Alibaba beats Google for IaaS market share, with IBM out of sight

AWS is way in front, Azure a solid second, server-makers in trouble

Google is the world's number four infrastructure-as-a-service vendor, according to analyst outfit Gartner's first ever attempt at calculating market share in the field.

The infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market is growing like a weed: it hauled US$22.1 billion through the door in calendar 2016, up from $16.8 billion in 2015. As the table below shows, that's 31.4 per cent growth across the sector.

Gartner predicts that the rise of Azure, Google and Alibaba will see AWS experience “growth erosion in share … while other IaaS market leaders will see an increase in growth.”

Smaller, non-hyperscale providers will “struggle to provide value through their services,” the firm predicts.

Here's the tale of the tape.

Vendor 2016 Revenue $m 2016 Market Share% 2015 Revenue $m 2015 Market Share% 2016-2015 Growth%
Amazon 9,775 44.2 6,698 39.8 45.9
Microsoft 1,579 7.1 980 5.8 61.1
Alibaba 675 3 298 1.8 126.5
Google 500 2.3 250 1.5 100
Rackspace 484 2.2 461 2.7 5
Others 9,147 41.2 8,074 48.4 13.2
Total 22,160 100 16,861 100 31.4

Alibaba's strong showing reflects its dominance in China, Gartner says, adding that the company's recent opening of new data centres in Europe, Australia, the Middle East and Japan should help it to do better beyond the Middle Kingdom.

IBM's absence from the top five isn't necessarily terrifying, as the company makes much of its SaaS and PaaS offerings. But missing the top five also means missing growth, because Gartner says it expects IaaS to outpace SaaS and PaaS for the next five years.

The firm also says that much of IaaS expected growth will be “coming at the expense of the traditional, noncloud offerings.” Which means the servers, storage and switches on which Dell EMC, HPE, Lenovo and Cisco rely for much of their revenue. ®

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