Microsoft was recognised as a Leader in the latest Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service report. As you can see from the image above, Microsoft and Amazon are the only leaders in this category. It is also important to note that Microsoft has long way to go to catch up to Amazon in the IaaS market. Even though Microsoft is investing heavily in Azure, Amazon with its AWS is not slowing down in any way. Both Azure and AWS are growing further away from rest of the market.
With its broad set of services that can handle multiple workloads, Microsoft Azure appeals to multiple levels of customers with varying cloud maturity. According to Gartner, Microsoft is also seen as more of a strategic enterprise cloud partner instead of just being another IT vendor. This is key to Microsoft to further grow in IaaS market differentiating from Amazon. Microsoft can provide end-to-end IT cloud solutions based on Office 365, Windows, Azure, Dynamics 365 and more. Gartner also highlighted that Azure’s service experience, support, documentation, and training is not up to the level when compared to Amazon. Read the excerpts from Gartner’s report below.
- Microsoft Azure is second in market share, not only in IaaS, but also in integrated IaaS+PaaS. It has sustained a very high growth rate over multiple years, and Gartner estimates its end-of-2016 revenue run rate as approximately $3 billion. Azure is already a very capable and broad platform, and Microsoft continues to accelerate its new-feature velocity. Microsoft is now launching innovative Azure capabilities of its own, rather than primarily copying competitor capabilities. Microsoft is leveraging its tremendous sales reach and ability to bundle Azure with other Microsoft products and services in order to drive adoption. It is steadily growing the size of Azure customers; many are beginning to spend more than $500,000 a year, and a few exceed $5 million in annual spending.
- Microsoft is frequently chosen as a strategic cloud provider by customers that are committed to Microsoft technologies or that like Microsoft’s overall cloud strategy, which spans IaaS, PaaS, SaaS and on-premises solutions. Furthermore, many customers that are pursuing a multicloud strategy will use Azure for some of their workloads, and Microsoft’s on-premises Azure Stack software may potentially attract customers seeking hybrid solutions. Microsoft’s increased openness — including immediately supporting Linux in new Azure feature releases (rather than initially supporting Windows only), embracing open-source technologies and working collaboratively with a range of partners in areas of technology innovation — represents a vital and positive strategic shift.
- While Microsoft Azure is an enterprise-ready platform, Gartner clients report that the service experience feels less enterprise-ready than they expected, given Microsoft’s long history as an enterprise vendor. Customers cite issues with technical support, documentation, training and breadth of the ISV partner ecosystem. Microsoft is actively addressing these issues and has made significant improvements over the last year. However, the disorganized and inexperienced ecosystem of managed and professional service partners makes it challenging for customers to obtain expertise and mitigate risks, resulting in greater reluctance to deploy production applications or conduct data center migrations. Azure Fast Start implementations by Microsoft professional services are inconsistent in quality, and do not always accurately reflect what a customer will need to deploy production applications in Azure.
- While Microsoft continues to steadily improve capabilities that help Azure fulfill enterprise needs for security, availability, performance, networking flexibility and user management, not all such functionality is currently implemented with the level of completeness, ease of use or API enablement desired by enterprise customers. Multiple generations of solutions, coupled with unclear guidance on when to use each, create significant complexity in determining the right implementation. Most Azure customers use the portal for manual management, rather than taking a more automated or DevOps approach. DevOps-oriented customers may encounter frustrations with a lack of strong Azure support in some open-source and other third-party tools and software.