Reality check: It’s a multi-cloud world
The decision of which vendor to use is not a zero-sum game. Khasner says the majority of clients he works with are pursuing a multi-cloud strategy and using at least two, if not all three of the leading IaaS cloud vendors, each for certain tasks. Vendor RightScale, which sells a cloud management platform, found that in a survey of 1,000 of its users that 57% were running applications in AWS, with 34% running apps in Azure and 15% running apps in GCP. But there was another wrinkle in that study: 85% of RightScale’s customers have a multi-cloud strategy, which means they’re using public and private clouds together, or multiple public clouds.
There are other options in the market beyond the big three, too. IBM, for example, offers a broad array of IaaS public and private cloud options, along with managed services. IBM also has the Bluemix application development PaaS and a variety of SaaS offerings. Oracle, meanwhile, is attempting to create a robust IaaS to join its SaaS and PaaS offerings. Though in the early stages, it is expected to ramp up in terms of features and functionality in the coming years. Alibaba, a Chinese ecommerce provider that has a strong data center footprint in Asia, is expanding into the U.S.
Khasner says it’s important for customers to create evaluation criteria based on their own use cases and find the provider that best matches their needs. Since no one vendor is a panacea, the reality is that most organizations will end up using multiple IaaS public cloud providers.