Choosing Windows Azure or Amazon Web Services

Two of the largest providers of cloud computing services are Microsoft and Amazon. Both companies sell cloud services at every level of the cloud computing stack: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).

The Windows Azure Platform

In the world of cloud computing, Microsoft is probably best known for their PaaS offering, Windows Azure. However, they provide many other cloud-based services as well. These include SQL Azure for relational database, Office Live, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Microsoft CRM Online and SkyDrive. When Microsoft says they are “all in” on the cloud, they aren’t joking.

Amazon Web Services

Amazon’s best known cloud technology is their IaaS offering, Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2). They too have a full range of other services including, S3 and SimpleDB for storage, RDS for relational database and Elastic Beanstalk, their PaaS offering.

Learning about Cloud-Computing Technology

Choosing between Azure and Amazon can be confusing, but a little knowledge will go a long way towards making an informed decision. At Learning Tree we have many cloud computing and related training courses that will help.

To learn more about Windows Azure, come to Learning Tree course 2602, Windows® Azure™ Platform Introduction: Programming Cloud-Based Applications. If you’re in the Washington, DC area, I’ll be teaching that course on July 26, in Reston, VA.

Learning Tree is also developing a new course, Cloud Computing with Amazon Web Services. It is scheduled to run for the first time on August 30, also in Reston, VA. That course will be taught by the course author, Steve Lockwood.

Learning Tree also has a great cloud computing overview course, Cloud Computing Technologies: A Comprehensive Hands-On Introduction. In that course we’ll give you an overview of the cloud services provided not only by Microsoft and Amazon, but also Google, SalesForce.com and others.

Doug Rehnstrom

Also, we just started a new .NET Programming blog. Please visit if you’re a .NET programmer, or would like to learn more.

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