According to an informal survey on a virtualization-specific Web site, consisting mostly of IT pros and executives familiar with cloud platforms, visitors are using Microsoft Azure almost as much as Amazon Web Services (AWS).
The Virtualization Practice, which claims to provide “Virtualization and Cloud Computing News, Resources, and Analysis,” conducted this survey. It asked one question: “Which Clouds do you use?”
The answer was that 39 percent of respondents use AWS; 35 percent are using Azure; 27 percent employ VMware vCloud (a private cloud); and 18 percent currently aren’t using any form of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud. “It’s interesting to see the percentage of people who don’t use IaaS-based cloud services. The survey’s author Edward Haletky said that Amazon and Azure rank higher than all private clouds.
It was also interesting to see that 36% of respondents use more than one cloud. Sixteen percent use at least two clouds, while 20 percent use three or more.
Haletky summarized the numbers as follows: “What we found is that the type and type of cloud that we use really matters and that we aren’t hypervisor-agnostic yet.” He also mentioned that only a few were using OpenStack, an open source platform for private cloud primarily.
Haletky declined to provide the exact number of poll respondents in an e-mail exchange but he believes that the results are valid. He said, “It’s not scientific, but it’s pretty accurate considering our readership.”
Haletky stated that the survey revealed several attitudes towards cloud computing. One is that Azure is invading on AWS more than expected, which may explain why Amazon is updating AWS so frequently. Another reason Azure is so successful is Microsoft’s position within the datacenter. Haletky stated that Azure’s success is due to two factors. First, Microsoft products need a cloud that can run them well. Second, Azure does.NET very well indeed. Active Directory is [in my humble opinion] the secret sauce. Azure is a great place to host Windows workloads.
Another surprise was the fact that the brand of cloud selected was less important than its intended purpose. “The cloud of clouds was more surprising than standardization. Haletky stated that function is more important than form. He concluded that clouds were selected for their unique features and not because they had to be associated with a particular vendor.
Haletky also found positive news for VMware in the survey results. He said that the hypervisor may still be relevant for some workloads, based on the numbers for VMware Cloud Air. This is an avenue through which VMware private clouds can easily grow beyond their datacenter boundaries.