems, or in some cases, may be required by law to use certain systems. For example, an unnamed financial institution in South Africa uses Azure Stack to deploy apps while meeting regulatory requirements. Furthermore, building new applications isn’t always cost-effective for a company, or the company may not have the time or resources to build new applications. A prime example of this issue exists in the healthcare system, which often uses inefficient legacy systems because of patient privacy laws. The hybrid cloud could be a great solution in this scenario. In class, we only discussed maintaining security in fully-cloud based systems, but hybrid cloud systems are more secure because of data visibility and extra security options, like firewalls. Overall, hybrid cloud computing protects important data while providing organizations with all the benefits of cloud computing.



About StackifyStackify provides developer teams with unparalleled visibility and insight into application health and behavior. “Cloud Services Comparisons: Azure vs AWS – Which One Is Better?” Stackify, Stackify, 6 June 2019,

A Comparison of Clouds: Amazon Web Services, Windows Azure, Google Cloud Platform, VMWare and Others. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2012,

Jackson, Brooke. “The Top Four Use Cases for Azure Stack.” The Official Rackspace Blog, 14 June 2018,

Patrizio, Andy. “AWS vs Azure: Cloud Comparison.” Datamation, 22 Dec. 2018,

“What Is Hybrid Cloud Computing – Definition: Microsoft Azure.” What Is Hybrid Cloud Computing – Definition | Microsoft Azure, Microsoft ,

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