Microsoft Azure for AWS experts: Compare services for multicloud solutions and migration

This article helps you understand how Microsoft Azure services compare to Amazon Web Services (AWS). Whether you are planning a multicloud solution with Azure and AWS, or migrating to Azure, you can compare the IT capabilities of Azure and AWS services in all categories.

In the tables following, there are multiple Azure services listed for some AWS services. The Azure services are similar to one another, but depth and breadth of capabilities vary.

Azure and AWS for multicloud solutions

As the leading public cloud platforms, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) each offer businesses a broad and deep set of capabilities with global coverage. Yet many organizations choose to use both platforms together for greater choice and flexibility, as well as to spread their risk and dependencies with a multicloud approach. Consulting companies and software vendors might also build on and use both Azure and AWS, as these platforms represent most of the cloud market demand.

For an overview of Azure for AWS users, see Introduction to Azure for AWS experts.

Compute services

Subcategory AWS Service Azure Service Description
Virtual servers EC2 Virtual Machines Virtual servers allow users to deploy, manage, and maintain OS and server software. Instance types provide combinations of CPU/RAM. Users pay for what they use with the flexibility to change sizes.
Container management EC2 Container Service Container Service A container management service that supports Docker containers and allows users to run applications on managed instance clusters. It eliminates the need to operate cluster management software or design fault-tolerant cluster architectures.
Web application Elastic Beanstalk - Web Apps
- Cloud Services
A fully managed web infrastructure that provides the underlying web server instances and surrounding security, management, resilience, and shared storage capabilities.
Auto scale Auto Scaling - VM Scale Sets
- App Service AutoScaling
Lets you automatically change the number of instances providing a particular compute workload. You set defined metric and thresholds that determine if the platform adds or removes instances.
Virtual server disk infrastructure Elastic Block Store (EBS) - Page Blobs
- Premium Storage
Provides persistent, durable storage volumes for use with virtual machines, and offers the option to select different underlying physical storage types and performance characteristics.
Backend process logic Lambda - Functions
- Web Jobs
- Logic Apps
Used to integrate systems and run backend processes in response to events or schedules without provisioning or managing servers.
Job-based applications   Batch Orchestration of the tasks and interactions between compute resources that are needed when you require processing across hundreds or thousands of compute nodes.
Microservice-based applications   Service Fabric A compute service that orchestrates and manages the execution, lifetime, and resilience of complex, inter-related code components that can be either stateless or stateful.
API-based application runtime   API Apps Build, manage, and host APIs enabling a variety of languages and SDKs with built-in authentication and analytics.
Disaster recovery   Site recovery Automates protection and replication of virtual machines. Offers health monitoring, recovery plans, and recovery plan testing.
Predefined templates AWS Quick Start Azure Quickstart Templates Community-led templates for creating and deploying virtual machine-based solutions.
Marketplace AWS Marketplace Azure Marketplace Easy-to-deploy and automatically configured third-party applications, including single virtual machine or multiple virtual machine solutions.

Storage and content delivery services

Subcategory AWS Service Azure Service Description
Object storage S3 Blob Storage Object storage service, for use cases including cloud applications, content distribution, backup, archiving, disaster recovery, and big data analytics.
Shared file storage Elastic File System (Preview) File Storage Provides a simple interface to create and configure file systems quickly, and share common files. It’s shared file storage without the need for a supporting virtual machine, and can be used with traditional protocols that access files over a network.
Archiving and backup N/A (software)
Glacier and S3 (storage)
- Backup (software)
- Blob Storage (storage)
Backup and archival solutions allow files and folders to be backed up and recovered from the cloud, and provides off-site protection against data loss. There are two components of backup software service that orchestrates backup/retrieval and the underlying backup storage infrastructure.
Hybrid storage Storage Gateway StorSimple Integrates on-premises IT environments with cloud storage. Automates data management and storage, plus supports in disaster recovery.
Data transport Import/Export Snowball Import/Export A data transport solution that uses secure disks and appliances to transfer large amounts of data. Also offers data protection during transit.
Content delivery CloudFront Content Delivery Network A global content delivery network that delivers audio, video, applications, images, and other files.


Subcategory AWS Service Azure Service Description
Relational database RDS SQL Database Relational database-as-a-service (DBaaS) where the database resilience, scale, and maintenance are primarily handled by the platform.
NoSQL database DynamoDB DocumentDB A globally distributed NoSQL database service that supports elastically scaling throughput and storage across multiple regions, supports multiple well-defined consistency models, and is capable of automatically indexing data to serve SQL and MongoDB APIs.
Data warehouse Redshift SQL Data Warehouse A fully managed data warehouse that analyzes data using business intelligence tools. It can transact SQL queries across relational and non-relational data.
Table storage DynamoDB
Table Storage A non-relational data store for semi-structured data. Developers store and query data items via web services requests.
Caching ElastiCache Azure Redis Cache An in-memory based, distributed caching service that provides a high-performance store typically used to offload non-transactional work from a database.
Database migration Database Migration Service (Preview) SQL Database Migration Wizard Typically is focused on the migration of database schema and data from one database format to a specific database technology in the cloud.

Networking services

Subcategory AWS Service Azure Service Description
Networking Virtual Private Cloud Virtual Network Provides an isolated, private environment in the cloud. Users have control over their virtual networking environment, including selection of their own IP address range, creation of subnets, and configuration of route tables and network gateways.
Domain name system (DNS) Route 53 - DNS
- Traffic Manager
A service that hosts domain names, plus routes users to Internet applications, connects user requests to datacenters, manages traffic to apps, and improves app availability with automatic failover.
Dedicated network Direct Connect ExpressRoute Establishes a dedicated, private network connection from a location to the cloud provider (not over the Internet).
Load balancing Elastic Load Balancing - Load Balancer
- Application Gateway
Automatically distributes incoming application traffic to add scale, handle failover, and route to a collection of resources.

Developer tools

Subcategory AWS Service Azure Service Description
Development tools AWS Toolkit for Microsoft Visual Studio
AWS Toolkit for Eclipse
Visual Studio Development tools to help build, manage, and deploy cloud applications.
Dev-Test Development and Test Development and Test Creates consistent development and test environments through a scalable, on-demand infrastructure.

Management tools

Subcategory AWS Service Azure Service Description
Deployment orchestration OpsWorks
- Resource Manager
- Automation
- VM extensions
Configures and operates applications of all shapes and sizes, and provides templates to create and manage a collection of resources.
Management and monitoring CloudWatch
- Log Analytics
- Azure portal
- Application Insights
Management and monitoring services for cloud resources and applications to collect, track, store, analyze, and deliver metrics and log files.
Optimization Trusted Advisor Advisor (preview) Provides analysis of cloud resource configuration and security so subscribers can ensure they’re using best practices and optimum configurations.
Job scheduling   Scheduler Runs jobs on simple or complex recurring schedules—now, later, or recurring.
Catalog service Service Catalog   Creates and manages catalogs of approved IT services so users can quickly find and deploy them.
Administration Config Azure portal (audit logs) Provides resource inventory, configuration history, and configuration change notifications for security and governance.
Programmatic access Command Line Interface - Azure Command Line Interface (CLI)
- Azure PowerShell
Built on top of the native REST API across all cloud services, various programming language-specific wrappers provide easier ways to create solutions.

Security and identity services

Subcategory AWS Service Azure Service Description
Authentication and authorization Identity and Access Management
Multi-Factor Authentication
- Azure AD/Role-based access control
- Multi-Factor Authentication
Lets users securely control access to services and resources while offering data security and protection. Create and manage users and groups, and use permissions to allow and deny access to resources.
Encryption Key Management Service
Key Vault Creates, controls, and protects the encryption keys used to encrypt data. HSM provides hardware-based key storage.
Firewall Web Application Firewall Web Application Firewall (preview) A firewall that protects web applications from common web exploits. Users can define customizable web security rules.
Security Inspector (Preview) Security Center An automated security assessment service that improves the security and compliance of applications. Automatically assess applications for vulnerabilities or deviations from best practices.
Directory Directory Service - Azure Active Directory
- Azure Active Directory B2C
- Azure Active Directory Domain Services
Typically provides user/group properties that can be queried and used in applications. Also can provide capabilities to integrate to on-premises Active Directory services for single sign-on scenarios and SaaS management.

Analytics services

Subcategory AWS Service Azure Service Description
Big data processing Elastic MapReduce (EMR) HDInsight Supports technologies that break up large data processing tasks into multiple jobs, and then combine the results together to enable massive parallelism.
Data orchestration Data Pipeline Data Factory Processes and moves data between different compute and storage services, as well as on-premises data sources at specified intervals. Users can create, schedule, orchestrate, and manage data pipelines.
Analytics Kinesis Analytics (Preview) - Stream Analytics
- Data Lake Analytics
- Data Lake Store
Storage and analysis platforms that creates insights from large quantities of data, or data that originates from many sources.
Visualization QuickSight (Preview) PowerBI Business intelligence tools that build visualizations, perform ad-hoc analysis, and develop business insights from data.
Machine learning Machine Learning Machine Learning Produces an end-to-end workflow to create, process, refine, and publish predictive models that can be used to understand what might happen from complex data sets.
Search Elasticsearch Service Search Delivers full-text search and related search analytics and capabilities.
Data discovery   Data Catalog Provides the ability to better register, enrich, discover, understand, and consume data sources.

Mobile services

Subcategory AWS Service Azure Service Description
Pro app development Mobile Hub (Beta)
Mobile Apps Backend mobile services for rapid development of mobile solutions, plus provide identity management, data synchronization, and storage and notifications across devices.
High-level app development   PowerApps Model-driven application development for business applications with SaaS integration.
Analytics Mobile Analytics Mobile Engagement Provides real-time analytics from mobile apps data, highlights app users’ behavior, measures app usage, and tracks key trends.
Notification Simple Notification Service Notification Hubs A push notification service that delivers messages instantly to applications or users. Messages can be sent to individual devices or can be broadcasted.

Application services

Subcategory AWS Service Azure Service Description
Email Simple Email Service   Lets users send transactional email, marketing messages, or any other type of content to customers.
Messaging Simple Queue Service - Queue Storage
- Service Bus queues
- Service Bus topics
- Service Bus relay
Stores large numbers of messages that can be accessed from anywhere through authenticated calls using HTTP or HTTPS. A queue can contain millions of messages, up to the total capacity limit of a storage account, and may also support more complex topologies such as publish/subscribe.
Workflow Simple Workflow Service Logic Apps A state tracker and task coordinator service that allows developers to build, run, and scale background activities using a visual processes flow creation.
App testing Device Farm (Front End) - Xamarin Test Cloud (Front End)
- Azure DevTest Labs (Back End)
A range of services geared toward the orchestration of dev/test backend server and service application infrastructure, as well as front-end client device and software testing and simulation.
API management API Gateway API Management Allows developers to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs. Handles processing concurrent API calls, including traffic management, authorization, access control, monitoring, and API version management.
Application streaming AppStream RemoteApp Streams and delivers existing applications from the cloud to reach more users on more devices—without any code modifications.
Search CloudSearch Search Sets up, manages, and scales a search solution for websites and applications.
Media transcoding Elastic Transcoder Encoding A media transcoding service in the cloud that transcodes media files from their source format into versions that play back on devices such as smartphones, tablets, and PCs.
Streaming   Live and on-demand streaming Delivers content to virtually any device. Offers scalable streaming.
Others   - Media Player
- Media Indexer
- Content Protection
Additional services related to the playing, protection, and analysis of the content within the media service.

Enterprise applications

Subcategory AWS Service Azure Service Description
Productivity software WorkSpaces
Office 365 Provides communication, collaboration, and document management services in the cloud.

Internet of things (IoT) services

Subcategory AWS Service Azure Service Description
Streaming data Kinesis Firehose
Kinesis Streams
Event Hubs Services that allow the mass ingestion of small data inputs, typically from devices and sensors, to process and route the data.
Internet of Things IoT (Preview) IoT Hub Lets connected devices interact with cloud applications and other devices to capture and analyze real-time data.