Forrester predicts that by the year 2020, (that’s right, we are nearly there) the global public cloud market will have  risen to a value of $236 billion. Businesses are waking up to this reality and recognizing the vast benefits and features of cloud solutions– from infrastructure scalability and setup to cost savings. 

Microsoft’s Azure  and  Amazon’s AWS cloud platforms are the top choices when it comes to enterprise-level PaaS.  At Menlo, we’ve compared these platforms as they have evolved over the years. We believe the best choice is Azure. Here are 6 reasons why:

  1. Integration with Microsoft Products = Cost Savings 

If your enterprise is already running Windows Server, SQL Server, Exchange, Active Directory and other core Microsoft products to service critical aspects of your business, its only logical to plug Azure into that existing ecosystem. While most of these services will integrate just fine with AWS, Microsoft has built a more seamless integration experience between its product line and Azure.  

By the way, an ‘Enterprise Agreement’ with Microsoft, entitles you to receive discounts and significant incentives. In addition, Azure markets up to 72% savings with pay-as-you-go pricing. Companies can also choose to go the hybrid route and maintain their on-premise data centers while reaping the benefits of flexibility and backup security in the Azure cloud.  

Microsoft also offers free extended security updates when you move your Windows Server  or SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 workloads to Azure

  2. PaaS Capabilities 

Both Azure and AWS offer PaaS capabilities for virtual networking, storage, and machines. However, Azure gives stronger and faster PaaS capabilities which nowadays is more important part of Cloud infrastructure. Microsoft Azure PaaS provides application developers with the environment, tools, thus giving them building blocks which they need to build and establish new cloud services quickly. It also provides essential DevOps pipelines which are important for managing, monitoring, and continuously fine tuning those apps. With Azure PaaS, much of the infrastructure management is taken care of behind the scenes by Microsoft. Thus, you have 100% focus on innovation if you develop Azure PaaS solutions. 

3. Scenario-Based Solutions, Advanced Developer Tools

Azure has the best environment and tools for development. Azure Developer Tools offer highly flexible and advanced facilities for implementation of applications for push notifications, streaming analytics, IoT deployments, and machine learning capabilities. With faster and stronger PaaS capabilities than AWS, it’s easier for developers to design and deploy applications efficiently. Azure’s IoT Suite provides solution accelerators such the Predictive Maintenance, an end-to-end solution for a business scenario that predicts the point at which a failure is likely to occur, and Remote Monitoring which implements an end-to-end monitoring solution for multiple machines in remote locations. 

4. Data and Secured Service Offerings 

Azure protects your data, services, and applications based on Security Development Lifecycle, an industry-leading assurance protocol. Microsoft has been a leader in security for years. Microsoft was the first to conform to ISO/IEC 27018, the only international set of privacy controls in the cloud. Azure also provides comprehensive coverage with more than seventy compliance offerings and is contractually committed to GDPR. Azure’s development methodology was formed with privacy, compliance, and security in mind. As a result, Azure is the cloud option that is most trusted by  US governmental agencies

Speaking of data security, Microsoft recently announced Azure Data Share, a new service designed to make sharing big data among organizations “easier” and “safer.” Currently, sharing large data files outside an organization can be complex, costly and often lacks the scale, security and policy controls enterprises need,” wrote Microsoft in a press release. “The new Microsoft offering provides a simple and safe solution for sharing big data, allowing companies to govern their data for manageability and productivity.” 

Azure Data Share protects data by leveraging underlying Azure security measures like authentication, encryption, and instant access revocation. With it, data providers can set up a new data share containing data sets from a variety of Azure data sources, and invite multiple customers and partners to the share while exercising control over sensitive information within. Providers can furthermore manage and monitor who has accessed the data share and how frequently they’re receiving updates, and perhaps best of all, they don’t need to deploy infrastructure or write so much as a line of code. 

Read about Microsoft and Amazon’s recent healthcare data sharing pledge.

5. Compatible with .Net

Azure’s compatibility with the .Net programming language is one of the most useful benefits of Azure over AWS. Azure has been built and optimized to work consistently with both old and new applications developed using the .Net programming framework. Azure natively runs all of your  .Net apps, without having to spin up a virtual server running IIS.  Visual Studio  will publish apps directly into Azure and run via a feature called Azure Web Apps, which is a serverless, load-balanced, auto-scaling and auto-patching IIS platform. It is much easier and straightforward for enterprises to move their Windows apps to Azure Cloud as opposed to AWS or others.  

6. Hybrid Solutions 

Microsoft has been the early leader in hybrid deployments. They embraced the idea early on that individual enterprise customers will move to the cloud at different stages.  Unlike with AWS,  hybrid apps  can be developed on Azure which can take advantage of the resources available within datacenters, at the service provider’s end, or within Azure itself. Azure also provides a broader range of hybrid connections including virtual private networks (VPNs), caches, content delivery networks (CDNs), and ExpressRoute connections to improve usability and performance. 

Let Menlo Technologies guide you through the Azure implementation and migration process.  

Contact an Azure Specialist here.