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Microsoft Narrows AWS's Lead in Cloud Infrastructure Market

Cloud provider research for years has consistently named Amazon Web Services (AWS) the overwhelmingly dominant player, doggedly pursued by No. 2 Microsoft Azure. That's still true, but a recent report by analyst firm Canalys says the gap has narrowed.

In its Q2 2018 cloud infrastructure report, the firm noted AWS accounts for 31 percent of the total market and grew 48 percent during the quarter, with the Azure cloud closing in.

"It closed the market share leadership gap, with an 18 percent share against 14 percent in the same period a year ago," the report says of Microsoft's cloud offering. Google Cloud Platform, meanwhile, grew at an even faster rate, 108 percent, but still only commands 8 percent of the total worldwide market share.

The Leaders in Cloud
[Click on image for larger view.] The Leaders in Cloud (source: Canalys).

Canalys said total spend reached $20 billion in the quarter for cloud infrastructure, which is increasing dominated by hybrid IT approaches, with mixed public cloud/private cloud/on-premises implementations. It cited recent research by Candefero that indicated only 6 percent of channel partners put all their infrastructure in the public cloud.

"Hybrid IT is the dominant approach taken by businesses, with 75 percent of channel partner respondents indicating that most of their customers are adopting a combination of private and public cloud computing," said Canalys Research Analyst Daniel Liu. "Businesses are assessing ongoing public cloud costs as well as usage rates to determine the best options for their workloads. This will result in some remaining on-premises, some moving to public cloud providers and some returning from public to private clouds."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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