Google, Amazon Top Public Cloud Surveys

IBM and VMware are the vendors most dedicated to creating private clouds, analysis of developer surveys shows.

Charles Babcock, Editor at Large, Cloud

October 7, 2009

6 Min Read

Developers perceive Amazon and Google as being dedicated to the concept of a public cloud and the two vendors most likely to execute a public cloud strategy. Consequently, Amazon's and Google's public clouds are the ones most frequently adopted, according to an analysis by Evans Data of its developer surveys.

Likewise, developers view IBM and VMware as the two vendors most dedicated to creating the private cloud and most likely to execute a private cloud strategy.

The results were aired in a report from Evans Data Corp., a market researcher in the field of developer opinion, in its first "Users Choice" report on cloud computing.

After Google and Amazon, VMware and Microsoft have the highest adoption rates for cloud computing, with IBM trailing them. Evans Data analyst Janel Garvin, said IBM's adoption rate will catch up to the other two, if developers carry out their projected take up rates.

"IBM has the lead over each company except Amazon and Google when it comes to the perception of ability to execute," wrote Garvin in her report, "Perceptions of Cloud Service Providers: Who's Who and Where in the Cloud" issued Wednesday.

"Microsoft is viewed as having as complete a set of cloud service offerings in its Azure platform but is considered less capable of executing cloud services than most of the other companies. The lack of confidence in Microsoft along these lines may have something to do with the nature of their traditional business model -- a model that cloud is at odds with," she wrote.

Microsoft is sometimes cited as being out of step with cloud computing due to the heavy Windows orientation of its Azure cloud, although it has also broadened it to include open source technologies such as PHP.

Microsoft now supports many Internet and Web services standards but hasn't always advocated open standards at key junction points for competing systems, such as Linux and Unix. And it wants to continue charging for each copy of Windows used on a server, even if Windows is running in a virtual machine. Cloud computing thrives on the ability to proliferate virtual machines without incurring a linear run up in license charges.

Microsoft has established the Azure platform and succeeded in recruiting developers to it, but even so "it lags behind Sun, HP and Citrix in eliciting confidence from developers in its offerings," Garvin concluded.

The ratings for confidence in IBM among developers indicates it's "apparently been highly successful in getting its story out and convincing [developers] of their relative strength in providing cloud services."

The conclusion is firmer than IBM's performance to date might seem to warrant. Top IBM cloud spokesmen, such as VP Willy Chiu and Kristof Kloeckner, CTO of cloud computing, say the availability of key IBM technologies for the cloud are still to come, such as a set of Rational development tools geared to work in the cloud. Nevertheless, Garvin concludes, developer enthusiasm "presents a very positive outlook for IMB in the world of cloud services."

The report then turned its attention to vendors "at the back of the pack," including AT&T, CA, Aptana, Rackspace, HP, Citrix, and Sun.

A year ago, AT&T launched its Synaptic Hosting managed infrastructure service, which includes pay-as-you-go access to servers, storage, security and networking. "AT&T's physical infrastructure gives it an advantage in the long run, but… it is new player in the world of software platforms," Garvin noted.

CA is focused on the private cloud for the enterprise "with little outreach to developers." It shows up as a player on the Evans Data chart summarizing the results of its cloud research and is ahead of AT&T and Rackspace in terms of ability to execute but behind them and everyone else in terms of completeness of its cloud offerings.

Rackspace is a well known server hosting service, Garvin continued, that is now offering cloud services. "Rackspace seems well positioned to capture a share of the market with its hosting prowess" but still needs to get the word out that it can offer more cloud-oriented services, she wrote.

HP gained middle of the pack ratings on most issues, which is explained by the fact that HP "has an arms-length approach to developers, preferring to work through partners," Garvin said.

Citrix ranked as a contender as a supplier to the private cloud due to its virtualization product line based on XenServer but Garvin noted the firm is "not necessarily known for cloud hosting."

Sun Microsystems "has been well thought of and well positioned with the development community." But since the its planned acquisition by Oracle has lead to uncertainty about the future of its offerings, and "the inevitable uncertainty undoubtedly affects delopers' perceptions," she wrote. Sun ranks ahead of HP, for example, in completeness of offering but behind it in ability to execute, according to the report's chart of developer data.

Both HP and Sun are ahead of Aptana, an open source company with a Ruby and PHP-supporting cloud service management environment. The company is still relatively unknown, the report said.

On the important issue of security Aptana ranked last; IBM was first. In descending order, Amazon was number two followed by VMware, Microsoft, Google, Sun, Citrix, HP, CA, AT&T and Rackspace.

On the issue of scalability, Google was first, followed by Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, VMware, Sun, HP, Aptana, AT&T, Rackspace, Citrix and CA.

On reliability and uptime, Google was ranked first, followed by IBM, Amazon, VMware, Microsoft, HP, Sun, Rackspace, AT&T, Citrix, Aptana and CA.

On the issue of latency, Google was ranked as the vendor with the lowest latency, followed by: Amazon, VMware, Sun, Microsoft, AT7T, IBM, Rackspace, HP, CA, Aptana and Citrix.

When it comes to vendor lock-in, a feared result to the independent developers who predominate in Evans Data surveys, Google was considered least likely to lead to lock-in, followed by: Amazon, Sun, VMware, Rackspace, Citrix, Microsoft, HP, CA, Aptana, AT&T and IBM.

In cost-to-value ratio, the cloud services of Google were deemed to offer the top value because the company has provided open source tools with which to work in its environment. Number two was Amazon, followed by Microsoft, HP, Citrix, IBM, Sun, VMware, Aptana, Rackspace, AT&T and CA.

Garvin is a founder of Evans Data, a market research firm in Santa Cruz, Calif., as well as its analyst for development tools, parallel programming and cloud computing.

InformationWeek and Dr. Dobb's have published an in-depth report on how Web application development is moving to online platforms. Download the report here (registration required).

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Charles Babcock

Editor at Large, Cloud

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism. He joined the publication in 2003.

Never Miss a Beat: Get a snapshot of the issues affecting the IT industry straight to your inbox.

You May Also Like

More Insights