The last Magic Quadrant that Gartner issued last year shows that Amazon Web Services maintains its "king of IaaS services" position, despite the strong competition from Microsoft's Azure Platform and Google's Cloud Platform. The three companies mentioned above are members of the "hyper-scale vendors" category.
It is known that AWS offers 10 times more computation power than the other 14 competitors together, at once! Moreover, AWS is the only IaaS and PaaS cloud service supplier, exceeding 1 million enterprise customers (that is companies, not individual users). AWS announced its revenue has recently exceeded 4 billion dollars.
In May 2016, AWS announced that its portfolio grew to an impressive 1950 services and solutions, compared to only a little more than 500 in 2014, and approximately 1000 last year. Taking into account that, at the time when the AWS Platform was launched, in 2006, there were only 42 available services, the leader position is well deserved.
Gartner's graph divides companies into 4 categories: leaders, visionaries, niche players and competitors. While leaders usually focus on technologies for the future, visionaries have a deep understanding of the market and change the market rules, even if they have a lower performance turnout than leaders do. Competitors can supply cheap, functional services without having an accurate understanding of the market and without directly innovating the market. Niche payers, on the other hand, focus on a narrow technology segment which they manage to optimize without producing direct innovation.
The study Gartner performs every year highlighted the following advantages of AWS technology:
The launch and fast delivery of new services which cater for market needs;
The impressive ecosystem of the partners that can provide consultancy services for the development of the applications published in AWS, applications which can administer the professional customer services and which can manage the migration of their infrastructure towards Amazon solutions;
The great number of software products which are integrated into AWS solutions;
The widest palette of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) capabilities;
The weakest elements pertaining to AWS technology include:
The complexity of the systems which must be administered;
The separate taxation of optional services, which are registered free in competitors' portfolio;
The relation between AWS and its customers, based on the offers in the support plan and not so much on the volume of the acquisitions performed by the customers;
In spite of these well-known disadvantages, Amazon is the oldest competitor, compared with Microsoft and Google, which offers the advantages of being the first on the market. As a result, Amazon offers competitive services at lower prices due to the time amortization of infrastructure investment and its further expansion by reinvesting a sizeable share of the profit.
At the moment, AWS offers a number of 12 regions where there are datacenters, placed in 33 areas of availability (some areas holding up to 6 datacenters). This provides redundancy both for energy supply and for connecting the services to the network. Each datacenter offers up to 102 Tbps band width and between 50000 and 80000 servers.
Last but not least, we must take into consideration the latest ranking of IT jobs, where the AWS Solution Architect specialty is the first among the 15 best-paid jobs, in front of the well-known: CISCO, security, ITIL and PMP.
The new Gartner study published in June places Microsoft first in terms of IaaS technologies, for the first time in the last 5 years. This recognition comes after a constant growth in the past years, a growth sustained by the acquisition of several service suppliers, which places Microsoft, according to Gartner, in a "cloud-first, mobile-first Leader" position. This also resonates with the company's vision: "any developer, any app, any platform".
The availability of the Azure platform in 140 countries, including China, the 10 supported languages and the 24 currencies, as well as the 24 regions worldwide, makes the competition between the two titans even more interesting. The end user holds the biggest benefit: mature and financially efficient technologies.
2016 will mark the separation of these two companies from its next 13 competitors and will push cloud services to a market penetration level which was anticipated 3 years ago, because the service market exceeded the value of the investments in infrastructure, which cannot be neglected.
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