The worldwide infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market grew 41.4 per cent in 2021, to total US$ 90.9 billion, up from US$ 64.3 billion in 2020, according to Gartner, Inc. Amazon retained the No. 1 position in the IaaS market in 2021, followed by Microsoft, Alibaba, Google and Huawei.
“The IaaS market continues to grow unabated as cloud-native becomes the primary architecture for modern workloads,” said Sid Nag, VP Analyst, Gartner.
“Cloud supports the scalability and composability that advanced technologies and applications require, while also enabling enterprises to address emerging needs such as sovereignty, data integration and enhanced customer experience,” adds Nag.
Microsoft followed in the No. 2 position with 21.1 per cent share and above-market growth, reaching over US$ 19 billion in IaaS revenue in 2021. With many organizations already relying on Microsoft’s enterprise software and services, Azure has been positioned to capture opportunities across nearly every vertical market.
Alibaba was again the No. 3 IaaS public cloud provider worldwide with 9.5 per cent market share and revenue of US$ 8.7 billion for 2021. While Alibaba continues to lead the Chinese cloud market, it is also poised to be the leading regional provider in Indonesia, Malaysia, and other emerging cloud markets, given its local market understanding and ability to serve as a bridge to digital commerce.
“Regional cloud ecosystems are becoming increasingly important amidst growing geopolitical fragmentation and emerging regulatory and compliance requirements, presenting an opportunity for providers with a strong regional presence,” said Nag.
Google Cloud saw the highest growth rate of the top five IaaS vendors, growing 63.7 per cent in 2021 to reach US$ 6.4 billion in revenue. This growth was driven by steadily increased adoption for traditional enterprise workloads as well as Google’s innovation in more cutting-edge capabilities such as artificial intelligence and Kubernetes container technologies, supported by an expansion of their partner ecosystem to reach a wider customer base.
While Huawei’s growth tempered in 2021 after two straight years of over 200 per cent growth, it still maintained the No. 5 market share position with US$ 4.2 billion in revenue. Huawei has made significant investments in its IaaS ecosystem in the past two years, and through an enhanced strategy of open hardware, open-source software and partner enablement it has been able to provide expanded offerings for universities, developers and startups.
“The next phase of IaaS growth will be driven by customer experience, digital outcomes and the virtual-first world. Emerging technologies that can help businesses bring experiences closer to their customers, such as the metaverse, chatbots and digital twins, will require hyperscale infrastructure to meet growing demands for compute and storage power,” commented Nag.