Internet of Things developers are increasingly favoring Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure as their cloud platforms of choice while Google Cloud loses muster, according to a new survey by the Eclipse Foundation.
AWS was by far the most popular cloud platform for IoT developers, growing in popularity by 21 percent from last year to a 51.8 percent share of those surveyed this year. Azure gained favor by 17 percent from last year, with 31.21 percent of developers choosing that platform in the 2018 survey.
Google Cloud, on the other hand, hasn't been as lucky. The platform's popularity fell 8 percent from last year, giving it an 18.8 percent market share for IoT developers this year. That put Google Cloud behind private/on-premise cloud solutions for IoT, which slightly increased to a 19.39 percent preference share.
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The survey had a total of 502 respondents, many of whom belong to different IoT developer communities, including IEEE and OMA SpecWorks.
Google has been making efforts to turn up the heat on AWS and Azure, most recently by acquiring LogMeIn's Xively IoT device management platform for $50 million in February. The deal was done to deepen Google's technology and engineering expertise for Cloud IoT Core, Google's fully managed service that securely connects, manages and ingests data from globally dispersed devices.
Rick Erickson, co-founder and executive vice president of business development at Agosto, a Minneapolis, Minn.-based Google Cloud IoT partner, told CRN that while it's still too early to tell who will ultimately win the IoT cloud platform race, Google will have to show good results as it integrates Xively.
"Google has to make some significant headway in this Xively integration and [make it] statistically relevant and very easy for users in the mix," Erickson said. Once Google integrates Xively's device management system into Cloud IoT Core, it will fill a gap that previously made firms like Agosto build in support for third-party systems, he added.
What will benefit Google in the long run, Erickson said, is the company's support of open standards. "Google has consistently been looked at as a developer-friendly cloud. I think you're going to see that translate to IoT," he said.
Reed Wiedower, CTO of New Signature, a Washington, D.C.-based solution provider and Microsoft Azure IoT partner, told CRN in an email that "it's no surprise that AWS and Azure are leading the pack."
"Both were designed to solve the thorny problems: massive scale, parallel data streaming, security, etcetera, that IoT causes when deployed widely in the field," he said.
Wiedower said some of Microsoft's recent work in the past twelve months — including the new Azure Sphere solution for microcontroller devices — has been lowering the barrier to entry for IoT solutions.
"Developers no longer have to dedicate a huge amount of time to get a solution working – they can simply describe a business challenge and immediately jump into customizations," he said. "The quicker a developer can get a solution in front of a customer, the more rapidly a project can get going."