Total cloud infrastructure revenue eclipsed $7 billion in the first quarter of 2016 as the overall market expanded by 50 percent, according to a report released Friday by Synergy Research.
The "big four" providers -- AWS, Microsoft, IBM and Google -- grew faster than the market as a whole, while all other competitors, in aggregate, trailed the market with numbers that would be phenomenal in most other industries.
"This is a market that is so big and is growing so rapidly that companies can be growing by 10-30% per year and might feel good about themselves and yet they'd still be losing market share," John Dinsdale, Synergy's chief analyst and research director, wrote in the report.
Synergy grouped Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, private and hybrid cloud vendors into four distinct tiers, each constituting roughly 20 percent to 30 percent of the market.
The highest tier, with 31 percent market share, has only a single occupant: Amazon Web Services is "dwarfing the chasing pack," Dinsdale said, growing at 57 percent year over year.
Three tech giants -- Microsoft, IBM and Google -- occupy the next tier.
"The big three followers," as described by Synergy, together control 22 percent of the cloud market. But those vendors are expanding their businesses far faster than anybody else, together posting 93 percent year-over-year growth in Q1.
Microsoft and Google both doubled their revenues in a year, "so they are at least slowly gaining some ground on the market leader," Dinsdale said.
Synergy clumped into its third tier the next 20 top cloud providers by size. Those include Alibaba, CenturyLink, Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, NTT, Oracle, Rackspace, Salesforce and VMware.
Together, those 20 companies held roughly 27 percent market share in the first quarter, and collectively they grew at 41 percent -- meaning most of them lost share in a market growing faster than 50 percent, Dinsdale noted.