Liquid Web vs Microsoft Azure: What’s the Best Hosting for Virtual Machines (VMs)?

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When you have a mission-critical SaaS or enterprise application running in a VMware virtualized environment, and you need to move your hosting somewhere else, it might seem like a daunting task. But you’re not alone — thousands of businesses face a similar problem every day. 

The reasons for the change can be numerous. You might be self-hosting your virtual machines (VMs) and looking to move to the cloud. Your hosting provider might not be as responsive to your support requests as you’d like. The price you pay for hosting your application might be over your budget. And so on. 

If you search for some of the top solutions online, you might find lots of positive testimonials for Liquid Web and Microsoft Azure. But how do you choose the one that best fits your needs? 

Companies that want to dedicate resources to switch to Windows-based Azure VMs or already have multiple Microsoft integrations in place might reach for Microsoft Azure as the natural solution. But there are other, better, fully-managed options that come with 24/7 support and predictable pricing — such as VMware Private Cloud from Liquid Web. 

To make your decision-making process easier, we’ve compared the two solutions side by side.

Liquid Web vs Microsoft Azure

Fully ManagedYesNo
Linux & Windows OSYesYes
Includes cPanel / WHM / PleskYesYes
Full Server Stack SupportYesYes
Performance OptimizationYesNo
24/7/365 Support IncludedYesNo
Service MonitoringYesYes
Proactive MonitoringYesNo
Power & Network Uptime Guarantee100%99.999%
SLA Remedy1000%Service credits
Migrations IncludedYes(most at no cost)No
Backups IncludedYesExtra cost
Predictable BillingYesPer second billing


Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure offers a wide variety of products designed to fit the needs of all kinds of developers. The emphasis is on engineering teams that know exactly what they need and can build any necessary server integrations themselves. 

Companies can run their VMware workloads natively on Azure as well, creating vSphere VMs via application programming interface (API) calls or command line interface (CLI) and relying on Azure’s backup, compute, monitor, IoT, and other services. 

Azure also offers dedicated cloud infrastructure that can run VMware vSphere natively and at scale. 

However, while the Azure infrastructure itself is fully managed, customers are responsible for everything else. There’s no proactive monitoring or help with performance optimization. 

Liquid Web

Compared to Microsoft Azure, Liquid Web makes hosting decisions for teams of any size easy to understand and implement. 

When it comes to VMware Private Cloud, there are multi-tenant and dedicated packages available. The multi-tenant option pools resources from numerous enterprise-grade servers to create a virtual data center that everyone can use to run their VMs, only paying for the resources they need. 

The dedicated plan provides a fully isolated environment consisting of multiple single-tenant servers. As a result, customers get access to more customization options, top-of-the-line performance, and multiple compliance configurations.

Unlike Azure, all Liquid Web VMware Private Cloud plans include support for the entire infrastructure, hardware, virtualization, and VM-based operating systems. 

Customer Support

Microsoft Azure

Due to its size, Microsoft Azure is not able to include personalized assistance free of charge for every VM customer. Instead, it directs all questions to community forums and Twitter support. Technical support is only available as an additional service. 

Liquid Web

Liquid Web, by contrast, includes free support in every VMware plan. Their customer service team has been called the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting® — with a 59-second response guarantee by phone and chat or a 59-minute helpdesk response guarantee. 

Engineers at Liquid Web can also advise you and help you migrate to VMware Private Cloud as quickly and easily as possible. In addition, all services get proactively monitored 24/7/365, and the SLA Remedy is set at an unprecedented 1,000%. 

Partner Programs

Microsoft Azure

Azure offers two main partner programs: Azure Expert MSP and Advanced Specializations. Expert MSPs get priority in search results, are able to co-sell engagements, and receive engineering support and regular learning opportunities. 

The Advanced Specializations program demonstrates higher-level expertise, which, in turn, allows partners to build stronger connections with their customers. 

Liquid Web

Liquid Web offers four different partner programs: Reseller, Web Professional, Affiliate, and Refer-A-Friend.

Resellers get discounts on servers, free SSL certificates, and other similar benefits. Web Professionals also get commissions based on monthly recurring costs in addition to that. 

Affiliates get access to promotional referrals through ads and links and can run campaigns to earn commissions. The Refer-A-Friend program pays customers a flat fee for referring people they know. 

Additional Services

Microsoft Azure

Leveraging its size and the diversity of its offerings, Microsoft Azure provides lots of services at an additional cost. For example, customers can use Azure for their Windows Server or SQL Server workloads. 

Liquid Web

Lots of additional services are already included in Liquid Web’s VMware Private Cloud plans, such as email hosting, list server handling, load balancing, firewall, proactive monitoring, 24/7/365 support, and basic DDoS Attack Protection. Each of these add-ons can be enhanced, changed, or added on to for even more power and protection.

Bottom Line

Microsoft Azure can be a good option for companies with extensive Microsoft ecosystem integrations and dedicated engineering teams who know exactly what their needs are and can accurately budget for their usage even with per-second billing. 

However, companies that find cloud environments intimidating and just want reliable and predictably-priced hosting that is fully managed should give Liquid Web a try. 

With Liquid Web, companies can deploy enterprise-grade hosting environments in a few clicks and focus on growing their business instead of managing their servers. 

Contact Liquid Web today, and our friendly technicians will be happy to answer your questions and suggest the best solution for your hosting needs.