No sooner does someone say “cloud” than I.T. folks start yelling “Azure!” and “AWS!”. You might be talking about the weather on a cloudy day; you will still be inundated with a flood of these words. So what are Azure and AWS, and why are technologists so excited about them?

Azure and AWS are the brand names for cloud services provided by Microsoft (Azure) and Amazon (AWS, or Amazon Web Services). Amazon and AWS control the majority of cloud computing services market share with 62% and 20% respectively. Google comes in third place with about 12%.

AWS and Azure are platforms, Amazon and Microsoft have built services on these platforms, including Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). So when I.T. is throwing these names around, they are just talking about the various flavors of cloud computing servers provided by these vendors.

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