Despite the threat of growing competition, Amazon Web Services (AWS) will not lose its position as market leader within the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) arena. Recent comments from Gartner analyst Lydia Leong warned that AWS may struggle to overcome the challenge of computing giants such as Microsoft, Google and VMware looking to make their mark as IaaS providers.
However, I believe this increased competition will only serve to drive AWS’s innovation further. AWS has long dominated the IaaS space and has driven the market forward at a remarkable rate. Challengers for the position of market leader are inevitable, but there are a host of factors that will dictate their success.
Microsoft’s hesitance to drive forward their cloud offering has meant their presence in the current cloud market has so far remained small. Azure is now a fairly mature service, but Microsoft’s complacency as the dominator of on-site computing has seen it lose out to AWS in the cloud.
VMware will be a significant challenger in the enterprise space due to the strength of its brand, but it will take time for them to reach the level of maturity that AWS has already achieved on their own. VMware does have a growing network of partners running their own clouds powered by vCloud so, in terms of market reach they are well placed to make a strong challenge.
AWS has established itself as the leader for true, scalable cloud computing and it will take a lot to rival it in HPC, Big Data and web applications. Whilst Google obviously has the expertise in massive scale computing, and could be AWS’s most dangerous rival, no one really knows what they’re trying to achieve in this space yet.
Undoubtedly, there will be a pricing war that will drive down the cost of basic IaaS components. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and will allow consumers to access a wider range of technologies at more competitive prices. We can also expect to see plenty of innovation from within the market and AWS will be leading from the front.
Where AWS excels is in the development of innovative offerings like Database as a Service and Domains as a Service. Other Cloud Service Providers are catching up in terms of fundamental storage and compute, but going beyond the building blocks of computing, to simplified and scalable web applications and data warehousing, is where AWS outshines its competition.
At the moment it’s a waiting game. Until the intent and innovation from these other major cloud service providers becomes clear, there is no reason to think that AWS cannot maintain its current position in the market.