Azure surpasses AWS as the public cloud of choice

A survey found Azure has opened up a sizable lead.

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Microsoft

A new survey of IT professionals shows Microsoft Azure has overtaken Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the public cloud provider of choice, although there is considerable overlap.

The survey was commissioned by Sumo Logic, a data analytics provider, and was performed by UBM Research. It surveyed 230 IT professionals from companies with 500 or more employees.

The survey found 80 percent of enterprises currently use or plan to use at least one public cloud provider, if not more. And given the figures, a large number are clearly using more than one. Around two-thirds (66 percent) of respondents said they use Azure while 55 percent said they use AWS. Salesforce App cloud comes in third at 28 percent, IBM fourth at 23 percent and Google is at 20 percent.

More than half of the Azure users were from enterprises with more than 10,000 employees, which suggests that Microsoft’s cloud is particularly popular with large enterprises, according to the survey. 

The result is notable because this is the first survey to put Azure ahead of AWS. All other past surveys have always found AWS to be the leader in the public cloud provider market. Now 230 IT pros does not a major trend make, but it could be the first sign that Microsoft has taken the lead in this market. Or it could be an aberration.

Additionally, the survey found that 67 percent of those surveyed are using software-as-a-service (SaaS), about four out of 10 are using infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and/or platform-as-a-service (PaaS). Also growing in popularity is DevOps, the new means of application development, which goes hand-in-hand with cloud use. UBM found 68 percent of those surveyed either plan to adopt DevOps or already have.

DevOps is meant to be a faster means of writing and deploying new applications, and that goes with the findings of the survey that 42 percent of respondents said they are deploying apps more frequently than in the past, while only 8 percent of respondents said they were deploying apps less frequently than in previous years.

“Trends such as cloud computing and DevOps are helping companies become more flexible and responsive to market conditions. However, as cloud computing becomes standard in IT organizations, concerns about security persist,” said Amy Doherty, research director for UBM Technology in a statement.

Security remains the top concern of companies embracing the cloud. When asked about the biggest challenges related the cloud, security received the most votes (27 percent) from respondents. While the majority of those surveyed (55 percent) said public cloud services are more secure than they used to be, only 6 percent describe the security of public cloud as “excellent.”

Other sore spots for cloud adopters are migrating applications and data to the cloud (15 percent), obtaining a unified view of cloud and traditional IT infrastructure (8 percent) and managing cloud-based apps and operations (7 percent).

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