Azure eats into AWS lead as cloud market continues to grow

Representational image depicting the ease of use of cloud computing
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Amazon Web Services may be a global powerhouse in the cloud hosting world, but its share of the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market could be one area it is falling behind somewhat.

The tech giant’s share of the IaaS marketplace fell 40.8% in 2020 to 38.9% in 2021 according to Gartner, while rival Microsoft Azure’s market share crept up to 21.1% from 19.7%.

The IaaS space remains an area squarely controlled by a few select players, with the top five IaaS providers accounting for over 80% of total market. Gartner adds that the global IaaS industry has proved to be incredibly buoyant, growing 41.4% in 2021 to a total valuation of $90.9 billion, up from $64.3 billion in 2020.

What does the market look like?

Google is also rising to challenge AWS’s dominance, coming forth in Gartner’s rankings.

Google Cloud saw the highest growth rate of any of the top five IaaS vendors, growing 63.7% in 2021 to reach $6.4 billion in revenue.

The growth of Google’s cloud hosting division was driven by steadily increased adoption for traditional enterprise workloads according to Gartner, as well as its work in emerging capabilities such as artificial intelligence and Kubernetes container technologies. Gartner also highlighted its expansion of their partner ecosystem to reach a wider customer base.

It’s not just Western vendors who are making big bucks on IaaS services, Alibaba reported revenues of $8.7 billion in 2021 with a market share of 9.5%.

While Alibaba continues to lead the Chinese cloud market, Gartner claims it is also poised to be the leading regional provider in Indonesia, Malaysia, and other emerging cloud markets.

The analyst firm attributed this success to its local market understanding and ability to serve as a bridge to digital commerce, which made it the third largest cloud vendor.

While Huawei’s growth tempered in 2021 after two straight years of over 200% growth, it still maintained the number five market share position with $4.2 billion in revenue according to Gartner.

“The IaaS market continues to grow unabated as cloud-native becomes the primary architecture for modern workloads,” said Sid Nag, VP Analyst at Gartner. “Cloud supports the scalability and composability that advanced technologies and applications require, while also enabling businesses to address emerging needs such as sovereignty, data integration, and enhanced customer experience.”

Will McCurdy has been writing about technology for over five years. He has a wide range of specialities including cybersecurity, fintech, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, cloud computing, payments, artificial intelligence, retail technology, and venture capital investment. He has previously written for AltFi, FStech, Retail Systems, and National Technology News and is an experienced podcast and webinar host, as well as an avid long-form feature writer.