Compute services on Azure and AWS

This article compares the core compute services that Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) offer.

Compare AWS and Azure compute services

The following tables describe and compare the core compute services on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure.

Virtual machines and servers

Virtual machines (VMs) and servers allow users to deploy, manage, and maintain OS and other software. Users pay for what they use, with the flexibility to change sizes.

AWS service Azure service Description
Amazon EC2 Instance Types Azure Virtual Machines AWS and Azure on-demand VMs bill per seconds used. Although AWS instance types and Azure VM sizes have similar categories, the exact RAM, CPU, and storage capabilities differ. For information about Azure VM sizes, see Azure VM sizes.
VMware Cloud on AWS Azure VMware Solution AWS and Azure solutions let you move VMware vSphere-based workloads and environments to the cloud. Azure VMware Solution is a VMware-verified Microsoft service that runs on Azure infrastructure. You can manage existing environments with VMware solution tools, while modernizing applications with cloud native services.
AWS Parallel Cluster Azure CycleCloud Create, manage, operate, and optimize HPC and large compute clusters of any scale.

View all the virtual machines architectures


Autoscaling lets you automatically change the number of VM instances. You set defined metrics and thresholds that determine when to add or remove instances.

AWS service Azure service Description
AWS Auto Scaling Virtual machine scale sets, App Service autoscale In Azure, virtual machine scale sets let you deploy and manage identical sets of VMs. The number of sets can autoscale. App Service autoscale lets you autoscale Azure App Service applications.

View all the autoscaling architectures

Batch processing

Batch processing runs large-scale parallel and high-performance computing applications efficiently in the cloud.

AWS service Azure service Description
AWS Batch Azure Batch Azure Batch helps you manage compute-intensive work across a scalable collection of VMs.

View all the batch processing architectures


Several services provide different types of data storage for VM disks.

AWS service Azure service Description
Disk volumes on Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) Data disks in Azure Blob Storage. Data disks in blob storage provide durable data storage for Azure VMs. This storage is similar to AWS EC2 instance disk volumes on EBS.
Amazon EC2 instance store Azure temporary storage Azure temporary storage provides VMs with similar low-latency temporary read-write storage to EC2 instance storage, also called ephemeral storage.
Amazon EBS Provisioned IOPS Volume Azure premium storage Azure supports higher performance disk I/O with premium storage. This storage is similar to AWS Provisioned IOPS storage options.
Amazon Elastic File System (EFS) Azure Files Azure Files provides VMs with similar functionality to Amazon EFS.

View all the storage architectures

Containers and container orchestrators

Several AWS and Azure services provide containerized application deployment and orchestration.

AWS service Azure service Description
Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), AWS Fargate Azure Container Apps Azure Container Apps is a scalable service that lets you deploy thousands of containers without requiring access to the control plane.
Amazon Elastic Container Registry (Amazon ECR) Azure Container Registry Container registries store Docker formatted images and create all types of container deployments in the cloud.
Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) EKS and AKS let you orchestrate Docker containerized application deployments with Kubernetes. AKS simplifies monitoring and cluster management through auto upgrades and a built-in operations console. See Container runtime configuration for specifics on the hosting environment.
AWS App Mesh Istio add-on for AKS The Istio add-on for AKS provides a fully-supported integration of the open-source Istio service mesh.

Example container architectures

View all the container architectures

Serverless computing

Serverless computing lets you integrate systems and run backend processes without provisioning or managing servers.

AWS service Azure service Description
AWS Lambda Azure Functions, WebJobs in Azure App Service Azure Functions is the primary equivalent of AWS Lambda in providing serverless, on-demand code. AWS Lambda functionality also overlaps with Azure WebJobs, which let you schedule or continuously run background tasks.

Example serverless architectures

  • Social App for Mobile and Web with Authentication

    View a detailed, step-by-step diagram depicting the build process and implementation of the mobile client app architecture that offers social image sharing with a companion web app and authentication abilities, even while offline.

  • Cross Cloud Scaling Architecture

    Learn how to improve cross cloud scalability with solution architecture that includes Azure Stack. A step-by-step flowchart details instructions for implementation.

View all the serverless architectures


This article is maintained by Microsoft. It was originally written by the following contributors.

Principal author:

Next steps