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Azure nipping at the heels of AWS, new cloud report finds

By Julia Gabel
Thu 15 Feb 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Enterprise universal cloud management company RightScale has released the results of its State of Cloud Survey, offering key insights into the global cloud market. 

The report covers trends in cloud spend, enterprise cloud strategies, cloud security challenges and Azure and AWS adoption. 

RightScale CEO Michael Crandell, “The RightScale 2018 State of the Cloud Survey showed that enterprise cloud spending will grow rapidly over the next year, and yet 35% of cloud spend is wasted.”

“As a result, optimising clouds costs is the top initiative for cloud users in 2018.” 

Key highlights from the report include: 

Average enterprise cloud spending increases

26% of enterprise respondents say they spend more than $6 million a year in the public cloud, while another 26% say they spend between $1.2 million and $6 million a year.

Enterprises plan to grow public cloud spend

20% of enterprises plan to more than double public cloud spend. 

An additional 17% plan to increase cloud spend 50 to 100%. Overall, 71% of enterprises will grow public cloud spend more than 20%.

Optimising cloud costs is top initiative

Optimising cloud costs is the top initiative again for the second year in a row for all cloud users (58%), which is an increase over 2017 (53%).

Cloud users leverage multiple clouds

“Multi-cloud continues to be the preferred strategy for enterprises, with companies reporting that they use nearly five different clouds on average," Crandell adds. 

Respondents are already running applications in 3.1 clouds and experimenting with 1.7 more for a total of 4.8 clouds used.

Enterprises create cloud “centers of excellence” to focus on cloud governance

57% of enterprises already have a central cloud team or center of excellence with another 24% planning one.  These central teams are focusing on planning which applications to move to cloud (69%), optimising costs (64%), and setting cloud policies (60%). 

Top cloud challenges in 2018 are security and spend 

Security is a challenge for 77% of respondents, with 29% seeing it as a significant challenge. 

Managing cloud spend is a challenge for 76% of respondents, while a smaller 21% see it as a significant challenge. 

Security is the largest issue among cloud beginners, while cost becomes a bigger challenge for intermediate and advanced users.

Public cloud adoption is up

Adoption of public cloud grew for all cloud providers. 

Across all users, AWS increased adoption from 57% in 2017 to 64% in 2018; Azure increased from 34 to 45%; Google Cloud increased from 15 to 18%; IBM Cloud increased from 8 to 10%; VMware Cloud on AWS came right out of the gate strongly with 8% adoption; Oracle Cloud increased from 3 to 6%; and Alibaba Cloud showed 2% adoption in its first year being included in the survey. 

Azure closes ground on AWS, especially in the enterprise

Among enterprises, Azure grew enterprise adoption strongly to 58%, gaining ground on AWS at 68%. 

Among enterprises just beginning their cloud journey, Azure is used by 49% while AWS is at 47%. 

Azure also saw strong growth in the footprint of virtual machines used by its customers: 44% of Azure users have more than 50 VMs (up from 32% in 2017), while 59% of AWS users have more than 50 VMs (up from 51 percent in 2017).

“With this multi-cloud approach, Azure is now nipping at AWS’ heels and, in fact, is in a dead heat with AWS among enterprises that are just beginning their cloud adoption,” adds Crandell. 

Private cloud adoption grows across the board

Overall, VMware vSphere continues to lead with 50% adoption, up significantly from last year (42%). OpenStack (24%), VMware vCloud Director (24%), Microsoft System Center (23 percent), and bare metal (22%) were all neck and neck.

Docker, Kubernetes, and cloud container services all grow: Overall Docker adoption increased to 49% from 35% last year (a growth rate of 40%). Kubernetes grew even faster, almost doubling to reach 27 percent adoption. 

AWS’ container service reached 44% adoption (a growth rate of 26% from 2017), while Azure’s reached 20% and Google’s reached 14%. 

In its seventh year, the RightScale State of the Cloud Survey includes 997 technology professionals at large and small enterprises across a broad cross-section of industries. 

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