With cloud adoption increasing exponentially, the role of IT is evolving from simply undertaking infrastructure planning to design and deploying platforms that provide optimal performance. Enterprises today have multiple choices between cloud infrastructure at varying price points and performance levels. To add on to it "Cloud" is no longer about hardware but the question on aspects like performance, security, and redundancy remains. "If my current application is deployed on a VM with 4 CPUs and 32 GB of RAM, which VM should be chosen from the cloud vendor we are looking at migrating our current infrastructure too? Will the VM that is provisioned on vendor A perform similarly with VM on vendor B?" The challenge is this performance variability will only appear during testing, or once the application is in a live environment and the first spike in utilization occurs. In a cloud setup, provisioning for the spike is an easy thing but its impact on cot can be severe, so for example; if the load factor on your cloud server hits its peak the choices are limited to whether to scale up with more virtual machines or build redundancy with on-premise infrastructure.
Cloud providers, in general, follow two strategies to position themselves in a market
In terms of market share, there are just a couple of global players in the cloud computing market:
Enterprises today must develop their services to address a global market which requires a powerful computing grid to handle peaks and troughs of their operations. Large infrastructure services providers have the scale and elasticity to be able to offer these to enterprises without having them to build additional capabilities.
A few people have suggested that Amazon had built its cloud offering to better leverage its infrastructure. It had the unique advantage to be able to offer its own unused computing infrastructure to enterprises without any investment. AWS’s EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) offers Amazon’s core computing platform, allowing users to configure VM’s through either preconfigured or custom Amazon Machine Images. Users could configure quite a few parts of the infrastructure like processing power, memory capacity, number of VM’s, they could also choose from among different geographies and availability zones from which to deploy their services. EC2 also offered its customers features like load balancing and auto-scaling. To ensure better performance Amazon offers Elastic Load Balancing that helped enterprise distribute load across instances this helped them do auto-scaling allowing users to automatically scale available EC2 capacity up or down.
When Microsoft in 2012 launched Azure as a preview, it did not make it generally available until May 2013. Azure users could choose a Virtual Hard Disk which in terms of functionality was like Amazon’s AMI to create a Virtual Machine. The Azure virtual hard disk could be either predefined by Microsoft, be user-defined or by third parties. With each VM, users need to specify the number of cores and amount of memory.
Within this blog, we are going to review two main factors when it comes to comparing AWS with Azure:
Current generation of cloud infrastructure can deliver high-performance computing systems. With further development in virtualization, for example, container driven development, and improvements in hardware we will see a large-scale shift from on-premises to cloud-based platforms.
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