AWS pulls ahead as cloud market surge continues

AWS pulls ahead as cloud market surge continues

AWS’ worldwide market share inched back up to 33 per cent after Microsoft and Google slowly gained ground in previous quarters.

Adam Selipsky (CEO - AWS); Satya Nadella (CEO - Microsoft) and Thomas Kurian (CEO - Google Cloud)

Adam Selipsky (CEO - AWS); Satya Nadella (CEO - Microsoft) and Thomas Kurian (CEO - Google Cloud)

Credit: Tableau / Microsoft / Google Cloud

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud together claimed 63 per cent of global cloud infrastructure services spend during the three months ending June, with total spend topping US$42 billion.  

This is according to industry analyst firm Synergy Research, which claimed that second quarter cloud infrastructure services spend represented a US$2.7 billion increase the previous quarter and a surge of 39 per cent over the tally for the second quarter of 2020.  

After achieving 10 per cent growth on the previous quarter, AWS’ worldwide market share inched back up to 33 per cent after Microsoft and Google had slowly gained ground in previous quarters. AWS has been the undisputed market share leader for years and looks set to maintain the status quo for the foreseeable future. 

As AWS increased its market share, Microsoft and Google accounted for another 30 per cent of the market – 20 per cent of which was claimed by Microsoft – while the next 20 cloud providers combined had a 28 per cent market share. Following these, a series of small- to medium-sized service providers accounted for the rest of the market.  

Among the companies chasing the top three, those with above average growth rates include Alibaba Cloud, along with four other leading Chinese cloud providers, one of which was Tencent.  

The dominance of the major cloud providers is even more pronounced in public cloud, where the top five control 80 per cent of the market, according to the analyst firm. 

Not only do Synergy Research’s figures confirm the continued dominance of AWS and, to a lesser extent, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, they also clearly demonstrate just how heavily the cloud market has been driven by pandemic-prompted business investments.  

For the fourth successive quarter, the analyst firm noted, the year-on-year growth rate increased, which is unusual for such a large, high-growth market.  

“This market continues to be a runaway success story for Amazon, Microsoft, Google and some other cloud providers,” said Synergy Research Group chief analyst John Dinsdale. “You would not normally expect to see growth rates actually increasing in such a huge and rapidly developing market, yet once again that is what our research has shown. 

“It must be said that this success is hard-earned. Amazon, Microsoft and Google in aggregate are typically investing over [US]$25 billion in CAPEX [capital expenditure] per quarter, much of which is going towards building and equipping their fleet of over 340 hyperscale data centres."  

“There remains a wealth of opportunity for smaller, more focused cloud providers, but it can be hard to look away from the eye-popping numbers coming out of the big three,” he added. 

In June, Synergy claimed that hyperscale cloud operator CAPEX in the first quarter of 2021 was up by 31 per cent from the prior year, reaching US$38 billion.

That quarter brought the total CAPEX expenditure over the previous four quarters to over US$149 billion, compared to US$121 billion in the four quarters prior.  

All told, Synergy estimates that quarterly cloud infrastructure service revenues — including infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and hosted private cloud services — were US$42 billion, with trailing twelve-month revenues reaching US$152 billion.  

Public IaaS and PaaS services accounted for the bulk of the market, with those two categories together growing by 41 per cent in the second quarter.  

Geographically, the cloud market continues to grow strongly in all regions of the world, Synergy noted.  

Synergy’s second-quarter figures differ slightly from those tallied up by fellow industry analyst firm Canalys, which claimed just days ago that global cloud infrastructure services spending increased 36 per cent year-on-year to US$47 billion in the second quarter of 2021. 

Canalys’ figures suggested that expenditure was over US$5 billion higher than the previous quarter and over US$12 billion more than Q2, 2020.   

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