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International Journal of Advanced Networking Applications (IJANA)
ISSN No. : 0975-0290
117
Comparative study of Amazon EC2 and
Microsoft Azure cloud architecture
Prof Vaibhav A Gandhi
Research Scholar, Dept of Computer Science, Sau Uni,
& Associate Professor, Dept of MCA,B H Gardi College of Engg & Tech, Rajkot, India
gandhi.vaibhav@gmail.com
Dr C K Kumbharana
Head, Dept of Computer Science,
Saurashtra University, Rajkot, India
ckkumbharana@yahoo.com
———————————————————————-ABSTRACT———————————————————–Cloud computing refers to a network that distributes processing power, applications, and large systems among many
computers. In current era, all companies are going for computerization. It is not feasible for every startups to invest
high amount of money for purchasing servers and recruiting IT staff who can handle these servers. Instead of this,
better option is use of cloud computing, where companies just required to take services from cloud computing
providers as per requirement. Lots of option are available while choosing Cloud service provider. Amazon EC2 and
Microsoft Azure are example of such Cloud Service Provider. In this paper, researchers have given brief details of
Amazon EC2 and Microsoft Azure Cloud. It is very difficult to decide one cloud service provider from all. In this
paper, comparison of Amazon EC2 and Microsoft Azure is given, which will help in taking decision for choosing
Cloud Provider.
Keywords – Cloud Computing, Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure, Selection of cloud provider
cloud providers can cut their prices by investing in huge
data centers and potentially save money of each other.
I. INTRODUCTION
C
loud computing’ is now not a new concept in the
computing world, although the idea has existed for
a longer time. A few years after the dot-com bubble
burst in 1999, companies like Amazon who had invested
hugely in computing infrastructure, started leasing out their
underutilized and unused hardware with cloud computing
technology, resulting in cloud computing gaining attention
and popularity within the computing industry. Cloud
computing has started to be an option in recent years for
several reasons. The “web 2.0” shift can be named as an
example, as providers are shifting their services from local
infrastructure to external services using various web
services. A few years ago a web company would have
needed to host and maintain its own billing system and
payment gateway, making long-term and expensive
contracts with credit card companies, banks, security
companies, etc. With the emergence of companies like
PayPal, BillDesk and ccavenue, any individual can now
accept credit cards without a contract or long-term
commitment and use the services on a pay-as-you-go basis.
As the Internet has become a part of almost any household
and is viewed as a commodity everyone has access to,
companies can move their software services more securely
to the internet, and by that make cloud computing
platforms a possible choice. The economy of scale is
greatly in favor of cloud computing. Cloud users can take
computing power as and when required from any cloud
providers without investing much in Infrastructure and
The concept “utility computing”, which cloud computing is
in many ways based on, has been the vision of computer
scientists for decades [1].
In the 1960s, the American computer scientist John
McCarthy stated that “If computers of the kind I have
advocated become the computers of the future, then
computing may someday be organized as a public utility
just as the telephone system is a public utility… The
computer utility could become the basis of a new and
important industry” [2]
Cloud Computing definition from the National Institute of
Standards and Technology (NIST) [2]:
“Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, ondemand network access to a shared pool of configurable
computing resources (e.g. networks, servers, storage,
applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned
and released with minimal management effort or service
provider interaction. This cloud model promotes
availability and is composed of five essential
characteristics, three service models, and four deployment
models.”
International Journal of Advanced Networking Applications (IJANA)
ISSN No. : 0975-0290
118
Software as a service is a software distribution
model in which applications are hosted by a vendor
or service provider in cloud and made available to
customers over a network, typically the Internet.
2) Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a way to rent
hardware, operating systems, storage and network
capacity over the Internet. The service delivery
model allows the customer to rent virtualized
servers and associated services for running existing
applications or developing and testing new ones.
Figure 1 : Cloud Computing (Source : Wikipedia)
VIII. CLOUD COMPUTING OVERVIEW
The actual term “cloud” borrows from telephony in that
telecommunications companies, who until the 1990s
primarily offered dedicated point-to-point data circuits,
began offering Virtual Private Network (VPN) services
with comparable quality of service but at a much lower
cost. By switching traffic to balance utilization as they saw
fit they were able to utilize their overall network bandwidth
more effectively. The cloud symbol was used to denote the
demarcation point between that which was the
responsibility of the provider from that of the user. Cloud
computing extends this boundary to cover servers as well
as the network infrastructure.
3) Infrastructure as a service (IaaS).
Infrastructure as a Service is a provision model in
which an organization outsources the equipment
used to support operations, including storage,
hardware, servers and networking components.
The service provider owns the equipment and is
responsible for housing, running and maintaining
it. The client typically pays on a per-use basis.
Cloud computing is having various key features like.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Reduce capital expenditure.
Device and location independence.
Peak-load capacity increases.
Reliability is improved.
Scalability.
Security.
Ease of Maintenance.
Cloud computing can be deployed in various models.
1. Public cloud
2. Private cloud
3. Hybrid Cloud
4. Community Cloud
Along with these, some articles contains one more
development model that is.
Commodity Cloud.
Cloud Service Models.
1) Software as a Service (SaaS)
Figure 2 : Cloud Service Models (Source :
http://skmahdesia87.blogspot.in/2012/08/articlecloud-computing-and-its.html)
Cloud Computing Providers
There are many cloud computing providers available in
industry. Few companies are leading in this is listed below.
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
Microsoft Azure Services Platform
Google App Engine
Salesforce.com
Akamai EdgePlatform
IBM Computing on Demand (CoD)
Rackspace Cloud
Terremark
NetSuite
And many more
International Journal of Advanced Networking Applications (IJANA)
In this paper we are studying and comparing Amazon
Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Microsoft Azure.
II.
UNDERSTANDING
AMAZON
ELASTIC
COMPUTE CLOUD
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web
service that provides resizable compute capacity in the
cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier
for developers. Amazon EC2’s simple web service
interface allows you to obtain and configure capacity with
minimal friction. It provides you with complete control of
your computing resources and lets you run on Amazon’s
proven computing environment. Amazon EC2 reduces the
time required to obtain and boot new server instances to
minutes, allowing you to quickly scale capacity, both up
and down, as your computing requirements change.
Amazon EC2 changes the economics of computing by
allowing you to pay only for capacity that you actually use.
Amazon EC2 provides developers the tools to build failure
resilient applications and isolate themselves from common
failure scenarios [8].
Components of Amazon EC2:
ISSN No. : 0975-0290
119
2) Amazon EC2 Instances Types
Amazon EC2 instances types are grouped into six families
[10]:
x Standard
x Micro
x High-Memory
x High CPU
x Cluster Compute
x Cluster GPU
3) EC2 Storage Types
x Elastic Block Storage (EBS): This is persistent,
network-based storage called Elastic Block
Store(EBS), which can be attached to running
instances or also used as a persistent boot
medium.
x Instance Storage: This is local storage, which is
non-persistent and data will be lost after an
instance terminates [10].
4) Elastic IP Addresses
Figure 3 : Components of Amazon EC2
(Source:http://www.oracleappshub.com/emergingtechnologies/understanding-amazon-web-services-aws)
Amazon’s Elastic IP Address feature is similar to static IP
address in traditional data centers, with one key difference.
A user can programmatically map an Elastic IP Address to
any virtual machine instance without a network
administrator’s help and without having to wait for DNS to
propagate the new binding. In this sense an Elastic IP
Address belongs to the account and not to a virtual machine
instance. It exists until it is explicitly removed. It remains
associated with the account, even while it is associated with
no instance.
5) Amazon CloudWatch
Figure 3 shows all components of Amazon Elastic
Compute Cloud.
1) Elastic Compute Units:
The Elastic Compute Unit (ECU) was introduced by
Amazon EC2 as an abstraction of computer resources.
Amazon’s Definition of ECU notes “We use several
benchmarks and tests to manage the consistency and
predictability of the performance of an EC2 Compute Unit.
One EC2 Compute Unit provides the equivalent CPU
capacity of a 1.0-1.2 GHz 2007 Opteron or 2007 Xeon
processor.
Amazon CloudWatch is a web service that provides
monitoring for AWS cloud resources and applications,
starting with Amazon EC2. It provides you with visibility
into resource utilization, operational performance, and
overall demand patterns—including metrics such as CPU
utilization, disk reads and writes, and network traffic. You
can get statistics, view graphs, and set alarms for your
metric data. To use Amazon CloudWatch, simply select the
Amazon EC2 instances that you’d like to monitor. You can
also supply your own business or application metric data.
Amazon CloudWatch will begin aggregating and storing
monitoring data that can be accessed using web service
APIs or Command Line Tools [11].
International Journal of Advanced Networking Applications (IJANA)
6) Automated Scaling
Auto Scaling allows you to automatically scale your
Amazon EC2 capacity up or down according to conditions
you define. With Auto Scaling, you can ensure that the
number of Amazon EC2 instances you’re using scales up
seamlessly during demand spikes to maintain performance,
and scales down automatically during demand lulls to
minimize costs.
Auto Scaling is particularly well suited for applications that
experience hourly, daily, or weekly variability in usage.
Auto Scaling is enabled by Amazon CloudWatch and
available at no additional charge beyond Amazon
CloudWatch fees [11].
III. UNDERSTANDING WINDOWS AZURE
Windows Azure is Microsoft’s application platform for the
public cloud. Your applications can use this platform in
many different ways. For instance, you can use Windows
Azure to build a web application that runs and stores its
data in Microsoft datacenters. You can use Windows Azure
only to store data, with the applications that use that data
running on-premises (that is, outside the public cloud). You
can use Windows Azure to help on-premises applications
connect with each other or to map between different sets of
identity information or in other ways. Because the platform
offers a wide range of services, all of these things—and
more—are possible [12]
A. COMPONENTS OF WINDOWS AZURE
To understand what Windows Azure offers, it’s useful to
group its services into distinct categories and you need to
know what its components do. Figure 4 shows one way to
do this
ISSN No. : 0975-0290
120
1) Cloud Applications
Windows Azure provides two types of roles [12]:
x Web roles: A web role is designed for code that
talks directly with web browsers or other HTTP
clients i.e. it depends on IIS, Microsoft’s web
server. For example, ASP.NET or PHP
application.
x Worker roles: A worker role is more general,
designed to run a variety or different type of code.
For example, application that processes lots of
data in parallel.
Each role instance is really just a virtual machine (VM)
running a flavor of Windows Server and each one executes
in a Windows Azure datacenter (see Figure 4) [12]
Load Balancing on a Windows Azure application:
x If the load increases, maybe you’ve acquired a large
number of new users all at once.
x If the load decreases, another request can shrink the
number of instances. And because Windows
Azure charges you by the hour for each instance,
you pay only for the capacity you need.
2) Data Management
Every Windows Azure application runs in one or more
VMs. Each VM has local storage, which an application is
free to use.
Windows Azure provides five data management options
(see Figure 4)
x
x
x
x
x
SQL Azure
Tables
Windows Azure Blobs Storage Service
Import / Export
Azure File Service
3) Networking :
Azure runs today in many datacenters spread across the
world. When you run an application or store data, you can
select one or more of these datacenters to use. You can also
connect to these datacenters in various ways using the
services below.
.
Figure 4 : Components of Windows Azure (Source :
http://azure.microsoft.com/enus/documentation/articles/fundamentals-introduction-toazure/)
x Virtual Network
x Traffic Manager
x Express Route
4) Identity and Access Control :
International Journal of Advanced Networking Applications (IJANA)
Working with identity is part of most applications.
Knowing who a user is lets an application decide how it
should interact with that user. Azure provides services to
help track identity as well as integrate it with identity stores
you may already be using.
x Active Directory
x Multi Factor Authentication
5) Messaging and Integration
No matter what it’s doing, code frequently needs to interact
with other code. In some situations, all that’s needed is
basic queued messaging. In other cases, more complex
interactions are required. Azure provides a few different
ways to solve these problems. Figure 4 illustrates the
choices.
x Storage Queue
x Service Bus Queue
x Service Bus Relay
x Service Bus Topics
x Biz Talk Hybrid Connection
x Biz Talk Service
IV.
COMPARISON BETWEEN
ZAURE VS AMAZON EC2
MICROSOFT
l
Database
Support
Virtualiz
ation
Technolo
gy
IDE
Support
121
ISSN No. : 0975-0290
Oracle
Relational Database
for Azure in SQL
Server
Hyper V – Hypervisor
based virtualization
Technology
XEN Virtualization
Technology
SDK is available for
Eclipse
SDK is available for
Eclipse and visual
studio.
Table 1 : General Comparison of EC2 and Azure
2) Price comparison
Feature
Amazon EC2
Microsoft Azure
Base Plan Price
$0.11/hour
$0.02 / hour
Virtual CPU
Core
1 VCPU’s

RAM
3,840MB
768MB
Disk Space
4 GB
20 GB
Subscription
Option
x
Hourly
Rate
x
Monthly
/ Fixed
Rate
x
Reserved
Instances
x
Spot
Instances
IX.
As many companies have large amounts of information
stored on computers, the need for memory is essential.
Cloud computing removes the need to install dedicated
software to the computer, thereby reducing the amount
of memory needed. . Azure and EC2 conceptually do the
same thing. Both EC2 and Microsoft Azure cloud
computing technologies allow the expansion of the
virtual machines or VMs used for applications – both in
number and power. Both services work on the basis of
the Virtual Machine model. Amazon EC2 and Azure are
both marketers of applications through independent
software vendors(ISV)[15].
x
Hourly
Rate
Table 2 : Price Comparison
We will compare Microsoft Azure and Amazon EC2 with
few parameters.
1) General comparison of Amazon EC2 and Microsoft
Azure[15].
Feature
Amazon EC2
Microsoft Azure
Types of
Cloud
Computi
ng
Provided.
Amazon provides all
three types of cloud
computing ie SasS,
PasS and IasS, but
major player in IaaS.
Relationa
SQL,
Microsoft
Azure
provides all three types
of cloud computing ie
SasS, PasS and IasS,
but major player in
PaaS.
SQL Azure –
MySQL and
3) Administration and Support
Feature
Amazon EC2
Microsoft
Azure
Administration
& Compliance
Details
x
Access
Management
x
FedRAMP
x
x
Compliance
Monitoring
HIPAA
Compliant
x
x
Detailed
Invoices
ISO 27001
Certified
x
Network
International Journal of Advanced Networking Applications (IJANA)
Uptime
Guarantee
x
Support Services
Available
PCI
Compliant
x
SOC 2
x
SSAE16
Audited
Facility
x
24/7
x
24/7
x
Forums
x
Forums
x
Online/SelfServe
Resources
x
Live Chat
x
Phone
4) Specification
Feature
Amazon EC2
Microsoft Azure
Server OS Types
x
Linux
x
x
Linux
Windows
x
Windows
x
Amazon
Linux
x
Cent OS
x
x
FreeBSD
Cent OS
x
x
Debian
openSUSE
Linux
x
Oracle
Enterpris
e Linux
x
Oracle
Enterprise
Linux
x
Red Hat
Enterpris
e Linux
x
SUSE
Enterprise
Linux
x
SUSE
Enterpris
e Linux
x
Ubuntu
x
Windows
Server
x
.NET
Available
Runtimes
x
Ubuntu
x
Windows
Server
x
.NET
x
Java
x
Java
x
PHP
x
Node
x
Python
x
PHP
x
Ruby
x
Python
x
Ruby
Middleware
x
Tomcat
Frameworks
x
Django
x
Drupal
x
Drupal
x
Symfony
122
—-
Table 4 : Specification Comparison
Table 3 : Administration and Support service comparison.
Preconfigured
Operating Systems
ISSN No. : 0975-0290
V. CONCLUSION
ADVANTAGES OFAMAZON EC2
x EC2 is cheaper, at least to start. One can get an
EC2 Windows 2008 R2 Server instance up and
running for about $40 per month.
x EC2 is familiar. The nice thing about EC2 is it’s
like having your own Windows Server
without buying the hardware. I can do
anything I want to it; I just have to remote
desktop into it.
x EC2’s biggest strength: it’s conceptually
simple. Anyone who’s ever used any
VMsoftware is going to be able to grasp what
it does immediately. There’s no learning
curve, just instant gratification
ADVANTAGES OF MICROSOFT WINDOWS AZURE
x
Azure may be cheaper than EC2 in the long run.
Azure is a zero maintenance solution. You just
deploy your application and Microsoft takes care
of the software, patches and backups. There’s a
cost to maintenance which has to be taken into
account when using EC2 compared to Azure. The
problem is that cost is a bit hard to calculate.
x
Scalability with Windows Azure is seamless.
There’s a good chance this application will grow
to have many users and consume a massive
amount of data. If it does, adding additional
machines with Windows Azure is as simple as
changing a value in the configuration file.
International Journal of Advanced Networking Applications (IJANA)
x
It’s completely integrated with Visual Studio.
Once set up, deploying changes from Visual
Studio to Windows Azure is just a couple clicks.
x
Azure does more for you than EC2 does for the
same price – management of the underlying OS
and application server are included in addition to
management of the hardware.
Many start-up companies are interested in cloud computing
but they are facing a real dilemma as they hear different
(positive and negative) views from different sources. This
is understandable as this technology is in its infant stage.
Most of the start up companies, which are in the process of
making a decision to adopt some Cloud Computing
technology, e.g. Microsoft Azure or Amazon EC2, find this
to be a difficult decision.
Comparison given in this paper can be helpful for choosing
between Amazon EC2 and Microsoft Azure cloud.
REFERENCES:
[1] R.. SALEEM, Cloud computing’s effect on enterprises.
Lund
University,
http://lup.lub.lu.se/luur/ …
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