The worldwide infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market grew 41,4% in 2021, to total $90,9-billion, up from $64,3-billion in 2020, according to Gartner.

Amazon retained the number one 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,” says Sid Nag, vice-president analyst at 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.”

In 2021, the top five IaaS providers accounted for over 80% of the market. Amazon continued to lead the worldwide IaaS market with revenue of $35.4 billion in 2021 and 38.9% market share (see Table 1).

Worldwide IaaS Public Cloud Services Market Share, 2020-2021 (Millions of U.S. Dollars)

Company 2021 
Revenue
2021 Market 
Share (%)
2020 
Revenue
2020 Market
Share (%)
2020-2021
Growth (%)
Amazon 35,380 38.9 26,201 40.8 35.0
Microsoft 19,153 21.1 12,659 19.7 51.3
Alibaba 8,679 9.5 6,117 9.5 41.9
Google 6,436 7.1 3,932 6.1 63.7
Huawei 4,190 4.6 2,681 4.2 56.3
Others 17,056 18.8 12,697 19.8 34.3
Total 90,894 100.0 64,286 100.0 41.4

Source: Gartner (May 2022)

Microsoft followed in the number two position with 21,1% share and above-market growth, reaching over $19-billion in IaaS revenue in 2021. With many organisations 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% market share and revenue of $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,” says Nag.

Google Cloud saw the highest growth rate of the top five IaaS vendors, growing 63,7% in 2021 to reach $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% growth, it still maintained the No. 5 market share position with $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,” says Nag. “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.”