State of the Cloud – September 2009

State of the Cloud – September 2009

Two months ago I began my quest to find out just how much use cloud computing infrastructures are seeing. With today’s third State of the Cloud, the trends are starting to emerge from the data.

Please refer to the first post in the series for methodology, data sets and caveats.

To avoid confusion, the analysis will focus on cloud IaaS providers only. Currently tracked are Amazon EC2, Rackspace Cloud Servers (Slicehost), Joyent and GoGrid. I’m inviting the community to comment below regarding providers you feel should (or shouldn’t) be included. I’ll also be digging deeper into the definition of an IaaS cloud in upcoming posts, so stay tuned.

Snapshot for September 2009

Of the 500k sites analyzed, these are the results for the IaaS providers tracked:

In terms of the standings themselves, no changes from last month. However, as we’ll explore further below, it appears Amazon EC2 is not only larger than its competitors, it’s also continuing to outpace them.

Monthly Growth

Let’s examine what has changed since last month:

Again we find Amazon EC2 in the lead, sustaining a growth rate of around 9% for the second consecutive month. Whereas Amazon was just a step ahead of Rackspace in terms of its current size in our sample, in terms of growth it leads by a wide margin, shooting forward almost 3 times as fast as Rackspace. Joyent disappointed this month with a net loss.


This month, we have enough data to begin examining the trends. (Please note that the first research examined EC2 only, hence it’s the only provider with 3 data points.)

Amazon EC2′s rapid growth is becoming clearly visible. Extrapolating back in time, we can estimate that EC2 overtook Rackspace sometime between June and July. Can Amazon keep up this trend? I’ll be following closely!

Notable Comers and Goers

Among the hundreds of changes this month, here are some that piqued my attention:

  • Vogue UK left Conde Nast’s own network and is now running in Amazon EC2′s European region. Is Conde Nast outsourcing its IT into the cloud?
  • Popular Spanish Dictionary site left Amazon EC2 for SoftLayer. (It’s unknown whether this was to SoftLayer’s cloud service or to a traditional hosting environment.)
  • Twitter-based apps twtpoll and twtvite switched to Joyent over from Rackspace’s traditional hosting.
  • Pamela Anderson’s official site, which is set to relaunch this month, has left Joyent.
  • West Liberty University migrated its website from local West Virginia company CityNet over to GoGrid.

Thomas Clayton

Thomas Clayton is a cloud computing blogger. This blog shares his cloud market research and commentary.

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