As the cloud market matures, AWS, Microsoft and Google expect to leverage their power to cement their positions as market leaders. We take a look at the recent activities of the top three, including partnerships, new releases and record-breaking financial results.
Microsoft Partners With NBC and Boeing
Microsoft have recently focussed on their high-profile partnerships to increase Azure's brand awareness. For example, to build on Azure's momentum of more than 100% growth YoY, Microsoft has partnered with NBC to deliver the Rio Olympics. According to Microsoft, Azure will provide NBC with cloud encoding and hosting with video workflows, and will assist with live and on-demand multi-platform streaming coverage. Microsoft and NBC had a similar partnership for the Sochi Winter Olympics and the NFL, with mixed degrees of success - for example, it didn't help when commentators referred to Microsoft's products as Apple's. However, Microsoft is expecting even greater numbers for the Rio Olympics, meaning they either risk bigger failure or gain a greater reward.
What's more, Boeing have chosen Microsoft as their cloud provider over AWS. Boeing said their decision was largely down to Microsoft offering to collaborate on new analytics software to try and improve their operational efficiency.
Despite being good news for Microsoft, this relentless battle with AWS and a focus on partnering with big brands could see Microsoft failing to cater for the needs of smaller enterprises. With this being said, start-ups and scale-ups can tailor their provisions to better suit their needs by employing a hybrid strategy to leverage the power of public cloud providers, like Microsoft Azure, but also streamline their offering using managed services.
AWS Announce Record-Breaking Revenue
Despite their slowing growth rate, AWS remains the market leaders, controlling more than three times the market share of its nearest rival, Microsoft Azure. In Q2 of this year, AWS hit new heights with a record-breaking revenue of $2.9 billion, up from $2.5 billion in Q1.
The increase in revenue may have come from their acquisition of the Italian SaaS company, NICE, earlier in the year. The acquisition was said to provide AWS with intellectual property, such as a higher CPU performance, and access to European clients.
However, the more likely explanation for AWS's revenue spike is their increased operating margin. This may suggest that AWS is less cost efficient for its users. Additionally, despite AWS having initially cheap prices, the costs for users can considerably increase as their business expands. To ensure your hosting prices don't spiral out of control, consider a hybrid option - a more cost effective solution for gorwing enterprises.
Google Launch Customer-Supplied Encryption Keys to Enhance Cloud Security
Google’s new Customer-Supplied Encryption Keys (CSEK) are aimed to better protect their cloud data. This new release is said to automatically encrypt customer content stored at rest, including all Compute Engine Disks. With CSEK, disks at rest are fully protected and cannot be accessed by anyone else, even within Google, unless they present your key.
Although this is a step in the right direction, Google's Cloud still seems experimental, which is not surprising given it was only made available in 2013. Despite Google releasing additional services at a fast pace, they are still a long way behind AWS and Azure. In addition, CSEK is a great example of how Google aims new services at large corporations, whilst failing to cater for the needs of smaller enterprises.
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