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  5. Linode vs. Microsoft Azure – Which One Is Actually Better? [2020]

Linode vs. Microsoft Azure – Which One Is Actually Better? [2020]

Mark Holden
June 15, 2020

Both Linode and Microsoft Azure are cloud hosting providers but that’s where their similarity ends. Both are quite different from each other and to make an informed choice, you need to know about these differences. I tested both meticulously on multiple parameters like features, pricing, performance, support, etc. to find out which would be an overall better choice. I found it’s your need that would ultimately decide the winner.

Check Linode’s latest deals here or read on to know how it matches up to Microsoft Azure in this competition.

1. Plans and Pricing

Linode’s affordable plans score over Azure’s dynamic pricing

Linode gives you 1 Nanode plan (entry-level VM), 9 Standard plans, and 6 dedicated CPU plans. Microsoft Azure offers a vast array of diverse services though most are suited to meet specialty needs. For website hosting, you can try Azure’s App Service (that uses VMs) with 6-tiered pricing (Free, Shared, Basic, Standard, Premium, and Isolated). The starting plan is free while the others are billed hourly.  But remember that though these plans may seem affordable, the pricing would go up steadily as you start using more resources.

In contrast, Linode’s affordable cloud hosting plans are payable hourly. “How is Linode so cheap?” is a common question that many customers ask. The answer perhaps lies in Linode charging a flat rate for a block of resources unlike dynamic charging that many of its competitors use.

Linode Web Hosting

Plan NameStorageBandwidthPricePlan NameStorageBandwidthPriceNanode 1GB25 GB SSD1 TB$5More Details
More details

With Linode free trial for 7 days, you can test its plans though the period is too short to evaluate them properly.

Linode wins this round with its budget-friendly plans.

2. Features

Both offer powerful cloud solutions but Azure lags due to the absence of beginner-friendly tools

With Linode’s standard plans, you’ll get 50GB SSD-3840GB SSD storage, 2TB-20TB transfer, 1-32 CPU cores, and 2GB-192GB RAM. These plans offer popular container orchestration tools to help you deploy container clusters to the VMs. You can also use 1-click applications (such as WordPress, LAMP, Drupal, etc.) and deploy and scale StackScripts (LAMP, LEMP, cPanel, Minecraft, etc.).

If you’re looking for Linux cloud hosting, Linode lets you use multiple OS (CentOS, Debian, etc). Linode offers fully managed automatic backups that need to be enabled. You can choose a 2-hour window to get your Linode backups generated. Additionally, you’ll get CLI, API, DNS Manager, and NodeBalancers (which are load balancers-as-a-service or LBaaS in the cloud).

With 5 paid Azure App Service plans, you’ll get 1GB-1TB disk space and support for custom domains. Other features on offer include autoscaling (plan-dependent), free/paid TLS/SSL certificates, backups, and deployment slots. The 3 higher plans come with VPN hybrid connectivity support while the highest additionally has network isolation.

You can use this table below to compare Linode and Azure.

LinodeMicrosoft Azure
Hosting Types1 Nanode plan (entry-level VM), 9 Standard plans, and 6 dedicated CPU plans1 free and 5 paid Azure App Service plans (Shared, Basic, Standard, Premium, and Isolated)
Free Domain
Free SSL Certificate
Disk Space50GB SSD-3840GB SSD1GB-1TB (Central US)
Bandwidth2TB-20TBAuto-scaling
Automatic Backups2 hoursVariable
Control PanelcPanel/Plesk/VestaCP/Virtualmin (need to be installed)Not mentioned
Free CDN 
Free Site Migration
Money-Back Guarantee

Though Microsoft Azure doesn’t offer as many beginner-friendly tools (like proprietary templates, auto-installers, etc.) as Linode, it still matches up to it well. As a result, none can be declared the clear winner.

3. Performance

Issues galore with Microsoft Azure’s performance while Linode does a lot better

Linode’s datacenters support 11 global markets. Its operating systems are supported by IPv6 and use extensive peering and hardware-based addressing for enhanced performance. Microsoft Azure’s worldwide infrastructure is powered by more than 160 physical datacenters that deliver ultra-low-latency for improved performance.

Linode offers a 99.9% guarantee for its network connectivity and hardware. Linode’s performance was much better though. You can know more about Linode at our expert Linode review.

For its App Service, Microsoft Azure guarantees a 99.95% availability backed by 10% or 25% monthly service credit in case of downtime. Most of its other services come with a 99.9% uptime guarantee. When I tested, Microsoft Azure’s server performance was an epic fail. To know what went wrong, you can read this in-depth Microsoft Azure review.

Linode outshines its competitor in this Linode vs. Azure performance round.

4. Security

Microsoft Azure’s multi-layered security safeguards your data much better than Linode

Linode’s datacenters have 24/7 on-site security and access control. You’ll also get free DDoS protection for all VMs, irrespective of what your Linode plan size is. Linode lets you configure a firewall, create and administer SSL certificates, set up secured SFTP user access to your Linode instances, apply automatic security updates, and block malicious probes. But newbies with little or no tech knowledge would find it difficult to do them all.

Microsoft Azure invests a lot to tighten its security. Its multi-layered security system includes datacenters with multiple redundancies (networking, power, cooling, and software elements) along with ML-enabled failure prediction, hardware and firmware components with in-built security controls, DDoS threat protection, etc. Azure Security Center, Azure Key Vault (for secure key management), and partner solutions in Azure help to extend security further.

With a global team of 3,500+ cybersecurity experts at work, your business data and assets are much better protected with Microsoft Azure.

5. Support

Forget an endless wait for support with Microsoft Azure

Linode offers 24/7 support through phone, email, and tickets (for logged-in users only). I received a reply to my generic email within 24 hours. Though the response time wasn’t good for a company that claims to offer 24/7 support, perhaps the delay was because I wasn’t yet a customer. For self-help, Linode offers a lot of options – from a blog, Q&A section, and a community to a developer portal, comprehensive guides, and documentation, video tutorials, content resources, etc.

Linode-support
Email reply from Linode

With Microsoft Azure’s basic support plan, you’ll get support via live chat and tickets. Accessing the support staff via live chat is difficult as you’ll have to beat a chatbot that tries to discourage you from contacting the company. Though I was able to get through, I found the live chat unavailable when I tried. Azure also has 3 paid support plans (Developer, standard, and Professional Direct) that offer 24/7 access to its technical support by email and phone. When I used the email, my query was answered in full. Self-help resources on offer include community support, how-to videos, Azure Advisor, Microsoft Learn, and documentation.

microsoft-azure-support1
Email response from Microsoft Azure

Extensive support plus numerous self-help and learning resources help Microsoft Azure win this round.

Your Requirements Decide the Winner

Whether you have a small personal project or need enterprise-level setups, Linode’s budget-friendly cloud hosting services would be ideal. The only requirement is to have adequate technical experience to set up and manage the service.

If the price isn’t a concern, you could upgrade to Linode’s managed services to get help from the experts in handling your hosting and other tech-related aspects.

If you need to host your website or applications in a highly scalable and customizable cloud environment and have adequate tech expertise, Microsoft Azure could be a good choice. Thus, it all depends on what your needs are when choosing the right hosting provider. But before you decide to go with either of these providers, don’t forget to take a look at our list of the best web hosting services​.

Comparison Table

LinodeMicrosoft Azure
Plans and PricingCheaper 1 Nanode plan (entry-level VM), 9 Standard plans, and 6 dedicated CPU plansPricier App Service (that uses VMs) with 6 plans namely Free, Shared, Basic, Standard, Premium, and Isolated
Key FeaturesPopular container orchestration tools, 1-click applications, multiple OS (CentOS, Debian, etc), fully managed automatic backups (with 2-hour windows) that need to be enabled, CLI, API, DNS Manager, and NodeBalancersSupport for custom domains, autoscaling (plan-dependent), free/paid TLS/SSL certificates, backups, and deployment slots; VPN hybrid connectivity support (with the 3 higher plans) and network isolation (with the highest plan)
Performance99.9% guarantee for its network connectivity and hardware; uses IPv6, extensive peering, and hardware-based addressing99.95% availability (for its App Service) backed by 10% or 25% monthly service credit; uses 160 physical datacenters that deliver ultra-low-latency
Security 24/7 on-site security, access control, and free DDoS protection for all VMs plus the ability to configure a firewall, create and administer SSL certificates, set up secured SFTP user access to your Linode instances, apply automatic security updates, and block malicious probesMultiple redundancies (networking,  power, cooling, and software elements) in datacenter, ML-enabled failure prediction, hardware and firmware components with in-built security controls, DDoS threat protection, etc. plus Azure Security Center, Azure Key Vault, and partner solutions in Azure
Support 24/7 support through phone, email, and tickets (for logged-in users only); blog, Q&A section, a community, a developer portal, comprehensive guides and documentation, video tutorials, content resources, etc. for self-helpLive chat and tickets (basic support) and 24/7 phone and email tech support (with 3 paid plans); community support, how-to videos, Azure Advisor, Microsoft Learn, and documentation for self-help

FAQ

Is Linode better than Microsoft Azure?
Both Linode and Microsoft Azure offer similar hosting plans and features. So, the best one for you will ultimately depend on your specific needs. To see our top recommendations, head over to our list of ​the best web hosting services.
Does ​Linode offer WordPress hosting?
No, Linode ​doesn’t offer any special hosting plans for WordPress, but you can still install WordPress and host your site on its servers. If you don’t want to go to all the trouble and you’d rather have a web host that takes care of the technical side of things for you, I recommend you go with one of the best managed WordPress hosting providers.
Does ​Linode offer VPS hosting?
No, it doesn’t but it isn’t the only hosting provider in the market. You can check the best cheap VPS hosting services to get reliable and budget-friendly VPS.
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