New research questions conventional wisdom on cloud providers


Two pieces of research have simultaneously hit the inbox of CloudTech, both with surprising findings in terms of cloud providers. A study from Spiceworks argues Microsoft Azure is more popular than Amazon Web Services (AWS) for IT professionals, while analyst house Cloud Spectator has revealed a surprising name at the top of the best ranked European cloud service providers.

The Cloud Spectator report focuses particularly on performance as well as price factors, measuring vCPU, memory, and block storage performance, and found 1&1 to be the best performer. Using 100% at its benchmark, it finished ahead of UpCloud (95), CityCloud (72) and CloudSigma (68). Of the widely considered major players, Google Compute (50) performed best, well ahead of Azure (27), AWS (27), and IBM SoftLayer (22). Verizon, who confirmed its exit from the majority of the public cloud space earlier this year, scored lowest.

1&1 was also cited in January by Cloud Spectator as the best value infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provider, and again the vendor’s high VM performance and competitive pricing saw it come out on top here. AWS scored highly in the VM – vCPU and memory – performance, but lower relative disk performance and higher monthly costs saw it drop, while CloudSigma came top in storage only for VM performance to see it slip to fourth overall.

“Price performance benchmarks offer important insight into the value of IaaS offerings, and this report compares the value of both large and small EU providers,” said Philbert Shih, managing director of Structure Research, adding: “It’s interesting to see the differences in performance even between different sized VMs, and that some small VMs outperform many large VMs. This type of insight can potentially provide large cost savings.”

Elsewhere, Spiceworks argues that not only is Microsoft more popular than AWS in IaaS public cloud – 16% of respondents compared to 13% – it also has more scope for growth. 21% of the almost 350 people polled said they are considering Azure, compared to 11% for Amazon.

The report also examined the what, why and where of cloud services. The most popular option according to survey respondents was web hosting, cited by more than three quarters (76%) of those polled, followed by email hosting (56%), and storage and file sharing (53%). One in five organisations is adopting infrastructure as a service currently, with an additional 16% considering it.

You can find more about the latest Cloud Spectator report here.