‘Big four’ cloud services account for 85 per cent of spending

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The four largest cloud services account for 85 per cent of spending, according to a new report by Cloudability

All four of the services belong to Amazon, and it would appear that Cloudability has looked mostly at Amazon and Microsoft Azure, with a glance toward Oracle.

But it says that it has looked at “more” cloud providers.

In fact, Cloudability describes its study as a “data-backed cloud industry report”, adding that the State of Cloud 2018 is “a real-world study that analyzed data from over 1,500 companies representing $2.5 billion in cloud spend, 75 billion data points, 3 billion CPU hours and 700M unique compute resources”.

Erik Onnen, CTO, Cloudability, says: “The cloud is something that is a profoundly big change, quite literally serving as one of the underpinnings of the fourth industrial revolution.

“Yet we realized that as we’ve watched the cloud grow, there have been few extensive real-world studies that pinpoint where cloud is and where it’s heading.”

The research company says the four dominant cloud services are:

  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud :: 58 per cent market share
  • Amazon Elastic Block Store :: 9.9 per cent
  • Amazon Relational Database :: 9.3 per cent
  • Amazon Simple Storage Service :: 6.3 per cent

Having gone through the report, we found no mention of Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud or anything other than Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Be that as it may, the Cloudability report does note some interesting trends, such as the growth of serverless computing.

Serverless computing is probably self-explanatory, but perhaps worth explaining briefly.

Most data centre infrastructure these days – the actual hardware, specifically the servers – is virtualised.

Virtualisation allows a data centre infrastructure provider to multiply its offering manifold. Basically, one physical server could act as many virtual servers for many customers, each of whom may have different requirements.

Serverless computing does require physical servers at the end of the day, but essentially, the physical servers are abstracted and users create virtual servers for their requirements.

One of the advantages of serverless computing is that customers can be charged precisely for their usage of computing resources.

It’s not like the customer is hiring a physical server and paying a certain price for that physical server regardless of how much they use it.

Another advantage of course is that the customer does not have to manage the actual hardware and infrastructure behind the virtual servers it is using.

Cloudability says it has calculated the growth of serverless computing across AWS Lambda and Microsoft Azure functions, and says it “continues to see a rapid quarter over quarter growth”.

The report adds: “Serverless continues to be attractive to organizations since it doesn’t require management of the infrastructure.

“As companies migrate increasingly to the cloud and continue to build cloud-native architectures, we think the pace of serverless adoption will also continue to grow.”

Cloudability says serverless computing increased 357 per cent in the fourth quarter, although isn’t specific about which year it’s talking about, nor what the percentage growth is compared with, time period or whatever.

What can probably be gleaned from this report is that the general trend of serverless and cloud computing is upwards, with more people and companies beginning to see the benefits of it in terms of time and money saved and hassle avoided.

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