RightScale Inc. confirms that Azure is closing the gap on AWS in its seventh annual cloud computing report. RightScale Inc.’s seventh annual cloud computing report confirmed many similar findings: Microsoft’s Azure platform has been outpacing Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) but there’s still a lot of ground to go. According to the “RightScale 2018 State of the Cloud Report”, Azure was able to grow enterprise adoption strongly to 58%, and gain ground on AWS at 68%. Many other reports have reached similar conclusions, including:

  • Microsoft and Google Surge in Cloud but They Still Can’t Catch AWS
  • Report: Microsoft Chasing Cloud Leader AWS With 93 Percent Growth Rate
  • Survey: Azure Beats AWS in Larger Enterprises
  • Study: Microsoft Challenges AWS’s Domination of Public Clouds

This trend has been reported at least three years ago, however, as RightScale’s 2015 report shows. RightScale’s new report shed more light on the Azure-vs. AWS contest. AWS is used by 47% of enterprises who are just starting their cloud journey. Azure is used by 49%. AWS is used at 47%. Azure also saw strong growth in virtual machine footprints used by customers. 44% of Azure users have over 50 VMs, up from 32 percent in 2017, while 59% of AWS users are using more than 50 (up from 51%) in 2017. Public cloud adoption continues to rise across the board. RightScale stated that public cloud adoption grew for all cloud providers. “Across all users, AWS increased adoption from 57 percent to 64 percent in 2018, Azure increased from 34 percent to 45 percent; Google Cloud increased between 15 and 18 percent; IBM Cloud increased between 8 and 10 percent; VMware Cloud on AWS was strong with 8 percent adoption; Oracle Cloud grew from 3 to 6 percent; while Alibaba Cloud saw 2 percent adoption in its first year of inclusion in the survey. This last point is important because Alibaba is becoming more widely recognized as the leader in cloud computing. We discussed this earlier in the month in the article “Research: Alibaba Joins AWS and Other Cloud Computing Leaders.” RightScale also reported the following data points:

  • Cloud is used by 96 percent of respondents
  • 81% of respondents use a multi-cloud strategy
  • Organizations leverage almost 5 clouds on average
  • Cloud spending in enterprises is growing rapidly and is substantial.
  • Most workloads are run in the cloud by companies
  • Users are forced to reduce cloud spending by focusing on costs.
  • Container use is up: Docker gets the most widespread use, while Kubernetesgrows rapidly
  • The use of configuration tools increases, with Ansible showing the strongest growth
  • Security and spending are the top cloud challenges for 2018.

Security remains a top concern in the last point about security challenges. This is especially true after last year’s series of reports highlighting wide-open, unencrypted clouds that led to ransomware attacks, and other problems. [Click on the image to see a larger version.] The report revealed the following:

  • Security is a problem for 77 percent, while 29 percent consider it a significant challenge.
  • Respondents perceive managing cloud spend as a challenge at 76 percent, while smaller 21 percent consider it a significant challenge.
  • Cloud beginners face the greatest security concerns, while advanced users face more cost-related issues.
  • Enterprises have more challenges than SMBs.

However, it seems that security is receiving less attention from enterprise IT teams. They have cited security at an increasing percentage over the past three years. “Even among enterprise IT teams, which typically have the greatest responsibility for security, there was a significant increase in security awareness.