Keeping Up With The Cloud: Top 5 Market-Share Leaders

Following The Horse Race

The cloud is consolidating as it's expanding.

The major providers have now revealed earnings from the final fiscal quarter of the year. Cloud revenue is up more than 50 percent for the market as a whole.

Synergy Research, in a recent report, estimates total quarterly cloud revenue is approaching $7 billion, with $23 billion raked in during the trailing year.

The five largest cloud providers dominate 55 percent of the market, and together they're growing faster than the industry as a whole, Synergy Research revealed. More than half of that share is consumed by the 800-pound gorilla that is Amazon Web Services.

’The big four cloud operators are continuing to run away with the market,’ John Dinsdale, chief analyst and research director at Synergy Research, wrote in the report.

Here are the top five cloud market-share leaders.

Runners Up

’The second tier of operators are either niche players, generalist IT service providers, or companies lacking the scale, focus and investment capabilities required to truly challenge the top four hyper-scale cloud providers," Dinsdale said in the Synergy report.

Those second-tier providers include Rackspace, Oracle, NTT, Fujitsu, Alibaba and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, according to Synergy.

Dinsdale told CRN that while Oracle will likely struggle to make a large impact on the IaaS market, the software giant is in a good position for PaaS, "where it has some natural skills and assets."

5. Salesforce

Sales of Salesforce's platform offerings grew at 40 percent year over year in the fourth quarter, maintaining the CRM giant's overall position in the cloud infrastructure services market, according to Synergy.

Salesforce, San Francisco, maintains fifth place with a 4 percent share.

Keep in mind that Synergy is only tabulating cloud infrastructure and platform services, so Salesforce isn't credited with its league-leading SaaS business in this study.

4. Google

Google Cloud Platform has launched.

Google can only claim 4 percent of the market with its public cloud offerings, but in the fourth quarter the Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet giant saw 108 percent year-over-year growth, outpacing everyone other than warp-speed Microsoft Azure.

App Engine and Compute Engine, Google's Platform-as-a-Service and Infrastructure-as-a-Service offerings, respectively, maintain fourth place in the cloud market.

"Google has a lot of the foundation assets and skills that are needed, but cloud doesn’t seem to be getting the management attention and corporate focus that are needed in order to really challenge AWS and Microsoft," Dinsdale told CRN.

3. IBM

IBM holds on to third place in the cloud on the strength of its private and hybrid services segment. Those diverse offerings give Big Blue 7 percent of the overall cloud market.

IBM's SoftLayer public cloud, BlueMix Platform-as-a-Service, and its managed private cloud offerings grew together at a healthy 57 percent pace in the fourth quarter.

2. Microsoft

Microsoft has to feel like it's breaking every speed record but chasing someone on the other end of the city.

The software giant out of Redmond, Wash., enjoyed growth of 124 percent year over year for its Azure cloud. That number would be impressive for a startup -- it's mind-boggling for the second biggest player in an industry.

Even after more than doubling the business in just over a year, Microsoft can only claim 9 percent of the market.

While Amazon is still just a blur in the distance, Microsoft has solidified its second-place position.

1. AWS

When Amazon revealed its financials at the start of the fiscal year, the skeptics were silenced.

But in the three quarters that followed the big AWS revelation, revenue and margins for the world's largest cloud only improved. It seems Amazon has inched up in overall market share as well.

Amazon controlled 31 percent of the global cloud market in the fourth quarter and remains a long stride ahead of the next four challengers combined, according to the Synergy report.

Amazon accelerated its growth with a revenue jump of 63 percent year over year.