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A look at AWS Services as an Azure CSA.

Posted on:November 29, 2023 at 03:33 PM
A look at AWS Services as an Azure CSA.


Since starting work with Microsoft last year (2022), I have completely moved off using AWS and GCP, to exclusively using Azure. Now that I know Azure services well, I thought I’d go back and look at how they line up with their AWS counterparts.

Since there are so many, I’ll split this into categories and only focus on the most popular services in each area.

This is meant to be a high level look at AWS Services. I will follow up with future posts where I will walk though: setting up a 3-tier architecture, how to configure CI/CD in AWS, and look at monitoring, reporting, and cost analysis. Those subsequent posts will use many of the service I’m outlining here, I’ll start with an overview.


AWS ServiceAmazon RedshiftAmazon EMRAmazon AthenaAWS GlueAmazon QuickSightAmazon Kinesis
Primary UseData warehousing serviceManaged Hadoop frameworkInteractive query serviceETL (Extract, Transform, Load) serviceBusiness intelligence serviceReal-time data streaming and analytics
Key FeaturesColumnar storage
Data analysis using SQL
Scalable and fast
Process vast amounts of data
Supports Hadoop ecosystem
SQL queries in S3 data
Serverless, pay-per-query
Data catalog
Serverless data preparation
ETL jobs
ML Insights
Data streaming
Real-time analytics
Kinesis Data Firehose, Streams, Analytics, Video Streams
ScalabilityScalable compute and storageScalable cluster sizeScales automatically to query executionScales automatically for processingScales with number of users and dataScales to handle large stream volumes
Use CasesLarge-scale data warehousing
Complex query processing
Big data processing
Data transformations
Machine learning
Ad-hoc query analysis
Serverless querying in S3
Data integration
Data cleaning and transformation
Business reporting
Data visualization
Embed analytics
Real-time data processing
IoT data analytics
Streaming applications
Pricing ModelPay per node per hourPay per instance hourPay per query (amount of data scanned)Pay per DPU hourPay per session or capacity pricingPay based on data throughput and processing
Azure EquivalentAzure Synapse AnalyticsAzure HDInsightAzure Data Lake AnalyticsAzure Data FactoryMicrosoft Power BIAzure Stream Analytics

Application Integration

Feature/ServiceAWS Step FunctionsAWS Simple Queue Service (SQS)AWS Simple Notification Service (SNS)AWS AppSyncAWS EventBridge
Primary UseOrchestration service for automated workflowsMessage queuing service for decoupling distributed systemsPub/sub messaging and mobile notifications serviceManaged GraphQL service for application data queriesServerless event bus for application integration
Service TypeManaged orchestration serviceManaged message queuing serviceManaged pub/sub messaging serviceManaged GraphQL serviceManaged event bus service
Key FeaturesVisual workflow management, Integration with AWS services, State managementMessage queuing, Decoupling components, Scalable, reliable message deliveryTopic-based pub/sub, Instantaneous, push-based delivery, Message filtering optionsReal-time data access and updates, Integration with AWS services, Offline data synchronizationEvent-driven architecture, Custom event routing, Integration with AWS services
ScalabilityHigh scalability with automatic scalingHigh throughput, scalable to handle high volumes of messagesHigh throughput, scalable to a large number of subscribersScales with the number of queries and mutationsScales automatically with the number of events
Use CasesComplex workflows, Microservices orchestration, Serverless applicationsDecoupling application components, Message buffering, Asynchronous communicationFan-out messaging patterns, Application-to-person communication, Decoupling publishers and subscribersBuilding real-time applications, API for frontend applications, Mobile backendsEvent-driven architectures, Custom applications, SaaS application integration
Pricing ModelPay per transition in your workflowPay per million requests after the free tierPay per million requests after the free tierPay based on query execution and data transferPay per event processed after the free tier
Management OverheadLow to medium (depends on workflow complexity)Low (fully managed service)Low (fully managed service)Medium (requires schema definition and resolvers setup)Low (fully managed, but requires event pattern setup)
Azure EquivalentAzure Logic AppsAzure Service BusAzure Notification HubsAzure API Management + Azure FunctionsAzure Event Grid


AWS Compute ServiceAmazon EC2AWS LambdaAmazon ECSAmazon EKSAWS FargateAWS BatchAWS Elastic Beanstalk
Primary UseScalable virtual serversEvent-driven, serverless computingContainer management serviceManaged Kubernetes serviceServerless compute for containersBatch computing in the cloudEasy-to-use service for deploying and scaling web applications
Service TypeIaaSPaaSCaaSCaaSCaaSIaaS/PaaSPaaS
Key FeaturesFlexible configurations, Broad OS support, Integrated with many AWS servicesAutomatic scaling, Pay-per-use, Supports many programming languagesSupports Docker containers, Integrates with AWS servicesKubernetes-compatible, Managed Kubernetes clustersNo infrastructure management, Pay-per-useManaged batch processing, Integrates with AWS servicesQuick deployment, Automated scaling and management
Use CasesWeb servers, Application servers, Backend serversEvent-driven applications, MicroservicesMicroservices, Batch processingMicroservices, Application scalingMicroservices, Running containers without managing serversLarge-scale processing jobs, Parallel processingWeb applications, Quick deployment of applications
Pricing ModelPay per use based on instancesPay per request and compute timePay per use based on container resourcesPay per use based on cluster resourcesPay per use based on container resourcesPay per use based on computing resourcesPay per use based on resources used
Azure EquivalentAzure Virtual MachinesAzure FunctionsAzure Container Instances or Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)Azure Container InstancesAzure BatchAzure App Service


AWS ServiceAmazon ECSAmazon EKSAWS FargateAmazon ECR
Primary UseContainer orchestration serviceKubernetes orchestration serviceServerless compute for containersDocker container registry
Service TypeContainer ManagementContainer ManagementComputeContainer Registry
Key FeaturesIntegrates with AWS services, Supports Docker containersManaged Kubernetes service, Integrates with AWS servicesNo need to manage servers, Pay for useStore, manage, and deploy Docker container images
ScalabilityScales with containerized applicationsScales with Kubernetes applicationsAutomatically scales computing layerScales with number of container images
Use CasesMicroservices, Batch processingKubernetes on AWS, Scalable applicationsRunning containers without managing serversContainer image storage and management
Pricing ModelPay for underlying resources usedPay for EKS control planePay for vCPU and memory resources usedPay for storage and data transfer
Management OverheadMediumMediumLowLow
Azure EquivalentAzure Container InstancesAzure Kubernetes Service (AKS)Azure Container InstancesAzure Container Registry

Cost Management

AWS ServiceAWS Cost ExplorerAWS BudgetsAWS Cost and Usage ReportAWS Savings PlansAWS Trusted Advisor
Primary UseVisualization and understanding of AWS spendSetting custom budgets for AWS costs and usageDetailed breakdown of AWS costs and usageFlexible pricing model to save on specific AWS servicesProviding best practices to reduce costs and improve performance
Service TypeAnalytical toolBudgeting toolReporting toolPricing modelAdvisory tool
Key FeaturesInteractive interface, Historical data analysis, ForecastingCustom budget creation, Alerts and notifications, Cost and usage trackingDetailed cost and usage data, Customizable report creation, Data integration with other toolsCommitment to a consistent amount of usage, Reduced rates compared to on-demand pricing, Flexibility in usageCost optimization recommendations, Resource usage monitoring, Alerts for underutilized resources
Use CasesAnalyzing spending trends, Identifying cost drivers, Budget planningBudget tracking, Cost management, Alerting on cost overrunsDetailed cost analysis, Accounting and chargebacks, Data export for further analysisLong-term cost savings, Predictable billing, Specific or mixed-use casesCost optimization, Performance improvement, Security and compliance checks
Pricing ModelIncluded with AWS subscription (additional charges for API requests)Free for basic usage; charges for advanced featuresFreeCommitment-based (1 or 3 years)Included with AWS subscription; more features with Business and Enterprise support plans
Management OverheadLowLow to MediumMedium to HighLow to MediumLow
Azure Service EquivalentAzure Cost Management + BillingAzure BudgetsAzure Cost AnalysisAzure Reserved VM InstancesAzure Advisor


AWS ServiceAmazon RDSAmazon DynamoDBAmazon RedshiftAmazon AuroraAmazon NeptuneAmazon DocumentDBAWS Glue
Primary UseManaged relational database serviceManaged NoSQL database serviceManaged data warehouse serviceMySQL and PostgreSQL-compatible relational databaseGraph database serviceMongoDB-compatible document database serviceETL (Extract, Transform, Load) service
Service TypePaaSPaaSPaaSPaaSPaaSPaaSPaaS
Key FeaturesMultiple database engine support, Automated backups, ScalabilityKey-value and document data models, High performance at scale, Fully managedFast query performance, Columnar storage, Data warehousingHigh performance and scalability, MySQL and PostgreSQL compatibility, Managed serviceGraph model support, High throughput, ACID transactionsMongoDB compatibility, Scalability and performance, Fully managedData integration, Data catalog, Serverless data processing
ScalabilityScalable storage and compute resourcesAutomatically scales to accommodate data and trafficScalable compute and storage resourcesAutomatically scales compute and storageScalable storage and query processingScalable compute and storage resourcesScales resources as needed for jobs
Use CasesWeb and mobile applications, E-commerce systems, Reporting applicationsWeb-scale applications, Real-time analytics, IoT applicationsBusiness intelligence, Large scale reporting, Data analysisEnterprise applications, High throughput applications, SaaS applicationsKnowledge graphs, Fraud detection, Social networkingDocument storage, Content management, Catalogs and profilesData preparation, Data loading, Data transformation
Pricing ModelPay for compute, storage, and I/OPay for read/write throughput and storagePay for compute nodes and storagePay for compute and storage usagePay for instance hours and data transferPay for compute, storage, and I/OPay per job run and data processed
Management OverheadLow to MediumLowLow to MediumLow to MediumLow to MediumLowMedium
Azure EquivalentAzure SQL DatabaseAzure Cosmos DBAzure Synapse AnalyticsAzure Database for MySQL & Azure Database for PostgreSQLAzure Cosmos DB Gremlin APIAzure Cosmos DB API for MongoDBAzure Data Factory

Front-End & Mobile

AWS ServiceAWS AmplifyAmazon S3Amazon API GatewayAWS AppSyncAmazon Cognito
Primary UseDevelopment platform for mobile and web applicationsScalable storage in the cloudService for creating, publishing, maintaining, and securing APIsManaged GraphQL service for applicationsUser identity and data synchronization service
Service TypePaaSIaaSPaaSPaaSPaaS
Key FeaturesFull-stack development, Continuous deployment, Real-time dataData storage and retrieval, Scalability, Data availabilityAPI creation and deployment, Traffic management, Authorization and access controlReal-time data updates, Offline data synchronization, Integration with other AWS servicesUser authentication, User data synchronization, Integration with external identity providers
ScalabilityScales with application usageHighly scalable storage solutionScales with API call volumesScales with query volumesScales with number of users
Use CasesBuilding and deploying mobile and web applicationsStoring web application assets, Backup and storage, Hosting static websitesCreating RESTful APIs, Microservices backends, Real-time applicationsBuilding real-time collaborative applications, Mobile backendsUser authentication for web and mobile applications, User management for applications
Pricing ModelPay for underlying services usedPay for storage used and data transferPay per API call and data transferPay per query and data transferPay per monthly active user and data synchronization
Management OverheadLow to MediumLowLow to MediumLow to MediumLow to Medium
Azure EquivalentAzure Static Web Apps & Azure Mobile AppsAzure Blob StorageAzure API ManagementAzure API for FHIR (No direct equivalent for GraphQL)Azure Active Directory B2C

Machine Learning

AWS ServiceAWS SageMakerAWS ComprehendAWS RekognitionAWS LexAWS PollyAWS TranslateAWS DeepLens
Primary UseComprehensive machine learning serviceNatural language processing serviceImage and video analysis serviceConversational interfaces for applicationsText-to-speech serviceLanguage translation serviceDeep learning enabled video camera
Service TypePaaSPaaSPaaSPaaSPaaSPaaSHardware + Software
Key FeaturesBuild, train, deploy ML models, Jupyter notebooks, Broad framework supportText analysis, Sentiment analysis, Entity recognitionObject and scene detection, Facial analysisChatbots creation, Natural language understandingLifelike speech generation, Multiple languagesReal-time translation, Multiple languagesPre-trained models, Custom model training
ScalabilityScalable model training and deploymentScales with text processing demandScales with image/video analysis demandScales with conversational demandHigh scalabilityHigh scalabilityDepends on deployment
Use CasesData scientists and developers, ML model development and deploymentCustomer sentiment analysis, Text data insightsImage moderation, Facial recognitionVirtual assistants, Customer service botsContent creation, Voice-enabled applicationsMultilingual content creation, Global communicationEducational projects, Custom model development
Pricing ModelPay for what you use (compute, storage, data processing)Pay per use based on data processedPay per use based on images/videos processedPay per requestPay per characterPay per characterOne-time purchase for hardware
Management OverheadMedium (setup and management of ML workflows)Low (managed service)Low (managed service)Medium (setup and management of conversations)Low (managed service)Low (managed service)Medium (setup and model training)
Azure EquivalentAzure Machine LearningAzure Text AnalyticsAzure Computer VisionAzure Bot ServiceAzure Speech ServiceAzure TranslatorAzure Kinect DK

Management & Governance

AWS ServiceAWS CloudFormationAWS CloudTrailAWS ConfigAWS OpsWorksAWS Service CatalogAWS Systems ManagerAWS Trusted Advisor
Primary UseInfrastructure as Code serviceWeb service that records AWS account activityService for resource configuration auditingConfiguration management serviceService for organizing and governing cloud resourcesUnified interface for managing AWS infrastructureOnline tool providing best practice recommendations
Service TypeManagementMonitoringMonitoringManagementManagementManagementAdvisory
Key FeaturesAutomate and manage resources, Template-based configurationsTrack user activity and API usage, Audit changesTrack resource configurations, Evaluate complianceAutomate operations with Chef and PuppetCreate and manage catalogs of IT servicesAutomate operational tasks, Centralized managementBest practice checks, Cost optimization, Performance
ScalabilityScales with infrastructure sizeScales with AWS account activityScales with number of AWS resourcesScales with managed instancesScales with number of service catalogsScales with AWS infrastructureScales with AWS usage
Use CasesInfrastructure provisioning, Application deploymentCompliance auditing, Security analysisCompliance and audit, Resource inventoryServer configuration management, Application managementIT service management, Resource governanceSystems operations, Application managementCost optimization, Security assessment, Performance improvement
Pricing ModelFree (charges for underlying resources)Pay per event recordedPay per resource recorded and evaluatedFree (charges for underlying resources)Pay per user and product usedFree (charges for underlying resources)Included with AWS subscription; more features with Business and Enterprise support plans
Management OverheadMedium (template creation and management)LowMediumMedium (configuration and management)Medium (catalog creation and management)Medium (task automation and management)Low
Azure EquivalentAzure Resource ManagerAzure MonitorAzure PolicyAzure Automation State ConfigurationAzure Managed ApplicationsAzure AutomationAzure Advisor

Migration & Transfer

AWS ServiceAWS Migration HubAWS DataSyncAWS Transfer FamilyAWS Snow FamilyAWS Database Migration ServiceAWS Server Migration Service
Primary UseCentralized migration trackingData transfer serviceSecure file transfersPhysical data transport solutionDatabase migration serviceServer migration service
Service TypeManagement & MonitoringData TransferData TransferData Transfer & Physical ShippingData MigrationServer Migration
Key FeaturesTrack progress of migrations, Integrate with other AWS toolsHigh-speed data transfer, Automated data synchronizationManaged SFTP, FTPS, and FTP servicePhysical devices for large data transfer, Secure data transportSupports multiple database platforms, Continuous data replicationAutomate server migration, Incremental replication
ScalabilityScales with number of migrationsScales with amount of dataScales with number of transfersScales with data volumeScales with database sizeScales with number of servers
Use CasesManaging large-scale migrations, Tracking multiple migration projectsMoving large datasets, Regular data syncSecure file transfer to AWS, Replace legacy file transfer systemsLarge-scale data migration, Data center shutdownsMigrating databases to AWS, Database consolidationMigrating VMs to AWS, Data center evacuation
Pricing ModelPay for underlying services usedPay per data transferredPay per use based on transfer capacityService fee plus shippingPay per instance and data transferredFree (charges for underlying EC2 usage)
Management OverheadMediumLow to MediumLowMedium to High (physical handling)MediumMedium
Azure EquivalentAzure MigrateAzure Data BoxAzure Blob StorageAzure Data BoxAzure Database Migration ServiceAzure Site Recovery

Networking & Content Delivery

AWS ServiceAmazon VPCAmazon CloudFrontAWS Direct ConnectAmazon Route 53AWS Elastic Load BalancingAmazon API Gateway
Primary UseVirtual network within AWSContent delivery network serviceDedicated network connection to AWSDNS web serviceDistribute incoming application trafficCreate, publish, maintain, and secure APIs
Service TypeNetworkingContent DeliveryNetworkingDNS ServiceLoad BalancingAPI Management
Key FeaturesIsolated network environment, Customizable IP address range, Route tables, Network gatewaysGlobal content delivery, Website and video content accelerationPrivate connectivity to AWS, Reduced bandwidth costsScalable Domain Name System, Traffic routingHigh availability, Automatic scaling, Multiple load balancer typesAPI caching, Throttling, Swagger support
ScalabilityScales with your AWS infrastructureScales with content delivery needsScales with your network trafficScales with request volumeScales with application trafficScales with API call volumes
Use CasesHosting applications, Secure and scalable networkingFast content delivery, Web application accelerationHybrid cloud environments, Bandwidth-heavy workloadsWeb application hosting, Traffic routingLoad balancing for EC2 instances, Application scalingBuilding RESTful APIs, Microservices backends
Pricing ModelPay for resources usedPay as you go based on content deliveryPay for dedicated connectionPay per hosted zone and query volumePay per hour and additional charges for processed bytesPay per API call and data transfer
Management OverheadMediumLowMediumLowLow to MediumLow to Medium
Azure EquivalentAzure Virtual NetworkAzure CDNAzure ExpressRouteAzure DNSAzure Load BalancerAzure API Management

Security, Identity, and Compliance

AWS ServiceAWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)Amazon CognitoAWS Key Management Service (KMS)AWS ShieldAWS WAFAWS GuardDutyAWS Inspector
Primary UseUser and access managementUser identity and data synchronization serviceManaged service to create and control encryption keysDDoS protectionWeb application firewallThreat detection serviceAutomated security assessment
Service TypeIdentity ManagementIdentity ManagementKey ManagementSecuritySecuritySecuritySecurity
Key FeaturesUser and group management, Permission policies, MFAUser sign-up, sign-in, and access control, Social identity integrationCentralized key management, Encryption and decryption, Audit capabilitiesDDoS protection, Integration with AWS WAF and AWS Shield AdvancedWeb traffic filtering, Customizable rules, Real-time metricsIntelligent threat detection, Continuous monitoring, Automated alertsSecurity assessment, Vulnerability management, Automated checks
ScalabilityScales with number of users and permissionsScales with number of usersScales with key usageScales with AWS infrastructureScales with web trafficScales with AWS infrastructureScales with number of instances
Use CasesSecure AWS resource access, Fine-grained access controlMobile and web application user management, Identity federationData encryption, Regulatory complianceProtect against DDoS attacks, Minimize downtimeProtect web applications, Customize web traffic rulesDetect malicious activity, Protect AWS accounts and workloadsSecurity assessment for EC2 instances, Improve security posture
Pricing ModelFree (charges for additional services)Free tier available; pay for monthly active usersPay per key and API callFree (additional cost for AWS Shield Advanced)Pay based on rules and web requestsPay based on volume of logs analyzedPay per assessment run
Management OverheadMediumLow to MediumLow to MediumLowLow to MediumLowLow to Medium
Azure EquivalentAzure Active Directory & Azure Role-Based Access ControlAzure Active Directory B2CAzure Key VaultAzure DDoS ProtectionAzure Web Application FirewallAzure SentinelAzure Security Center


AWS ServiceAWS LambdaAmazon API GatewayAWS Step FunctionsAmazon S3Amazon DynamoDBAmazon SNSAmazon SQS
Primary UseRun code without provisioning serversCreate, publish, maintain, and secure APIsCoordinate multiple AWS services into serverless workflowsObject storage serviceManaged NoSQL database servicePub/Sub messaging and mobile notifications serviceMessage queuing service
Service TypeComputeAPI ManagementOrchestrationStorageDatabaseMessagingMessaging
Key FeaturesAutomatic scaling, Event-driven, Supports multiple languagesAPI caching, Throttling, Swagger supportVisual workflow management, Integration with AWS servicesData storage and retrieval, Scalability, Data availabilityKey-value and document data models, High performance at scale, Fully managedDecouple and scale microservices, applications, and systemsSecure, durable, and available message queue
ScalabilityScales automatically with executionScales with API call volumesScales with workflow complexityHighly scalable storage solutionAutomatically scales to accommodate data and trafficScales with number of messagesScales with message throughput
Use CasesEvent-driven applications, Microservices, Real-time file processingBuilding RESTful APIs, Microservices backendsWorkflow automation, Application orchestrationStoring web application assets, Backup and storage, Hosting static websitesWeb-scale applications, Real-time analytics, IoT applicationsApplication-to-application messaging, SMS and email notificationsDecoupling application components, Message buffering
Pricing ModelPay per request and compute timePay per API call and data transferPay per state transitionPay for storage used and data transferPay for read/write throughput and storagePay per requestPay per request and data transfer
Management OverheadLowLow to MediumMediumLowLowLowLow
Azure EquivalentAzure FunctionsAzure API ManagementAzure Logic AppsAzure Blob StorageAzure Cosmos DBAzure Notification HubsAzure Queue Storage


AWS ServiceAmazon S3Amazon EBSAmazon EFSAmazon GlacierAWS Storage GatewayAWS Snow FamilyAmazon FSx
Primary UseObject storage serviceBlock storage for EC2File storage for EC2Long-term archival storageHybrid cloud storage servicePhysical data transport solutionFully managed file storage
Service TypeStorageStorageStorageStorageStorageStorageStorage
Key FeaturesHigh durability, Scalability, Data availabilityPersistent block storage, High performanceScalable file storage, Simple interfaceLow-cost data archiving, Secure and durableOn-premises integration, Cached and stored volumesLarge-scale data transfer, Secure data transportManaged Windows and Lustre file systems
ScalabilityHighly scalable storage solutionScales with EC2 instancesScales with number of files and connectionsScales with amount of dataScales with on-premises environmentScales with data volumeScales with file system size and performance needs
Use CasesStoring web application assets, Backup and storage, Hosting static websitesDatabases, Enterprise applicationsShared file storage, Content managementData archiving, Backup and disaster recoveryIntegrating on-premises environments with cloudLarge-scale data migrations, Temporary storage for large datasetsHigh-performance computing, Machine learning, Media data processing
Pricing ModelPay for storage used and data transferPay for provisioned storagePay for storage usedPay for storage and retrievalPay for gateway deployed and data storedService fee plus shippingPay for provisioned storage and throughput
Management OverheadLowLowLowLowMediumMedium to High (physical handling)Low to Medium
Azure EquivalentAzure Blob StorageAzure Managed DisksAzure FilesAzure Blob Storage - Cool & Archive TiersAzure StorSimpleAzure Data BoxAzure NetApp Files & Azure Files