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Research: Microsoft Leads Pack Chasing AWS for Cloud Supremacy

Fresh off yet another stellar earnings report, Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) cemented its position as the No. 1 cloud services provider -- chased by three main competitors -- in a new report from Synergy Research Group.

Microsoft and its Azure cloud are leading the chase pack, followed by IBM and Google, in cloud infrastructure services, according to the report on Q2 market share for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and hosted private clouds. The next 20 cloud providers' market share, combined, is still less than AWS' market share of about 31 percent.

In terms of year-over-year growth, Google enjoys the lead with a 162 percent growth rate, while AWS comes in fourth with a 53 percent rate.

"In a variety of ways Amazon and the other big three players have distanced themselves from the competition in this market and continue to widen the gap," said SRG analyst John Dinsdale in a statement today. "What marks them out as different is their global presence, marketing muscle, ability to fund huge investments in hyperscale data centers and, in most cases, a determination to succeed in the market. The ranking of the next 20 largest cloud providers features some interesting companies, with Alibaba and Oracle growing particularly strongly, but they are all starting from a long way behind Google, which is itself growing by well over 100 percent per year and yet remains only a sixth the size of Amazon."

The new SRG findings mirror previous reports by the company, like this one in May and this one in February. However, Compare the Cloud ranked cloud providers in March of last year and indicated AWS was losing mind share. If so, that hasn't been realized in market share rankings.

Microsoft, perhaps trying harder as the No. 2 cloud player, claimed last September that Azure differentiates itself from AWS by being in more regions and having an edge in the hybrid and PaaS spaces.

According to SRG, though, it doesn't appear to be a very competitive race between the four cloud leaders and their challengers.

"In aggregate the big four grew their cloud infrastructure service revenues 68 percent in Q2, while the next 20 largest cloud providers grew by 41 percent and all other smaller providers grew by 27 percent," the company said. "The market as a whole grew by 51 percent. Amazon remains in a league of its own, almost three times the size of its nearest competitor and with a clear lead in all major regions and most segments of the market. Meanwhile Microsoft and Google can point to substantially higher growth rates, while IBM continues to feature strongly thanks primarily to its leadership in the hosted private cloud segment."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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