After the COVID-19 pandemic, companies prioritize as-a-service providers over traditional vendors, accelerating digital transformation projects, and enabling the new normal of work.
While enterprises adopt multicloud strategies, IT budgets increasingly go to cloud giants. IT budgets for 2021 show money flowing to Microsoft Azure and its software-as-a-service offerings, as well as Amazon Web Services. Big data and analytics workloads are also attracting attention. Other players include IBM, Dell, HPE, and VMware.
Salesforce, ServiceNow, Adobe, and Workday compete with SAP and Oracle for corporate wallet and data share. As major platforms, Salesforce and ServiceNow launched successful back-to-work enablement suites.
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The COVID-19 pandemic, remote work, and video conferencing are speeding up cloud adoption. Cloud computing is increasingly seen as a tool for digital transformation and business continuity. Work was done remotely due to stay-at-home orders, mostly on cloud infrastructure. Microsoft Teams and Google Meet became part of the companies’ larger cloud ecosystem. Zoom not only lands subscription revenue, but also runs on cloud providers such as AWS and Oracle.
Companies want to market multicloud as a selling point. Firms are conscious of vendor lock-in and want to abstract their programs for cloud migration. With a hefty dose of VMware or Red Hat, legacy businesses have designed systems that can plug into numerous clouds. As AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud gain market dominance, multi-cloud deployments become the preferred method. But multicloud deployments are still an AWS vs. Azure fight.
The game is data collection. The more corporate data in the cloud, the more vendor-sticky the customer. It’s no secret that cloud computing suppliers want businesses to use their systems to store data for analytics and personalization.
Serverless and managed services will be differentiators among the top cloud service providers.
Every cloud vendor wants to handle your other clouds. Managed cloud services are available from Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services. Dell and HPE, for example, do. This “single pane of glass” platform for cloud management will be well positioned.
Fear, uncertainty, and doubt will be the norm in sales. Around AWS re:Invent, the big three seemed to be in a mindshare war as they sniped at each other across industries. As a result, Google Cloud has hired executives to promote sectors and increased its Anthos hybrid cloud sales effort. Why use cloud computing? What you need to know)
Industry sales wars are raging. Cloud companies are targeting niche markets. The “capability gap between hyperscale cloud providers has begun to decrease,” according to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant research on public cloud providers. AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud have all had great financial results.
Infrastructure as a service
Amazon Web Services
The leader in IaaS and branching out
AWS led the public cloud computing revolution and now dominates AI, database, machine learning, and serverless computing.
In 2008, AWS became the first to offer cloud computing infrastructure as a service. It’s delivering new services at a fast rate and building its own compute stack to save money. This approach is unlikely to change as Adam Selipsky returns to AWS as Andy Jassy replaces Jeff Bezos.
AWS now includes cloud computing and storage. AWS’s second-generation Graviton processor and instances may help Arm chips become the norm in data centers. If effective, Graviton and Nitro can help AWS stand out in the cloud wars.
Part II: Cloud Hedging
AWS announced a bespoke processor roadmap, database advancements, and a slew of tools at re:Invent 2020, a virtual conference, solidifying its stronghold in the cloud industry. In his lecture, Jassy took aim at both Microsoft Azure and Oracle, boasting about AWS’ yearly revenue run rate surpassing $48 billion.
While 2020 will be remembered for Amazon’s ability to supply items during COVID-19 lockdowns, it’s worth remembering that AWS generates the majority of the company’s operating income.
The main question is whether businesses would be concerned about AWS’ dominance as a digital transformation facilitator. For the time being, AWS is a significant AI and machine learning platform, as well as a call center engine and an edge compute enabler.
The following are some noteworthy developments:
S3 Object Lambda is an AWS service that processes data for numerous applications.
Alexa Conversations is now widely available on Amazon.
MacOS Big Sur is now supported by AWS’ Mac EC2 instances.
Amazon According to AWS, SageMaker is being used by “very, very competent practitioners of machine learning.”
AWS develops IoT and edge computing technology components.
AWS is beginning to fill in the gaps between its databases.
Amazon Analysis is spreading much more widely throughout enterprises, according to AWS analytics director.
Amazon has released a new product. Amazon HealthLake is a life sciences-focused large data storage.
Amazon RedShift ML is a new service from Amazon Web Services that aims to “bring machine learning to more builders.”
AWS has announced new computing instances, including the compute-intensive C6gn with Graviton2.
AWS: Cloud-native computing, serverless computing, and containers oh my!
With new Monitron and Panorama services, AWS expands its industrial IoT offering.
AWS Outposts and Wavelength, according to Andy Jassy of Amazon, are the appropriate edge for hybrid cloud.
Mac EC2 instances are available through AWS: What this means for Apple, Apple Silicon, and developers is detailed below.
While AWS’ growth rates have slowed in comparison to competitors, its revenue base is far larger. There’s little reason to believe AWS isn’t acquiring a larger share of commercial IT cloud spending. To stay ahead of the competition, AWS has hybrid cloud agreements with VMware, developers, the ecosystem, and large enterprise customers.
Here’s things to look out for in 2021 with AWS:
With its approach of supplying customized databases tailored to workloads, AWS can take database share.
The development of AI and machine learning services, as well as whether AWS becomes the preferred model training platform.
Use cases for 5G, cloud, and edge computing are being developed.
More AWS customers can be moved to its own processors.
The popularity of AWS serverless instances is growing. (Read more about what serverless architecture is and where servers fit in.)
AWS’ approach to multi-cloud deployments.
The battle for the vertical market against Azure and Google Cloud. While all three are aiming for the health-care market, retailers prefer Azure and Google Cloud.
A strong No. 2, hybrid player and enterprise favorite
Microsoft Azure, combined with the company’s software-as-a-service strategy and enterprise footprint, makes it a solid No. 2 to AWS. Microsoft will be an option as businesses choose their preferred cloud vendors.
The simple plot is that Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services are battling it out to be the best cloud service provider. In truth, the two adversaries scarcely rhyme.
This is why:
Data about Azure sales is still not publicly available. Azure is the element of Microsoft’s cloud business that most closely resembles Amazon Web Services (AWS), but it’s hidden in the commercial cloud.
Microsoft’s commercial cloud is a collection of services. Companies are more inclined to purchase a smorgasbord that contains Azure but isn’t entirely centered on it. However, Microsoft’s commercial cloud revenue run rate is approaching $70 billion.
The software-as-a-service footprint of Microsoft Azure is advantageous. The reality is that we could simply move Microsoft from IaaS to SaaS because the majority of its revenue comes from Office 365, Dynamics, and a variety of other cloud services that are software-based over infrastructure.
Nonetheless, Azure’s AI, machine learning, and business experience make it a powerful competitor. Azure is working on edge computing.
The COVID-19 pandemic fueled Microsoft’s cloud business, as a slew of businesses employed Microsoft Teams for remote collaboration. Microsoft also has capacity challenges due to increased demand. Those capacity difficulties persisted through 2020. After Gartner gave Azure good scores, but voiced concerns about outages, Microsoft addressed capacity issues at its Ignite conference.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella claims that the company’s cloud division is in the midst of digital transformation efforts. “In just two months, we’ve witnessed two years’ worth of digital transformation. We work with customers every day to help them stay open for business in a world of remote everything, from remote teamwork to sales and customer service to critical cloud infrastructure and security “Nadella stated.
It helps to know some history, courtesy of Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet, to comprehend Azure’s competitive advantage:
Azure pioneers reflect on Microsoft’s first decade as a public cloud vendor in the decade of the 2010s.
The Windows sausage is made by Microsoft’s Azure group.
AWS vs. Microsoft Azure will be a battle of sales scale, artificial intelligence, and multi-cloud realities.
Simply said, Azure is a well-known cloud service provider among businesses, but pricing will incorporate a variety of monetization techniques and bundles. The real fight between AWS and Microsoft will be between businesses that want to go multi-cloud yet have a favorite cloud service provider. Will Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft be the chosen vendor? Microsoft is a well-known commodity in that environment, and it can integrate with Salesforce, which chose Azure for its Marketing Cloud, as well as other incumbents like SAP, Oracle, and Adobe. Furthermore, Microsoft can integrate its cloud offerings into its Microsoft 365 effort, which is a cloud and enterprise software buffet packaged for a variety of industries but may come with hidden costs if not properly negotiated.
Microsoft has also honed its ground game for hybrid deployments, forming deep partnerships with server vendors to develop integrated stacks for hybrid and private cloud deployments. These hybrid efforts include Azure Arc, Azure Stack, and Azure Stack Edge. Among the notable initiatives are:
Microsoft expands its Azure Stack hybrid lineup with new devices and services.
Why is Microsoft creating a “telco-grade cloud”?
How Microsoft is relying on MetaOS to help make Microsoft 365 a “whole life” experience.
What does’special clouds’ have to do with Microsoft’s Azure Modular Datacenter?
To handle classified data, Microsoft has launched the Azure Government Top Secret cloud.
The Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, Microsoft’s first “vertical cloud,” is now generally available.
In the end, the Microsoft Azure vs. Amazon Web Services battle will be a sales war with thousands of foot soldiers pitching businesses. You can sign up for Teams, Office 365, Dynamics, Azure, or a combination of these services to become a Microsoft cloud customer. In reality, your company will have both top cloud service providers, and neither will own the entire stack. Microsoft and AWS will be the starting points for your multi-cloud efforts. The battle for wallet share begins there. (See: Can AWS be apprehended? Here are some tips for its cloud computing competitors.)
Google Cloud Platform
A strong No. 3 with a $11 billion annual revenue run rate, but building out its sales scale and industry approach
Google Cloud Platform and its Anthos platform are attempting to crack into budgets for digital transformation. Meanwhile, the cloud provider is trying to expand in major industries including retail and finance.
Google Cloud Platform has finished a year in which it expanded its strategy, sales team, and differentiated offerings while simultaneously experiencing performance issues. However, Google Cloud is gaining traction thanks to COVID-19 and Google Meet, as well as a multi-cloud workload management strategy. Google Cloud will continue to expand its presence in 2021, with additional locations and data centers.
Google Cloud Platform has been gaining larger deals, has a strong CEO in Oracle veteran Thomas Kurian, and is considered as a good counterweight to AWS and Microsoft Azure, with an annual revenue run rate reaching $16 billion. Kurian appears to be following Oracle’s lead, focusing on areas and use cases where it can excel. Consider retail, where customers may benefit from Google AdWords, and cloud computing without having to worry about Amazon. Consider education. Consider finance.