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Alibaba gives AWS, Microsoft and Google a run for their cloud money

12 Feb 2018

New data from Synergy Research Group has singled out the world’s most dominant cloud providers as Amazon (AWS), Microsoft, Google – and Alibaba.

The new Q4 2017 data shows that spend on cloud infrastructure increased 46% from that recorded over the same time period in 2016. This jump was largely driven by the “aggressive growth of Amazon (AWS), Microsoft, Google and Alibaba, who all increased their share of the worldwide market at the expense of smaller cloud providers,” the research group explained.

The report shows that AWS maintained its dominant position with revenues that exceeded the next four closest competitors combined. A notable change in Q4 was that a doubling of cloud revenues at Alibaba enabled it to join the ranks of the top five operators for the first time.

IBM maintains its position as the third largest cloud provider in the market, thanks primarily to its strong leadership in hosted private cloud services.

With most of the major cloud providers having now released their earnings data for Q4, Synergy estimates that quarterly cloud infrastructure service revenues (including IaaS, PaaS and hosted private cloud services) have now reached well over $13 billion, with full-year 2017 revenues having grown 44% from the previous year.

The data shows that public IaaS and PaaS services account for the bulk of the market and they grew by 50% in Q4.

In public cloud the dominance of the top five providers is even more pronounced, as they control almost three quarters of the market, the report finds.

“We fully expected a year-end boost in cloud growth rates but the numbers came in a little stronger than anticipated, which says a lot about just how robust are the market drivers,” says John Dinsdale, a Chief Analyst and Research Director at Synergy Research Group.

“As demand for cloud services blossoms, the leading cloud providers all have things to be pleased about and they are setting a fierce pace that most chasing companies cannot match.”

“Smaller companies can still do well by focusing on specific applications, industry verticals or geographies, but overall this is a game that can only be played by companies with big ambitions, big wallets and a determined corporate focus.”

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