Microsoft Azure vs. AWS: Which Makes Sense for Your Business?

Posted by Gary Utley on March 5, 2020


You know that you want access to the power of the cloud, but there are two popular solutions available: Microsoft Azure and AWS. What are the benefits of each platform? Which platform makes the most sense for your business?

Microsoft Azure vs AWS: Pricing

As cloud-based solutions, both Azure and AWS are priced based on usage. But Azure is up to five times less expensive than AWS for most company use. It can be confusing to determine the pricing structures of cloud-based services, but a managed service provider can help you untangle the pricing structure, and can determine how much an Azure or AWS account is likely to cost you.

While both Azure and AWS do suffer from this problem, AWS is known as being notoriously difficult to price out. 

Microsoft Azure vs AWS: Companies

Fortune 500 companies heavily prefer Microsoft Azure. In fact, 95% of the Fortune 500 companies use Azure. Why? It's because Microsoft has decades of experience servicing these companies, and has been able to maintain the strictest quality and highest level of services for them. But that doesn't mean that AWS might not be a good solution for an enterprise or an SMB. AWS has been growing in leaps and bounds for the last decade; Microsoft has a two-decade head start.

On the other hand, more enterprises overall are on AWS than Azure. Part of this is because AWS allows for the launching of small applications quite easily, so companies may launch solutions on AWS on-the-fly, rather than transitioning entirely to a Microsot Azure-based infrastructure.

Microsoft Azure vs AWS: Hybrid

Microsoft started as an on-premise service provider, and consequently it's able to provide hybrid solutions between Microsoft Azure and local Microsoft deployments. Hybrid solutions are often more secure, especially for companies that need to keep some of their data highly guarded.

Hybrid solutions can offer the benefits of the cloud alongside the benefits of on-premise solutions. Achieving this type of hybrid installation is more challenging with AWS, as AWS cannot directly integrate into an AWS on-premise solution.

Microsoft Azure vs AWS: Software

The major advantage to Microsoft Azure over AWS is that it has full integration with Microsoft solutions. For organizations that rely heavily on Microsoft products, Microsoft Azure just makes sense. But for organizations that don't use Microsoft heavily, or prefer to do everything online already, AWS may still have some benefits.

Many employees are already familiar with Microsoft technology, and because of that, they will easily adjust to using Microsoft solutions. AWS is still new and somewhat opaque to many, and while there's a low barrier to entry for some features, other features can be overwhelmingly complex.

Finally, Microsoft has embraced open-source technology, which means that it's able to leverage many open source solutions that may not otherwise be available on a proprietary system. Open-source technology isn't just robust, but also extremely affordable, and gives companies more options when exploring solutions.

Microsoft Azure vs AWS: Support and Documentation

Microsoft Azure has some well-known issues with documentation, which is what often makes a managed service provider so critical. While Microsoft Azure is a broad solution with fairly easy-to-access tools, it doesn't always have the support that organizations need to make the most of it. That is the role that a managed service provider can offer.

On the other hand, AWS has some extensive training — but it needs to have that because some of its features are so complex. AWS has been developed for those who are deep inside of the IT industry first, and because of that, some companies may find it unapproachably difficult to use when it comes to its more advanced features.

Does It Have to be One or the Other?

It's possible that there are some Azure services that you need and some AWS services. If that's the case, you can use both. Both Azure and AWS are modular, so you can mix and match services as desired.

There are some reasons why you may not want to do this. It adds complexity to your infrastructure and the different modules may not play well together. But despite this, a managed services provider can help you connect the services that you need, even if they are in different platforms.

What About Google?

In addition to Azure and AWS, there are also Google Cloud services. Google is a new player to the game, and while it does provide some fairly well-developed services, it produces them on a narrower band. That means that you may not be able to get all the services that you need through Google — but if you can, it could be a viable alternative. Google is growing quickly into the space, though, and it may become more robust over time.

If you're interested in an in-depth comparison of AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud, consider contacting us at Red River. We can go over the options that are right for your business, and the benefits and drawbacks of each solution. Schedule your consultation today. 

About Red River 

Red River brings together the ideal combination of talent, partners and products to disrupt the status quo in technology and drive success for business and government in ways previously unattainable. Red River serves organizations well beyond traditional technology integration, bringing 25 years of experience and mission-critical expertise in security, networking, analytics, collaboration, mobility and cloud solutions. To learn more, visit

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Topics: aws, Azure