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AWS storms ahead as Q3 global cloud market surges

AWS storms ahead as Q3 global cloud market surges

Cloud giant made up 21 per cent of the overall growth in cloud spending for the quarter year-on-year

Credit: Dreamstime

The cloud market continued to see strong growth during Q3, with standout Amazon Web Services (AWS) generating more revenue than the next three largest cloud service providers (CSP) combined. 

Overall, global spend on cloud infrastructure services grew 33 per cent year-on-year in the quarter to US$36.5 billion, up by US$9 billion. By comparison, Q2's growth was at 31 per cent, year-on-year, to US$34.6 billion.

This is according to research firm Canalys, which claimed AWS saw its market share reach 32 per cent in the quarter, with growth of US$2.6 billion compared to the same quarter last year — accounting for 21 per cent of the overall market growth in Q3.

The overall success in the cloud market stems from the continued fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the research firm stated, with the demand for cloud-based tools and services remaining high. 

The success is expected to continue past Q3, as the return to lockdowns for some geographies means the reliance on the cloud will still be considered vital. 

“Increased consumption has driven cloud infrastructure services spend this year, though some larger and more complex deals were delayed due to uncertainty caused by the pandemic,” said Canalys chief analyst Matthew Ball. “But as organisations adjust to the new normal, these longer-term projects are accelerating again.  

Some organisations are taking a cost-driven approach by reducing capital expenditure on their own data centers and cutting management costs from outsourcing contracts. Others are taking a transformational approach, developing new cloud-native applications and business models.

"But they will all have to be more measured and cost-conscious, requiring greater control and visibility of spend, while also deciding not to migrate every workload.” 

Following on from AWS in a relatively distant second place was Microsoft, which reached a 19 per cent in cloud market share. 

Its Azure business has been booming, with its Q1 results reporting growth for the division of 47 per cent on an annual basis. It also reported an increase in long-term contracts, which Calanys research claimed highlighted growth in commitment in its larger customers migrating workloads to Azure. 

Google Cloud and Alibaba Cloud trailed behind for third and fourth position, weighing in at 7 and 6 per cent market share, respectively. 

That’s not to say these two cloud players didn’t see growth however. Canalys noted Google Cloud maintained momentum, with its enterprise business accelerating following a focus on increased channel involvement in deals and partner enablement. 

Meanwhile, Alibaba Cloud held onto its lead in China, with the research firm stating that cloud computing is significant to its government’s development plans. That lead, Canalys added, also extends to the Asia Pacific region. 

Looking further ahead, multi-cloud and hybrid IT are both expected by Canalys to continue to gain momentum as organisations assess deployment and operating models. This is anticipated to include mobile edge utilising 5G for both existing and new applications that necessitate ultra-low latency, like autonomous vehicles, industrial robotics and augmented and virtual reality solutions. 

In fact, Canalys research analyst Blake Murray claimed the combination of cloud and 5G will be the next battleground for at least the top three CSPs. 

“The convergence of cloud and 5G at the mobile edge will form the next wave of growth for the leading cloud service providers,” he said. “It also represents a new front for infrastructure buildout and competition between AWS with Wavelength, Microsoft Azure with Edge Zones, and Google Cloud with Mobile Edge Cloud. 

All three are collaborating with mobile operators to deploy their cloud stacks at the edge in the operators’ data centers. These are part of holistic initiatives to profit from 5G services among business customers, as well as transform the mobile operators’ IT infrastructure.”


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