Study Shows AWS Under Pressure in IaaS Arena

451 Research has come out with a study that indicates Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) is still the most popular option to provide Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) to enterprises, but challenger Microsoft Azure is pressuring the perennial cloud computing market leader.

In on-premises cloud platform scenarios, VMware Inc. is No. 1, the poll of more than 1,500 IT pros featured in the 451 Research Vendor Window indicates. The research firm surveyed enterprise adoption rates and subjective customer ratings of different vendors for its new report.

AWS fared well in both measurements, chosen by 57 percent of enterprise customers and named the "most important" IaaS vendor by 35 percent of those respondents.

In the ratings department, 451 said "AWS received some of the highest ratings overall for its ability to fulfill customer needs, particularly in terms of Experience and Technical Innovation."

The Leaders
[Click on image for larger view.] The Leaders (source: 451 Research)

However, along with several other recent reports, this new survey shows perennial cloud leader AWS -- the very first major cloud service -- is facing increasing competition from challengers such as Microsoft and its Azure platform.

"While the 2015 Vendor Window for IaaS shows AWS as the clear leader based on multiple metrics, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace and VMware's vCloud Air are becoming competitive challengers," said exec Michelle Bailey. "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."

Microsoft Azure was used by 42 percent of enterprises and is the most likely choice to be evaluated by organizations seeking their next IaaS provider.

The Redmond software giant's cloud didn't fare so well in some of the ratings, however, as it scored poorly on Experience and Support for Open Source Software. The latter finding is somewhat surprising considering Microsoft's much-ballyhooed move to openness and interoperability.

Rackspace, meanwhile, scored the highest ratings for Guaranteed Service-Level Agreements and matched AWS in meeting customer needs.

In the on-premises datacenter cloud arena, VMware is the clear leader with a high 70 percent enterprise adoption rate.

"While VMware's market dominance continues, and they have excellent ratings from existing customers, the survey results indicate that over 70 percent of VMware customers have also deployed an alternative cloud platform such as OpenStack, CloudStack or Microsoft Cloud OS," said 451 exec Dr. Scott Ottaway. "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."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.