So I got into this project with a customer who has some business requirements that are forcing us to use Microsoft Azure platform. I wasn’t very happy about it because everyone knows that although Azure is a nice try, it cannot really compete with AWS.
First step of the project was to setup a simple test lab environment which consists of a java application server, SQL database and an SMTP server. After spending a week with Azure for the first time, here are some of my impressions which are based on my experience with AWS:
- Incredibly sluggish and overly-complicated UI. Too many steps to accomplish simple tasks.
- Slow command execution. Things like create, delete add… just take too long to complete
- Cannot create vm snapshots from UI!!!!! (only via PowerShell)
- No “Active Directory Users And Computers” client management tool (only from portal UI)
- Deleting resources is tedious (you need to manually remove each sub component of vm) Sometimes you have to use PowerShell like when you have an orphaned disk, the containing Storage Account cannot be removed easily.
- Updating firewall rules sometimes takes 2-3 minutes to kick into action
- When creating firewall rule group, you cannot assign it to an SQL server. SQL Servers (as a service) have separate firewall settings which complicates management.
- Cannot create db on the same SQL server from gui (only via SQL syntax)
- Cannot assign AD-DS to VNets that are not of type “classic”
- The current situation where you have two versions of the portal: “Classic” and the “Resource Manager” is absolutely a disaster in terms of EVERYTHING.
- Vagrant support lacks decent documentation and the provider is extremely unstable.
I realize that some of the features I’ve mentioned here are brand new (AD-as-a-service) and the whole platform is relatively new. I also understand that Azure is transitioning to a new Portal version, still – one must realize when choosing a cloud service that you have to think about the consequences of dealing with the birth pangs of an immature cloud service provider.