Amazon’s AWS was the overall leader among various criteria for cloud services, including highest share of budget (27%), while Azure was close behind (23%), according to the Cowen survey, which targeted 200 cloud customers. Azure had a slight edge in usage, with 45% of the respondents using the services vs. 44% for AWS.
The Cowen analyst team concluded the results are positive for Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), VMware (NYSE: VMW), and Rackspace (NYSE: RAX), but negative for IBM (NYSE: IBM). For Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), it sees the results as mixed. Rackspace stood out as well positioned to gain spending in a variety of areas.
“For the software names, MSFT appears to have made meaningful inroads, and VMW also screened better than expected,” said an investment report based on the survey, released this morning. “Results were also positive for RHT in terms of Linux deployments and widespread interest in Docker and containers. For IBM, survey results were negative, pointing to potential market share losses in Cloud-related work vs. its peers.”
Other cloud players are either distant competitors or considered niche players, as described in the survey results. Google Cloud Platform (GCP), IBM SoftLayer, and Rackspace Public Cloud all trailed AWS and Azure across the broad range of metics.
Some of the second-tier players, however, are strong in particular niches. For example, Google’s strength was in spending from mid-sized businesses, nearly double all vendors except for AWS, according to Cowen. Rackspace Public Cloud does well with enterprise spending.
“Customers are planning for annual budget growth of 20%+ for Rackspace Public Cloud in the next several years, but expect growth closer to 10% for GCP and IBM SoftLayer,” said the results from Cowen’s report released in an investor note yesterday.
Some other nuggets from the survey:
- Azure gained ground with high average spend in enterprise, which contributed to average overall spend of $115K. “This year’s survey conveys it’s a two-horse race with AWS leading Azure,” said the Cowen report.
- Reliability and security are two top reasons for picking third-party cloud services. High reliability topped the list of reasons for using AWS, while security was the leading reason for using Azure, GCP, IBM, Rackspace, and VMware. Costs were the main concern associated with using any of these providers.
- Value-added services are becoming an important part of cloud services. Database applications were the most popular use case for IBM SoftLayer, Azure, and VMware vCloud Air, and the second most popular for AWS and Rackspace Public Cloud. Business-continuity/disaster-recovery was the third most popular use case for both AWS and VMware vCloud Air.
- The primary use cases for GCP were email, file systems, and websites.
- Most customers use multiple providers and are looking to add more. Respondents using just one service provider accounted for 43% of respondents in 2014 and should decline to 36% in 2016.
- Rackspace was tops among the list of providers that could be added, followed by Azure and AWS.
The analyst team concluded the results are particularly encouraging for Rackspace, as customer interest remains high. It points out that customers have high interest in Rackspace provider support for other cloud services.