A drawing of employees moving data to a conceptual cloud migration platform.
Image: apinan/Adobe Stock

Moving can be tricky, especially when you don’t have any reliable help. Without assistance, your essential items can easily get lost, damaged or stolen. Likewise, moving from a legacy infrastructure to a cloud or between cloud environments can be just as challenging. Organizations therefore often utilize cloud migration tools to assist them in moving their data, applications and workloads to new cloud environments.

Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure are leaders in cloud computing, each providing features and capabilities to simplify the migration processes for organizations. While they offer similar features, each solution takes a unique approach to help users with cloud migration.

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What is Amazon Web Services?

Amazon Web Services logo.
Image: Amazon

AWS provides on-demand cloud computing platforms for individual users and organizations. In addition, the company offers migration solutions to assist users in transferring their data and operations to the AWS Cloud.

The AWS migration solutions contain operational, organizational and technical capabilities necessary for organizations to carry out a successful migration. The AWS migration tool features are designed to help users migrate with reduced costs, increased agility, automated execution and improved security.

What is Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft logo.
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing service for application management. Their Azure Migrate solution offers migration tools to support users in moving their infrastructure, data and applications to the cloud.

The Azure migration solutions feature a centralized repository and intuitive interface with end-to-end tracking and insights, so users can stay updated on their progress throughout the various steps of their cloud migration journey.

Feature comparison: Amazon Web Services vs. Microsoft Azure

FeatureAWSAzure
Daya syncYesYes
Galois counter mode encryptionNoYes
Serverless application developmentYesYes
Long-term data archiving and retrievalYesNo
Users billed per-minuteNoYes

Head-to-head comparison: Amazon Web Services vs. Microsoft Azure

Migration assessments

Amazon Web Services

AWS users can feel confident in their migration processes thanks to the Migration Readiness Assessment feature. This prescriptive model to the assessment phase can reveal insights about users’ cloud readiness and enable them to take an informed approach toward their migration.

With the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework, users can create action plans to close gaps revealed by their assessments. By identifying and addressing gaps through the assessment feature, users can migrate their operations at scale without experiencing obstacles due to foundational problems. In addition, the framework can help users gain a holistic view of their transformation plans and help them prepare for a successful migration to the cloud.

Microsoft Azure

The Azure Migrate: Discovery and assessment tool helps users assess the cloud-readiness of their on-premises servers in VMware virtual and Hyper-V environments and physical servers to develop a sound migration strategy. The assessment feature estimates the effects of migrating to Azure and helps users identify and address common mistakes to minimize migration time.

Users can create assessments for migrating on-premises servers to Azure virtual machines, migrating on-premises SQL servers to Azure SQL Database or Azure SQL Managed Instance, migrating on-premises web apps to Azure app service and migrating on-premises servers to Azure VMware Solution.

Automation features

Amazon Web Services

Users who wish to perform large-scale migrations can use the AWS Migration Service and the Cloud Migration Factory platform to automatically rehost their servers to AWS. The platform helps users by automating manual processes involved in medium-scale to large-scale migrations with automation scripts that perform actions within the build, validate, test and cutover migration phases.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure users can also enjoy automation in several areas of the migration process. Users can use Azure Site Recovery scripts to automate the migration of VMware, AWS, GCP VMs and physical servers to managed disks in Azure. Additionally, many VMware virtual machines can be migrated automatically using scripts. Users can apply Azure Migrate VMware migration automation scripts to migrate VMware VMs to Azure using the agentless migration method.

Modernization capabilities

Amazon Web Services

The AWS Cloud Migration solutions aim to drive growth, reduce costs and maximize the value of existing hardware, software and business applications. AWS enables users to modernize their applications by lifting and shifting, refactoring or fully re-platforming them.

Users can also modernize their technology by using AWS as they develop new applications and retire legacy infrastructure solutions. AWS also supports hybrid computing, enabling users to integrate their legacy applications and cloud-native solutions.

Microsoft Azure

Azure provides various capabilities to ease users’ application and data modernization process, so they can spend less time maintaining their infrastructures in the cloud. Azure users can modernize their .NET or Java apps with the help of Azure App Service or Azure Spring Apps and can use Azure-managed databases to modernize their existing databases.

Alternatively, users can containerize their .NET and Java apps to run in Azure Kubernetes Service without the need to make code changes. Azure also offers modernization capabilities like built-in security, patching, high availability and autoscaling.

Choosing between Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure

Deciding between AWS and Microsoft Azure for your cloud migration solution will depend on the factors you seek within a cloud computing tool. Consider the capabilities that would most support your efforts throughout your modernization and migration processes.

AWS provides extensive solutions for migrating to the AWS cloud. However, it also provides factors like long-term data archiving and retrieval and automatic replication. This therefore may be a better option for users with larger datasets that require migration into the cloud.

Microsoft Azure provides many similar capabilities for modernization and migration as AWS. Still, users may prefer Microsoft Azure’s per-minute billing model over AWS’s per-hour billing model as a less expensive option.