Everleap Managed Hosting vs. Microsoft Azure

Takeshi EtoWe often get questions regarding the differences between our Everleap Managed Hosting solutions and hosting at Microsoft Azure.  So I thought I’d address this question here.

Let me say first that Microsoft Azure is a powerful public cloud platform. It is built for developers and can run virtually anything. Microsoft is continuously adding more functionality to address very niche technological use cases. Everything you can do on our Everleap platform, you can do on Azure. So, it is natural for anyone to ask then, compared to the Azure behemoth, why does Everleap even try to compete? 

It’s a good question and the answer is that we are not really trying to compete with Azure on hosting technologies. We know that Azure will always have a deeper technology stack and a much bigger footprint than we will ever have. While our hosting functionality can overlap with Azure, Everleap fills a different need in the market. We focus on delivering services to small- and medium-sized businesses. We are not trying to be all things for all use cases. Plainly speaking, sometimes you may need the many tools of a Swiss army knife and other times you just need a good pair of scissors. 

The advantage of Azure is its size and scale, spanning across datacenters over the globe, and its deep technology stack. For example, if you are a startup and your application is growing exponentially, Azure can scale as you grow and scale automatically. Beyond standard compute (e.g., Windows/IIS/SQL) environments, if your application requires special technologies, like AI, machine learning, Kubernetes containers, or if you require scaling across datacenters in multiple geographical locations, then Azure is a great option. 

However, many businesses do not require all that horsepower, geographical load-balanced servers, and do not experience exponential growth. Let’s look at an example of an ecommerce site powered by nopCommerce. You would want a Windows Web Server and a SQL Database, either on the same server or on a separate SQL Server. Even with a busy ecommerce site, you won’t need to scale out automatically to 10 load-balanced servers in a minute’s time. In use cases like this example, you may want to weigh out your hosting options. 

The following table shows some of the differences between Everleap Managed Hosting and Microsoft Azure. Keep in mind that if you just made a list of technologies, then Everleap would only have a small subset of Azure’s capabilities. 

 Everleap Azure 
Pre-Sales Consulting Yes (Free) No 
Fully Managed Yes No 
Who does initial server setup Everleap Staff Customer 
Site Migration Yes No 
APIs to turn on/off VMs and create VMs No Yes 
Scalable Environment Yes Yes 
Automatic Scaling No Yes 
24/7 Technical Support Included Yes No (if without support plan)
Yes, with paid support plan (Standard and Professional Direct)* 
Power & Network Uptime for Single Instance VM 99.9% 95% – 99.9%** 
Power & Network Uptime for Multiple Instance VMs Across Multiple Datacenters within a region N/A 99.99%** 
Payments Billed monthly in advance Billed monthly in arrears 
Billing Style Flat Monthly Fees By the minute (VM); By the second (Containers); Per GB (Storage); Per execution (functions)*** 
Data Transfer Fees No,  ingress/egress bandwidth included with monthly price Yes,  ingress/egress bandwidth billed separately 
Predictable Monthly Pricing Yes No 

*  https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/support/plans 
** https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/support/legal/sla/virtual-machines/v1_9/ 
*** https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/developer/intro/azure-developer-billing 

Let’s dig down on three broad categories that would encapsulate many of the line items in the above table. 

Developer-Friendly Service vs. High-Touch Service 

Azure is a developer-friendly platform with a deep technology stack. If you are a developer, Azure is a technology playground, and you have the potential to create and control your hosting environment with the Azure portal and your code. That is powerful stuff. However, with all the flexibility and power, the cloud hosting environment increases in complexity. The complexity can be overwhelming even for seasoned developers. Due to the complexity, over the years, there is now an entirely new segment of Managed Services Providers (MSPs) whose business model is to design, deploy and manage Azure infrastructure for other businesses. In addition, there are engineers who study hard to get special Microsoft Certifications specifically for various aspects of Azure. 

At Everleap, we focus on a high touch service. We provide free consultation to our customers to understand their business and help design their hosting infrastructure.  Our philosophy is to right-size the customer’s hosting environment. We believe that your hosting infrastructure should be optimized for your specific use case. Your hosting environment should not be under-resourced, and you should not be paying for resources that you do not need.

While Azure environments are managed by the customer, Everleap services are fully-managed – meaning we take care of all the server updates and security patches. Since we manage tens of thousands of sites, our staff often sees trending issues and can proactively work with our Managed Hosting customers to help avoid being negatively impacted by them. We’ll also do all the initial set up of a hosting environment and we’ll even migrate customer sites, if needed. For any migration, our goal is always to make sure any hosting transition has the least amount of downtime possible. Our customers can lean on our two decades of hosting experience. 

Technical Support 

With their deep technology stack and huge list of product offerings, Microsoft delegates basic technical support to an automated Azure Advisor system, self-help resources, their forums, their MSP partners, and online support request forms with no stated response times. From there, Azure offers three different levels of Support Plans, the Developer Plan ($29/mo), the Standard Plan ($100/mo) and the Professional Direct Plan ($1,000/mo). (See, https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/support/plans/)  It should be noted that the scope of the Developer Plan is for trial and non-production environments. For Production workloads, you would need to start with the Standard Plan or higher. 

At Everleap, we provide 24/7 technical support as part of our Managed Hosting services at no additional cost. Our team can review the site resource usage and provide recommendations for how to address issues or how to scale to improve performance. For example, a nopcommerce site with a large 10,000+ product catalog could be experiencing performance issues. Through our partnership with nopCommerce and other partners, we can work together to improve site performance. Our aim is to be more than a technology platform, and be a true partner invested in our customers’ success online.

Pricing Model

The pricing model philosophy for Microsoft Azure is to break down the computation and resources necessary for running applications down to its essential core components and charge by resource usage. In other words, the infrastructure resources are, in general, broken down into storage, memory, cpu and bandwidth usage. Pricing is calculated on a cost per minute, cost per GB, cost per use basis. So, you truly pay for what you use. For example, if a site is experiencing a temporary spike, instead of paying for idle resources to cover an unexpected temporary spike, Azure can scale when you need the resources. You’ll only pay for what you use. After the spike subsides, you can reduce the resources and reduce costs.  

The downside of the pay-as-you-go system is that you never quite know how much you will be charged at the end of the month, which could make budgeting challenging. And if you deploy some changes that failed to take account of some of the nuances of the pricing model, then your bill can be dramatically affected. 

At Everleap, we are looking to simplify cloud hosting costs. We will provide a quote upfront for a set monthly fee, which is generally less than the cost of public clouds. With predictable monthly fees, you will not be hit with any surprise bills.


The main takeaway is that where you ultimately decide to host your applications will depend a lot on your use case and your needs. Azure is a powerful, global, virtually infinitely scalable platform with a deep technology stack. If Azure is developer-friendly, then I would say Everleap is small business-friendly. We provide SMEs with high touch service with great technical support and predictable pricing model and act as an extension of their IT team.  

You can always reach out to us, and we will be happy to discuss your situation. 

Visit Everleap to learn more about our Managed Hosting solutions.

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