For TrueStack Direct Connect, Should I host my Windows Servers in AWS or Azure?

TrueStack recommends AWS over Azure.  Here’s why:

  • In general AWS is less expensive than Azure.
  • AWS burst-able instances starting in the T2 series are faster than the Azure burst-able VMs in the B series.
  • Customers using TrueStack Direct Connect can start with a T2 Micro Instance which will easily handle up to 100 connections.
  • Azure customers should start with a DS2v1 VM.  This is more expensive but it will also easily handle up to 100 connections.
  • In AWS, For Windows domain controllers and file servers customers can start with a T2 Micro instance.  However be aware of the CPU credits used.  If the credits reach 0 the server will be very slow.
  • Azure B series VMs are too slow for Windows domain controllers and file servers.  Customers should start with the a DS2v1 VM or greater.  See The Seamless Migration for details on recommended instance and VM size.
  • Azure gives a discount for customers who bring their own Volume Licenses.  AWS is Microsoft’s largest SPLA reseller.  They receive a discount on SPLA Windows datacenter licenses which allows their customers unlimited connections without CALs.   Because of this, for Windows servers, AWS is less expensive even if the Azure customer brings their own VLs.
  • AWS SSD hard drives (GP2) are less expensive than the equivalent Premium SSD drives in Azure.

TrueStack Direct Connect is a VPN management server made to connect Windows and Mac computers to AWS and Azure cloud Windows domain controllers and file servers.

For price comparison’s use these calculators:

Note: The AWS Calculator is much easier to use than the Azure calculator.  

Calculator usage tips:

  • for AWS uncheck the free tier checkbox in the upper-right-hand corner so you can know what your price will be after the free tier expires.  Azure’s calculator doesn’t have the ability to show the difference between their free trial and normal pricing.
  • AWS calculates one month as roughly 744 hours.  Azure sets one month to 730 hours by default.  We recommend changing it to 744 to get a more accurate monthly price in Azure.
  • For both AWS and Azure, different regions charge different prices.   For example, in AWS Oregon is generally less expensive than California.
  • Azure VMs include temporary storage.  AWS Instances do not include any storage.  In AWS we recommend using GP2 drives for the root and storage.  For Windows backup we recommend Cold HDD drives.  For Azure additional storage we recommend Premium SSD for data and Standard HDD for Windows backup.
AWS or Azure?