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Study: Microsoft Challenging AWS Domination of Public Clouds

Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) is still the dominant leader in the public cloud services provider space, but is being challenged by the Microsoft Azure offering, according to a new study.

The RightScale Inc. 2015 State of the Cloud Report gathered data last month from 930 respondents who reported on their organizations' adoption of cloud computing.

"No surprise: AWS continues to lead overall in public cloud adoption, with 57 percent of respondents currently running applications in AWS, up from 54 percent in 2014," the survey report said. "This continues to be more than 4x the adoption rate of the closest competitor. Azure IaaS has moved into the clear No. 2 position, doubling from 6 percent in 2014 to 12 percent in the 2015 survey."

The survey is the latest in a series of independent research efforts that show AWS -- the original cloud service that debuted in 2006 -- is maintaining its head-start in the cloud arena. A SkyHigh Networks study recently revealed that AWS is leading the migration of enterprises to the cloud.

Also earlier this month, a Synergy Research study showed how AWS garnered 30 percent of the worldwide cloud infrastructure services provider market on the strength of 25 percent revenue growth from the third quarter, giving it a five-year market-share peak.

The latest study from RightScale also mirrors other research in pointing out that Microsoft is challenging AWS with its Azure cloud service, especially among enterprise users.

"Cloud competition for enterprises (1000+ employees) got a lot more interesting in 2015," the RightScale report said. "AWS still maintains a lead (50 percent vs. 49 percent in 2014), but Azure IaaS has closed the gap significantly (19 percent vs. 11 percent in 2014). As a result, the AWS lead in the enterprise narrowed from more than 4x to 2.5x its nearest competitor. In addition, 36 percent of enterprise respondents are experimenting with or planning to use Azure as compared to 24 percent for AWS. It is important to note that many enterprises will use both AWS and Azure as part of a diversified portfolio of cloud providers. Google IaaS also made inroads with enterprises, increasing from 4 percent to 7 percent in 2015."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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