Microsoft Azure and AWS (Amazon Web Services) are the two leading hosting providers for Microsoft Dynamics and Acumatica Cloud ERP software publishers per Gartner. Dynamics 365 is a given for Azure hosting solutions. Acumatica chose AWS to host its customers’ SaaS solutions. Dynamics 365 and Acumatica ERP software customers need security, speed, and up-time to deliver these business-critical applications, and AWS and Azure fit the bill. These top two contenders have long been vying for top honors in the cloud computing space. AWS got its start in 2006 and holds a greater market share. However, Azure is a strong competitor, in operation since 2010, and provides a highly competitive pricing structure that makes it a powerful contender for cloud services and solutions. Both platforms have the potential to extend your organization’s knowledge base, innovate, cut costs, and increase agility. However, it is important to select the host that fits your organization best.
The core services of AWS and Azure are very similar. Azure relies on Microsoft data centers to deliver its services, which are separated into networking, computing, performance, and data management and databases. It can provide storage, analytics, and mobile and web applications. Customized for the hybrid cloud, Azure shines with its accessibility and flexibility offering on-premise and cloud-based solutions.
AWS offers services under three primary categories: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS). AWS provides computing, database, networking, and content delivery and storage. In total, AWS provides 140 services, delivering the greatest depth to users.
For flexible scalability, AWS is the leader. AWS uses elastic cloud computing (EC2) to provide virtual machines (VMs) that are entirely configurable by the user. Users can choose a pre-configured machine image or their own customized machine image with the exact power and memory needed.
Azure uses a virtual hard disk (VHD) to create VMs. This is still scalable, but it relies upon a virtual scale set. This provides fewer avenues for customization, but it can streamline scalability for small businesses.
Storage capabilities are crucial for any cloud service provider. Azure uses Blob storage, which creates data lakes. This is ideal for cloud-native and mobile apps. The data lakes enable powerful analytics functionality so you can get the essential data insights that you need. Within Blob, users will enjoy end-to-end lifecycle management and outstanding security, including role-based access control (RBAC) and encryption at rest.
AWS uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for object storage. This provides automatic replication across regions. Temporary storage is tied to each instance, beginning when it starts and terminating when it stops. AWS offers block storage as well, when companies want a permanent cloud-based storage system that's similar in functionality to a hard drive.
Dynamics 365 and Acumatica customers that are subscribing to their ERP software do not have an additional cost for hosting their SaaS solutions. If you prefer to subscribe to either software solution you can host your Dynamics on AWS and your Acumatica on Azure.
If you use one of the services for other storage or solutions, you may need to use their calculators since the pricing models for Azure and AWS are drastically different. With AWS, users pay per hour. You can purchase instances on-demand, paying only for what companies use, or reserve instances for up to three years, paying an upfront fee based on the company's use. Another option with AWS is purchasing spot instances. This allows users to bid for capacity as it becomes available.
With Azure, users are charged per minute, which results in more accurate billing. Users can opt for pre-paid charges or pay monthly for use.
Companies interested in taking advantage of cloud-based solutions can streamline the selection and implementation process by working with a consulting VAR like Clients First Business Solutions. This delivers expert insights to help businesses make the right choices entering the cloud computing space. Clients First is a Gold CSP (Cloud Service Provider) for Azure, in addition to being Gold Certified on the Acumatica and Dynamics 365 ERP solutions.