The big providers offer much more than basic IaaS such as processing and storage.
AWS has a particularly broad portfolio of cloud services, including databases-as-a-services – covering multiple databases (RDS) and specific services such as Aurora, DynamoDB and Redshift – as well as WorkSpaces for virtual desktops, AppStream application streaming, and the AWS IoT Platform for internet of things services.
Analytics and artificial intelligence are an increasing focus, with AWS offering Lex for speech and natural language, Polly for text to speech and Rekognition for image analysis. It also offers virtual machine images preconfigured with popular deep learning frameworks including TensorFlow, Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit and Caffe, multiple data analytics systems (including EMR with Hadoop, Kinesis for stream analytics and QuickSight business analytics).
And that's just a subset of AWS’s services.
Similarly, Azure's catalogue includes multiple databases (such as SQL, MySQL and PostgreSQL), AI services (including machine learning, text analytics and face identification), data analytics (HDInsight, stream analytics and Azure Analysis Services), and internet of things services (IoT Hub and IoT Edge). Again, that's just a selection from the full range.
Other cloud providers
AWS is the giant in this business, with 44.2 percent of the IaaS market, according to figures just published by Gartner. Microsoft is a distant second on 7.1 percent, followed by Alibaba (3.0 percent), China's internet behemoth that has expanded into Australia, Singapore, the US, Japan, Europe and the Middle East. Then there’s Google (2.3 percent), which has recently launched its Australian-based cloud platform, and Rackspace (2.2 percent), although the latter is increasingly offering managed services on the major public clouds rather than competing with them.
That leaves ‘others’ with a hefty 41.2 percent share of the market. That group includes IBM, which is the number three player according to another recent report (by Synergy Research Group), although it is more involved with hosted private clouds than public clouds like AWS, Azure and Google. Other providers include Digital Ocean, Fujitsu, Oracle, OVH and Salesforce (yes, it offers platform services as well as SaaS).