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Cloud Study: Microsoft Azure Earns High Marks for Compatibility

Organizations narrowly favor Microsoft Azure over rivals Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) for its "compatibility with existing services."

That's one of the findings of a recent report by Spiceworks titled "Public Cloud Trends in 2019 and Beyond," which also found AWS to be ranked highest in the areas of uptime, security and value, while GCP was deemed simplest to manage and most innovative. In general, however, all three providers got close rankings from the respondents.

The most important factor in ranking cloud service providers was service uptime, according to 72 percent of the respondents, followed by security (53 percent) and service compatibility (46 percent).

Additionally, the Austin, Texas-based marketing services company found that use of public cloud services by organizations may nearly double in the next two years. Roughly 27 percent of business workloads currently use public cloud services, according to the study, but that number is expected to reach 48 percent by 2021.

Cloud use expectations ran somewhat higher for small businesses, defined as organizations with up to 99 employees. The report stated that "small businesses expected to run 53% of their workloads in public clouds, compared to 46% for mid-size business workloads, and 41% for enterprise [organizations with 1,000-plus employees] workloads."

The survey respondents told Spiceworks that the workloads they were most likely to run in the cloud included Web sites (55 percent) and e-mail (54 percent). The workloads expected to be kept on-premises included database servers (59 percent) and identity management solutions (57 percent).  

The new technologies that elicited interest in the cloud included edge computing (used by 15 percent), serverless computing (used by 15 percent) and containers (used by 18 percent), according to Spiceworks, citing its earlier "Spiceworks 2019 State of IT Budgets" study.

Security associated with public cloud use still appeared to be a stumbling block for some organizations. Only 35 percent of the respondents felt that cloud service providers offered better security than what IT pros currently provide for their own servers. Nearly a third (30 percent) of the respondents indicated they had experienced a cloud-based security challenge. A higher figure (nearly 50 percent) was reported by the enterprise respondents.

Moving away from cloud services was deemed problematic by the respondents. According to the report (p. 9), "more than half (54%) of IT decision makers believe it would be difficult to shift some of their organization's workloads to a different public cloud provider."

The respondents would be most compelled to move away from a cloud service provider if they experienced unreliable service (87 percent), substantial price increases (81 percent), a security issue (79 percent) or ongoing latency issues (73 percent), according to the survey.

The Spiceworks report surveyed 452 IT decision makers back in April, with respondents hailing from the United States (74 percent) and Europe (26 percent), and representing small, medium and enterprise organizations. Spiceworks also offers software for IT pros and community discussion forums.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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