More than half of all public cloud deployments use Amazon Web Services (AWS), but Microsoft Azure is gaining ground.
According to an annual survey of 930 IT professionals, conducted by cloud management specialist RightScale, 57% of SMEs and large enterprises use AWS public cloud, compared with 54% in the same study last year.
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But Microsoft’s Azure platform made the biggest gains, with 12% of public cloud deployments using its infrastructure as a service (IaaS) compared to 6% last year. Azure platform as a service (PaaS) accounted for 15% of business public cloud deployments compared with 11% in the previous 12 months.
In the enterprise sector, 50% of deployments are with Amazon. The figure rises to 61% for SME public cloud use.
Rackspace took second place in the SME sector with 11% of deployments.
The RightScale 2015 State of the Cloud Survey found 93% of organisations are experimenting with IaaS.
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Suppliers' battle for market share
A total of 82% have a hybrid cloud strategy, compared to 74% in the 2014 study.
“The tide of enterprise cloud adoption has shifted from shadow IT to strategic adoption led by central IT teams,” said Michael Crandell, CEO at RightScale.
"As enterprise IT has become more open to public cloud and more comfortable with cloud security, it is now in a strong position to broker cloud services to internal customers and drive cloud adoption forward.
"In the next year organisations expect to shift more workloads to cloud, with public cloud workloads growing faster than private cloud."
A recent report from RBC Capital revealed the extent of the price war fought between the cloud computing service providers.
The big cloud suppliers – such as AWS, Microsoft, Google and IBM – are locked in a battle to the bottom on price.
According to the RBC Capital report, AWS's price per GB RAM was $42 in October 2013 and fell to $25 in December 2014. In the same period, Google’s price dropped from $52 per GB RAM to $32; IBM Softlayer reduced its price from $55 to $32; and Microsoft Azure fell from $46 to $34.