Inside Advanced Scale Challenges|Friday, April 28, 2017
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Public Cloud Adoption Up, Private Cloud Flat 

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The rise of hybrid cloud adoption among enterprises, powered by a substantial shift to multi-cloud infrastructure designed in part to retain flexibility, has resulted in market gains by rivals of public cloud leader Amazon Web Services, according to an annual cloud report.

As public cloud adoption grows at the expense of on-premise infrastructure, Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN) rivals Microsoft Azure (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Google Cloud Platform (NASDAQ: GOOGL) gained market share in 2016, reported cloud management specialist RightScale Inc. in its annual state of the cloud survey. Those gains reflect the steady shift to multi-cloud implementations as enterprises also seek to avoid vendor lock-in. RightScale reported this week that 85 percent of respondents have adopted the multi-cloud approach, up 3 percent over the previous year.

That translated into gains for Microsoft and Google in the cutthroat public cloud business. While AWS maintained its 57 percent share of the public cloud sector, Microsoft Azure adoption jumped 14 percent last year to 34 percent of the market. Likewise, Google Cloud's share rose to 15 percent in 2016, RightScale said.

Still, "AWS holds a significant lead in the number of [virtual machines] its users are running," the survey reported, with 28 percent of respondents with more than 100 VMs in AWS, while only 13 percent have more than 100 VMs on Azure.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) also registered a slight gain in public cloud business last year, grabbing 8 percent of the market, while Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) and Digital Ocean lost ground, the survey found.

Those gains came at the expense of private cloud vendors who saw adoption flatten in 2016 as more enterprises shifted to hybrid infrastructure. The multi-cloud approach includes enterprise cloud users running applications on as many as eight platforms, the survey found.

Private cloud leader VMware (NYSE: VMW) saw slight declines in its vSphere and related offerings over the last year while its vCloud Suite held steady at 19 percent of the private cloud market. Microsoft private cloud offerings were among the only gainers in 2016.

As the majority of enterprise workloads shift to the cloud (41 percent in public, 38 percent in private clouds), applications containers are making headway as a leading DevOps tool, the RightScale survey reported. Docker overtook Chef as the leading cloud development tool in 2016, expanding its market share to 35 percent while Chef dropped to 28 percent. Other tools registering gains included container orchestrator Kubernetes, which doubled in DevOps market share to 14 percent, RightScale reported.

Overall, the survey of more than 1,000 IT managers found that DevOps adoption is expanding across enterprises. "It has become the default approach for developing cloud-based applications," the report concluded. "Overall DevOps adoption increased from 74 to 78 percent this year with enterprise adoption reaching 84 percent."

With 40 percent of enterprises using Docker—with an additional 30 percent planning to—the container platform is increasingly being used via container services from cloud providers, including the AWS and Azure container services along with Google Container Engine.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 25 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as Executive Editor for Electronic Engineering Times.

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