Not Another Amazon Web Services Is Winning Public Cloud Article

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RightScale’s State of the Cloud 2016 report lays bare AWS dominance but shows hope for Azure

It’s not news to say how far in front of its closest competitors Amazon Web Services is in public cloud by most metrics, but RightScale’s 2016 State of the Cloud report this week has really broken down the current state of play in cloud computing, and the results are pretty eye watering for most playing catch up.

That said, Microsoft has made some impressive gains with its Azure IaaS and PaaS services over 2015 and 2016, and there was an increase in respondents to RightScale’s survey (1,060 IT pros) thinking about using Azure in the future.

AWS vs Azure

amazon web servicesLet’s start with Amazon. AWS continues to lead public cloud adoption, said RightScale, with 57 percent of respondents running applications with Amazon. This shows no gain or loss from last year, but what has changed is the number of workloads these customers are running, giving AWS revenue a healthy boost despite not necessarily having gained more customers.

On top of this 57 percent share among the respondents, a further 17 percent said that they are experimenting with AWS, and another 8 percent who may plan to use AWS. These figures are so overwhelmingly dominant it can’t be hard to see where Azure might be making gains, but let’s look into Microsoft’s platform now.

In the enterprise, that is, among businesses with 1000+ employees, AWS share is at 56 percent, with 16 percent experimenting and 8 percent, again, planning to use.

Azure comes in second place, with a combined IaaS and PaaS market share of 20 percent. But the number of public cloud customers experimenting or planning to use Azure is larger than Amazon, with 29 percent and 15 percent respectively.

Azure’s IaaS platform held, in the enterprise, a 17 percent share among the respondents, with Azure PaaS staking a 13 percent share. A combined 30 percent falling a healthy chunk short of Amazon – but there’s more. The number of respondents both experimenting and planning to use Azure in the future is more than AWS, 45 percent and 23 percent respectively. If Microsoft can at least keep up or increase its cloud traction this year and next, Azure could well catch up with Amazon in terms of market share but not necessarily revenue.

“This year Azure IaaS and PaaS stand out with a higher percentage of respondents experimenting or planning to use those clouds. This could indicate potential for Azure to increase adoption in future years as these experiments and plans come to fruition,” said RightScale.

As the image below shows, VMware and IBM came in third and fourth place, within the enterprise at least.

amazon web services


“Comparing this year’s data with last, we see that the percentage of respondents using AWS remained flat. Azure IaaS and Azure PaaS made the largest gains, helping to shrink the gap with AWS. VMware vCloud Air and IBM SoftLayer both showed small increases (up 2 percent), which are within the margin of error,” said RightScale.

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