In the age of fast-moving competition and a drying pipeline of venture capital money, solution engineering has become a multi-constraint problem. Organizations are expected to balance innovation and a shoestring budget. However, the right cloud computing platform can ease off some of that tension by delivering instrumental support.
Although both Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure offer similar capabilities with respect to computing power, storage and network, a budget build solution should pay attention to the following aspects:
Working on a budget can sometimes lead to a myopic preoccupation with pricing. Organizations may feel tempted to go with either the freebie or the bulk buy option under the guise of cost savings. However, depending upon the solution, both options could be a bad buy. For instance, an ML solution is better served by a plan with a higher-end GPU than one that bundles an expensive hosting service with a low-end GPU. Similarly, in some instances it might make more sense to pay by the minute or pay by the hour.
Tip: Identify the most critical cloud services for your solution before shopping for the best deal.
The choice to process consumer data either on the cloud or limit it to internal servers is an important decision for many organizations depending upon their industry, the proprietary nature of their solution and the regulations surrounding consumer data. If the ability to control where the information is processed is necessary for your organization, Azure can be the better pick. Although AWS also has hybrid cloud capabilities, the offering is relatively new compared to Azure that has its roots in on-premise enterprise software.
Tip: Determine if your solution needs a private cloud infrastructure to satisfy compliance and/or privacy concerns.
Increasingly, developers are leaning toward using more open source rather than reinvent the entire wheel. If the solution wants to leverage open source packages, AWS is the way to go. Not only does it offer more integrations — such as with Github — it also empowers Linux users.
Azure has relatively fewer integration options for open source but is now playing catch-up. However, Azure offsets that by providing integration and additional features for organizations that already use Microsoft products. By bringing Azure into the fold of their existing suite of Microsoft products, organizations can save more.
Tip: Assess your solution’s current and future dependencies on various open source applications.
Cloud computing platforms can accelerate development by enabling teams to do more with less. But before jumping into the fray organizations, particularly those on a budget, must clearly articulate their architectural needs.