AWS Outposts vs. Azure Stack – Comparing the Hybrid Cloud Technology


Hybrid Cloud combines public and private Cloud with on-premise resources to allow information sharing. According to a research, over 58 percent of enterprises’ workloads are on Hybrid Cloud. This number alone speaks for the advantages that Hybrid Cloud brings in for enterprises. 

Hybrid Cloud offers much more flexibility, gives enterprises the freedom to choose features as they wish, and avoids making changes to the methodology of the workflow.

As for the services offered, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure are the two primary Cloud Service Providers offering Hybrid cloud services. Let’s learn about them in detail:

Azure Stack

Image credits: Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure Stack allows customers to access different Azure services from their respective data centers. This is the stepping stone in transitioning to cloud technology. The applications developed by enterprises can be deployed on either Azure clouds or its datacenter without rewriting the code. It aims to provide users with a single platform to use all apps and services.

Azure can be used with many hardware partner vendors, and users only pay for what they use. It brings a complete set of services to customers’ data centers. Also referred to as Azure Stack Hub by vendors, it extends to other public cloud partners as well. 

AWS Outpost

Image Credits: AWS Outposts

AWS first moved into Hybrid solutions at re: Invent conference in 2018 with the launch of Outpost. It gives fully configured hardware and software to customer’s data centers and allows them to run their applications at any location.  

With it, customers can order hardware racks with pre-installed AWS services. The two variants are — run VMware Cloud on AWS, or run compute and storage on-premises using the same APIs. Customers can also configure their Outpost with EC2 instances and EBS volumes for storage.

The Outposts are connected to the nearest AWS Region to provide consistent operational experience across on-premises and cloud environments. The Outposts infrastructure, AWS services, and updates are managed by AWS, just like the cloud services. 

Comparison between Azure Stack and AWS Outposts

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the two platforms is necessary before adopting either of the two solutions. On a broader level, both platforms provide the same functionality. They help enterprises combine their on-premises infrastructure with public Cloud’s potential. They fall under the IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) category.

Deployment options for private clouds created with these platforms provide services such as data analytics and Database-as-a-Service. Let’s delve into some of the differences between the Hybrid cloud solutions by AWS Outpost and Azure Stack and know the features of each. 

  • With AWS Outposts, users start with one node. Whereas with Azure Stack, the minimum requirement is four nodes. 
  • AWS owns the complete hardware and software stack (apart from its partnership with VMWare), which is quite handy as it brings complex new features such as hardware-dependent networking capabilities. While on the other hand, Azure Stack works with several OEMs.
  • AWS Outposts can be ordered via the AWS console, making it extremely simple to deploy. With Azure Stack, users need to go through the procurement and deployment stages with one of its partners.
  • Unlike Microsoft, AWS offers a fully-managed service including managed updates.
  • AWS fully manages the hardware and software updates and offers full support out of the box. Whereas Azure Stack cannot be bought directly from Microsoft, but from one of its several vendors.

Read more: Google is the Top Cloud Provider for Retailers: Fresh Market Research

Who will end up dominating the Cloud Space?

Both AWS Outposts and Azure Stack are “Hybrid cloud as a service.” They can be used to build private cloud space and come packed with built-in support services, thus posing fewer challenges for organizations that deploy them. The process of choosing either is an exercise that involves taking cognizance of the organization’s public cloud strategy. Stay connected with us for anything and everything related to the Cloud tech industry and head to comments in case you have any questions.

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