Looking for a place to deploy and run your applications in the cloud? Microsoft Azure and Heroku are two of the most popular PaaS cloud computing options. But what's the difference between Azure and Heroku, and what are the most important Azure vs. Heroku issues? Keep reading for the answers.
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What is Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is one of the three most popular public cloud services—along with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). The offerings of Microsoft Azure include:
- PaaS (platform as a service) solutions that offer a full cloud environment for application development and deployment.
- IaaS (infrastructure as a service) solutions that provision compute and storage resources, scaling them up or down as necessary.
- SaaS (software as a service) solutions that let users connect to and use cloud-based software applications that are hosted and managed by the cloud provider.
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What is Heroku?
Heroku is a PaaS solution owned by Salesforce for developing and running software applications in the cloud. Originally built for the Ruby on Rails web application framework, Heroku now supports other programming languages such as Java, Python, and Node. as well.
Some key Heroku terms include:
- Heroku dynos are virtualized containers using the Linux operating system that are the "building blocks" of Heroku web apps, offering flexibility and scalability. Containers are abstractions that remove the complexity of managing the underlying hardware or virtual machines.
- A Heroku buildpack is a build automation script that defines how to create a container image.
- Heroku add-ons are tools and services that extend a Heroku app's functionality.
- The command-line interface (CLI) is Heroku's terminal-based tool for building and running Heroku apps.
- Git is a software version control system for tracking changes to a codebase over time. Heroku users can deploy with Git using the Heroku CLI, including the GitHub hosting platform for git repositories.
Azure vs. Heroku: 4 Key Differences
The four most important differences between Azure and Heroku are:
- Functionality: Heroku is a PaaS solution with a single purpose: to make it easy for users to build and deploy web applications in the cloud. Microsoft Azure, on the other hand, is a full-fledged public cloud service, with PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS functionality. Azure users can leverage the entire Microsoft ecosystem, taking advantage of different integrations (such as the Microsoft SQL Server database).
- Pricing: Subscribers to Heroku's "production" tier will pay $25 to $50 per Heroku dyno per month. Thanks to the wide variety of options, Azure pricing is too complex, to sum up here, but the platform comes with both free and pay-as-you-go tiers depending on usage.
- Ease of use: Thanks to its singular focus, Heroku is more user-friendly than large public cloud PaaS providers such as Azure, AWS, and GCP. Heroku helps users save a great deal of time and effort when building and deploying web apps.
- Customer support: Heroku offers both "standard" and "premium" support tiers; the latter guarantees 24/7 support and response times within one business day. Azure also offers multiple customer support tiers, including premium support for enterprise users.
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