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Research: Alibaba Joins AWS, Other Cloud Computing Leaders

Synergy Research Group published cloud computing market share data that for the first time shows Alibaba edging its way into the top group of providers, long and widely led by Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS).

In its report for Q4 2017, Synergy's data mostly echoes the general theme of many earlier research reports (most recently, this one): AWS is the unquestioned cloud leader, primarily challenged by the likes of IBM, Google and especially Microsoft, which is sometimes said to be eclipsing AWS in some areas with its Azure platform.

However, giant, multinational conglomerate Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., based in China, can be seen as the new kid forcing its way into the cool cloud computing clique with its Alibaba Cloud.

"AWS maintained its dominant position with revenues that exceeded the next four closest competitors combined, despite huge strides being made by Microsoft," Synergy said in a Feb. 2 statement. "A notable change in Q4 was that a doubling of cloud revenues at Alibaba enabled it to join the ranks of the top five operators for the first time."

Synergy said AWS and its second-tier chasers -- now including Alibaba -- all gained market share at the expense of smaller players. Overall, the arena is seeing good growth, as spend on cloud infrastructure services increased 46 percent from the final quarter of 2016,

"We fully expected a year-end boost in cloud growth rates but the numbers came in a little stronger than anticipated, which says a lot about just how robust are the market drivers," said Synergy exec John Dinsdale. "As demand for cloud services blossoms, the leading cloud providers all have things to be pleased about and they are setting a fierce pace that most chasing companies cannot match. Smaller companies can still do well by focusing on specific applications, industry verticals or geographies, but overall this is a game that can only be played by companies with big ambitions, big wallets and a determined corporate focus."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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