Cloud customers pairing AWS and Microsoft Azure, according to Kentik

Multi-cloud may eclipse hybrid as a deployment mantra for enterprise cloud deployments. Simply put, you'll wind up using a bunch of clouds.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure may be fierce cloud rivals, but enterprises are pairing both giants up in multi-cloud deployments, according to a survey by network analytics company Kentik.

Also: The Art of the Hybrid Cloud 

Kentik's survey, which covered 310 technical and business executives, was taken at AWS' re:Invent in November. Now that the results have been tallied there are a few points worth noting:

Also: Top cloud providers: How AWS, Microsoft, Google, IBM, Oracle, Alibaba stack up

  • Multi-cloud deployments are happening at a quick pace on par or exceeding hybrid cloud rollouts.
  • The most common cloud combination was AWS and Azure, but there are customers working in Google Cloud Platform too. According to the Kentik survey, 97 percent of respondents reported their companies use AWS, but 35 percent also said they actively use Azure too. Twenty-four percent use AWS and Google Cloud Platform together.
  • The biggest challenge is managing cloud costs and some (10 percent of respondents) still track AWS costs with spreadsheets. Nearly 30 percent of respondents said the biggest cloud challenge is cost management.

Kentik's multi-cloud findings are worth noting as companies such as IBM are targeting enterprises using multiple cloud services providers as well as utilizing their own data centers. 

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For instance, IBM said on Tuesday that it plans to close its Red Hat acquisition, which was all about open, multi-cloud and hybrid environments, in the second half of the year.

IBM CFO James Kavanaugh said on IBM's fourth quarter earnings conference call:

Companies such as Vodafone and BNP Paribas are leveraging the IBM Cloud, where they benefit from our hybrid multi-cloud capabilities and access to the most advanced technologies.

We continue to see momentum in our open, hybrid multi-cloud approach.

Also: Everything you need to know about the cloud, explained  

Based on Kentik's survey, customers tend to agree with the IBM mantra on multi-cloud and hybrid deployments. Look for the emphasis to shift to multi-cloud over hybrid over time. Consider:

  • 33 percent of respondents have at least one cloud provider as well as traditional infrastructure.
  • 18 percent use AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
  • 40 percent use at least two clouds.

Other key items in the Kentik report include:

  • Security is the No. 2 cloud challenge to cost management.
  • 54 percent of respondents have a cloud monitoring tool, but log management and application performance management tools are being used too. In fact, 59 percent of respondents have at least two tools for cloud visibility.

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