Comparing Microsoft Azure and Amazon WorkSpaces for RIAs


RIAs benefit greatly from a reliable cloud infrastructure. It gives your RIA the flexibility and security you need to be successful and compliant. Microsoft has long been the industry standard – and for good reason. Azure is packed with features and security that RIAs demand. However, Amazon WorkSpaces has emerged as an option to be considered. Read on to learn more about the differences.

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Microsoft Azure vs. AWS

Here’s what RIAs can expect from the two:

  • Cost
    AWS is five times more expensive than Microsoft Azure for Windows Server and SQL Server. Azure uses Azure Hybrid Benefit to guarantee reduced compute rate (SUSE Linux Enterprise Basic rate) across Windows Server, SQL Server PaaS, and SQL Server IaaS. Furthermore, Azure uses existing SQL Server Licenses for its SQL Server PaaS package, enabling users to skip paying the standard three-year full-upfront payment terms of AWS.

    But despite the disparity in Windows Server and SQL pricing, AWS’s base cost isn’t too burdensome, as it comes in a pay-as-you-go subscription model. So businesses that need less really do end up spending less with AWS. This is particularly true for business cloud infrastructures that only require specific piecemeal AWS features.

    That said, growth is less burdensome on Azure because you can save up to 72% in costs by reserving future storage and computing capacity. Microsoft rewards its Azure users who provide good insight into their future resource needs, as this allows Microsoft to fine-tune their processes and allocate their own resources efficiently. It’s a great way to secure your future cloud costs while maintaining simplicity and flexibility.

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  • Security
    The two cloud infrastructures share similar levels and types of security features, so there’s no large distinction between the two. At the level they operate, both AWS and Azure have considerably more robust cloud security features and protocols compared to lower tier business cloud brands like OpenShift or Heroku.

    The main difference between Azure and AWS is in their long-term security update system. With AWS and most other cloud services, security updates are only provided up to a fixed term, unless you subscribe to a special arrangement that usually costs more money. With Microsoft Azure, extended security for Windows Server 2008 or Windows 7 updates are available for FREE.

    Aside from free extended security updates, Azure also provides standard distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection free of charge after the creation of your first server. This will protect your system from attackers that employ mass spamming tactics. It also sets your system up for easy deployment of future configurations.

    With the threat of ransomware and other cyberattacks on the rise — not to mention RIAs often deal with sensitive information — it is absolutely critical to ensure that your data is protected. By hosting your data on the Azure platform, you can be assured that not only is your business information secure, but that you don’t incur additional costs either.

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  • Functionality and integration
    Microsoft and Amazon are two of the biggest software and cloud developers in the world, so they don’t tend to skimp on form and function when it comes to their offerings.

    The most important benefit of Microsoft Azure over AWS is its functionality and integration capabilities. Work processes are, pound for pound, more efficient and more reliable in the Microsoft ecosystem compared to piecemeal cloud architecture. Also with Azure, your financial software receives instant modernization and improvement, making for better banking, faster transactions, and smoother management.

    RIAs use productivity apps like Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and more. By using Microsoft Azure, you enjoy easy integration and improved user experience. WIth Azure’s easy and thorough integration with other Microsoft apps, you can enjoy fewer disruptions and improved productivity.

  • Ease of use
    This is the big one for many RIAs, as Microsoft supplies the industry with the most popular and intuitive apps. Because Azure is designed and developed by the maker of Office, Outlook, Business Central, and more, you can be assured that the learning curve is not steep. Azure has a familiar and easy-to-absorb interface, so your IT staff will be comfortable using it in no time.

    That’s not to say that AWS is difficult to use because it isn’t — but if your system already relies heavily on Microsoft software, using the developer’s cloud infrastructure will save you time and effort in terms of integration and familiarization.

  • Take a big leap forward with Microsoft Azure. RIA Workspace will help your RIA organization transition smoothly from clunky, unreliable AWS to the future of cloud computing with Azure. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.