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April 15, 2015

Microsoft Azure closes in on IaaS leader AWS

Cloud race tightens.

By Ellie Burns

Amazon Web Services (AWS) reigns supreme, leading in Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) adoption among enterprise IT buyers.

The 451 Research Vendor Window found that 57% of IaaS customers used AWS, with 35% of these customers naming AWS as the most important IaaS provider in the market.

Hot on the heels of AWS, Microsoft Azure is vying for the top spot having been adopted by 42% of enterprises surveyed. 20% named Microsoft Azure as the most important IaaS provider, with it also being listed most often as the vendor that enterprises may consider for their next IaaS supplier.

However, Microsoft was found to be lacking when it came to the research metrics, having been rated lower than other vendors in the ‘Experience and Support for Open-Source Software’ category.

"While the 2015 Vendor Window for IaaS shows Amazon Web Services as the clear leader based on multiple metrics, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace and VMware’s vCloud Air are becoming competitive challengers," said Michelle Bailey, Senior Vice President, Digital Infrastructure and Data Strategy.

"As more mainstream customers move business-critical workloads to cloud environments, the decision criteria for evaluating potential vendors change relative to early cloud adopters, and in turn so do the vendors under consideration."

When it comes to on-premise private cloud, VMware was found to dominate the market with its ESX and vCloud offerings. VMware adoption rates in the enterprise were an impressive 70%.

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The good news for VMware did not stop there, with the company and its partner solution, Cisco UCS, receiving the highest ratings in terms of Promise and Fulfilment, particularly on the attributes of Company Brand and Platform Reliability.

"While VMware’s market dominance continues, and they have excellent ratings from existing customers, the survey results indicate that over 70% of VMware customers have also deployed an alternative cloud platform such as OpenStack, CloudStack or Microsoft Cloud OS," said Dr. Scott Ottaway, Vice President of Cloud Services and Data Research.

"As open-source-based solutions continue to receive investment from major hardware and software vendors such as HP, IBM, Red Hat and Citrix, VMware’s dominance is under pressure, especially for mobile and cloud-native applications."

When it came to the hosted private cloud market, Rackspace’s market dominance was clear to see. Boasting a 20% market share, Rackspace was the number-one vendor in the highly fragmented market.

The Research Vendor Window findings were the result of over 1,500 global IT professionals, including 1,000 unique vendor evaluations, being polled. The assessment was based on both overall enterprise adoption rates and customer ratings of vendor performance.

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