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Cloud Report Sees Microsoft Azure 'Reduce the AWS Lead'

It's becoming more of a two-horse race in the cloud computing arena, as a new RightScale State of the Cloud report reinforces other studies that show Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) dwarfing competitors in market share, though No. 2 Microsoft Azure is narrowing the gap.

"Azure continues to grow quickly and reduce the AWS lead, especially among enterprises," says the "RightScale 2019 State of the Cloud Report," this year published by Flexera, which acquired RightScale last year but which is continuing the eight-year tradition of publishing the report.

"Overall Azure adoption grew from 45 to 52 percent to narrow the gap with AWS," the report said. "As a result, Azure adoption has now reached 85 percent of AWS adoption, up from 70 percent last year."

Public Cloud Adoption - Enterprise
[Click on image for larger view.] Public Cloud Adoption - Enterprise (source: Flexera).

Furthermore, "Azure continues to catch up with AWS overall especially among enterprises, where Azure adoption increases slightly from 58 percent to 60 percent, while AWS adoption in this group is relatively flat at 67 percent. This puts Azure with 89 percent of the AWS adoption level based on the overall number of respondents using each cloud."

Top Cloud Challenges
[Click on image for larger view.] Top Cloud Challenges (source: Flexera).

Other highlights of the survey report include:

  • The No. 1 priority in 2019 is cloud cost optimization: Optimizing existing cloud use for cost savings is the top initiative in 2019 for the third year in a row, increasing to 64 percent from 58 percent in 2018.
  • Enterprise cloud spend is significant and growing quickly: Enterprises plan to spend 24 percent more on public cloud in 2019 vs. 2018. Thirteen percent of enterprises spend more than $12 million a year on public cloud, while 50 percent spend more than $1.2 million annually.
  • Managing cloud spend and cloud governance are the top challenges for enterprises: Cloud cost management and cloud governance are top challenges for all levels of cloud users. Among enterprises, optimizing cloud costs (84 percent in 2019 vs. 80 percent in 2018) and cloud governance (84 percent in 2019 vs. 77 percent in 2018) are growing challenges.
  • Managing software licenses in the public cloud is top of mind: Understanding the cost implications of licensed software running in the cloud is also a key challenge (52 percent). Other challenges include understanding the complexity of license rules in public cloud (42 percent), and ensuring that they are following the rules (41 percent).
  • Container use is up, and Kubernetes use is skyrocketing: The use of Docker containers continues to grow, with adoption increasing to 57 percent from 49 percent in 2018. Kubernetes, a container orchestration tool that leverages Docker, achieves the fastest growth, increasing from 27 percent to 48 percent adoption.
  • Ansible takes the top spot among configuration tools: Among all respondents, Ansible has 41 percent adoption, followed by Chef and Puppet at 37 percent adoption.

"The data from the RightScale 2019 State of the Cloud Report by Flexera is consistent with what we're hearing from our C-level customers: managing the rapid increase in cloud use requires new capabilities for cost optimization and IT governance," said Jim Ryan, CEO of Flexera. "With multi-cloud as the strategy of choice, most enterprises are already spending over $1 million a year in public cloud. As a result, optimizing costs is the top cloud priority for the third year in a row, and governance is the top challenge. "

The survey was conducted in January 2019, polling 786 technology professionals across a broad cross-section of organizations about their adoption of cloud computing, Flexera said, noting the survey has a margin of error of 3 percent.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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