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Microsoft Azure gains ground on AWS in public cloud

RightScale report suggests Microsoft Azure is closing the gap between it and public cloud market leader AWS in the enterprise, while Google is attracting increasing attention from the C-suite

Microsoft Azure is eating into Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) lead in the public cloud market, and interest in using Google Cloud is on the rise among enterprises.

That is according to the eighth annual RightScale 2019 State of the cloud report, which each year shines a light on enterprise attitudes to using cloud technologies, and how cloud adoption is progressing.

This year’s report, compiled from feedback from nearly 790 technical professionals, suggests organisations are running applications in an average of 4.9 public and private cloud environments.

“Respondents are already running applications in a combination of 3.4 public and private clouds, and are experimenting with 1.5 more, for a total of 4.9 clouds,” said the report.

“Among those using any public cloud, respondents are currently using 2.0 public clouds and experimenting with 1.8 more.”

Where private cloud is concerned, organisations typically have an average of 2.7 different private clouds in use, and are experimenting with using 2.0 more.

“Public cloud is increasingly becoming the top focus among enterprises and, as a result, public cloud use is growing more quickly – with spend growing three times the rate of private cloud usage,” said the report.

On the public cloud front, AWS remains the most keenly used provider among respondents, but the data suggests Microsoft Azure is gaining ground on its rival.

“In 2019, AWS continues to lead in public cloud adoption, but adoption of other public clouds is growing more quickly,” said the report. “Azure is now nipping at the heels of AWS, especially in larger companies.

“Overall, Azure adoption grew from 45% to 52% to narrow the gap with AWS. Azure adoption has now reached 85% of AWS adoption, up from 70% last year.”

Google, meanwhile, has seen a modest uptick in adoption from 18% to 19% over the past year, said the report, and retained its position as the third-biggest provider in the public cloud market.

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However, among enterprises that are experimenting with cloud or are planning to move away from on-premise technologies, evaluating what the Google Cloud Platform has to offer is definitely high on their agenda.

“This year, there was a higher percentage of respondents experimenting or planning to use Google (36%) versus other clouds,” said the report. “This indicates a potential for Google to accelerate adoption in future years as the respondents’ experiments and plans come to fruition.”

Google is also faring well with organisations that are further along their cloud journey, said the report.

“The cloud maturing of an organisation typically correlates to the length of time it has been using cloud,” it said. “That correlation is due to the time it takes to build cloud expertise and create processes and best practices across the organisation.

“Because AWS was the first large-scale cloud provider, AWS is used more frequently by advanced (longer-term) cloud users. Across all respondents, 72% of advanced cloud users leverage AWS versus 57% using Azure.

“Google sees significantly stronger adoption when users are advanced (24%) versus beginner (9%).”

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