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

Forrester survey of developers using cloud shows Amazon with an edge, hints that cloud preferences may be moving to best-of-breed.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

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.


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