Are you considering AWS App Runner vs. Azure App Service?
This article is part of our larger series on cloud hosting for PHP web applications. I am writing this based on my experiences on various cloud platforms.
AWS App Runner vs. Azure App Services
Features, pricing models & ecosystems are the key differences between AWS App Runner and Azure App Service. On the other hand, they do share the same application management philosophies. They both are robust platforms that simplify containerized applications’ deployment, scaling, and management. The choice between the two web app services is your cloud preference.
|Deployment Options||Azure App Service||AWS App Runner||Azure App Service supports more deployment options, including custom Docker images and pre-built containers.|
|Supported Languages/Frameworks||Tie||Tie||Both services support a wide range of popular languages and frameworks.|
|Scaling||Azure App Service||AWS App Runner||AWS App Runner offers simpler automatic scaling, while Azure App Service requires manual configuration of autoscaling rules.|
|Customization Options||Azure App Service||AWS App Runner||Azure App Service provides more customization options, such as custom runtimes and app settings.|
|Monitoring and Logging||Tie||Tie||Both services offer robust monitoring and logging solutions through Amazon CloudWatch (App Runner) and Azure Monitor (App Service).|
|Container Orchestration||Azure App Service||AWS App Runner||Azure App Service supports Docker containers and can be integrated with Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) for advanced container orchestration.|
|Alternatives||Tie||Tie||Both AWS and Azure offer additional alternatives for application deployment, such as Elastic Beanstalk (AWS) and Container Apps (Azure).|
|Pricing||AWS App Runner||Azure App Service||AWS App Runner tends to be more cost-effective, based on simplified assumptions for 10 million monthly requests.|
Please note that the winner in each category depends on your specific application requirements, preferred programming languages and frameworks, desired level of infrastructure customization, and budget. Evaluating both services based on your unique use case is essential to determine the best fit for your project.
- Deployment: AWS App Runner supports container image and source code repository deployment, while Azure App Service supports code repository, container registry, custom Docker images, and pre-built container deployment.
- Supported Languages/Frameworks: AWS App Runner and Azure App Service support a wide range of languages and frameworks, offering developers flexibility in their choice of tools.
- Scaling: App Runner automatically scales based on traffic and performance metrics, whereas App Service offers configurable autoscaling rules based on various metrics.
- Customization: App Runner allows for service configuration and environment variable customization, while App Service offers app settings, environment variables, and custom runtime customization.
- Monitoring and Logging: AWS App Runner integrates with Amazon CloudWatch, while Azure App Service integrates with Azure Monitor and Application Insights for monitoring, logging, and collecting performance metrics.
- Container Orchestration: App Runner leverages AWS Fargate for serverless container orchestration, while App Service supports Docker containers and can be integrated with Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) for advanced container orchestration.
- Alternatives: AWS Elastic Beanstalk is another alternative to App Runner, offering a fully managed platform for deploying, managing, and scaling applications with more customization options. Azure Container Apps is an alternative to App Service, providing a serverless container hosting solution with automatic scaling and cost optimization.
- Pricing: AWS App Runner pricing is based on compute and memory resources, while Azure App Service offers various pricing tiers with different features and resource allocations. Based on simplified assumptions, the cost estimates for 10 million monthly requests are $39.45 for App Runner and $83.33 for App Service (Standard tier).
What is AWS App Runner
AWS App Runner is a fully managed service that simplifies containerized applications’ deployment, scaling, and management. It is designed to help developers quickly build, deploy, and scale applications without worrying about the underlying infrastructure. App Runner helps you focus on writing code and have AWS manage the operational aspects of running their applications.
Want to learn more about App Runner? Click here to read our in-depth review article the AWS App Hosting Service
AWS App Runner Key Features
- Deployment: App Runner supports deploying applications directly from container registries like ECR or source code repositories like Github.
- Scaling: App Runner automatically scales applications based on traffic and performance metrics. This helps the applications remain responsive during periods of high demand.
- Fully Managed: App Runner abstracts the underlying infrastructure. It allows developers to focus on writing code without managing servers or other infrastructure components.
- Monitoring and Logging: App Runner integrates with Amazon CloudWatch for application health monitoring and logging.
- CI/CD Integration: App Runner can be easily integrated with AWS CodePipeline for continuous integration and deployment, streamlining the development process.
Latest AWS App Runner Content
What is Azure App Service
Azure App Service is a fully managed platform for building, deploying, and scaling web applications. It helps you create web apps using various programming languages and frameworks without worrying about the underlying infrastructure.
Azure App Service suits developers who want to work in the Azure platform. It offers a wide range of features and extensibility options while managing the operational aspects of running a web app.
Azure App Service Key Features
- Deployment: App Service supports deploying applications from source code repositories, container registries, custom Docker images, and pre-built containers, providing flexibility in deployment options.
- Scaling: App Service offers configurable autoscaling rules based on various metrics, ensuring that applications can handle changes in demand.
- Supported Languages/Frameworks: Azure App Service supports many programming languages and frameworks, allowing developers to choose the best application tools.
- Monitoring and Logging: App Service integrates with Azure Monitor and Application Insights for monitoring, logging, and collecting performance metrics, providing insights into application performance and facilitating troubleshooting.
- CI/CD Integration: App Service can easily integrate Azure DevOps, GitHub Actions, and other CI/CD tools for streamlined development and deployment.
- Custom Domains and SSL: App Service supports custom domains and SSL certificates, allowing developers to create secure web applications with a professional appearance.
- Load Balancing: Built-in load balancing, Azure Load Balancer, and Application Gateway integration ensure even distribution of traffic among instances and improved application performance.
Cloud Cost Estimates for Your Web Applications
AWS App Runner Pricing
App Runner pricing consists of two main components: compute and memory resources. The cost depends on the vCPU and memory capacity used by the deployed application.
- Compute: $0.064 per vCPU-hour
- Memory: $0.007 per GB-hour
More detailed pricing information is on the AWS App Runner pricing page.
Azure App Service Pricing
Azure App Service offers a variety of pricing tiers to choose from, with different features and resource allocations. The most commonly used tiers are the Basic, Standard, and Premium tiers.
They each provide features, such as custom domains, SSL support, and varying levels of compute resources.
- Basic: Starting at $0.075 per hour for 1 vCPU and 1.75 GB of RAM
- Standard: Starting at $0.150 per hour for 1 vCPU and 3.5 GB of RAM
- Premium: Starting at $0.300 per hour for 1 vCPU and 7 GB of RAM
More detailed pricing information is on the Azure App Service pricing page.
Cloud Cost Estimate for Web App with 10 Million Monthly Requests
We’ll need to make some assumptions to estimate the cost for both services when scaling to 10 million monthly requests. Let’s assume the following:
- Each request takes 200 milliseconds to process.
- The application uses 1 vCPU and 1 GB of memory.
We can use these assumptions to calculate the total number of vCPU-hours and GB-hours required to handle 10 million requests.
Total vCPU-hours = (10 million requests 200 ms per request) / (3,600,000 ms per vCPU-hour) = 555.56 vCPU-hours Total GB-hours = 555.56 vCPU-hours 1 GB per vCPU-hour = 555.56 GB-hours
AWS App Runner Cost Estimate
Compute cost = 555.56 vCPU-hours $0.064 per vCPU-hour = $35.56 Memory cost = 555.56 GB-hours $0.007 per GB-hour = $3.89 Total cost = $35.56 + $3.89 = $39.45
Azure App Service Cost Estimate
Assuming the use of the Standard tier:
Compute cost = 555.56 vCPU-hours * $0.150 per vCPU-hour = $83.33 Memory cost is included in the compute cost for Azure App Service. Total cost = $83.33
Please note that these cost estimates are based on simplified assumptions and do not consider factors such as free tier usage, data transfer costs, and additional features that might impact the total cost. Reviewing the pricing details for each service and considering your specific application requirements to obtain a more accurate cost estimate is essential.
AWS App Runner vs. Azure App Service Deployment
App Runner Deployments
AWS App Runner streamlines the deployment process, allowing developers to quickly deploy their applications from container images or source code repositories. Here’s an overview of the deployment process with App Runner:
- Container Images: Developers can automate web application deployments using container images stored in a private Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR).
- Source Code Repositories: App Runner supports automated deployments directly from source code from the GitHub repository. Developers can configure build settings, specify a runtime, and provide environment variables.
- Service Configuration: Developers can customize various service settings, such as instance type, scaling options, and desired concurrency.
- Continuous Deployment: You can automate your continuous deployment via a private ECR image or a GitHub repo. In addition, it is also possible to create a traditional deployment pipeline via your CI/CD service provider.
Azure App Service Deployment
Azure App Service offers a variety of deployment options for developers, providing flexibility in how applications are built and deployed. Here’s an overview of the deployment process with Azure App Service:
- Code Repositories: Developers can deploy applications directly from source code repositories hosted on GitHub, Bitbucket, or Azure Repos. Azure App Service supports various languages and frameworks, such as .NET, Java, Node.js, Python, and more.
- Container Registries: App Service supports deploying containerized applications from Azure Container Registry or other container registries that support the Docker Registry HTTP API V2.
- Custom Docker Images: Developers can deploy custom Docker images, providing greater control over the application runtime environment.
- Pre-built Containers: App Service offers pre-built containers for popular frameworks, such as WordPress or Django, allowing developers to deploy applications quickly without needing custom configurations.
- Continuous Deployment: App Service can be integrated with Azure DevOps, GitHub Actions, or other CI/CD tools to enable continuous integration and deployment of applications when changes are pushed to the source code repository.
Scale Web Apps in App Runner & App Service
Autoscaling in AWS App Runner
AWS App Runner automatically scales containerized applications based on traffic and performance metrics. The scaling options can be customized by specifying the minimum and maximum instances and desired concurrency. The service adjusts the number of instances running in response to changing traffic patterns.
Autoscaling Azure App Service
Azure App Service offers configurable rules to scale web apps, allowing developers to scale based on various metrics, such as CPU usage, memory usage, or the number of requests per second. Developers can set up custom autoscaling rules and specify the minimum and maximum number of instances and the time to wait before scaling in or out. This flexibility ensures that applications can adapt to changes in demand while optimizing resource usage.
App Container Orchestration
App Runner Container Orchestration
AWS App Runner leverages AWS Fargate to manage container orchestration, providing a serverless compute engine for containers. Fargate handles provisioning, scaling, patching, and load balance traffic.
You don’t have to worry about managing the container infrastructure, as Fargate handles provisioning, scaling, patching, and load balance traffic. This simplifies the deployment and management of containerized applications, allowing developers to focus on writing code.
App Service Container Orchestration
Azure App Service supports Docker containers and can leverage Kubernetes for more advanced container orchestration. You can use the built-in container support or opt for the Kubernetes integration.
This allows developers to leverage the extensive Kubernetes ecosystem and its community-supported tools and integrations.
App Runner Monitoring and Logging
App Runner integrates with Amazon CloudWatch for web application health monitoring and logging. Developers can view logs, metrics, and alarms in the CloudWatch console, providing insights into application performance and facilitating troubleshooting. The integration allows developers to set up custom alarms and notifications based on specific performance thresholds or events.
Azure App Service Monitoring and Logging
Azure App Service integrates with Azure Monitor and Application Insights for monitoring, logging, and collecting performance metrics. These tools provide insights into application performance. They facilitate troubleshooting by offering live metrics streaming, distributed tracing, and performance profiling features.
When to Use AWS App Runner vs. Azure App Service for Your Web Applications
Use AWS App Runner for Web Apps
- Are already invested in the AWS ecosystem and want seamless integration with other AWS services, such as Amazon RDS, Amazon S3, and AWS Lambda.
- Prefer a simple automated deployment process using container images or source code repositories without manual intervention, reducing complexity and operational overhead.
- Require automatic scaling based on traffic and performance metrics, ensuring your application remains responsive during periods of high demand without the need for manual configuration.
Use Azure App Service for Your Web Applications
- You already use Azure and want consistency across your cloud services, leveraging a unified management experience and integration with services like Azure Storage, Azure SQL Database, and Azure Functions.
- Need a broader range of support for programming languages, frameworks, and container orchestration options, including Kubernetes-based orchestration, offering more flexibility for developers and catering to diverse application requirements.
- Require more advanced autoscaling configuration options, custom domains, or more granular control over resource allocation and pricing, enabling you to optimize costs and performance based on your specific needs.
AWS App Runner Alternatives
In addition to AWS App Runner, other AWS services can be compared for deploying and managing web applications. Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) and AWS Lambda with container deployments are notable alternatives within the AWS ecosystem.
AWS Elastic Beanstalk
AWS Elastic Beanstalk is a fully managed AWS service that makes deploying, managing, and scaling applications easy. It is provided in various languages, such as Java, .NET, PHP, Node.js, Python, Ruby, Go.
You can also deploy custom Docker images.
It provides an abstraction layer over various AWS services, allowing developers to focus on writing code. At the same time, Elastic Beanstalk handles the underlying infrastructure, including capacity provisioning, load balancing, autoscaling, and application health monitoring.
We’ve written a similar comparison article on Beanstalk. Click here to read the App Runner vs Beanstalk article
- Deployment: Elastic Beanstalk supports deploying applications from source code repositories or as pre-built packages. It provides a platform for multiple languages and frameworks, giving developers flexibility in choosing the right application tools.
- Scaling: Elastic Beanstalk offers autoscaling capabilities, automatically adjusting the number of instances based on predefined rules and metrics. This ensures that applications can handle changes in demand while optimizing resource usage.
- Customization: Developers can customize the infrastructure by modifying various settings, such as instance type, security groups, and environment variables. Elastic Beanstalk also supports custom platform configurations, allowing developers to tailor the runtime environment to their needs.
- Monitoring and Logging: Elastic Beanstalk integrates with Amazon CloudWatch for monitoring and logging, providing insights into application performance and facilitating troubleshooting.
- CI/CD Integration: Elastic Beanstalk can be integrated with AWS CodePipeline, AWS CodeStar, and other CI/CD tools, streamlining the development and deployment process.
Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS)
ECS is a highly scalable, high-performance container management service. It allows you to deploy, manage, and scale Docker containers on AWS. ECS can be used with two different launch types: EC2 and Fargate.
- Flexible Container Orchestration: ECS allows developers to choose between EC2 and Fargate launch types. This allows you to manage the underlying infrastructure or use serverless containers.
- Integration: ECS integrates with other AWS services like Elastic Load Balancing, Amazon RDS, and AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), creating a seamless experience for developers.
- Scaling: ECS supports horizontal and vertical scaling, enabling developers to add or remove container instances based on demand and adjust resources for increased performance.
- Monitoring and Logging: ECS integrates with Amazon CloudWatch for monitoring, logging, and collecting performance metrics, providing insights into application performance and facilitating troubleshooting.
AWS Lambda with Container Support
Lambda is a serverless computing service that allows developers to run their code without provisioning or managing servers. AWS Lambda now supports container images as a packaging format, enabling developers to deploy containerized applications using the Lambda service.
- Serverless Compute: AWS Lambda abstracts the underlying infrastructure. This allows you to deploy containerized applications without worrying about servers or virtual machines.
- Cost Efficiency: AWS Lambda uses a pay-per-use model, ensuring developers only pay for the compute time their applications consume.
- Scaling: It scales applications based on the number of requests, allowing developers to build responsive applications without manual intervention.
- Event-driven Architecture: It supports event-driven programming, enabling developers to build applications that react to events in real-time, such as changes in data, system state, or user actions.
Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)
Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) is a managed Kubernetes service that simplifies the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications using Kubernetes. EKS takes care of the complexities of Kubernetes cluster management, allowing developers to focus on their applications.
- Managed Kubernetes: Amazon EKS manages the Kubernetes control plane, including upgrades, patching, and scaling, reducing the operational overhead for developers.
- Scaling: EKS supports both horizontal and vertical scaling, allowing developers to add or remove nodes based on demand and to resize nodes for increased performance.
- Integration: EKS can be integrated with other services, such as Amazon RDS, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), and AWS CloudTrail, providing a seamless development and deployment experience.
- Networking: EKS offers flexible networking options, including AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), load balancing, and ingress controllers, enabling developers to design and manage network architectures that suit their application requirements.
Azure App Service Alternatives
In addition to Azure App Service, other Azure services can be compared to AWS App Runner for deploying and managing containerized applications. Two notable Azure services are Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) and Azure Container Instances (ACI).
Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)
AKS is a managed Kubernetes service that simplifies the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications using Kubernetes. It is more complex than Azure App Service but gives you more control. AKS abstracts the complexities of Kubernetes cluster management, allowing developers to focus on their applications.
- Managed Kubernetes: Azure manages the Kubernetes control plane, including upgrades, patching, and scaling, reducing the operational overhead for developers.
- Scaling: AKS supports both horizontal and vertical scaling, allowing developers to add or remove nodes based on demand and to resize nodes for increased performance.
- Integration: AKS can be integrated with other Azure services, such as Azure Monitor, Azure Active Directory, and Azure DevOps, providing a seamless development and deployment experience.
- Networking: AKS offers flexible networking options, including Azure Virtual Networks, load balancing, and ingress controllers, enabling developers to design and manage network architectures that suit their application requirements.
Azure Container Instances (ACI)
Azure Container Instances (ACI) is a serverless container service that enables developers to run containers in Azure without provisioning or managing servers. It is a solid alternative to Azure App Service. ACI provides a simple and fast way to deploy containerized applications with minimal overhead.
- Serverless Containers: ACI abstracts the underlying infrastructure, allowing developers to deploy containers without worrying about servers or virtual machines.
- Rapid Deployment: ACI enables fast container startup times, allowing developers to deploy and scale their applications quickly.
- Billing: ACI uses a per-second billing model, ensuring developers only pay for their containers’ actual running time.
- Integration: ACI can be integrated with other Azure services, such as Azure Functions, Azure Logic Apps, and Azure Event Grid, for event-driven and serverless architectures.
Azure Container Apps
Azure Container Apps is another Azure service that simplifies containerized applications’ deployment, scaling, and management. It is a fully managed, serverless platform that allows developers to build, deploy, and run modern microservices and event-driven applications.
- Serverless Containers: Container Apps eliminate the need for managing servers or infrastructure, providing developers with a serverless platform to deploy and run their containerized applications.
- Event-driven Architecture: It can easily integrate with Azure Event Grid, enabling event-driven and reactive programming patterns. This allows developers to build responsive applications that react to real-time events.
- Scaling: It offers automatic scaling based on many different specifications. You can scale on traffic, CPU, and performance metrics, ensuring that applications remain responsive during periods of high demand without manual configuration.
- Monitoring and Logging: It integrates with Azure Monitor for collecting logs and metrics, providing developers with insights into their applications’ performance and facilitating troubleshooting.
- Deployment Options: It supports deployment from container registries like Docker Hub, GitHub Container Registry, and Azure Container Registry, simplifying the deployment process and reducing operational overhead.
Using AWS App Runner vs Azure App Service
AWS App Runner and Azure App Services offer efficient and easy-to-use solutions for deploying containerized applications. The choice between these platforms depends on your existing infrastructure, application requirements, and preferred cloud provider.
By evaluating the key differences and considering your unique needs, you can determine the best fit for your containerized applications and enjoy the benefits of a fully managed platform that simplifies deployment and scaling while minimizing management overhead.
Cloud Hosting Article Series
This article is part of our series on cloud hosting for your web applications. Check out the following articles to dig further into your options.
- Best Cloud PHP Hosting Providers for Apps Compared
- Hosting PHP Website Apps in AWS Cloud
- Hosting PHP Web Apps in Azure Cloud
- Hosting PHP Web Apps in Google Cloud
- Is Azure Easy to Learn?
- What is AWS App Runner
- PHP in AWS Lambda
- App Runner vs. Elastic Beanstalk
- App Runner vs Google Cloud Run
- AWS App Runner vs. Azure App Service
- Serverless in Azure
- Azure App Service vs Elastic Beanstalk
- Azure App Service vs Google Cloud Run
- Google Cloud Run vs Heroku
- Host & Deploy a Laravel App to AWS Elastic Beanstalk