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Vivek Siva
Vivek Siva

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AWS vs Azure : Part 1 – Infrastrucutre

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This series will explain the key differences between AWS and Azure services, in part 1 , tried to cover the key terminologies used and where the infrastructure services/servers are actually hosted

If you are looking for what cloud computing means(this article is not for you!) -anyways, here is a quick summary for you from AWS:

What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of IT resources over the Internet with pay-as-you-go pricing. Instead of buying, owning, and maintaining physical data centers and servers, you can access technology services, such as computing power, storage, and databases, on an as-needed basis from a cloud provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS).
State of the Cloud

AWS is #1 – AWS is a clear Leader, as a first mover it still leads the pack
Azure is #2 : Azure had a lot of catching up to do , but using its enterprise strength and strong office 365, they were able to quickly catch up and become a almost close second
Google or GCP is #3 : GCP is at a distant third, though they have way more knowledge on how to run a highly scalable and fault tolerant architectures, given the fact that they never had a strong enterprise thought process and their history with shutting down projects , the word on street is that their support is not so great and they come in distinct 3rd!
There are other players like Oracle and regional behemoths like alibaba who are playing catch up games!

So for the first part of this series, we will get started with where the top two contenders are located and how their infrastructure is setup!

So lets get started..

Typically cloud providers operate across the world! and both AWS and Azure have grown to a place where they have services almost everywhere..

AWS – Global Infrastructure

Lets Look at AWS First –

It has 24* regions and it almost covers every corner of earth! each and every region almost surely has at least 2 availability zones all connected via dedicated networking..

AWS has something like

Availability Zones
Edge Locations

Key Terminologies

Regions are places where AWS has at least two or more availability zones – Each AWS Region is designed to be isolated from the other AWS Regions
Availability Zones or AZ’s or datacenters are the actual physical locations where the servers are hosted
Edge Locations : To deliver content to end users with lower latency, Amazon Cloud Front uses a global network of 217 Points of Presence (205 Edge Locations and 12 Regional Edge Caches) in 84 cities across 42 countries
A Local Zone is an extension of an AWS Region that is geographically close to your users.
Along with these there are many other services that AWS provides..

Also all these information tend to change every day, for example, look at the above picture , there are 3 announced regions and many more might be in the pipeline.. also there are additional zones like a local zone or a even a wavelength Zone etc!

Now lets move over to Azure!

Azure Infrastructure

Azure follows almost the same structs as AWS however differs in some areas!

Now if you compare it with AWS, you can see that there are additional layers on azure network , so lets see everyone!

Geographies: This can be tagged under , the continent the regions lie in (or An Azure geography defines an area of the world containing at least one Azure region), for example, Azure has 4
Asia Pacific
Middle East and Africa
Regional Pairs : A regional pair consists of two regions within the same geography
Regions: An Azure region consists of a set of data centers deployed within a latency-defined perimeter and connected through a dedicated low-latency network.
Availability Zones: Availability Zones are physically separate datacenters within an Azure region.
Availability Sets: allows workloads to be spread over multiple hosts, racks but still remain at the same data center;


Example of a regional pair

More details available here

Availability Sets

So , there are lot of sub concepts inside these, but guess I have covered the main items , please check and let me know via comments!

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