AWS dominates cloud market as Azure starts to accelerate

Analyst report finds Azure is gaining momentum as a cloud environment, while AWS dwarfs all.

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) has commanded a lead in the cloud market, while Microsoft's Azure is beginning to pick up momentum, according to Forrester Research.

The study, taken in the third quarter of this year, found that Amazon is the dominant cloud player in the market with 71 per cent of developers citing it as something they have used to deliver customer applications.

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Azure, Microsoft's effort in the cloud space, managed to come second with around a quarter of respondents using the platform to deploy custom apps. Google and Force.com were third and fourth respectively with just over a fifth each.

More than 40 per cent believe their use of Amazon EC2 use will increase in the next year, while almost 20 per cent expect the same to happen with Azure.

Google, Force.com and Rackspace face more mixed prospects with almost as many developers saying they will use these platforms less over the next 12 months as those saying they would use the platforms more.

Developers do not demarcate between IaaS and PaaS like the rest of the market, according to Forrester. And vendors are further blurring lines between the two with AWS adding abstracted development services rapidly such as Beanstalk, Elastic MapReduce and DynamoDB.

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The analyst firm said that AWS, Rackspace, and Microsoft were "creating ecosystems of PaaS and SaaS in their walled gardens".

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While Microsoft, salesforce.com and Google offered integrated IaaS/PaaS platforms, Forrester said that AWS was starting to follow this trend. It also noted that Active State and CloudBees were pioneering on-premises PaaS services.

The study of more than 100 developers worldwide found that speed of delivery was the top reason behind why they chose a particular cloud environment. Around 60 per cent cited this reason with 45 per cent saying that a particular cloud environment was well suited to the type of app they were developing.

Among the top applications deployed on cloud were internal business apps (43 per cent). However, in the next year, 41 per cent of respondents plan to deploy mobile apps in the cloud.

The survey also found that developers will put more code into the cloud in the future, JavaScript's future looks particularly rosy as more than half (52 per cent) of developers cited it as the language of choice for programming in the cloud.

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