With the recent launch of the Azure “Web Sites” I guess Microsoft is responding to the Amazon Elastic Beanstalk. Both cloud platforms are now focused in automating and abstracting their offering to make developer’s life easier. Here I share some of my current thoughts:

I think they both are similar because they both…

  • Have “nice” UIs. BTW: Microsoft redesigned their new Management portal using HTML5, leaving back Silverlight. Actually I guess they used something like ExtJS.
  • Make publishing easy but you lose control because if any DLL has issues you will have less flexibility to diagnose.
  • Charge you for monitoring.
  • Have a bad configuration page in the publishing wizard to configure only the connection string section. No more. No tools for reusing existing config files or even editing other sections.
  • Have a bad support for MySQL. In the case of “Web Sites” it’s provided through a partner who offers micro-mini instances. In the Amazon side the data base is installed by default as case-sensitive and changing it is through the use of weird Amazon parameters which are actually wrappers over data base parameters.
  • Provide trial accounts to fully test their platforms.

From my point of view the advantage of the “Web Sites” is the spending limit option over the Amazon’s pending limit alert because it disables the possibility to incur in accidental expenses. By other hand, I see the “Elastic Beanstalk” scaling as its strongest point because is really automatic while in Azure scaling looks like requiring a human to increase the computing capacity as shown in the next image:

In general they have similar offerings and features as shown in the next image, so I guess the big difference now is the Amazon DynamoDB because it’s a true service.

Cheers,

Javier Andrés Cáceres Alvis

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional – MVP
Intel Black Belt Software Developer