Microsoft Azure grows workloads, adoption as it closes AWS gap, RightScale survey says

The RightScale 2019 State of the Cloud Report from Flexera highlights how enterprises are spending more on cloud computing, but are getting concerned about optimizing their spending.

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Companies are going multi-cloud, half of them spend more than $1 million on public cloud, Microsoft Azure continues to grow workloads and adoption and cost optimization continues to be a big theme for 2019, according to the RightScale 2019 State of the Cloud report from Flexera.

Must read: Top cloud providers 2019: AWS, Azure, Google Cloud; IBM makes hybrid move; Salesforce dominates SaaS  

The RightScale 2019 State of the Cloud report from Flexera is based on 786 respondents with 58 percent of them classified as enterprise customers. The report from RightScale comes after a series of similar surveys from Kentik and Densify highlighted cost optimization amid multi-cloud adoption being key themes.

Optimizing cloud costs is the top initiative in 2019 for the third year in a row, increasing to 64 percent from 58 percent in 2018. While 64 percent of all respondents cite optimizing cloud spend as the top initiative, that number is higher among among intermediate and advanced cloud users at 70 percent and 76 percent, respectively. 

According to RightScale's cloud report, platform as a service, serverless, machine learning and container usage is exploding.

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Indeed, RightScale found that 84 percent of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy and 61 percent of small to mid-sized businesses do. Overall, RightScale respondents were using an average of 4.9 public and private clouds.

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Some of that spending surge from enterprises is landing with Microsoft Azure. Here's RightScale's analysis:

Overall Azure adoption grew from 45 to 52 percent to narrow the gap with AWS As a result, Azure adoption has now reached 85 percent of AWS adoption, up from 70 percent last year. Azure's race to catch up with AWS is especially accelerating among enterprises, where Azure adoption increases slightly from 58 percent to 60 percent while AWS adoption in this group is relatively flat at 67 percent. Google maintains its third-place position, increasing slightly from 18 to 19 percent adoption. In its second year of availability, VMware Cloud on AWS moves up to fourth position this year, increasing to 12 percent from 8 percent in 2018, a growth rate of 50 percent. Among other public cloud providers that were included in the survey last year, all saw increased adoption this year with Oracle growing from 10 to 16 percent (60 percent growth rate), IBM Cloud from 15 to 18 percent (20 percent growth rate), and Alibaba from 2 to 4 percent (100 percent growth rate). 

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As spending on cloud has surged--half of enterprises spend more than $1.2 million a year on public cloud--so have concerns about costs. According to RightScale, 66 percent of enterprises have created a central cloud team to manage services.

That central cloud team arrangement is mostly to manage costs. After all, RightScale found that companies are looking to optimize existing cloud usage above moving workloads.

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Overall, companies haven't automated policies for cloud usage and underestimate how much money they've wasted. Enterprises aren't even taking advantage of discounts on a wide scale.

Containers are also being adopted rapidly. What is the Kubernetes hybrid cloud and why it matters | What Kubernetes really is, and how orchestration redefines the data center

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The top growing public cloud services are serverless, but database as a service tools are widely adopted. Also: What serverless architecture really means, and where servers enter the picture

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