Cloud // Infrastructure as a Service
News
3/12/2013
05:41 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Amazon, Telcos Will Battle For Cloud Customers

British Telecom, Verizon, NTT, CenturyLink shaping up to compete with Amazon on IaaS and PaaS, research firm Synergy says.

10 Tools To Prevent Cloud Vendor Lock-in
10 Tools To Prevent Cloud Vendor Lock-in
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) revenues grew 15% in 2012 to a total of $12.5 billion, according to Synergy Research, a Reno, Nev., market researcher in telecommunications, in the report, "Amazon Cloud IaaS and PaaS Investments Pay Off," published Monday.

The figure reflects estimated revenues from cloud service providers, such as Amazon Web Services, not the total cloud market. The total market also includes software sold to enterprises for managing private clouds and services sold to consumers from the cloud.

Amazon Web Services leads the infrastructure market with revenues that are about seven times as large as its closest competitor's, IBM. Synergy didn't disclose specific revenue estimates for each but displayed their relative positions in a bar graph. Neither company lists its IaaS-specific revenue figures in its quarterly reporting.

But Synergy said Amazon leads one of the fastest growing areas of cloud computing. IaaS revenues grew 55% in 2012 over 2011, and Amazon commands 36% of IaaS revenues.

[ Want to learn more about how Amazon Web Services have grown up as part of Amazon.com? See Amazon Unlikely To Spin Off AWS Cloud Unit. ]

The number-three IaaS competitor, according to Synergy, is British Telecom. British Telecom offers its Cloud Compute IaaS service, which runs VMware ESX Server and Citrix XenServer virtual machines and supports multi-linqual, multi-currency applications. It first launched Virtualized Data Center as a service in 2010 and renamed it BT Compute in 2011. Last year it became the self-service priced-by-the-hour BT Cloud Compute.

Another fast-growing area of cloud computing is platform as a service (PaaS), the assembly of tools and programming frameworks in a cloud setting that speeds software development. The Synergy report said it was growing at a rate of 57%. Synergy named Salesforce.com, with its Force.com development platform, Apex language and VisualForce user interface, as the market leader in PaaS with a 19% share of the market. Amazon Web Services is number two. Microsoft's Windows Azure is number three, but all three are grouped much more tightly together than the IaaS vendors. Synergy didn't list market shares for the second- and third-place vendors.

Amazon hosts such PaaS vendors as Heroku, ironically owned by Salesforce.com but using EC2 as a compute platform, and Engine Yard, along with many others. It's possible the huge body of Windows Visual Studio and .Net programmers will allow Microsoft to overtake Amazon, but Amazon PaaS vendors tend to provide many of the languages that are used in website and Web application development, including Ruby on Rails, PHP and Python. Salesforce leads, but instead of Microsoft overtaking Amazon, Synergy said it was more likely that Amazon would overtake the market leader.

Rackspace shows up in another service category, managed hosting. Managed hosting, where a third-party data center runs a set of applications and services for an enterprise, has been around longer than cloud computing and Rackspace started out in the managed hosting business. It branched out into IaaS when one of its employees, Jonathan Bryce, built out the Mosso cloud on its premises in 2005, which eventually became the Rackspace IaaS.

But Rackspace didn't show up in the top three IaaS providers, as far as Synergy carried its public summary of the cloud market. Instead it shows up as the managed hosting leader, just ahead of Verizon and NTT. And that means, of course, that Rackspace's cloud business, while growing, is still much smaller than its traditional, managed hosting business.

In another category, co-location services, Synergy said Equinix is the market leader with more market share than the second- and third-place finishers combined. They were Savvis, owned since April 2011 by telecommunications provider CenturyLink, and SunGard. Co-location is growing at a 13% pace.

In content delivery networks, Akamai has greater market share than that of Level 3 and Amazon, the second- and third-place holders respectively, combined. Amazon launched CloudFront in September 2008 and has been slowly growing market share to its current 7%, which as illustrated in the chart was about half of Level 3's and one-fourth of Akamai's.

One interesting point to emerge from the Synergy report was that co-location and hosting services, although growing more slowly than cloud computing, still amount to 74% of the third-party data center and telecom market. When the marketplace is looked at that way, Amazon is the market leader in North America and NTT leads in the Asia-Pacific region. France Telecom-Orange, British Telecom, and Deutsche Telekom are fighting it out for leadership in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Co-location is growing at 13%; managed hosting, at 6%.

"Traditional telcos are strong in the more mature managed hosting segment, where they account for eight of the top 10 operators, but their impact on the IaaS and PaaS segments has so far been muted," said Synergy Research Group's John Dinsdale.

Telcos already own strongly networked data centers in geographically dispersed locations, which makes them potential IaaS and PaaS vendors. Verizon bought Terrement in January 2011 in order to gain Terremark's cloud service know-how. That move was followed by Time Warner Cable acquiring NaviSite, a hosting service for websites, Microsoft Exchange and other applications, and CenturyLink acquiring Savvis, a hosted service and cloud service supplier.

"There is a fascinating battle for market share developing. We have no doubts that they will more aggressively target those segments in the coming years," said Dinsdale.

The Enterprise Connect conference program covers the full range of platforms, services and applications that comprise modern communications and collaboration systems. Hear case studies from senior enterprise executives, as well as from the leaders of major industry players like Cisco, Microsoft, Avaya, Google and more. Register for Enterprise Connect 2013 today with code IWKPREM to save $200 off a conference pass or get a free Expo Pass. It happens March 18-21 in Orlando, Fla.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
John Foley
50%
50%
John Foley,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/13/2013 | 3:21:47 PM
re: Amazon, Telcos Will Battle For Cloud Customers
The government sector is a bellwhether for the growing role of telcos as cloud service providers. AT&T and Verizon were both among the first companies approved by the General Services Administration to provide cloud services to federal agencies. Since then, Verizon's acquisition of Terremark makes for a stronger player, as stated in this article. That said, it will be hard to shake Amazon, Salesforce, Microsoft, and Rackspace from their respective positions, given their focus and business models.
Multicloud Infrastructure & Application Management
Multicloud Infrastructure & Application Management
Enterprise cloud adoption has evolved to the point where hybrid public/private cloud designs and use of multiple providers is common. Who among us has mastered provisioning resources in different clouds; allocating the right resources to each application; assigning applications to the "best" cloud provider based on performance or reliability requirements.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - August 20, 2014
CIOs need people who know the ins and outs of cloud software stacks and security, and, most of all, can break through cultural resistance.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.