Amazon, Google, Microsoft top choices for cloud, but no clear leader

Amazon, Google, Microsoft top choices for cloud, but no clear leader

Summary: Forrester survey of developers using cloud shows Amazon with an edge, hints that cloud preferences may be moving to best-of-breed.


One out of five developers report they are working on cloud applications. They tend to favor Amazon Web Services at this time, but their loyalty is not set in stone.

Forrester's Jeffrey Hammond reported on the results of a recent survey his firm conducted among 1,611 developers across the globe, and found 20% were working on cloud applications. The main uses for cloud among this group are compute, storage and relational database management systems. 

clouds-satellite-large photo by NASA via U.S. Department of the Interior  U.S. Geological Survey URL httpga.water.usgs.goveduphoto-gallery.html
Which cloud platform? Best-of-breed may rule. Photo credit: NASA

In terms of outside cloud vendors, Hammond reports that three companies lead the way in these three areas:

  • Compute resources: Most developers using cloud turn to Amazon as a source of raw processing power. Amazon's EC2 leads the way with 62% of developers. Microsoft Azure runs a distant second with 39%, and Google Cloud Platform at 29%.
  • Relational database management systems: Microsoft Azure and Amazon RDS are virtually tied, used by 48% and 45% of cloud developers, respectively.
  • Storage:  Amazon Web Services leads with 42% of the cloud developers, but Microsoft and Google follow close behind with 32% and 31%, respectively. Hammond notes that there's a three-way race in terms of expansion plans over the coming year. "Our take: This workload looks like it’s headed for a strongly competitive market in 2014."

Hammond sees strong parallels between what's shaping up in the enterprise cloud market, and the enterprise software market historically: strong players dominating the market, but more of a best-of-breed buying pattern, with no clear leaders. "We’re moving away from distinct leaders in a single market segment, like IaaS or PaaS, and toward a model that mirrors a traditional buying pattern, where app development professionals choose between best of breed services (e.g., compute, storage, RDBMS, messaging, CRM) or integrated data-centers of services (AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Salesforce/Heroku/Database."

Interestingly, the Forrester results point to the rule of three that has been the case in every market since markets began -- there will always be three dominant companies.

Competition is always a good thing.


Topics: Cloud, Enterprise Software

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  • A competitive market

    is very good for the industry. I'd prefer there not be a runaway favourite (though I personally prefer Azure), and continued competition for some time to come.
    • Agreed.

      Agreed. I like things to stay competitive.
  • google will just steal your data

    and sell it to the highest bidder. Remember, google has no business model BUT advertising, that is all they have. They need all their users data to present them with ads. Just another reason to avoid all google offerings.
    • This comment does not have a relationship to the article

      which is about Cloud services. Google App Engine is a programmatic service - infrastructure as a service. There is no user interface to Google App Engine. Nothing and nowhere to put ads.
  • MS has a whole lot of cloud to build

    Amazon has learned to sell its large cloud-server capacity during off hours, as a by-product. Google's server capacity is somewhere between 40%-80% of the entire worldwide web-traffic. What will happen to MS if Google sells its excess capacity to business?
    • MS has a whole lot of cloud of it's own

      and Google is trying to sell that capacity to business, it's just that nobody's buying it at a rate above the others, so MS is fine, as is Amazon.
      William Farrel
  • Math

    I don't think you have a very viable source seeing that the math doesn't add up.
    For the Compute Part:
    69 + 39 +29 (137) > 100
    For the Storage Part:
    42 + 32 +31 (105) > 100