AWS vs Azure: Making the Right Choice for Your Serverless Architecture

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    AWS vs Azure: Making the Right Choice for Your Serverless Architecture

    War: Should you go with AWS or Azure to build your apps?

    Recently, businesses are in a frenzy to spruce up their technology capabilities to venture into new digital offerings that today’s consumers are increasingly demanding. The strain on traditional IT products and infrastructure has tipped its saturation point with extensive demand for unlimited scaling capacity and robustness. This has led to several innovative development paradigms that shift the technology load from in-house teams and infrastructure to ready-to-deploy offerings in the cloud. One such initiative is a serverless architecture for developing technology offerings. In simple terms, this architecture uses a cloud-enabled system as the underlying server for all technology development. There is still a server in the picture, but companies do not have to endure the pain to develop and maintain it. They only need to pay for what they use of the server.

    Related Reading: 5 Advantages of Adopting a Cloud-Native Technology Infrastructure

    The biggest advantage of going for a serverless architecture for application development is the speed and scalability it offers to engineers to build enterprise management systems as opposed to the traditional software development models, where it takes a long time to develop enterprise applications. Moreover, using a cloud-based server gives you geo-location-based advantages of faster user experience and lowered cost of operations and remaining compliant to regulatory authorities with regards to data security policies in a new market. 

    Now that the competitive advantage of utilizing a serverless architecture for application development is explained, it is time to pick a platform to build your own. There are several leading players in the market for serverless computing but the biggest battles are often fought between Amazon and Microsoft with their “Lambda” and “Azure Functions” offerings respectively. So how do you pick a winner from these two titans? For a realistic evaluation, let us have a look at how these two offerings fare with the 3 most vital parameters of a serverless architecture namely:

    • Developer Support
    • Performance
    • Cost

    Let’s examine each in detail to see who comes out on top in becoming the preferred choice for serverless architecture-based development.

    Developer Support

    This is an area that your technical workforce will be more concerned about. Both these platforms offer support for a wide variety of programming languages even though Azure has more focus on Microsoft’s own line-up of programming languages in addition to JavaScript, PHP, Python, and languages compiled along with it. AWS, on the other hand, offers a more comprehensive language support capability that includes Java, Python, Microsoft’s own language families, PHP, and much more. 

    Being in a state of continuous evolution, both providers will add support to newer programming languages in the future and the slight advantage that AWS has here may wear off over time or remain just marginally above Azure. As for support from the providers with tips and guidance in developing applications using the varying technology, languages, both these providers offer world-class experiences with very little space to tilt the balance in either’s a favor.

    Related Reading: 5 Expert Tips for Effective Cloud Migration

    Performance

    Large enterprise application suites, when developed on a cloud-based serverless architecture call for high performance in terms of concurrent executions of functions in batch. When we look at the official figures obtained as of the date when this blog was published, Azure offers unlimited executions concurrently but restricts the time for a single function to just 5 minutes and for 10 minutes for an extra cost. AWS, on the other hand, restricts concurrent execution to 1000 functions but offers a significantly higher execution time of 15 minutes for each function. Translating these into business-specific performance terms, we are looking at two providers basically offering an ideal performance guarantee for enterprise applications. If one offers more handling capacity for functions the other offers more execution capacity for each function. Businesses need both these on a balanced scale in the long run as technology deployments often need to perform in a mixed pattern during peak seasons and off-seasons.

    Cost

    No matter how advanced a digital solution or technology innovation may seem to be, the ultimate choice for a business to investing in any technology will see a major influence coming from the pricing side of the solution. Serverless architecture for application development is no exception in this regard. The inherent benefit of Pay-As-You-Go of cloud computing applies to providers in the serverless computing space as well. Both AWS and Azure, offer subscription-based pay per request plans for businesses that want to utilize their storage and computing environments to build applications on the go. As indicated by their official pricing handles today, AWS and Azure, offer almost identical pricing models pegged at an average of around USD 0.000016 per GB second after their respective free-tier usage has been exhausted. AWS offers a marginally lower cost of USD 0.00001667 per GB second, but in heavier loads, Azure compensates this margin with slightly lower prices. Both bill memory and storage as bundled with the usage which makes either of them way more affordable than Google’s offering where memory and storage are billed separately after requests are billed at an almost identical rate as these two.  

    It is hard to offer a solid conclusion of who wins this battle of serverless computing providers as the differences are very marginal. Ideally, everything boils down to which development environment an organization feels more comfortable to use. Either way, if your core business is not technology development, it is advisable to trust a reliable cloud partner to help build your technology ecosystem on the cloud utilizing the best practices of cloud deployment which includes serverless architecture. This is where enterprises can trust reliable cloud platforms like Infince to build world-class enterprise applications in a cost-effective way. Get in touch with us to know more.

    Ashni Lukose

    Ashni Lukose

    I am a Product Consultant, living at the intersection of empathy, design, engineering and helping teams craft Products that bring a smile. I believe that technology best serves its purpose when we use it to address deep problems without losing sight of the human nature of its users. Truly transformative technology is one that seamlessly becomes part of the daily narrative of its customers, aiding them to achieve their goals faster and easier.

    More posts by Ashni Lukose

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