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The Cloud War 2020. Azure Vs. AWS



  • Based on 2020 Q3 reports, AWS dominates cloud computing domain with over 32% of market share while Microsoft Azure own over 19% of market share.

  • Microsoft Azure is growing fastest among public cloud service providers (growing 48% on an annual basis).

  • Microsoft Azure offers more than 600 services globally while AWS offers 175 services.

  • Microsoft Azure has more global regions than any other cloud provider. 60+ regions worldwide.

  • Microsoft Azure slightly cheaper than AWS with on-demand instances. However, AWS provides better discounts with reserved instances (1 Year reserved, 2 Years reserved etc.)

The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected almost every industry in some way or another. Due to social distancing measures, most companies encouraged their employees to work remotely & customer engagements via webinar tools (Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc.), Educations institutes encouraged their students to learn via online tools/platforms. It’s no wonder that worldwide cloud market grew 33% in Q3 2020.


AWS & Azure cloud technology platforms lead the worldwide cloud market by holding more than 50% of market share. It is difficult to say that which cloud platform is the best among these two. I would say both platforms are fantastic. However, consumers have to choose the right fit for their use case.

Overview


AWS launched in 2006 and it’s the most used cloud service platform globally. Companies like Netflix, Airbnb and Adobe have put their faith on AWS platform and they have been successful.

Let’s talk about Microsoft Azure now. Azure launched in 2010 (4 years younger than AWS) and it’s the 2nd most used cloud platform globally. Interestingly, Microsoft Azure used by more than 95% of fortune 500 companies in the world. Furthermore, Microsoft Azure is growing fastest among public cloud providers.

Current Market Share

Based on 2020 Q3 reports, AWS dominates cloud computing domain with over 32% of market share while Microsoft Azure owns over 19%. Nearly, one third of cloud market owns by AWS platform. However, when you look at the market share fluctuation over the last few years, it is a fact that AWS market is slowly shrinking, while Azure grows (growing 48% on an annual basis).

Q3 2019 to Q3 2020. (By Canalys)


Services & Global infrastructure


As per today, AWS provides 175 fully featured services from data centers globally.

Azure uses large-scale virtualization at Microsoft data centers worldwide (over 160+ physical data centers) and it offers more than 600 services.


AWS has 77 Availability Zones within 24 geographic regions around the world, and they are panning nine more Availability Zones and three more AWS Regions in Indonesia, Japan, and Spain.

Microsoft Azure provides services to more regions than any other cloud service provider in the market. Azure currently consists of 60+ regions worldwide, available in 140 countries.

Pricing


Microsoft Azure slightly cheaper than AWS, comparing to on-demand instance pricing. However, AWS provides better discounts with reserved instances with long term commitment (1 Year reserved, 2 Years reserved etc.).

On-Demand Azure VMs Vs. Amazon EC2 Instances


Personal point of view


There are many cloud platforms are available in today's market. There is no point of arguing on who is the best, we should rather focus on which cloud platform the best suit for our use case, business characteristics & objectives. Security, Compliance, Architecture, Manageability, Service Levels, Support & Cost should be taken in to the account as primary factors, when you’re exploring your options.


I believe next 5 years going to be critical for both AWS & Azure. There is a high possibility that within few years of time, Microsoft will catch up AWS in terms of market share. I remember in 2014, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that their “Mobile first – Cloud first” strategy. Thanks to his vision, Microsoft Azure dominates cloud computing domain as the 2nd most used cloud platform today.

Let’s wait and see how it is going to be in 2021. Cheers!




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