AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Market Share 2018: Is AWS Still in the Lead?

Q1 earnings are in for the ‘big three’ cloud providers and you know what that means – it’s time for an AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud market share comparison. Let’s take a look at all three providers side-by-side to see where they stand.

Are Azure and Google catching up to AWS?

As they’ve been known to do, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft all released their quarterly earnings reports around the same time over this past week, giving us an opportunity to look at the big picture. Before we dive in, let’s take a look at the headlines for the media interpretation of the AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Market Share:

Here’s what the quarterly earning reports tell us:

  • AWS, the longest-standing cloud provider of the three, has managed to maintain its growth rate with a 49 percent increase to $5.44 bn for the quarter.
  • Meanwhile, Microsoft is picking up speed and picking up share. While Microsoft did not break down cloud profits for Azure specifically, they reported that Azure alone made impressive revenue growth at 93 percent. This was slightly down from 98 percent growth last quarter.
  • Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud division as a whole, which includes Azure, went up 17 percent to $7.9bn.
  • Alphabet, Google’s parent company, released quarterly earnings for Google, but did not break down any cloud revenue. Reported revenue growth was at 26 percent year-over-year to $31.16 billion in Q1. In Q1 of last year, Google revenue growth was at 22 percent between Q1 of 2016 and Q1 of 2017.  
  • Canalys ranked the three providers in terms of market share, with AWS in the lead owning about a third of the market, Microsoft in second with about 15 percent, and Google sitting around 5 percent:

What’s clear:

In the case of AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud market share – AWS still has the lead.

AWS is maintaining their lead and holding the lion’s share of the market. Could Amazon’s head start in the cloud business still have something to do with it? Jeff Bezos seems to think so:

“AWS had the unusual advantage of a seven-year head start before facing like-minded competition. As a result, the AWS services are by far the most evolved and most functionality-rich.”

Whether it’s true or not, it says something that Microsoft and Google aren’t breaking down their cloud numbers just yet.

Nonetheless, customers do want a choice when it comes to cloud providers. Yes, AWS is still seeing big growth, but Microsoft has sustained high levels of revenue with Azure, narrowing the gap, and suggesting that they might be the cloud provider to give Amazon a run for its money.

And if one thing is for sure – it’s that the cloud isn’t going anywhere. Synergy Research Group reported that the cloud market is still growing. In Q1-Q3 of last year, year-over-year growth was at 45-43 percent for cloud infrastructure services. In Q1 of this year, growth jumped to 51 percent –  Q1 2018 market share numbers are: Amazon 33%, Microsoft 13%, IBM 8%, Google 6% and Alibaba 4%.

AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Market Share – And the winner is:

With similar findings to Canalys, Synergy says that the cloud market continues to rapidly expand and AWS still controls a third of the market, being bigger than its next four competitors combined.

“It is particularly notable that growth at AWS has actually accelerated despite its scale. The rapid growth of Microsoft, Google and Alibaba is not causing any drop-off in AWS market share.”

It looks like the story line hasn’t changed just yet. With that said, Amazon is getting some healthy competition from Microsoft, and as the cloud grows, so does customers’ willingness to use other service providers. So while AWS keeps rolling along, we’ll be looking to see what other providers offer in the next quarter, and if their dominance will prevail.

2 responses to “AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Market Share 2018: Is AWS Still in the Lead?”

  1. LT says:

    Very insightful article. I am working on a similar product (MVP: that compares the three cloud providers, head to head. I would love to hear your thoughts on it as the product is in MVP state.

  2. Steve says:

    I’m sure Microsoft doesn’t want to spend much time arguing who is bigger, but Microsoft cloud IS bigger than Amazon, and comparing AWS to Azure misses the reason why. What that approach actually does is attempt to say “AWS doesn’t play in certain areas, so we’re only going to compare what AWS does and define the market as being what AWS does.” What is missed is this:

    When a company decides they are moving some, or all of their infrastructure so that they no longer have to support it, they have several categories of applications they must consider. Let’s take just the file servers and email servers as an example. One choice they can make is to move this to VMs in AWS. If they choose to do this, then AWS gets credited with market growth. If, however, they decide that Office 365 provides what they need as a SaaS solution, they move there, Microsoft picks up the cloud workload, but it doesn’t show up in a comparison of AWS vs. Azure. The same thing happens with CRM software which can be moved onto AWS, or onto Office Dynamics. These are major parts of most companies’ total IT footprint, though.

    When you look at it like this, you realize that Microsoft Cloud is bigger, and the gap is widening. In that case, Microsoft is, in fact, the largest cloud provider and is pulling away from the competition. It’s completely missing what is happening with the market to try to compare AWS with Azure.

    This doesn’t mean there is no place for AWS, and it’s not bad-talking AWS. It’s just pointing out what is being missed in these articles.

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