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AWS Maintains Its Public Cloud Dominance

Scott Ferguson

Growth at Amazon Web Services may have slowed a bit in the past few months, but Amazon's public cloud platform is still dominating the market, with Microsoft, Google and IBM fighting for a distant second place.

During the fourth quarter of 2016, AWS accounted for 40% of the global public cloud market, according to numbers released by Synergy Research Group Thursday. Amazon's share of the market did not change compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, the report found.

At the same time, Microsoft, Google and IBM collectively increased their share of the public cloud market by about 5%. When combined, these three companies represent about 23% of the public cloud space, which includes infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS).

While the new report confirms previous assumptions about the public cloud space, it also shows how dominant AWS has become and how far behind the competition is in this growing market. (See IaaS, PaaS Drive Cloud Market.)

"While a few cloud providers are growing at extraordinary rates, AWS continues to impress as a dominant market leader that has no intention of letting its crown slip," John Dinsdale, chief analyst and research director at Synergy, wrote in the report.

As Light Reading reported yesterday, AWS reported net sales of $3.5 billion during its fiscal fourth quarter, a 47% year-over-year increase. Annual sales totaled $12.2 billion -- a 55% increase from 2015. These results would be impressive for any other company except Amazon, especially since its AWS numbers slipped slightly from the third quarter. (See AWS Growth Slows, But Amazon's Still Killing It in Cloud.)

Even with some diminished returns, AWS dominates one of the fastest-growing markets in tech. During the fourth quarter, Synergy estimated that public cloud services pulled in about $7 billion in revenue, a 50% year-over-year increase. When managed private cloud is added into the mix, that number jumps to more than $9 billion.

While Microsoft, Google and IBM made the most gains in the public cloud, these three vendors increased their share at the expense of smaller cloud players and not AWS.

The next ten biggest public cloud providers, which include Alibaba and Oracle, saw their share of the market slip by about 1% from the fourth quarter of 2015 to the fourth quarter of 2016, according to the report. However, Synergy found that these firms are growing and control about 18% of the public cloud market.

The remainder of the public cloud market is controlled by smaller providers, which collectively saw their share slip about 4% during this time.

When it comes to private cloud, the Synergy report noted that IBM continues its lead in that market, with traditional IT service providers, such as Rackspace, also ranking as top players. (See Rackspace Picks Cotten as New Prez.)

— Scott Ferguson, Editor, Enterprise Cloud. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

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