While HCS on Azure and HCP Consul are both part of HashiCorp’s Cloud offerings, they have different models of consumption. HCS on Azure was designed to live within the Azure Marketplace as a native offering within Microsoft Azure. The backend infrastructure is still managed by HashiCorp, however the underlying billing is through the user's Azure account. HashiCorp Cloud Platform (HCP) is a platform that was built by HashiCorp for both deploying and managing HashiCorp products natively in the cloud. Users are tenants on the HCP platform and the deployed products are run within the HashiCorp AWS or Azure environment. Users deploy workloads into their AWS accounts/VPCs or Azure accounts/VNets and peer those workloads with the HCP Virtual Network (HVN) where their HCP workloads live. Users are not responsible for provisioning or managing the underlying AWS or Azure infrastructure that the cluster is running on.
Both solutions are designed to support organizations that plan on backing large, business critical applications with Consul’s networking capabilities. HCP Consul provides a quicker and simplified starting path, flexibility for organizations to start with smaller implementations and scale as needed, and the ability to offload the operational burden of maintaining a deployment. Consul is a private installation and designed to give enterprises greater customization capabilities over the architecture and networking policies. This is critical for organizations with strict regulatory or security compliance policies not supported by hosted solutions.