State Of The Cloud Survey

What's happening in cloud computing right now?

One of the best indicators of current trends in cloud computing is the annual "State of the Cloud" survey conducted by US cloud management company RightScale.

The reason why we at Browse the Cloud love it is because it surveys users, rather than providers, giving us an accurate picture of the current landscape.

2017 Survey

This year's survey was carried out in January and involved over a thousand IT professionals, quizzing them on the way they are using the cloud and its associated support technologies.

Nearly half the respondents were companies with over a thousand employees.

What were the key findings?

As could probably be expected, the survey shows that a hybrid model is still the most popular, with enterprises hedging their bets by using a mix of public cloud services like Amazon Web Services (AWS), cloud servers that are private to the enterprise concerned and some traditional applications still hosted on-site.

But the proportion of private cloud services is levelling off and even dropping within that mix, in favour of public cloud services. This suggests organisations are getting more comfortable with sharing space with others and like lower support costs, compared with running their own private setup.

AWS still dominating

The public cloud computing sector is completely dominated by AWS, with Gartner reporting two years ago that it was 10 times bigger than its nearest 14 competitors combined. Microsoft's Azure and Google's Cloud Platform have since gained on AWS, with IBM, Oracle and Rackspace next.

Part of AWS's domination in revenue is because users place proportionally more virtual machines on AWS than on its competitors' servers.

Shift of power

The survey showed that IT departments are the ones pushing cloud adoption, with business units more likely to resist. The tools available to govern and manage cloud hosting are maturing and this is helping to push past resistance.

Maturing service

As cloud computing becomes more mainstream, the survey reports fewer challenges in moving more applications to cloud-based services. Concerns have instead moved from resources towards costs and security, with expertise still a significant concern.

The survey indicated that users still underestimate waste in cloud services and a focus on management tools indicates that waste prevention is becoming a major concern.

DevOps and Docker

Growth in DevOps, the combining of operations and development skills to deliver applications faster, using agile management philosophies, is increasing among cloud adopters.

Docker, a tool that allows applications to be containerised and distributed from cloud-based servers to almost any operating system, has become the most popular DevOps tool among cloud technologists.


The survey presents a picture of a maturing platform along with the skills and tools to use and manage it. Users are beginning to look closer at usage patterns and supporting costs to get even more value for money.

The move from private to public cloud services indicates that enterprises are getting more comfortable about sharing space with other organisations and relying on services' technology to maintain privacy.

And it would appear that the age-old battle for control of information technology between IT departments and business units is still alive and kicking!