Business rivalries have always intrigued us – Coke vs. Pepsi, Ford vs. Chevrolet, Target vs. Walmart, Nike vs. Reebok. At some point in our lives, we’ve all made a product selection based on the best choice for us at the time with respect to features, price, preference, and customer experience. The choices are tougher when the products stack up competitively.
In the IT world, there are similar choices when it comes to the public cloud. The adoption of cloud computing has quickly become a driving force for businesses today, as applications shift from local data centres to offer greater innovation, lower costs, and increased agility. The good news is that the No. 1 and No. 2 cloud providers (according to zdnet.com) – Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure – offer solid choices in the public cloud market in a time of sweeping and swift digital transformation.
Early concerns about security and data sovereignty were largely allayed by AWS and Microsoft Azure, with only the most heavily regulated companies remaining cautious about adopting cloud services. The constant evolution of security practices and creation of additional security features supports an argument that public cloud is at least as safe as hosted systems.
Organisations often use multiple providers in different parts of their operations or for different use cases, known as a multi-cloud approach. Unlike hybrid cloud — a combination of either on-premises or hosted in a colocation facility and public cloud infrastructure, with orchestration tools used to deploy workloads and manage a balance between both — multi-cloud refers to how enterprises use multiple cloud providers to meet different technical or business requirements.
Selecting one public cloud vendor over the other comes down to the wants and needs of each individual customer and the workloads they run. This is particularly relevant for organisations taking their first steps on the journey to cloud. Here’s a quick primer on which public cloud may be best for you.
What is AWS Public Cloud?
AWS says, “Welcome to the cloud built for builders.” AWS is a collection of modules or services akin to Lego blocks that can be consumed to build out the workload that you desire, often consuming multiple components together to get to the desired result.
The market leader's main strength is the breadth and depth of its services, with more than 200 service offerings in compute, storage, database, analytics, networking, mobile, developer tools, management tools, IoT, security and enterprise applications.
What is Azure Public Cloud?
Microsoft is a popular choice with C-level executives that have long-standing relationships with Microsoft and know they can consume a great deal of their enterprise computing needs all in one place, from productivity and enterprise software all the way down to flexible cloud computing resources for their developers.
Azure has more than 200 products and cloud services and is likely to be consumed by enterprise-level companies already using the wider Microsoft cloud suite such as Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365. Microsoft also offers extended support of their products when you host them in Azure, giving your business additional time to decide on a migration path for legacy applications.
AWS vs. Azure: Making the Business Case
AWS and Azure offer many similar capabilities, so it’s not necessarily a matter of one provider being “better” or “worse” than the other. It all depends on your business needs.
Many organisations that are looking for the most significant transformations adopt AWS due to its maturity and breadth of serverless computing capabilities. Other organisations look to Azure to host their IT functions due to its integration with Office 365 and Infrastructure-as-a-Service capabilities. As AWS and Microsoft continue to invest billions of dollars on research and development, it is unlikely that you will find yourself disadvantaged by favoring one or the other.
No matter which provider you ultimately choose, you will reap the benefits of a hyper-scalable cloud solution that can meet your growing business needs.
How to Make Your Move to Public Cloud
The success of your business isn’t just about one application, one workload or one environment. It's the ability for all your applications and workloads to reliably work together within or across multiple environments and be always available.
Many technology providers take a consultative approach to getting a customer acclimated to AWS or Azure, but then leave the environment with you to manage, including liabilities like flawed implementation and lack of real knowledge transfer.
Fortunately, partners like Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS) collaborate with customers throughout their cloud transformation journey using a blend of technology and innovation that aligns the most appropriate strategy to meet their needs, while designing a migration path that best suits the customer’s existing workloads.
Sungard AS can support most Public Cloud needs with its Managed Cloud – Azure or Managed Cloud – AWS offers. Both enable the flexibility, scalability and reliability of industry-leading platforms and can complement a client’s hybrid IT environment. Sungard AS NextGen Managed Services help organisations make this transformation complete, as they have done for hundreds of customers.
Whether you ultimately decide AWS or Azure, your goal should be to achieve the availability, cost, and performance profile that your business needs, your end users expect, and your customers require. Choose a partner that can help you transform at the speed you want, with the security and safety your business demands. Learn more here.