A recent report from 451 Research paints a positive picture of the Infrastructure as a Service market (IaaS), at least when it comes down to how enterprises perceive vendors’ ability to deliver on their promises.
451 Research conducted a survey of over 50,000 IT executives from all sizes and asked them to rate IaaS providers. This was done to assess how closely their promises (which were defined by the firm as their “attributes before purchase”) match their actual implementation (or fulfillment). Here is a summary of the survey’s findings in.PDF.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), which earned 76 and 77 respectively, led the field in promise and fulfillment scores. This is higher than the 72 average for both categories (see infograph below).
These high marks are not surprising considering that AWS is the IaaS platform choice for the majority of respondents (55.8%) AWS was also voted the most important IaaS provider, by 39 percent. The report stated that AWS was ranked highest by respondents in multiple areas including “breadth/features, brand/reputation and technical expertise and innovation.”
AWS was not able to score well in other categories, such as “value/cost” for which Google Cloud Platform received the highest score. AWS also failed to score in “understands my company,” which AWS scored below both IBM/SoftLayer (and Microsoft Azure).
[Click on the image to see a larger view.] Source: 451 Research Azure was cited by the researchers as a “formidable competitor” to AWS, confirming other survey findings. Only 48% of respondents ranked Azure as their most important IaaS provider. This is just four percentage points less than AWS, and 15 percentage point higher than last year. Azure, just like AWS, earned 74 and 73 respectively for their average scores in promise and fulfillment.
451 Research says Microsoft is working to close the gap between market adoption and customer perceptions with AWS. According to 451 Research, Azure is the most popular IaaS platform across Europe. This is compared to AWS’ 32 per cent market share. Researchers attributed this to Microsoft’s efforts in Europe to address data sovereignty concerns of European customers.
These findings come at a crucial time for Microsoft as it prepares its new Azure Stack offering for release later in the year. Azure Stack allows organizations to run the Azure public cloud from their private datacenters. “It will be interesting for us to assess the impact on Azure Stack (scheduled to launch by mid-2017), on Microsoft’s overall positioning, individual attribute ratings for multicloud/hybrid support as well as technical expertise, and innovation,” stated Melanie Posey of 451 Research in a prepared statement.
AWS and Azure were closely followed by Google Cloud Platform (with an promise score of 73, and fulfillment score of 74), and IBM/SoftLayer (72) for promise and 70 fulfillment. Survey respondents gave IaaS providers high marks for “uptime/performance,” security, and technical expertise. However, they were less impressed with “understanding business requirements”, multi-cloud/hybrid support, and enterprise-level customer service, according to the researchers.