Welcome to The Cloud 5, our weekly feature where we scour the web searching for the five most intriguing and poignant cloud links we can find.

Before we jump into this week’s links, please have a look at one of our recent blog posts, Cloud vendors engage in latest feature battle. It’s become a copycat industry. If one vendor does it, chances are the others will follow.

And without further delay, here we go with this week’s links:

Amazon’s AWS still the only cloud people want, says Jefferies | Barrons

In a rather bold statement last week, an analyst from Jeffries concluded that AWS is the only cloud that matters in the market. While AWS is the market leader by far right now, there is ample evidence that Microsoft and Google, while far behind, have been picking up steam.

Who’s the king of cloud revenue growth? | Fortune

While AWS is clearly the market leader, it’s not them, Microsoft, Google, or even Oracle who is leading in cloud growth right now. According to numbers released by Gartner, that distinction belongs to none other than Alibaba. The Chinese online retail giant’s cloud computing division continues eye-popping triple-digit growth.

At Ignite, Microsoft extends hybrid cloud beyond just infrastructure | Networkworld

Microsoft held its Ignite Conference this week in Orlando and made a bushel of announcements including a bunch about Azure and cloud computing. One of those involved the Azure Stack product, which allows customers to set up an Azure cloud in their own data centers. While that has been announced for some time, it’s finally shipping to customers (and that’s news).

Amazon to open its first AWS cloud region in the Middle East by 2019 | Venturebeat

Don’t look now, but AWS is about to expand into a big growth market. It announced it will be opening a data center region in the Middle East by 2019, giving it a foothold in an emerging technology market.

Azure gets more affordable with reserved instances | TechCrunch

Azure Stack wasn’t the only thing Microsoft was announcing at Ignite earlier in the week, it also revealed some new features to help customers better understand the cost of using Azure, a big problem for all cloud customers. To that end, Microsoft introduced reserved instances (something that AWS has been offering for some time), which give a fixed cost in exchange for agreeing to a fixed length contract.

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Photo Credit: Tomma Henckel. Used under CC 2.0 license.

Posted by Ron Miller

Ron Miller is a freelance technology reporter and blogger. He is contributing editor at EContent Magazine and enterprise reporter at TechCrunch.

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