Evaluating the Market for Cloud Infrastructure Providers

The enterprise cloud market has options that cater to nearly any business need. Smaller businesses may need an easier to manage cloud platform, like Salesforce, while large enterprises typically want a high-powered cloud infrastructure. The simple reality is that more workloads are moving to the cloud. Cisco predicts that 94% of all workloads will run in a cloud environment by 2021.

The cloud infrastructure market is becoming increasingly concentrated at the top. The three most noteworthy vendors are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. These three have tremendous market reach globally, while also having extensive partner networks to help users build an optimal cloud. Analyst house Gartner Inc. categorizes these vendors as “hyperscale providers.” Each are recognized as leaders in Gartner’s IaaS Magic Quadrant.

Cloud Infrastructure Providers

The big cloud players, also known as hyperscale IaaS providers, need help from outside solutions to be fully optimized. For example, cloud managed service providers help companies make the most out of their cloud infrastructure. Most MSPs are available to work with AWS, which helps AWS stay at the top of the cloud market. However, there is an increasing number of MSPs available for Azure and Google Cloud Platform, coinciding with their growing market share.

Who solution providers choose to work with is important. As is noted in my post about the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure Managed Service Providers, all listed vendors work with AWS. It’s clear that AWS is easy for these vendors to work with, and this is reflected in the market research. The other key vendors are catching up though.

It may be safe to say that the influx of cloud tools per infrastructure vendor is an accurate measure of that vendor’s growth. Azure and GCP are growing and so are the available MSPs and other tools.

Amazon Web Services

AWS is the clear market leader, and this is reflected in various research publications, including Gartner. They state AWS has been the market pioneer in cloud IaaS for over 10 years. According to research by Synergy Research Group released in April, AWS has been consistent at around 33% of the market share for 12 quarters. They’ve also found that AWS is leading the public cloud market in the major regions around the world.

The scale of this cloud platform is one of its primary appeals. Enterprises of varying size, small or global, want to utilize the power of AWS. However, it is a difficult cloud to manage without the help of an outside provider.

AWS has the largest partner network of all cloud IaaS providers. Azure is catching up, but AWS’ extended market presence has allowed partners to grow and thrive alongside AWS. Many technology companies (including some in our guide) specifically built themselves as a partner. Gartner includes 20 vendors in their managed service provider Magic Quadrant, each of which holds partner status with AWS.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft has been a staple in personal computing since before personal computing was mainstream. This has essentially been the core principle of their cloud offerings. Azure inherently leverages existing Microsoft technologies to build an optimal cloud for any enterprise using Microsoft. Their cloud offerings package with other tools, like Office 365, to entice new customers to make the leap.

The company has been increasing its innovation capabilities. They are improving their Linux support to expand their customer base and allow IT teams more flexibility. Azure Stack is a useful on-premises tool that can make hybrid cloud adoption easier to manage.

Azure has been consistently growing as it takes aim on AWS’ market lead. Microsoft recently announced it would be dedicating its focus to the cloud going forward. Their dedication to growth is reflected in investment and the influx of managed service providers adding options for Azure. Azure has the second largest partner network and it continually growing.

Google Cloud Platform

Google used to be on the outside of the cloud infrastructure market but they’re quickly catching up. Their cloud platform utilizes many internal innovations, allowing enterprises to harness Google’s strengths. This allows enterprises to grow with the same tools that Google has grown with.

GCP was the last hyperscale provider to enter the market and have been working to catch up. The company has been working to differentiate itself with investments in technologies like big data, machine learning, and automation. Their partner network is the smallest of the three, but it is continuously growing as more providers are recognizing the strengths of GCP.