Microsoft takes clear lead in IaaS second place race, AWS still way out in front

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.

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Microsoft has leapt ahead of its competition for second place in global infrastructure as a service (IaaS) revenues, yet still continues to be dwarfed by Amazon Web Services, according to the latest analysis from Synergy Research.

The analyst house, which has covered the IaaS market in depth over the past few years, released a graph today which showed competitive pricing for cloud infrastructure services in Q3. Amazon retains its huge lead in the market, yet Microsoft is racing clear of competitors Google, IBM, Salesforce and Rackspace:

AWS’ exact market share is put at 27% by Synergy, gaining ground after what the research firm called a “relatively soft” Q2. While the graph shows Microsoft having by far the highest percentage growth, it’s all relative: AWS revenue growth over the past four quarters is greater than Microsoft’s total cloud infrastructure revenue.

“AWS remains in a league of its own for scale,” the researchers argue.

The second quarter analysis can be found here, with AWS’ percentage growth at 49% compared with Microsoft’s 164% and IBM’s 86%. Back then the headline story was Google’s comparative lack of growth, at ‘just’ 47%.

Back then Synergy Research chief analyst John Dinsdale argued it was only going to be a blip for Amazon, telling CloudTech he didn’t think the company was resting on its laurels, “quite the opposite actually”. So it has proved in Q3.

Synergy estimates that quarterly cloud infrastructure service revenues, including IaaS, PaaS, private and hybrid cloud, have now hit the $4bn mark. The overall market grew by almost half (49%), yet the four main operators grew even more rapidly than that.

Microsoft announced last week it was offering unlimited OneDrive storage to Office 365 customers, while AWS launched a series of data centres in Frankfurt. Yet the Q3 revenue figures of the bigger players haven’t all hit the mark; Google’s came back lower than Wall Street expected, while IBM’s were also criticised.

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