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The State of Cloud Infrastructure is Still Very Much in Flux

February 25, 2015

2015 just may be a comeback year for Microsoft. Redmond has slowly been transforming its business strategy and placing increasing emphasis on the cloud. And when it comes to cloud IaaS, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has enjoyed a comfortable leadership position, but Microsoft is steadily making inroads and capturing marketshare.

A new “2015 State of the Cloud Report” from RightScale, a specialist in cloud portfolio management, shows that Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform and infrastructure offering made steady gains from last year, with a six-point jump in the number of professionals using Azure. The company has only captured about 19 percent of the total cloud infrastructure users surveyed, compared to AWS’s 57 percent (which is up from 54 percent last year). But what’s interesting is that Microsoft is taking marketshare away from other competitors, essentially enjoying a larger piece of the cloud IaaS pie.

Those competitors include Rackspace, which went from 12 to 11 percent usage of its public cloud infrastructure over the past year, and Google. Google only enjoys an eight percent share of professionals using its Google App Engine, with five percent using its cloud infrastructure. VMware’s number also dropped, from eight to five percent for its vCloud Air offering, along with usage of HP’s Helion Public Cloud from four to two percent.

As Microsoft has shifted its focus to the cloud, it is capitalizing on its entrenched enterprise customer base and leveraging those relationships. The company fared better in RightScale’s survey with enterprise users, with 19 percent using Azure for infrastructure. But as we all know, enterprise customers have been notoriously slow to migrate the cloud and those queried said less than 20 percent of their company’s app portfolio resides in the cloud. Which means there’s plenty of room for growth among Microsoft’s existing customer base.

Small businesses with less than 1,000 employees are overwhelmingly choosing AWS for their cloud infrastructure, with 61 percent reporting they have applications running with Amazon. Google is also a wildcard in the cloud wars, with 29 percent of those surveyed saying they were experimenting with or planning to try Google Cloud Platform for IaaS.

So while AWS still enjoys a healthy leadership position in the cloud space, there’s plenty of room for other players. And with cloud IaaS adoption still pretty much in its infancy, it will be interesting to watch how competitors work to capture marketshare from Amazon.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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