Amazon Web Services (AWS) is clearly a leader in cloud services. It offers solutions for all kinds of industries, from manufacturing to travel & hospitality. In terms of its technological offerings, there’s storage, application building, analytics, and more. But as powerful as Amazon is in the world of the cloud, it’s got competition in Microsoft Azure. The latter has grown to the extent that it too offers the many products and services that AWS offers, often with an edge or benefit over AWS. Here are seven ways Microsoft Azure takes a stronger lead.
More Regions Than Any Other Cloud Provider
When organizations store their data in the cloud, they don’t have to worry about how and where to keep their servers. The convenience and space-saving benefits of this can make a big difference for a company. Sometimes just taking that responsibility off the premises is enough to relieve the organization from a lot of burden, wherever the actual servers may be. In cases where the company would like to choose the location of their cloud servers, though, Azure has the most locations to choose from. This can be helpful if, for example, you want to diversify your locations, or if legal standards in your field require a particular place.
Windows Virtual Desktops
Since Windows is so widely used, Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) makes working remotely flow in ways that are familiar to users. Commonly used applications like Microsoft Word or Excel can be accessed remotely just like they previously were in standard desktops. And Azure Firewall protects those deployments. This has been especially helpful as so many employees moved to remote work last year due to COVID-19.
Video storage takes up a lot of space, and organizing videos takes time. Microsoft’s Video Indexer uses AI to sort and catalog, and it will also detect language and transcribe words. Identifying people and locations is also possible. And if you’re into experimenting with machine learning, you can train a system to track and find whatever is relevant to you in your videos.
.NET Compatibility and More
Developers should take a good look at Azure if they aren’t doing so already. For those accustomed to running .NET for developing, Azure is the best place to do this— Microsoft has long been associated with it. But if you want to explore newer options, Azure also supports Java, Ruby, Python, PHP, and Node.js. Both a wide range of choices and a strong familiar one among them makes for an appealing array.
Likewise, Cosmos DB is a worldwide cloud database that offers a range of API options, including both SQL and NoSQL. That’s great for those out there who are loyal to one or the other. You have both options—perhaps more for NoSQL. If that’s what you prefer, there’s Cassandra, MongoDB, or Gremlin API, or you can also store geolocation data with GEOJSON.
Microsoft’s Visual Studio is a widely used Integrated Development Environment (IDE) which works within any cloud. But of course it’s smoothest and most beneficial to use it with Azure. There are connections there that will allow you to skip certain workflow steps, which is nice. And you can go through the entire process within Visual Studio. Another perk is that Azure has prebuilt images for Visual Studio, so you don’t have to search for or download them.
The Power Platform
Or maybe you’re actually not much of a developer but you still want to create—if that’s the case, there’s a place in Azure for you too. The Power Platform is designed to bring developing capabilities to less experienced programmers with a low amount of coding. If you’re not familiar with the Power Platform, it provides a lot of great possibilities for creating apps, data analytics, workflow automation, and more. Plus, you can try your hand at incorporating some AI relatively easily too.
Exploring Microsoft Azure
The best way to know which product or service provider to go with is to try them out yourself. What interfaces do you like best, and where are you most comfortable? There are many things to consider in choosing the best fit for your organization. But it’s clear that Microsoft Azure is a strong option in addition to AWS. If you’re curious, you can try it for free.