Cloud infrastructure services spending increased 36 percent to $47 billion in the second quarter with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) now accounting for 61 percent of total spend among all cloud providers, according to a report from market research firm Canalys.

Despite this massive growth in spending, however, a separate Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Services report published by Gartner suggests there is a growing sense of dissatisfaction among customers of both AWS and Microsoft.

Canalys researchers estimate cloud infrastructure spending increased $5 billion between the first and second quarter this year. AWS was the largest cloud services provider with a 31 percent share following a 37 percent increase in revenues for the second quarter, on annual basis.

In second place is Microsoft with a 22 percent share following a 51 percent increase in revenues for the second quarter, on annual basis. In third place is GCP with an 8 percent share, following a 66 percent increase in revenue for the same quarter, on an annual basis.

AWS still has more market share than Microsoft and GCP combined but it’s clear the gap is narrowing. In fact, it would be easy to conclude that the cloud infrastructure market will continue to be, for all intents and purposes, dominated by these three players in the U.S. and Europe, at least.

Tensions rise between cloud providers

However, the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant identifies AWS, Microsoft and GCP as the market leaders, but it also notes there is some resentment building concerning AWS’s sales tactics. AWS apparently wants customers to increase annual spend commitments by 20 percent across what some customers now reportedly view as being more complex to navigate. AWS has said it will endeavor to rein in its sales teams at any customer request.

Microsoft, meanwhile, is being dinged for outages involving Azure Active Directory and Azure Kubernetes Service. Some Azure regions are not as resilient as others and the Gartner report notes that Microsoft’s overall approach to licensing remains complex.

Google appears to have benefited from these missteps at a time when organizations are increasingly comfortable running workloads on multiple clouds. At the same time, cloud service providers such as Oracle are making it clear they intend to compete more aggressively on cost. That in of itself may not trouble the big three but if all the cloud service providers that make up the other 39 percent of the market get aggressive as well, there could soon be a lot of downward pressure on pricing.

Regardless of where applications workloads land, there will continue to be a lot more new and existing applications being deployed or migrated to public clouds in the months and years ahead. That’s generally good news for managed services providers (MSPs) that have the expertise required to manage workloads spanning multiple clouds.

The one thing MSPs should remember is most customer generally prefer to keep their options open as much as possible, which is sound advice that most savvy MSPs should follow as well. After all, if IT history has shown us anything, it is that customers always tend to become fickle at the most unexpected times.

Photo: Grodfoto / Shutterstock

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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