Cloud Pricing Comparison: AWS vs Azure
The most common pricing comparison we perform is between Amazon Web Services (AWS) vs. Azure as cloud consultants. In this blog, we outline some of the key pricing points between Amazon and Microsoft’s cloud hosting solutions. You can check out our in-depth pricing comparison chart between AWS and Azure at this link.
Both Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure have two core product offerings. Amazon offers AWS Simple Storage Service (S3) and AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). Microsoft offers Azure Blob and Azure Table. There are other offerings for each product line, but this comparison focuses on the four core offerings: AWS S3, Azure Blob, AWS EC2 and Azure Table.
AWS Cloud Environments: S3 vs EC2
Storing over two trillion objects worldwide, Amazon S3 is the largest cloud server network ever assembled and comes at a much lower cost than EC2. S3 costs less than EC2 because it is not a structured environment. For most companies, S3 is powerful enough to store and deploy objects to the net. Only companies hosting structured applications and platforms (Linux, Windows, SQL) should consider hosting on EC2 over S3 from a cost perspective.
EC2 offers superior load-balancing flexibility and higher levels of redundancy over S3. Those looking at AWS EC2 should compare with Azure Table and vice versa. Those looking at AWS S3 should compare with Azure Blob and vice versa. For example, companies like Airbnb and Uber run their structured environments on EC2 environments.
Azure Cloud Environments: Blob vs Table
Azure Blob and Azure Table are the core cloud server environments offered by Microsoft. Blob provides object-based storage within an unstructured environment while Table is a structured environment. Azure users will consider Table over Blob when hosting Linux, Windows, and SQL (SQL Standard and SQL Online). Blob is used much more often for standard objects and files. Blob is thus priced at a much lower rate than Table. Like EC2, only those companies with application-based hosting environments should gravitate towards Table over Blob.
AWS S3 vs Azure Blob: Unstructured Environments
AWS S3 and Azure Blob are both unstructured hosting environments and are comparable products from a cost perspective. S3 and Blob are priced very similarly and offer comparable functionality. Some of the ways that Blob is more affordable than S3 is in data transfer costs. That being said, S3 has a lower cost for data redundancy and has a much larger worldwide infrastructure than Blob. On the low end of data usage (less than 50 TB), S3 has a higher cost in data storage than Blob, but this trend quickly reverses with the more data being used. In short, S3 is more affordable with larger amounts of data than Blob.
AWS EC2 vs Azure Table: Structured Environments
Both EC2 and Table offer structured data environments to develop on. Unlike Azure Table, Amazon’s EC2 is capable of balancing server loads and redundancy between all servers worldwide in realtime during any event of server downtime. This eliminates the need for data duplication and redundancy costs.
Unlike S3 and Blob, both EC2 and Azure most commonly host Linux, Windows and SQL environments. EC2’s data transfer costs are significantly higher than Table when transferring to the net, but EC2 carries a far lower redundancy cost than Blob. The lack of redundancy costs in EC2 typically more than makeup for the increase in the data transfer costs from Table.