Moving education services to the cloud



  • Posting this for a colleague who's honestly too busy to post himself so he's watching the thread when he can. His environment is a very low budget network that he inherited in a rural town. To put it into perspective, the town is about 325 people. The school is obviously tiny. There is an elementary and a high school/middle school combo.

    AWS and Azure both have education pricing, but Microsoft typically gives big education discounts. Nonetheless they both appear to be very similarly priced. It doesn't have to just be AWS and Azure in the conversation, as Digital Ocean, Vultr, or someone entirely different might fit the bill. He's looking into aggregating his services to the cloud since he is a one-man operation (he's the director, and cannot hire more people... no funds for that). He gets some e-rate pricing one stuff so the cost might also be a little less. Anyway, this is focused more at functionality and I have my bias. But I want to hear from the community.

    Obviously Azure is a Microsoft product, so having issues would allow a "one throat to choke" should there be any issues, he could just call Microsoft. He's looking to basically offload everything from on-premises.

    I was also thinking about some of the downtime I've saw with Azure. Many businesses have reported (online through a few tech communities) various outages with no explanation. The only thing they get told while there is an outage is "We are experiencing some unplanned maintenance. We're sorry for the inconvenience." Sometimes their network is down for an entire day.

    This isn't a topic on a complete overhaul necessarily. It's just what you've experienced with AWS vs. Azure (if you're in education, that's a plus). He already has Google Apps in place. More focusing on any shortcomings on either side you've experienced so I'm giving him more input than just my own.

    Thoughts?



  • @BBigford said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    Posting this for a colleague who's honestly too busy to post himself so he's watching the thread when he can. His environment is a very low budget network that he inherited in a rural town. To put it into perspective, the town is about 325 people. The school is obviously tiny. There is an elementary and a high school/middle school combo.

    AWS and Azure both have education pricing, but Microsoft typically gives big education discounts. Nonetheless they both appear to be very similarly priced. He's looking into aggregating his services to the cloud since he is a one-man operation (he's the director, and cannot hire more people... no funds for that). He gets some e-rate pricing one stuff so the cost might also be a little less. Anyway, this is focused more at functionality and I have my bias. But I want to hear from the community.

    Obviously Azure is a Microsoft product, so having issues would allow a "one throat to choke" should there be any issues, he could just call Microsoft. Also had Azure services on my mind like Azure AD.

    I was also thinking about some of the downtime I've saw with Azure. Many businesses have reported (online through a few tech communities) various outages with no explanation. The only thing they get told while there is an outage is "We are experiencing some unplanned maintenance. We're sorry for the inconvenience." Sometimes their network is down for an entire day.

    This isn't a topic on a complete overhaul necessarily. It's just what you've experienced with AWS vs. Azure (if you're in education, that's a plus). He already has Google Apps in place. More focusing on any shortcomings on either side you've experienced so I'm giving him more input than just my own.

    Thoughts?

    These are not things to compare.

    You are trying to compare Azure AD (a service for Windows) with AWS. AWS has nothing. It is just a service to spin up workloads for whatever you need.

    Go back, figure out what you are trying to get out, and try again.



  • Azure AD is nothing but authentication. It is not like a local AD setup.


  • Banned

    AWS let's me sleep at night.
    Azure gives me nightmares.

    A bit dramatic but that's the perceived reliable of both platforms and the actual glitches I've experienced on both.

    Now think very carefully about whether you want AWS V Azure. or Azure AD versus something you've not mentioned yet. They are 2 different services.



  • Stepping back, it is safe to assume you are really wanting to move everything.

    In that case, just go with Office 365 across the board. This gets the email, documents, etc. You also get Azure AD if really wanted, and then look into the InTune pricing to go with it.



  • @BBigford said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    Posting this for a colleague who's honestly too busy to post himself ...

    Read: He's too cool for us.



  • @JaredBusch said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    Azure AD is nothing but authentication. It is not like a local AD setup.

    I'm not comparing Azure AD to AWS. I'm comparing Azure to AD. I was just throwing Azure AD in there as "this is available in Azure if you're wanting to migrate all domain services to a cloud provider".

    Although if you've used Azure AD, doing a comparison between it and an on-premises AD would be helpful.



  • @BBigford said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    His environment is a very low budget network that he inherited in a rural town. To put it into perspective, the town is about 325 people. The school is obviously tiny. There is an elementary and a high school/middle school combo.

    Looking for clarify: There is little money in the budget in general OR historically what they have was built on a very low budget? Unsure if you are talking about his available funds or the state of affairs.



  • @BBigford said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    @JaredBusch said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    Azure AD is nothing but authentication. It is not like a local AD setup.

    I'm not comparing Azure AD to AWS. I'm comparing Azure to AD. I was just throwing Azure AD in there as "this is available in Azure if you're wanting to migrate all domain services to a cloud provider".

    Although if you've used Azure AD, doing a comparison between it and an on-premises AD would be helpful.

    Your title is AWS vs Azure and the only workload you mention is Azure AD. So yes, you were.



  • @JaredBusch said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    Stepping back, it is safe to assume you are really wanting to move everything.

    In that case, just go with Office 365 across the board. This gets the email, documents, etc. You also get Azure AD if really wanted, and then look into the InTune pricing to go with it.

    He's definitely looking to offload as much as possible. The legal side (whoever that might be) blessed any cloud offerings so where CIPA was a concern with another district, in the past, it's not anymore. So everything can be migrated.



  • @JaredBusch said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    @BBigford said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    @JaredBusch said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    Azure AD is nothing but authentication. It is not like a local AD setup.

    I'm not comparing Azure AD to AWS. I'm comparing Azure to AD. I was just throwing Azure AD in there as "this is available in Azure if you're wanting to migrate all domain services to a cloud provider".

    Although if you've used Azure AD, doing a comparison between it and an on-premises AD would be helpful.

    Your title is AWS vs Azure and the only workload you mention is Azure AD. So yes, you were.

    I'll try to clean that up then.



  • Then office 365 really should be a huge consideration then.



  • @BBigford said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    Obviously Azure is a Microsoft product, so having issues would allow a "one throat to choke" should there be any issues, he could just call Microsoft. Also had Azure services on my mind like Azure AD.

    That's a nice theory, but MS does not offer you an SLA. So in reality, there is one throat to blame, but none at all to choke. MS leaves you very much on your own when you need a throat to choke. If you want throats to choke, you look at Red Hat, Oracle, Amazon and vendors like that.



  • @Minion-Queen said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    Then office 365 really should be a huge consideration then.

    The real question is to go all in Office 365 or Google Apps



  • @BBigford said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    I was also thinking about some of the downtime I've saw with Azure. Many businesses have reported (online through a few tech communities) various outages with no explanation. The only thing they get told while there is an outage is "We are experiencing some unplanned maintenance. We're sorry for the inconvenience." Sometimes their network is down for an entire day.

    Yes, Azure has issues with some pretty incredible regularity.


  • Banned

    @Minion-Queen said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    Then office 365 really should be a huge consideration then.

    And 100% free for non profits. (Unless you opt for the local Office software as well)



  • @scottalanmiller said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    @BBigford said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    I was also thinking about some of the downtime I've saw with Azure. Many businesses have reported (online through a few tech communities) various outages with no explanation. The only thing they get told while there is an outage is "We are experiencing some unplanned maintenance. We're sorry for the inconvenience." Sometimes their network is down for an entire day.

    Yes, Azure has issues with some pretty incredible regularity.

    Speak for yourself, I have had zero issues with Azure.



  • @JaredBusch said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    @Minion-Queen said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    Then office 365 really should be a huge consideration then.

    The real question is to go all in Office 365 or Google Apps

    I was figuring that setting up a DC (or a couple DCs) in AWS would be essentially the same as using Azure AD (I haven't used Azure AD though, so easy on the pitchfork). What do you think about going with AWS if the environment remains split with Google Apps?


  • Banned

    @JaredBusch said

    I have had zero issues with Azure.

    I've lost control of servers routinely. That portal has been very bad to me.



  • We have lost control of everything on Azure regularly.


  • Banned

    @BBigford said

    I was figuring that setting up a DC (or a couple DCs) in AWS would be essentially the same as using Azure AD (I haven't used Azure AD though, so easy on the pitchfork).

    The first thing you learn about Azure AD, It's not Active Directory. Treat them differently because they are very different.



  • @scottalanmiller said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    @BBigford said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    His environment is a very low budget network that he inherited in a rural town. To put it into perspective, the town is about 325 people. The school is obviously tiny. There is an elementary and a high school/middle school combo.

    Looking for clarify: There is little money in the budget in general OR historically what they have was built on a very low budget? Unsure if you are talking about his available funds or the state of affairs.

    There's little money in the budget. They get some help with things like e-rate and stuff from the state, but overall the district has very little money to spend.



  • @BBigford said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    This isn't a topic on a complete overhaul necessarily. It's just what you've experienced with AWS vs. Azure (if you're in education, that's a plus).

    This is pretty easy....

    AWS is the best in the business, period. They are often the cheapest, definitely the fastest, most reliable, biggest, most featureful, most advanced, best supported and... hardest to use.

    Azure is far from the worst... but is easily the worst major player. Their reliability and costs put them far behind AWS, Rackspace, Softlayer, Linode, Digital Ocean, Vultr and others. High cost, hard to use, low reliability, poor support. But many features.

    Without knowing more of why cloud computing is on the radar, it's hard to answer anything more. It's very possible that Vultr or Digital Ocean would be better options. Why is he looking at elastic scalability?



  • @Breffni-Potter said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    @BBigford said

    I was figuring that setting up a DC (or a couple DCs) in AWS would be essentially the same as using Azure AD (I haven't used Azure AD though, so easy on the pitchfork).

    The first thing you learn about Azure AD, It's not Active Directory. Treat them differently because they are very different.

    Good to know. I have been meaning to spin up a bunch of test servers with that $200 credit offering from Microsoft so I can check it out.



  • @JaredBusch said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    Azure AD is nothing but authentication. It is not like a local AD setup.

    But you can tack on additional features through Azure AD Premium and InTune. But by itself, Jared is correct, it's only authentication.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    AWS let's me sleep at night.
    Azure gives me nightmares.

    A bit dramatic ....

    You spelled realistic wrong.



  • @JaredBusch said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    Stepping back, it is safe to assume you are really wanting to move everything.

    In that case, just go with Office 365 across the board. This gets the email, documents, etc. You also get Azure AD if really wanted, and then look into the InTune pricing to go with it.

    This is likely the best advice. But not knowing what services we are looking at, it is hard to formulate a big picture.



  • @BBigford said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    @JaredBusch said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    Azure AD is nothing but authentication. It is not like a local AD setup.

    I'm not comparing Azure AD to AWS. I'm comparing Azure to AD. I was just throwing Azure AD in there as "this is available in Azure if you're wanting to migrate all domain services to a cloud provider".

    Although if you've used Azure AD, doing a comparison between it and an on-premises AD would be helpful.

    You can easily put AD on Azure or AWS if you want. We had it like that before we moved off of AD.



  • @BBigford said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    @JaredBusch said in AWS vs. Azure - for Education:

    Stepping back, it is safe to assume you are really wanting to move everything.

    In that case, just go with Office 365 across the board. This gets the email, documents, etc. You also get Azure AD if really wanted, and then look into the InTune pricing to go with it.

    He's definitely looking to offload as much as possible. The legal side (whoever that might be) blessed any cloud offerings so where CIPA was a concern with another district, in the past, it's not anymore. So everything can be migrated.

    Cloud is ambiguous here. Cloud meaning hosted? Cloud meaning cloud computing? Cloud meaning IaaS? Cloud meaning SaaS?


  • Banned

    But then again are ChromeBooks the answer combined with google apps?

    If we're looking to kill as much technical support and labour as we can.


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