Choosing AWS or Azure for Your Hedge Fund or Private Equity Fund
In this blog post, we are going to address specifically how Geneva accounting software functions on the two leading cloud providers: AWS and Microsoft Azure. Frankly, in terms of implementation, functionality, and management, the differences between the platform are significant so we wanted to provide our findings so that you can choose the right platform for your Geneva solution. That said, let’s dig into the benefits of the cloud and the differences between the cloud providers from the top down.
The adoption of cloud computing has quickly become a key driving force for businesses today, as applications are moved out of on-prem data centers in a bid to innovate, cut costs and increase agility.
Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is a model where a third-party provider hosts and maintains core infrastructure, including hardware, software, servers, and storage on behalf of a customer. This typically includes the hosting of applications in a highly scalable environment where customers are only charged for the infrastructure they use.
Early concerns over security and data sovereignty have largely been addressed by what was thought to be the ‘big three’ public cloud vendors – Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform; while Google and Alibaba are adding customers and share, we will focus on what is currently the big two; AWS and Azure.
Currently, the market is estimated to be worth a total of $64.3 billion in 2021, up from $50.4 billion in 2020, according to research firm Gartner’s latest figures. It is a market that has been dominated by AWS since day one when it entered cloud services in 2006. Now, Synergy Research Group’s figures for last year have AWS as the clear market leader globally for public IaaS and PaaS market share at 33 percent, followed by Microsoft Azure at 16 percent, Google at 8 percent, and Alibaba at 5 percent.
Despite AWS’s dominance, Microsoft has gained ground under the leadership of “cloud first” CEO Satya Nadella, building a huge global cloud network of its own.
Synergy Research Group shows that “While Amazon and Microsoft continue to account for over half of the worldwide market, Microsoft once again gained ground on its larger rival and hit the milestone of achieving a 20% worldwide market share.
Microsoft, Google, and Alibaba have all steadily gained market share over the last four years, though it has not been at the expense of market leader Amazon. Amazon’s market share has stayed in the 32-34% band throughout that four-year period.”
An Overview of the Benefits of AWS and Azure
Fund managers who leverage cloud computing allow their organizations to get new products on the market faster, increase efficiency, lower operational costs, improve interdepartmental collaboration, reduce capital expenditures, and increase innovation.
However, to make the move to the cloud, organizations must either have trained professionals on the job who are certified in cloud computing or leverage seasoned partners, preferably in their industry. Certified professionals can address the concerns that may arise during the transition to the cloud and are familiar with the nuances of cloud-based computing.
Defining the Services and Benefits of AWS
What kind of services will you find through AWS? So far, there are 18,000 distinct services and counting. They include:
- Developer, engagement, and management tools
- Machine learning and predictive analytics
- Databases and storage solutions
- Business productivity tools
- App integration
An innovator of online commerce, it stands to reason that Amazon would develop a robust cloud computing platform for enterprises. The vast global framework and disbursement of Amazon Web Services are what the entire platform is built on. The availability zones are located as far as possible from each other within their region to ensure that there are no lapses in service if one AZ goes down due to a natural or other types of widespread disaster. Edge zones are caches that act in a similar manner to content delivery networks (CDN’s) by caching web content nearer to the location of the user for faster delivery and response times.
This type of infrastructure allows data delivery to deploy faster and on a global scale without affecting the availability of service or performance. AWS supports all operating systems and generally ranks as the top IaaS platform for availability, reliable performance, and the number of applications.
Defining the Services and Benefits of Azure
With Azure you will enjoy services like:
- Big data and predictive analytics
- Game and app development
- Scalable data warehousing
- Blockchain technology
Known as a solid, integrated platform for companies that already rely on Windows-based standardization, Microsoft Azure has overcome some obstacles to compete head-to-head with AWS. One surprising feature is its Linux-friendliness as it relates to virtual guest operating systems and compatibility with Linux container platforms.
The strength of Azure was always as a provider of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), Azure also comes with built-in and ready-to-run server apps that support a range of languages, including .NET, Java, PHP, Node.js, and Python. The platform is available in 54 regions around the world, with services that are designed to increase productivity while deploying the most current technology. It is also one of the easiest enterprise clouds when it comes to configuring and operation.
Azure Versus AWS – Comparing the Benefits
Benefits of Amazon’s AWS Cloud Solution
- Choice of both operating systems including Linux which has become increasingly popular in our industry and the Kernel version.
- Ease of cross-region utilization including global hyper virtualization; meaning, you can take the environment to any part of the world without having to turn off the environment.
- Robust and granular security prevents employees from accessing sensitive data that they shouldn’t have access to. That said, they have the ability to log in to company systems from anywhere, easily, and securely.
- Easier to transition from AWS SaaS to internal and on-prem support leveraging 3rd party software.
- Lots of 3rd party vendors to create the ultimate a-la-Carte solution for your organization. Much greater adoption and collaboration from the Open-Source community. Bleeding edge technologies tend to make appearances within the AWS Ecosystem which forces competitors to offer similar competing services.
Benefits of Microsoft’s Azure Cloud Solution
- Excellent hybrid cloud solution enabling cloud and on-prem which has numerous benefits including storing sensitive data locally.
- AWS is more difficult and expensive primarily because of Direct Connect which ties your networks together. However, with Azure you can customize everything internally; AWS forces you to put in a service request and customize through them – response to service requests from Azure is based on your level of service.
- The Azure stack allows clients to seamlessly integrate their domain into Azure allowing them to reduce the disaster recovery resources and capacity needs. However, Azure handles more of the security and you lose some control. Microsoft forces you to create a service request to customize security procedures.
- Azure and Microsoft have an advantage in terms of ease of licensing. – a pain point for many firms, specifically around offerings like SQL Server Enterprise and Power BI. End-users won’t have to worry about the licensing nightmare of MSFT. When you lease a license through AWS it is more expensive than going with MSFT – which may be part of a bundle. AWS Microsoft licensing can be 5 times more expensive as you can see here – https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/overview/azure-vs-aws/cost-savings/.
- Azure is deemed as having a distinct advantage for higher computing and higher volume data sets. The advantage is more computing power per unit of cost.
Does Amazon AWS Have Advantages for Hedge Funds and Private Equity Funds?
The appeal of using Amazon Linux 2 and certified software on AWS is that it offers some reassurance that everything will work, and less opportunity for either AWS or software vendors to wriggle out of support commitments.
- Geneva & AWS – AWS provides more control over sensitive information and settings in a Linux environment – because of this, Geneva is easier to manage within AWS. The recommendation is AWS – Geneva is specific to Red Hat (Linux) enables the propagation of updates automatically. The standard instance on Azure has to be handled manually which is time-consuming. In our 15 years, we have found that Azure is easier to manage and simpler to implement.
- Managed IT Services Are Available – No matter how talented or brilliant you are, there is a limit to the amount of expertise in one company. This extends to managing your company’s IT infrastructure. One of the greatest benefits of AWS is that Managed IT services are easily available and can help make running your business a whole lot easier. It keeps your data and information secure, thus ensuring that your business runs as well as it should.
- Ease of Use – When you sign up for Amazon Web Services, you are presented with a very user-friendly interface called the AWS Management Console. This server interface provides access to a wide number of applications and services. So, it does not matter if you’re looking for a powerful web hosting platform, a new platform to deploy SaaS, or migrate an existing software over to. This system works and while it is recommended to have an IT professional manage the system, it does not require an incredibly high level of tech skill or expertise.
- Reliable Encryption & Security – One of the key benefits of AWS is its incredible security and capability to keep your information, IT infrastructure and so much more, safe. Last year, about 90 percent of all WordPress sites were hacked. As if that’s not bad enough, Ars Technica has shown that your drives are not fool-proof. This means all your documents can be damaged or stolen if you are not careful. AWS provides a more reliable security measure that’s guaranteed to keep your data safe and secure. With 12 data centers scattered across the globe, and another 5 slated to open this year, this is as safe as it gets for your private data and information.
- AWS Offers Flexibility & Affordability – One of the major benefits of AWS is its flexibility. With its infrastructure on demand, there is basically no limit to how much you can use. AWS provides you with various options. You can choose your preferred OS, web application platform, programming language, and so much more. The platform makes it easy for you to load any service or software you want in a virtual ecosystem. This makes migration from existing platforms easier and eases the deployment of new ones. Apart from flexibility, you also have the option of affordability.
In our 15 years of providing Geneva consulting and integrating RyanEyes software in our Hedge Fund and Private Equity clients’ infrastructure, we have found that AWS provides several advantages over Azure as a cloud platform. Geneva running on AWS is simpler to implement and easier to use compared to many of the manual tasks that must be performed on Azure. Further, Geneva, running on Red Hat enables the propagation of updates automatically and allows for more control over sensitive data.
That said, Microsoft’s Azure has advantages as well. We will create Part 2 of this blog post and dive into Azure’s advantages for Hedge Funds and Private Equity Funds.
To Learn More About Choosing a Cloud Provider for Your Organization – Contact Us, We Are Happy to Help – 1 (347) 759 0105.
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