The Basics

Cloud providers have taken the tech world by storm. Amazon led the way with cloud computing in 2006 when it launched Amazon EC2. The cloud, however, was mentioned as early as 1998.

The Flexera state of the cloud report provides a snapshot of cloud computing. The Flexera report is compiled annually and describes how companies use cloud providers and their adoption rates.

Primary Use Cases

Companies use cloud providers for innumerable reasons. There are many use cases due to the flexibility, and interoperability cloud services provide.

Here are the primary use cases.

  • Hosting servers on virtual machines and containers
  • Running serverless workloads
  • Solving large-scale computing problems like big data analysis, machine learning, and artificial intelligence

Adoption Rates

Cloud providers have multiplied to service widespread digital transformations. Cloud adoption is mixed between public and private clouds.

Public Cloud Adoption

Amazon Web Services leads the pack, while Microsoft Azure is slightly behind. Google has a share but started later and has fewer relationships with large enterprises.

Public cloud adoption rates

Private Cloud Adoption

Private clouds are an alternative to public clouds. They reduce the complexity of resource hosting by providing accessible APIs.

Private cloud adoption rates

Amazon Web Services

AWS Logo

In 2002 the AWS platform was born. This emergence was a classic case of dogfooding since Amazon needed web-scale services. Why wouldn’t Amazon attempt to recoup some of its hosting costs by reselling its platforms?

The AWS platform applies the single-responsibility principle to its services in most cases. Services like LightSail aggregate services into a single service.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure Logo

Microsoft Azure is like AWS in many ways. It provides scalable services that complement its business productivity solutions. Azure’s cloud services appear like a monolith within the Azure Web Portal. Under the hood, single-responsibility services like Azure Functions allow you to run functions in the cloud.

Google Cloud

Google Cloud Logo

Google’s services have evolved in fits over the years. Google App Engine was released in 2008 and only ran Python applications. Now Google App Engine supports many languages. Google’s cloud services resemble other cloud services, as evidenced by the Google Cloud Functions service.

The Rest

I could go on and on like Larry Ellison, but I’ll spare you. Luckily, the software industry is a shining bastion of commerce. It is booming, and competition is fierce. There’s plenty of room for Oracle, VMWare, Red Hat, and others.


Cloud providers are continually evolving. Trends come and go, and the war rages on between cloud-native vs. containers. Software developers are winning the cloud computing wars. If software developers can keep choice overload at bay, they will continue to benefit from cloud providers.

Cloud Providers - Beyond the Basics