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AWS vs. Azure: Which Cloud Platform Has The Brightest Future In 2023?

8 Min. Read

Are you torn between choosing Azure or playing it safe and going for AWS? This comparison will help you make the most profitable decision!

The benefits of cloud computing for businesses are countless—it enables different companies to lower operational costs, increase efficiency, reduce capital expenditures, get new products on the market quickly, increase innovation, and improve interdepartmental collaboration.

That said, businesses that aren’t prepared to deal with emerging technologies and changes will likely fall behind. This is where certified professionals come into play, which are trained individuals with a familiarity with the nuances of cloud computing.

The desperate need for certified professionals makes cloud certifications valuable and sought-after by many people looking for better job opportunities and a brighter future.

If you’re one of those ambitious individuals who are considering getting a certification from a cloud platform, you already know that AWS and Azure are the industry leaders, and both of them offer strong certifications that change lives.

But which cloud platform is the best? And most importantly, which is more suitable for you? Keep reading as we compare the two industry-leading cloud platforms: AWS and Azure.

Without further ado, let’s get down to business!

AWS vs. Azure: Market Growth

Without a doubt, both Azure and AWS are reputable players in the cloud industry, which is also why you’re reading this comparison article right now—to choose the best of the best!

Image: Amazon AWS
Image: Amazon AWS

AWS and Google each account for 41.5% of all installed application workloads, while Azure accounts for around 29.4% of all such workloads.

AWS had a market share of 47.1% in 2017 and generated $3.66 billion in Q4 revenues, while Azure’s market share remained around 10% and generated $6.9 billion in revenue. But this isn’t even a fair comparison—the revenue figures of Microsoft are higher since their cloud division has both Microsoft/Office 365 and Azure!

Image: Microsoft Azure
Image: Microsoft Azure

However, Microsoft’s revenue from Azure increased by over 90% this year, according to the company’s recent Q1 FY 2018 earnings report.

Related: Microsoft Azure Certifications Explained

AWS vs. Azure: Certification Benefits

When choosing your certification path, you first need to know the benefits you’ll get when obtaining a certification.

Let’s see what each certification vendor has to offer:

1. AWS Certifications Benefits

AWS launched its global certification program for the first time in 2013. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Level was the first certification. Since then, AWS has advanced quickly and significantly, and it currently offers 12 certifications divided into four groups: Foundational, Specialty, Associate, and Professional.

Image: Amazon AWS Certifications
Image: Amazon AWS Certifications

Here are the top benefits of obtaining an AWS certification:

📍Easy To Obtain: The ease of the AWS certification, compared to other certifications, is a huge advantage that makes it stand out among other certifications. Candidates can simply get AWS certified with the assistance of documentation, instructor-led training courses, and whitepapers. To prepare for an AWS certification exam, candidates can access a variety of sample questions and practice tests.

📍Prepares You for the Future: AWS certification can significantly help prepare for new trends in the employment of IT professionals, given that AWS is an industry-leading cloud service with a market share of about 31%, and its revenue is gradually increasing.

📍More Recognition: The recognition of certified professionals is a significant benefit of obtaining an AWS certification. Professionals with AWS certifications earn digital badges that indicate their success and can be used to establish themselves as professionals on social media. Additionally, direct access to special certification events sponsored by AWS is available via these badges. They’re also useful for accessing AWS Summit events and AWS Certification Lounges.

📍More Job Opportunities: AWS certification can bring you more work quickly, especially if you’re a freelancer. Clients will trust you and your abilities more if you hold an AWS certification. As we previously explained, obtaining an AWS certification entitles you to digital badges. When used wisely on social media and in digital signatures, digital badges can be a life-changing marketing tool.

📍Higher Salaries: An AWS certification is considered one of the most profitable in North America. To give you an idea about the salaries of AWS-certified professionals, an AWS-certified Solutions Architect – Associate has an average annual of $159k! Because an AWS certification proves to the market that you’re an expert in your field, you’ll make more than you normally do when you obtain it and look for new job opportunities.

See Also: 5 Ways to Save Costs on AWS Fargate

2. Azure Certifications Benefits

As the demand for cloud computing technologies increases, Azure certifications are becoming more and more sought-after. Because Cloud computing is a fast-growing technology, more companies are now looking for certified Azure solution architects, administrators, security engineers, cybersecurity architects, and developers.

Image: Microsoft Azure Certifications
Image: Microsoft Azure Certifications

Here’s what you’ll get after working hard to obtain an Azure certification:

📍More Job Opportunities: Azure certifications are among the most in-demand IT certifications right now, and they can help you get a better job or improve your company’s position. Their diversified certifications also give you the flexibility to work across numerous sectors and places; you can train to be a developer, a cloud architect, or a solution architect.

Azure certifications get you into various roles in industries, including but not limited to finance health care and entertainment. Furthermore, many certified Azure professionals work in different places across the globe, such as France, the UK, the US, and more.

📍Higher Salary Opportunities: Azure certifications prove that you possess strong technical skills that make you stand out within your niche, which naturally enables you to get more recognition than non-certified individuals.

Of course, this also reflects on your salary—the average annual salary for Azure specialists can range from $40k-$172k. And the average annual salary for Azure Developers is estimated to be $136k+. At the same time, Azure Architects make an annual income of $152k+ on average. This salary maybe even improved by taking extra courses to become a senior Azure professional!

📍Enhanced Security: Because you can keep up with the newest trends and possibilities, becoming certified can help you increase cloud security for your business. This increased security makes you more appealing to potential clients, especially for employment in cloud security.

📍Attractive Discounts: The Microsoft enterprise agreement offers Azure-certified professionals discounted prices for software and tool based on a commitment to specific spending amounts. These discounts can be as little as 15% and as big as 45%. But as a rule of thumb, the more you spend, the more generous your discount is!

Certified Azure professionals can get jobs in companies that make the most out of this agreement, enjoying the discounted prices for software, services, and tools.

It’s obvious that both certifications are beneficial and offer many attractive features. We have a tie!

AWS vs. Azure: Renewal of Certification

The AWS certification is valid for three years, before the three-year period expires, you must recertify to keep your certification current and active.

As for Azure certification, it’s only valid for 1 year, after which you must recertify. Learn more about how to renew your Microsoft Certification for free.

“Become Microsoft certified and build your resilience for today’s and tomorrow’s digital economy,” Microsoft Says. Apparently, AWS is giving us every reason to obtain its certifications!

Related: Can a Microsoft Azure Security Certification Be Helpful for Your Career?

AWS vs. Azure: Contribution to the Society’s Welfare

While this point of comparison may not be relevant if you’re trying to find the best cloud platform, you should keep in mind that the contribution of each platform to society directly affects the platform’s reputation and position in the industry, hence the reputation and position of their certified professionals!

Both the Amazon and AWS technologies have benefited society in different ways. For example, people may now access mind-blowing images of distant galaxies thanks to NASA‘s use of the AWS platform to make its vast collection of images, audio, and videos easily discoverable in a single place.

Additionally, a nonprofit organization called People in Need scales an early warning system with the help of AWS. This system efficiently alerts over 400,000 locals in Cambodia when floods threaten.

Do you think Azure can beat this? Let’s find out…

The Weka Smart Fridge, responsible for keeping vaccinations properly stored, was built using the Azure IoT Suite. This was crucial in ensuring that vaccinations provided by nonprofit medical agencies reached anyone who couldn’t access these facilities.

Not to mention that Azure plays a significant role in finding solutions to the freshwater crisis in the world. The main water operational unit within Ecolab, Nalco Water, cooperates with Microsoft Azure to create innovative solutions using their advanced cloud computing systems.

AWS vs. Azure: Exam Cost

Now to the million-dollar question: how much does each certification cost?

Let’s start with AWS, which has three different types of exams, each with its price. The first and cheapest type is the Associate-level exam, which only costs $50. The second type is The Cloud Practitioner exam, which costs $100. And the last and most expensive one is the Professional-level and Specialty exam, which costs $300.

On the other hand, Microsoft Azure offers 12 unique certifications. The 5 basic certifications—DP-900, AZ-900, SC-900, AI-900, and PL-900—cost $99 each. The remaining certifications cost $165 each. Remember that you don’t have to obtain all 12 certifications; the five basic certifications cover Azure, data fundamentals, power platform fundamentals, security, compliance, identity fundamentals, and artificial intelligence.

As a result, AWS is cheaper than Azure, at least in most cases.

See Also: 6 Tips to Achieve a Robust Security Posture in AWS

The Final Verdict: Which Cloud Platform Is Best For You?

We know that you’re reading this comparison with the hope that you get a clear answer to this question. However, there’s no definitive or one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as it depends on individual needs and preferences.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are leading cloud computing platforms offering various services and features. However, some key considerations when choosing between AWS and Azure include pricing, supported features, scalability, ease of use, and security.

AWS is generally more popular and has a larger market share, while Azure is growing rapidly and offers some unique capabilities that may make it a better fit for certain users. AWS is generally seen as more comprehensive and customizable, while Azure is easier to use. Finally, both platforms are constantly evolving, so it’s important to keep up with the latest developments to make informed decisions.

We hope that this comprehensive guide helps you determine which certification is more likely to offer you a brighter future for career progression.

FAQs

Which pays more, AWS or Azure?

Whether you’re an AWS-certified or Azure-certified professional, there’s no rule of thumb regarding your salary. However, the salary of AWS-certified IT professionals usually exceeds that of Azure-certified IT professionals.

Is Azure easier than AWS?

If you don’t know what you’re doing, expect AWS and Azure to be hard to obtain. On the other hand, they can be surprisingly easy when properly guided. But generally, AWS is believed to be easier to get certified in.

Is AWS the same as Azure?

AWS and Azure are completely different platforms owned by completely different companies—they are NOT the same!

Why is AWS more popular than Azure?

AWS has more infrastructure, scalable services, and resources than Azure owing to its nearly seven-year operating experience. In addition, Amazon added more servers to its cloud that helped it grow faster, while Azure struggled to catch up. But when talking numbers, the revenue growth, and market share figures prove Azure entered the market faster than AWS.

Do Azure and AWS need coding?

Platforms like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform provide many different services, many of which don’t require coding.

Are Azure skills in demand?

Absolutely! The demand for Azure Cloud skills is increasing daily, especially because Cloud computing is a fast-growing technology with high demand.

Many companies are looking for Azure Cloud/Security experts with relevant industry experience. Most companies want to hire experts who can assist them in cutting costs, using cloud technologies, securing their assets, and growing their businesses.

Is AWS still in demand?

Yes. AWS skills are among the top skills that businesses are currently looking for. And with 350k+ professionals required to fill cloud job roles, AWS-certified professionals have many opportunities to establish themselves as experts in their niche!

What’s the difference between AWS and Azure?

AWS service falls into three categories: Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). On the other hand, Azure is only an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) provider. The Software as a Service (SaaS) offering from Microsoft falls under Microsoft 365 services and not the Azure cloud platform.

The largest cloud service provider in the world is Amazon Web Services (AWS), which runs Amazon.com’s cloud computing business. AWS currently holds a 32% market share, while Azure only holds a 21% market share. In terms of market share and revenue, AWS is definitely on the top of the cloud!

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Thank you for reading my blog.

If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment.

-Charbel Nemnom-

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About the Author
Charbel Nemnom
Charbel Nemnom is a Senior Cloud Architect, Swiss Certified ICT Security Expert, Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP), and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT). He has over 20 years of broad IT experience serving on and guiding technical teams to optimize the performance of mission-critical enterprise systems with extensive practical knowledge of complex systems build, network design, business continuity, and cloud security.

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