There’s no doubt that Amazon is the market leader in cloud infrastructure services, but as we’ve long suspected, Microsoft is proving itself to be a formidable competitor.
According to Synergy Research Group, Amazon controls more than 30% of the worldwide market share of cloud infrastructure services and is nearly three times the size of its nearest competitor, Microsoft. However, Microsoft is growing much faster, with a 100% year-over-year growth rate compared to Amazon’s 53%.
These numbers are no surprise. The majority of enterprises are Microsoft shops. Moving to the cloud in the early days meant facing a steep learning curve – not to mention losing the existing investments IT organizations had made in Microsoft technology. But as Azure has matured and enterprises have become more comfortable with moving workloads to the cloud, Azure has become the cloud provider of choice for Microsoft shops.
This is a trend we see firsthand. As a cloud software developer, RightBrain Networks is uniquely positioned to help our clients on either platform. We often engage with clients who don’t know which cloud platform to choose. Before making a recommendation we take into account a number of considerations, including business goals and technical challenges. But in general we advise clients to go with Microsoft for cloud infrastructures services if:
- Your organization is using a pure Microsoft tech stack
- Development will occur purely in the cloud
- You need a sophisticated, managed SQL database solution
- You need tight integration with existing Microsoft tooling, such as SQL Server Management Studio or Visual Studio
- You want to leverage big data/Hadoop as a first class service
Of course, moving to Azure is still a move to the cloud. While the learning curve can be reduced by using Azure, it’s not eliminated. Utilizing the right mix of Microsoft services to reduce your costs and build a self-healing infrastructure still requires a discrete skill set. Microsoft offers a huge range of services for developers and operations folks, but (unfortunately) documentation is a significant weakness, and it’s not always easy to get up to speed.
Hopefully Microsoft will address the need for better documentation as it gains larger market share. Regardless, we hate to see organizations struggle as they move to the cloud. There’s a lot of potential for business growth and innovation, but you’ve gotta do it right. If you’re one of those companies that’s moving to Azure because you’re a Microsoft shop, be realistic about your skill set and cloud know-how. And, give us a call if you need help.