2017 State of the Cloud Report
February 16, 2017
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Hybrid Cloud Is the preferred enterprise strategy, according to RightScale's 2017 State of the Cloud Report.

“The RightScale 2017 survey showed that enterprise multi-cloud and hybrid cloud adoption continues to grow, and even with that growth, challenges are decreasing,” said Michael Crandell, CEO of RightScale. “Companies report using 8 different clouds on average; optimizing cloud costs is the top cloud initiative; cloud challenges, including security concerns, continue to abate; and Docker continues its phenomenal growth. We also saw AWS adoption remain flat, while #2 Azure continued to gain ground on leader AWS.”

Highlights of the 2017 State of the Cloud Report include:

Hybrid Cloud Is the Preferred Enterprise Strategy, but Private Cloud Adoption Fell

85 percent of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy, up from 82 percent in 2016. However, private cloud adoption fell from 77 percent to 72 percent as focus shifts to public cloud.

Cloud Users Leverage Many Clouds

Public cloud users are already running applications in an average of 1.8 public clouds while experimenting with 1.8 more. Private cloud users are leveraging 2.3 private clouds today and experimenting with an additional 2.1 private clouds.

Companies Run a Majority of Workloads in Cloud

Respondents run 41 percent of workloads in public cloud and 38 percent in private cloud. Among enterprises, respondents run 32 percent of workloads in public cloud and 43 percent in private cloud.

Significant Wasted Cloud Spend Drives Users to Focus On Costs

Optimizing cloud costs is the top initiative across all cloud users (53 percent) and especially among mature cloud users (64 percent). Respondents estimate 30 percent of cloud spend is wasted, while RightScale has measured actual waste between 30 and 45 percent. Despite an increased focus on cloud cost management, only a minority of companies are taking critical actions to optimize cloud costs, such as shutting down unused workloads or selecting lower-cost clouds or regions.

Enterprise Central IT Teams Take a Stronger Cloud Role

Enterprise central IT has a broader view of its cloud role in 2017 that includes selecting public clouds (65 percent), deciding/advising on which apps move to cloud (63 percent), and selecting private clouds (63 percent). In comparison, respondents in business units are less likely to delegate authority to central IT for selecting public clouds (41 percent), deciding/advising on which apps move to cloud (45 percent), and selecting private clouds (38 percent).

Cloud Challenges Decline Overall — Expertise, Security, and Spend Tie For #1

Lack of resources/expertise, the #1 cloud challenge in 2016, was less of a challenge in 2017 with only 25 percent citing it as a major concern, down from 32 percent in 2016. Concerns about security also fell to 25 percent vs. 29 percent last year. Managing cloud spend fell only slightly from 26 to 25 percent to tie for the biggest challenge. The most cited challenge among mature cloud users is managing costs (24 percent) while among cloud beginners it is security (32 percent).

Docker Shoots Into the Lead for DevOps Tools

Overall DevOps adoption continued to rise from 74 to 78 percent with enterprises reaching 84 percent. 30 percent of enterprises are adopting DevOps company-wide, up from 21 percent in 2016. Overall Docker adoption surged to 35 percent, taking the lead over Chef and Puppet at 28 percent each. Kubernetes adoption also grew to 14 percent from 7 percent in 2016. Many respondents use Docker through container-as-a-service offerings from cloud providers including AWS ECS (35 percent), Azure Container Service (11 percent), and Google Container Engine (8 percent).

Azure Increases Market Penetration, Reducing the AWS Lead

Overall Azure adoption grew from 20 to 34 percent of respondents, while AWS stayed flat at 57 percent of respondents. Google also grew from 10 to 15 percent to maintain third position. Azure also reduced the AWS lead among enterprises; Azure increased adoption significantly from 26 percent to 43 percent while AWS adoption in this group increased slightly from 56 percent to 59 percent.

Public Cloud Users Still Have a Larger Footprint in AWS

AWS holds a significant lead in the number of VMs its users are running: 28 percent of respondents have more than 100 VMs in AWS, while only 13 percent have more than 100 VMs in Azure. Among enterprises, 38 percent have 100+ VMs in AWS, and 21 percent have 100+ in Azure.

Private Cloud Adoption Flattens

VMware vSphere continues to lead with 42 percent adoption, slightly below last year (44 percent). OpenStack (20 percent), and VMware vCloud Suite (19 percent) were also flat in growth. Azure Pack/Stack was the only private cloud technology to show significant growth, up from 9 percent to 14 percent.

Survey Methodology: RightScale conducted its annual State of the Cloud Survey in January 2017. The survey questioned technical professionals across a broad cross-section of organizations about their adoption of cloud computing. The 1,002 respondents range from technical executives to managers and practitioners and represent organizations of varying sizes across many industries. Their answers provide a comprehensive perspective on the state of the cloud today. The margin of error is 3.07 percent.

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