Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon’s AWS are two of the top choices when it comes to enterprise-level IaaS.
Which cloud platform is the right choice for your business? Clutch, a research firm that reviews top development, design and marketing companies, spoke with David Hickman, Menlo’s Vice President of Delivery and Engineering about the comparison between Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure – an important discussion for businesses consider leading Cloud platforms.
What business challenge were you trying to address by using cloud technology?
From a business end-user standpoint, the perception is that things can be done quicker while operating on an Opex [operational expense] cost. Larger companies can achieve the same goals without the normal delays of going through an IT staff. The decision 5 years ago was in terms of Opex versus Capex [capital expense], but currently, even the vendors themselves have stopped investing in on-premises solutions. Oracle has been incentivizing its sales team to recommend nothing but cloud.
Dell Boomi is another strong partner of ours in the integrations space. We’ve partnered with them because clients like the software and Dell releases features quickly.
Software architecture is currently geared towards microservices and smaller, autonomous consumable units. This allows users to make changes quicker, without the risk of creating major defects in the overall product. Vendors can have bi-monthly or monthly releases, and add cool new features that benefit users right away.
It used to be a matter of saving cost by reducing the hands-on architecture IT team, but we’re starting to see better overall benefits for the software because of its ability to be packed in a more agile, nimble fashion.
Menlo Technologies builds cloud-based internet-of-things [IoT] solutions using Azure and AWS, communicating with other services and APIs on the market, for companies that exist 100% in the cloud. Some of our more enterprise clients have on-premises solutions for particular reasons, but the majority is cloud-based and the trend is ‘how do I get there’.
What is your recommendation for cloud implementation and migration?
We usually engage in an analysis stage, and the results will depend. For example, when migrating an on-premises SAP, the client won’t benefit greatly by moving to the cloud. They might move to a managed service, and not have a local data center, but picking up a large ERP [enterprise resource planning] software and moving it to the cloud is a large effort. The software might be different and could require a rewrite.
In the case of smaller systems, the migration will be easier to manage, and the cloud will offer computing benefits as well. In some situations, the processing power of a data center will be underutilized; when pushing the platform to the cloud, the company will only use what it needs to use through on-demand services like Functions for Azure, or AWS Lambda. Services are spun up as needed and are priced per hour (or less) of computing usage. Ideally, there is a bigger bang for the buck earlier, but there are other risk factors to be weighed in.
A typical large organization will start with development and move to quality assurance. Once there is a comfort level, they will move the whole infrastructure.
Email services like Office 365 are an easier play, relating to the more traditional legacy solutions.
For older reporting architectures, the client may want to move completely to the cloud and adopt Power BI or Tableau through a rip-and-replace strategy.
Read the entire interview here to learn about cloud costs, features, and Dave’s ranking of AWS and Azure.