How the IaaS market fared in the last 18 months

It is estimated that IaaS(infrastructure as a service) space will reach $71.55 billion by the year 2021. If the cloud market will continue its growth by that year it is estimated it will even surpass SaaS (software-as-a-service) technology and jump into the lead of cloud technology. These figures come from Gartner, an industry analyst firm that also predicts SaaS will reach $75.73 billion by 2021. PaaS (platform-as-a-service) is also estimated to grow (19.9% at $14.80 billion).

The next runner-up is the FaaS space and though is still a new concept to most it has its merits. At the moment AWS Lambda pricing is unbeatable and Amazon leads the FaaS market with almost three thirds in terms of market share. But what is AWS? Amazon Web Services is a cloud computing platform owned by Amazon that combines IaaS, FaaS and PaaS options aimed at the general public. For example, the DevOps Tools incorporated into AWS helps one develop software that automates tasks and manage large environments aimed to be used via AWS.

Just as a glimpse of how well Amazon is fairing with their AWS technology, 2017 brought the company $3.66 billion in their first quarter (a 42% surplus compared to the same period of the previous year). Their biggest competitor seems to be Microsoft with their Microsoft Azure product. Although only at 10% market share, Azure brought Microsoft a 90% profit in the first quarter of 2018 (compared to the same quarter of 2017). The third place is held by Google and their Google Cloud Platform. Google holds almost 4% market share and is followed by IBM’s 3% generated by IBM Softlayer.

When it comes to the application workloads for each IaaS platform Amazon is still in the lead with more than 40% of public cloud application workloads, followed by 30% Microsoft Azure, three percent Google, while Rackspace and IBM Softlayer each hold more than 2.5%. The rest is comprised of other similar services offered by smaller companies that all compete in the same market segment.

An AWS pricing calculator will tell you that Amazon still has the cheapest and best offer but the IaaS adoption rate is slower than it was expected to be. So what is holding customers back? One of the first thing that comes to mind is security. People are concerned about possible security breaches, despite the efforts of Amazon, Google and Microsoft made to improve their IaaS platforms in this area. Further digging into the security issues customers have when it comes to IaaS, the main concern seems to be (according to a CSA report) that sensitive data that has to be uploaded to the cloud might get compromised. In 2017 66% of respondents pointed out this issue as their main concern. Among other concerns expressed by potential customers the ones that stood out were related to possible misuses by the end user, downloading private data to BYOD devices and compromised accounts.

Confidence in cloud security is gaining ground. More than 60% of IT professionals agree that the public cloud is at least as secure as a privately-owned datacenter located in their company. Furthermore, the confidence factor grows as providers scatter to assure customers that the latest security patches are a top priority and that constant monitoring is a service they take very seriously. As long as no serious breaches appear in the news, people start trusting IaaS providers more and more and consider moving from corporate servers to something like Amazon AWS.

Returning to the issue of pricing, the current Amazon Lambda pricing is $0.00001667 per GB per month. When it comes to requests, the price per one million requests is $0.20. This is more than satisfactory to many companies and therefore Amazon remains in the lead not only because of the quality of their FaaS services but also because of their reduced costs. AWS Lambda performance can be verified by checking online reviews or consulting with other IT professionals.

In a continuously developing technology, world IaaS services seem to be the next big thing. At least for now. A great deal of money has been spent in developing, maintaining and advertising IaaS servers and it seems that consumers find such services to be useful. While Amazon is in the lead with AWS, competition is expected to grow as Microsoft, Google and IBM are catching up and figuring new ways to attract clients.

For the average developer working in a mid-sized company, a cloud server greatly eases work. Projects can be finished sooner and therefore the company profits. Investing in IaaS seems like a good idea for the small and mid-sized businesses that require computing power, storage space, and the applications to develop their products.

A collection of lessons learned at Dashbird after working with 4,000+ customers and 300,000+ Lambda functions

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