Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Amazon EC2 vs Windows Azure

I have been using Windows Azure extensively for the last several years, so when I recently started working on a new project, using Amazon EC2 was relatively new to me.

In the time since I started working on my current project, we stood up numerous Windows Servers one after the other in order to meet our development needs.

However, when I recently attempted to start up our Continuous Integration Build Server running in the Amazon EC2 cloud, I was surprised to discover that I could not start up the virtual machine!

As it turns out, Amazon EC2 had reached capacity for one of their cloud servers and therefore were not able to provide sufficient resources to even start the virtual machine!

Based on my own experience with Windows Azure, I was completely surprised by this response, but it was indeed the reason for why the virtual machine could not be started.  Even after informing Amazon EC2 support about the issue, an entire day of productivity was ultimately lost because the issue was not rectified quickly. 

If you are a Windows .NET developer, choosing Windows Azure is common sense because of the tight integration between Visual Studio and Azure for development and deployment.  Also, since Microsoft knows Windows better than any other company in the world, they are the ideal candidate to host your Windows server virtual machines!!  Microsoft's Windows Azure Portal is also constantly being updated/refreshed with new features and functionality as well as updates to their PowerShell cmdlets to support various Windows Azure self-service operations.  Microsoft further sweetens the deal when it comes to hosting on Windows Azure by offering a credit of up to $150/month for existing MSDN subscribers! 

Therefore, when you are considering standing up your Windows environment on either Amazon EC2 or Windows Azure, I would definitely choose Windows Azure!

If you are an existing MSDN Subscriber, you can start using your benefits here:  https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/member-offers/msdn-benefits/?WT.srch=1&WT.mc_ID=SEM_cuCfnmnZ

If you are not currently an MSDN Subscriber, but would like to try out Windows Azure for yourself, Microsoft offers a free 1-month trial as well as a $200 initial credit if you end up signing up for Windows Azure services.  https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/free-trial/ 

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