Amazon EC2 and Azure Virtual Machine (Instance) Comparison

Both Amazon EC2 and Azure VM provide a wide selection of VM types optimised to fit different use cases. An instance or VM is combinations of virtual CPU, virtual memory, temporary storage, and networking capacity and give a customer the flexibility to choose the appropriate mix of resources for workloads. Both AWS EC2 and Azure offers instances at scale for the requirements of any target workload. Both EC2 and Azure provide the option to store VM in persistent storage called EBS in Amazon terminology or Blob Storage in Azure terminology.

EC2 vs Azure VM

Available Windows/Linux VM both Cloud Services Providers:

Type Description Azure VM

Windows & Linux


Windows & Linux

General purpose Balanced CPU-to-memory ratio. B, Dsv3, Dv3, DSv2, Dv2, Av2 T2, M4, M5
Compute-optimised High CPU-to-memory ratio. Fsv2, Fs, F C4, C5
Memory-optimised High memory-to-CPU ratio. Great for database servers Esv3, Ev3, M, GS, G, DSv2, Dv2 X1e, X1, R5, R4, Z1d
Storage optimised High disk throughput and IO. Ls H1, i3, D2
GPU Specialized for heavy graphic rendering and video editing NV, NC, NCv2, NCv3, ND P3, P2, G3, F1
High performance compute fastest and most powerful CPU H C4, C5

Both AWS and Azure are utility pricing model analogous to your gas, water or power bills. Both Amazon and Azure provide standard instance as PAYG model, and also some instances are available in the reserved pricing model. In a reserved pricing model, you pay upfront at a cheaper rate for instance but commit for certain months or years. In a reserved instance, you pay additional for -storage consumption and network utilisation if it’s cross-geo connectivity. Both AWS and Azure have vast marketplace from where you can pick up and deploy any instance of your requirements at Scale.

Here is where Microsoft differentiate from AWS, you can save up to 72% over pay-as-you-go pricing with an upfront one- or three-year commitment in Azure Cloud. You can also exchange or cancel the RI at any time. Microsoft also offers Hybrid benefits, i.e. 40% off when you bring in Microsoft Windows/Linux workloads from On-prem to Azure. You can use your on-premises Windows Server or SQL Server licences with Software Assurance to make big savings when migrating a few workloads or entire data centres to the cloud.

You can get discounted rates on Azure for your ongoing development and testing, including no Microsoft software charges on Azure Virtual Machines and special dev/test pricing on other services.

Microsoft also offers US$5000 credit for the validated Not-for-Profit organisation for the use of Azure Cloud whilst signing

Relevant References:

Azure Pricing Calculator

Azure TCO Calculator

Offset IT Cost with Azure Cloud

Microsoft Azure credits now available to eligible not-for-profit organisations

Azure 54 regions in 140 countries