Multicloud deployments surge as Microsoft Azure duels with AWS

All of the public cloud players are showing solid growth as the multicloud pie expands. Azure is closing the gap on AWS, but Google Cloud is making big inroads too.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Nearly all companies have a multicloud strategy but are wrestling to control costs, according to Flexera's 2021 State of Cloud Report. Meanwhile, Microsoft Azure continues to close the adoption gap with Amazon Web Services.

The report highlights a bevy of moving parts with cloud deployments as well as multi-year trends surrounding containers, security, and optimization.

Flexera's report confirms that multicloud deployments are increasingly a two-cloud race between AWS and Microsoft Azure. However, Google Cloud also has significant workloads and is a key provider.

Among all respondents, 50% of enterprises have significant workloads on AWS with 41% running those significant workloads on Azure. Google Cloud has a 22% share for significant workloads.

Here's a look at the multicloud race:


But every cloud provider is seeing workload growth among Flexera respondents. It's worth noting Google Cloud's growth accelerating from 2021 as well as Oracle Cloud.


Ninety-two percent of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy with 80% following a hybrid cloud approach. Flexera also said that 49% of enterprises silo workloads by cloud with 45% integrating data across clouds.

The AWS and Azure battle continues across enterprise sizes including large enterprises as well as smaller businesses. Among public clouds, platform-as-a-service usage is accelerating. The top four public cloud services used by enterprises include:

  • Data warehouse
  • DBaaS (relational)
  • Container-as-a-service
  • DBaaS (NoSQL)

As cloud providers increasingly are landing multiple workloads and use cases, it's not surprising that spending is surging. For instance, 16% of respondents spend more than $12 million on AWS with 14% spending more than that sum on Azure and 8% on Google Cloud.

Overall, Flexera projects that cloud spending will grow 39% with companies struggling to maintain budgets.

Other Flexera findings include:

  • 53% of respondents are using Docker followed by 51% using AWS ECS/EKS and Kubernetes at 48%. Azure Container Service, Google Kubernetes Engine, and Red Hat OpenShift all have at least 27% usage.
  • Terraform is the most popular configuration tool with 36% usage among respondents followed by 31% using Ansible and 29% using Chef.
  • 61% of enterprises plan to optimize cloud costs in 2021.
  • 74% of enterprises have a central cloud team.
  • 81% of enterprises say cloud security is a challenge. 
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