Why we’re becoming savvier in our cloud initiatives – with object storage and containers key

The latest research report, this time from cloud cost management provider Cloudability, reveals some interesting findings: only four infrastructure services comprise almost 85% of spend among the company’s customers, while changing trends in object storage and containers are becoming apparent.

The study, which features data comprised from anonymous analysis of Cloudability’s analytics platform, found Amazon EC2 was by far the most popular service, accounting for 58.7% of spend, compared with Elastic Block Store (EBS, 9.9%), AWS’ relational database (9.3%), and S3 object storage (6.3%).

Cloudability’s customers are in the main Amazon houses, so the fact this data is AWS-heavy should not be a surprise, nor should it detract from other cloud providers. However the trend here is around ‘lift and shift’ migrations dominating enterprise cloud adoption. Cloudability argues there is still a lot of work to be done and many workloads to move over.

The data also finds that the second quarter of 2017 was the tipping point between legacy and current generation compute instances. May (below) saw cloud overtake legacy among Cloudability’s customers for the first time, and by the end of the year the divide had grown significantly to 70/30.

Organisations aren’t just moving to the cloud in greater numbers; they are also becoming savvier about their options. Object storage is a case in point. The report argues capacity has grown by more than 40% over the past 12 months, with 22% of companies opting for the infrequent access AWS S3 option – a combination of low cost and high performance – up from 10% this time last year. Standard usage has dropped almost in parallel, from 68% to 55%, while usage of Glacier, the super-low-cost ‘cold’ storage option, remained stable.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Kubernetes is the most popular container orchestration tool, steadily gaining its lead over Mesos, Rancher and OpenShift throughout the course of 2017. Kubernetes, which ‘graduated’ out of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) earlier this month, and how its trends were related to AWS were described thus in the report: “With ECS, Fargate and EKS offerings starting to become available and delving further into microservices, we anticipate that container adoption will accelerate.

“As a result of container growth, the management complexity (including cost management) will grow significantly as well, since containers are typically seven to eight times the number of VMs and are more ephemeral in nature.”

According to the recent RightScale State of the Cloud report, AWS continues to see its lead in the overall market shrink at the hands of Microsoft Azure, with enterprise cloud spend – as this report affirms – continuing to rise.

You can find out more about the report here.