As the cloud turns: AWS tops, but look out for Microsoft's Azure

Cloud decisions for enterprises are shifting back to central IT; Amazon Web Services leads; Microsoft's Azure surges and there's a lot of headroom left for infrastructure as a service.

Amazon Web Services leads the infrastructure as a service pack, but Microsoft's Azure is closing; there's a lot of room for apps to move to the cloud; and more enterprises are going with hybrid approaches, according to RightScale's annual survey of cloud adoption.

RightScale's survey of infrastructure as a service usage covered 930 respondents with 306 enterprises with 1,000 employees or more. Of the respondents, 24 percent were RightScale users. Of the companies surveyed, 45 percent had 1 to 100 employees with the remainder 100 workers or above. By region, 62 percent of respondents were from North America, 18 percent from Europe and 12 percent from Asia. The remainder was in other regions.



Among the key points:

  • 93 percent of enterprises surveyed were running or experimenting with IaaS.
  • Amazon Web Services' adoption was 57 percent among respondents with Microsoft's Azure at 12 percent, double from 2014.
  • Among enterprises, Azure had 19 percent adoption with AWS at 50 percent.
  • 82 percent have a hybrid cloud strategy, up from 74 percent in 2014.
  • Public cloud is gaining on adoption with 88 percent of companies using a public cloud, but private clouds have the bulk of the workloads. For instance, 63 percent of respondents are using the public cloud.
  • Docker is used by 13 percent of companies with 35 percent planning to use it.
  • VMware's vSphere leads the private cloud pack with 53 percent of respondents using it for the private cloud. Microsoft's Azure Pack is used by 11 percent of enterprises.
  • 68 percent of enterprises run less than a fifth of their apps in the cloud.
  • There's a talent crunch with lack of cloud expertise ranked as the No. 2 challenge behind security.
  • 62 percent of companies say central IT makes the cloud spending decisions and is being seen as the internal broker to services.

It's also worth noting that IBM's SoftLayer, HP and Oracle did not appear in the IaaS survey much. The sample size was too small to measure relative to RightScale's 3.2 percent margin of area. Those vendors are often combining SaaS, PaaS and other cloud flavors as RightScale's focused on infrastructure specifically.

Here's a look at a few slides worth noting: