IBM Cloud vs Microsoft Azure Cloud -The Only Comparison Guide You Need

  Sep 04, 2020 18:47:00  |    Joseph C V   Cloud, Cloud Computing, Microsoft Azure Cloud, IBM Cloud


The Earth is not growing any bigger, or is it?

Why did we ask? Because by 2025, around 463 exabytes of data will be created each day. That is equivalent to 2.13B DVDs daily, according to The World Economic Forum.

The enormous amount of data we generate comes as no surprise this includes complex data produced by enterprises. And with this ever-increasing velocity, variety, and volume of data, efficient storage becomes an enormous challenge.

Storing massive data in physical data centers increases not only the cost but also the upkeep overheads. This is where cloud storage helps you overcome burgeoning costs, the need for constant maintenance and physical infrastructure. 

The catch lies in choosing the best cloud provider for your business. Allow us to dive through a constructive comparison between the two cloud giants—IBM Cloud and Microsoft Azure—and this will help you make an informed decision. 


Differentiating Between IBM Cloud and Microsoft Azure Cloud

Compute Power

Compute power in the cloud signifies the hosting model that a cloud service offers. It defines how servers, storage methods, and networking are bundled up by a cloud provider. The compute power also changes with your applications’ availability needs and criticality.

IBM Cloud Compute offers high-performance cloud servers called virtual servers that users could configure according to their needs.

You can opt for transient virtual servers for low priority applications. Transient servers can get pulled away when critical demands escalate out of bounds. And hence, they come at a low cost. For critical workloads with high-availability demands, IBM provisions dedicated virtual servers.

Azure Cloud Services uses the Virtual Hard Disk (VHD), which is like the machine instances used to create virtual machines (VMs). Azure Virtual Machines enables users to deploy multiple services on cloud servers.

You get access to around 60 IBM Cloud data centers available in 6 continents and 19 countries. Talking about Azure, it has a presence in 60+ regions and is one of the largest networks.



With the ever-increasing data, the prime concern is storing it efficiently and within the budget constraints. Cloud technology evolved for solving these two issues

IBM Cloud Object Storage is used to accommodate exponential data growth and workloads that are cloud-native. It is known for built-in high-speed file transfer efficacy, integrated services, and cross-region offerings.


Microsoft Azure Cloud offers an array of cloud storage services. Azure storage platform includes the following data services:

  • Azure Blobs
  • Azure Files
  • Azure Queues
  • Azure Tables
  • Azure Disks

Azure Blobs is Microsoft Azure’s Cloud Object Storage. 

Blobs are used to store unstructured data at massive scales (data is stored in block blobs). Azure supports NoSQL databases and big data by Azure Tables. It also offers risk mitigation and disaster recovery services. You can back up all your data in the Azure data centers and relax for having a robust BCP plan in place already.

Azure offers 4 types of virtualized disk storage based on IOPS (input/output operations per second) needs and application criticality. The best IOPS is 160--limited to SAP HANA and heavy workloads—while the lowest offering starts at 6K IOPS for non-critical and backup operations. IBM servers offer 48K IOPS for all versions.


Market Share

The global IaaS market grew to a whopping 44.5 Billion dollars in 2019. The figure emphasizes the attention cloud services and the cloud providers have garnered and this has led several enterprises migrating their infrastructure to cloud servers.

Moreover, in the fourth quarter for the financial year 2019, global infrastructure services amounted to $27 billion. This makes cloud infrastructure and allied service providers one of the most sought-after industries.

Azure holds a worldwide market share of 18% among all the leading cloud service providers. In contrast, IBM Cloud recorded a mere 5% share worldwide. The fact shows the firm grasp that Azure has over the global markets.


Also read: How can you sail through Covid-19 using Cloud Computing?



The pricing model is a core deciding factor while choosing any cloud service.

Azure follows the pay-as-you-go pricing model. Ergo, you pay for only what you use and how long you use the infrastructure. If you are not using a resource, you would not be charged for the same. 

Azure also charges you on a per-minute basis; that means every minute of usage counts. Therefore, your bills are precise and unambiguous. Alternatively, you can also opt for a prepaid plan which offers a one-year and three-year Azure Reservation.

Azure also offers a pricing calculator, using which you can calculate the final amount according to the services to pick. This lets you calculate a rough estimate of the expenses incurred on leveraging the services.

You can also avail good discounts by providing a single upfront payment. Use a credit card or opt for monthly invoices. However, prepaid or virtual credit cards are not in the scope of payment methods.

IBM Cloud also offers a pay-as-you-go model. But if you wish to leverage selective services, then you can go for the Lite subscription, which gives you free access to 40 IBM Cloud services. The Reserved Instances come with 1-year and 3-year term commitments.

You can use the IBM Cloud Cost Estimator to calculate the approximate expenses.


Support Plans

Azure offers customer support irrespective of whether you are a beginner or experienced developer. It offers comprehensive support plans to deploy business-critical applications.

It also provides three customer support plans viz-a-viz Developer, Standard, and Professional Direct. However, it starts with the Basic support plan, which is included for all Azure customers.

These support plans give you billing and subscription management support, along with 24x7 self-help resources. Want more? They allow you to submit countless support tickets for an issue or question you have.

IBM Cloud services cater to its users with integrated support processes. It offers three support plans—Basic, Advanced, and Premium. The support services are available irrespective of whether you are deploying virtual servers, or working on a data integration project.


Wrapping Up

The close competition between the two leading cloud providers make it tough for you to take a call. While the analysis we have provided can help you to an extent, you can always ask experts to guide you in-depth before investing.

Logesys team offers a wide range of Microsoft Azure services right from migration to disaster recovery management and backup facilities. If you want to set up and move your on-premise applications to the cloud infrastructure, contact us today for a free consultation.