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Amazon and Microsoft Are Running One and Two in Two-Cloud Race (fortune.com) 75

When it comes to computing capacity for public cloud services, Amazon and Microsoft are dominating the pack. According to research firm Gartner, Google is the third in this cloud race. The conclusion comes as Gartner looks into Magic Quadrant's annual report surveys, which estimates the amount and type of cloud computing services offered for rent by big companies. Fortune reports: Amazon's continued strength will not surprise many considering the resources it has poured into this now-$10-plus billion a year business. AWS "has the largest share of compute capacity in use by paying customers -- many times the aggregate size of all other providers in the market," according to the report. Last year, Gartner's take was that AWS ran more than 10 times the cloud compute capacity as the next 14 cloud players combined. Asked whether that means Amazon's dominance has held steady, grown, or decreased year over year, Gartner managing vice president Rakesh Kumar told Fortune the research firm does not have the exact comparable figure, but that it is "reasonable to assume" that AWS has maintained the same lead this year. The odd man out here appears to be Google, which has been trying hard to win market share from the other two powers and to prove that it is serious about the public cloud market. Google remains the third largest player by Gartner's measures, but it has slipped a bit relative to the top two.
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Amazon and Microsoft Are Running One and Two in Two-Cloud Race

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  • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Thursday August 04, 2016 @03:08PM (#52646717) Homepage Journal
    That is because people can't trust that Google won't drop their cloud services when they get bored of it and go after the next shiny thing. It has happened too many times.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That is because people can't trust that Google won't drop their cloud services when they get bored of it and go after the next shiny thing. It has happened too many times.

      oh yes microsoft on the other hand has stuff like zune and media center and silverlight and activex and internet explorer which all got dropped when microsoft got bored with supporting them

      • Re:Google (Score:4, Informative)

        by The-Ixian ( 168184 ) on Thursday August 04, 2016 @03:26PM (#52646847)

        The difference is that MS always lays out a clear support horizon. If anything MS is the opposite of Google in that regard. MS tends to support things long after they should.

      • except that MS has had an enterprise software business since the 90's. and they even were the first in the cloud game when NT 4 had a remote desktop version that the cloud providers of the 90's used. back then we called them ASP's.
      • But Google is known to Kill Products very early based on Data and Analytics http://m.slashdot.org/story/21... [slashdot.org]
      • What I find more interesting about the Zune is that the earlier Microsoft music format (Play4Sure, IIRC) wouldn't run on it. Was it Windows Phone 7 phones that they said could be updated, and later changed their minds? Microsoft is not as reliable on support as it wants people to think it is, although it does very well in general.

    • by jon3k ( 691256 )
      I found the "paying customer" caveat in TFA a little peculiar. I wonder if Google is bigger overall, but offers a lot more free services?
    • Re:Google (Score:4, Informative)

      by quetwo ( 1203948 ) on Thursday August 04, 2016 @08:59PM (#52648717) Homepage

      If you compare any of the APIs from Google, Microsoft and Amazon, you will clearly see why the different groups are in the place they are.

      Google's API set is probably one of the crappiest I've ever seen. It's impossible to do anything with their service unless you use their pre-baked SDK. Sure, it's a REST api, but you can't authenticate against it, because they won't really tell you how -- only why you wouldn't want to do it. They have no docs on how to use their APIs with just CURL.

      Microsoft's is better. Their APIs are a pain (mostly because they keep changing), but at least they are pretty well documented and done in a way that you can actually use if you want to. They offer a really rich set of features.... but they do keep changing them on the fly and don't really version stuff like you would expect.

      Amazon knows how to API enable their stuff. Their own services and tools use their own published API to do things. They give lots of examples in a bunch of different languages. If you write against it, it will pretty much work forever unless you change your own setup.

      • Google's API set is probably one of the crappiest I've ever seen

        This seems to be a systematic problem at Google. I've yet to see one piece of code written by Googlers that has well-designed APIs. My guess is that it comes from the way that refactoring is baked into the Google workflow. When you can run a job that will run an automatic refactoring tool over an entire codebase and all of its in-house dependencies quickly, then it's less important to get things right the first time.

  • translation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gmack ( 197796 ) <gmack@inn[ ]ire.net ['erf' in gap]> on Thursday August 04, 2016 @03:09PM (#52646719) Homepage Journal
    Google didn't pay for a study. I've always been fascinated by the "Magic Quadrants" since the time I was doing some research on firewalls and found 3 of them from the same year, all offering different best options.
    • You're close. The way you win the magic quadrant is to ensure the metrics you do well on are included in the tests. For example, if a test was: "Can create an account in under a minute" it doesn't really matter that much to large customers, but it still affects where you are placed.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    When it comes to pwnage, Microsoft is on top. I get more abusive traffic like SSH and SASL probes out of Azure IP space than any other source by a large margin. AWS used to be pretty bad but they got their act (mostly) together last year. Microsoft's Azure reporting form must be a black hole and it seems like their whole cloud must be rooted by bots.

    AS8075 [malwareurl.com]

  • AWS Sucks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Thursday August 04, 2016 @03:17PM (#52646799)

    AWS sucks because it's impossible to know what you need to buy and how much you're going to get billed.
    They keep splitting their services up into different categories and changing the names to boot.

    Yeah, you can get shit up and running on AWS. No, you won't have a damned clue how much it'll cost until you get the bill.

    • This is a huge problem with AWS...

      It is one of the reasons that I think MS will usurp the number one cloud slot within a few years.

      The very thing that makes AWS nice is also the thing that will hurt it when dealing with small and medium sized businesses. It is too complicated and has too many moving parts.

      Another thing that MS has going for it is their focus on business intelligence. That is going to be a huge differentiator as more business learn the power of BI.

      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        Another thing that MS has going for it is their focus on business intelligence. That is going to be a huge differentiator as more business learn the power of BI.

        Anyone remember the dot-com bubble? BI is the new Pets.com; data scientist is the new web master.

      • You can't have done much with Azure if you think that it isn't overcomplicated or hard to figure out how much it costs.

        I don't know anything about AWS but I find it hard to believe that they've managed to outdo Microsoft's overengineering tendencies and opaque licensing. Microsoft practically invented the latter.

      • Another thing that MS has going for it is their focus on business intelligence. That is going to be a huge differentiator as more business learn the power of BI.

        BI is a fuzzy buzzword. And Microsoft has no "Business Intelligence", or else they wouldn't keep failing at mobile and forcing Windows 10 on customers who don't want it.

        If you mean IT resource monitoring, then say IT resource monitoring. It sounds less PHB-ish, and carries more meaning.

        IT resource monitoring could indeed help one manage cloud rental

    • by Anonymous Coward

      My issue with AWS is that so often they are used for port scanning, spamming, malware hosting, etc.

      They have been firewalled.

      Google Drive is soon to suffer the same fate, lots of malware is hosted on Googledrive and stupid end users believe that just because its google its safe.

    • it's not supposed to be easy but to make you pay monthly
    • If you are basing your decision on which cloud platform to use on that criteria(pricing and "bill clarity"), then maybe MS has the edge(puns!), but I think AWS is the better choice.
    • by Zalbik ( 308903 )

      AWS sucks because it's impossible to know what you need to buy and how much you're going to get billed.

      I take it you haven't seen their cost calculator?

      https://calculator.s3.amazonaw... [amazonaws.com]

      Plug in the services you are using, # of instances, storage, etc and it spits out a fairly detailed estimate of your monthly costs.

      • LOL!
        I've seen it.
        26 poorly named and poorly defined services on the left, and a myriad of options to choose from for any one, with no indication of what is what or what you need.

    • by Afty0r ( 263037 )

      No, you won't have a damned clue how much it'll cost until you get the bill.

      It might not be "obvious" but a little modelling and some small-scale trials will let you know roughly what you're going to have to pay for production workloads.

      AWS is very cheap - so if your projects are so small that costs like research / trials are too expensive, chances are it's cheapest just to pop it on AWS anyway.

    • CEO: We need to get everything into AWS as soon as possible!!!!
      Literally every tech employee: That's going to be expensive as shit!

      6 months later

      CEO: We need to reduce our AWS spend as much as possible!!!

      - Every "cloud" company ever.
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      AWS sucks because it's impossible to know what you need to buy and how much you're going to get billed. They keep splitting their services up into different categories and changing the names...

      So it's a virtual Oracle sales-team.

  • We tried both (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sir_Eptishous ( 873977 ) on Thursday August 04, 2016 @03:25PM (#52646841) Homepage
    We have tried both Azure and AWS, with the same web app running on them at the same time.
    We tried several different versions of our web app, and using both a vm in their cloud and their "app services".

    MS had a more intuitive and easier to use interface, easier to do inital setup.
    AWS interface has a much higher learning curve, with more spots to get hung up on.
    But AWS was more reliable and seemed to have less issues.

    Regarding support, MS was atrocious(but you already knew that).
    AWS broke something on their back end, then didn't fix it, then they did fix it when we "alerted" them to the issue.

    I'm not a fan of either company but I would say AWS is the better way to go here.

    Just like with their foothold in the enterprise for Office 365 via existing customer base using Active Directory and Exchange, I assume many of their Azure customers they got the same way, whereas AWS didn't have that advantage.
    • Just like with their foothold in the enterprise for Office 365 via existing customer base using Active Directory and Exchange, I assume many of their Azure customers they got the same way, whereas AWS didn't have that advantage.

      I see MS overtaking Amazon for this reason.

      Using Office 365 / Azure AD is a natural extension of what many companies are already using at the enterprise level.

      Add in Skype and cloud PBX and you can run a lot of businesses right out of their cloud service on demand and without a capital cost..

  • by irrational_design ( 1895848 ) on Thursday August 04, 2016 @04:06PM (#52647121)

    I've heard of AWS and Azure, but to be honest I didn't even know Google had a cloud platform. I still don't even know what it is called. I could probably google that.

  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Thursday August 04, 2016 @04:06PM (#52647127) Journal

    I predict cloudness is mostly fad for bigger co's because our current OS's, conventions, and management techniques haven't caught up to the virtualization possibilities that networking offers. Cloud vendors are ahead of the curve because that's their direct goal and job. But the lessons will trickle out to general IT.

    When they catch up, orgs will choose to keep most of their hardware on premises for security and a desire to not depend on the financial viability of a cloud vendor.

    The OS and/or app design will have to be more divorced from hardware design so that servers or server farm units are easier for internal stuff to swap in and out as needed.

    If a server or component of the "internal cloud" gets sick, an app stack could automatically switch to a different hardware unit and/or its spare or replication partner. A new off-the-shelf "cloud box" could then be casually plugged in as needed.

    I see no reason why an in-house cloud farm couldn't be ran almost as cheep as a warehouse-style cloud could if the cloud boxes are almost plug-and-play. Servicing 30 plug-and-play box farms shouldn't be significantly more expensive than servicing 30,000. It's only like that now because the app stack has to match the hardware in most current shops.

    Small companies are probably still more likely to use external clouds because they don't want to hire server hardware staff, electricians, etc. to build and run on-premises cloud rooms.

    • I think this is the big advantage for Microsoft. If they play it right, then Azure hosting is not really a product, it's an advert that happens to also generate revenue. The real product is Azure Stack (HyperV is now a standard feature on Windows and Azure Stack lets you use the same management tools in your internal cloud). Hosted cloud offerings are cheap when you're very low volume, but Microsoft is the only big cloud hosting provider that sells you a good migration strategy for when it becomes cheape
  • by msh104 ( 620136 ) on Thursday August 04, 2016 @04:27PM (#52647299)

    As a system architect who works daily with both AWS and Azure for a living i am not surprised at all.
    The quality and features of AWS is unmatched by any other cloud provider out there.
    And anyone wishing to compete with AWS has a long journey ahead of them.

    Nevertheless we set up our business to be cross-cloud so we can deploy the applications in any cloud we desire.
    I think we currently spend around $20000 on AWS fees, $1000 on Azure and $3000 on an Openstack provider in our country itself.

    Currently we are looking into Google cloud support as well. Our initial research showed that it has all the features we rely on like Virtual Private Networks between VMs, Floating IPs, Volumes, etc and a lower price point compared to AWS so we believe this might prove to be an interesting option for some of our customers who desire cheaper solutions while still wanting the flexibility of the cloud.

    My prediction for this and next year is that we will continue to add many more customers to AWS. Azure will probably remain stable and Google Cloud will have a couple of pilot projects running.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Growth is pretty strong in Azure. We have major customers lined up ready to slam datacenters as soon as they come online (and not just for geolocation reasons). Probably the biggest challenge Azure faces is the logistics of creating supply fast enough to meet demand.

    • "Currently we are looking into Google cloud support as well. Our initial research showed that it has all the features we rely on like Virtual Private Networks between VMs, Floating IPs, Volumes, etc"

      Do you see what's happening here, right?

      For so many people (like you) AWS has had the "privilege" of defining how public clouds works, so feature sets are measured against them. That's been not for free for Amazon that has invested a ton of money on it and it has pay well for them, as they are the most expensiv

  • if a driver driving a Tesla car is not paying attention to the road while playing on their phone they will most likely crash.

  • With this being Gartner, you know that this is not even close to being true. Basically, the company is bought out by MS constantly and delivers nothing but lies on their numbers.

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra

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