AWS, Azure Dominating Multi-Cloud Expansion – Study

Scott Ferguson

The rush to multi-cloud environments is continuing, with some enterprises using up to five different cloud service providers to help meet their needs, according to a new industry survey.

Not surprisingly, the study, released Tuesday, finds that Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure are the most popular choices for enterprises that are using multiple cloud providers.

The study, "2017 State of Enterprise Multi-Cloud," is based on a survey of 683 IT professionals in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The report was conducted by IOD Cloud Technologies Research and Cloudify, a company that focuses on network functions virtualization (NFV), as well as management and orchestration of cloud applications for enterprises.

A multi-, multi-cloud world
(Source: Mampu via Pixabay)
A multi-, multi-cloud world
(Source: Mampu via Pixabay)

Earlier this year, Cloudify was spun off from its parent company, GigaSpaces Technologies, into its own, standalone company. (See GigaSpaces Spins Off Cloudify as Standalone Company.)

The study finds that 50% of those surveyed are using at least two different cloud service providers, with 9% using up to five different providers. Earlier this year, Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, detailed in its initial public offering (IPO) paperwork that is has committed $2 billion to Google Cloud Platform, plus an additional $1 billion to AWS. (See Snap Commits $1B to AWS.)

A few outlying companies are even using eight to nine different providers.

The September 12 study confirms that AWS and Azure remain the most popular choices for public clouds, which echoes various other industry studies that have concluded the same, noting that Amazon is far ahead of all its competitors. (See AWS, Despite Slowdown, Reigns Over Cloud Market – Report.)

While the most popular cloud combo is AWS and Azure, the study finds that the second most used combination is AWS and OpenStack, which is primarily used in private cloud deployments and has struggled in recent months, although the OpenStack Foundation is looking to change that perception. (See OpenStack 'Pike' Release Emphasizes Ease-of-Use.)

While AWS is more popular with smaller firms, OpenStack is the preferred cloud platform for larger enterprises, according to the study.

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In a statement, IOD Technologies Research CEO Ofir Nachmani noted:

The survey strengthens our preliminary assumption that large organizations are investing in building a hybrid environment with AWS and OpenStack. These findings and more in the report lead to the conclusion that heterogeneous IT infrastructure is the enterprise reality. It follows that a robust multi-cloud management layer is therefore crucial to avoid fragmentation and failure when reinventing the traditional enterprise IT environment.

The survey also finds that enterprises have multiple reason to move to the cloud, especially these multi-cloud deployments. The main reasons include:

  • Increasing operational efficiency: 38%
  • Disruption and innovation: 28%
  • Standardization: 13%
  • Avoiding vendor lock-in: 12%
  • Saving money: 9%
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— Scott Ferguson, Editor, Enterprise Cloud News. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

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10/2/2017 | 3:34:34 PM
Re: Options
I'm wondering when the pendulum will swing back toward self-hosted clouds. When you figure in the overhead of managing multiple cloud services, you have to wonder when it might be simpler or less complex/costly to do things in-house with the right expertise.

I'm guessing when custom chips are available for nearly any datacenter, tailored for specific performance or energy-use efficiency, that companies might consider a switch back to building their own datacenters?

Or will there be some other hardware/software revolution that will change the cost equations?
9/13/2017 | 6:10:12 PM
I think what's really compelling about this space is that as a technologist there are options. Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Digital Ocean - there's something for everyone out there. 
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