Who’s the biggest cloud of all? The numbers are in

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And the winner is …  Amazon, at least among Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers, by a very wide margin in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to new numbers from Synergy Research Group. Synergy ranked IBM second and somewhat surprisingly — to me anyway — British Telecom ranked third worldwide.

Overall revenue from IaaS and Platform as a Service (PaaS) made up just 15 percent of the overall cloud infrastructure market, although they were the fastest growing categories. That’s hardly a surprise given the cash funneled into these arenas, not only by Amazon but by Rackspace, HP, IBM, Red Hat, and all the telcos.

According to a post by Telegeography, a Synergy partner and the company behind all the cool fiber pipeline maps:

“In the past year, IaaS and PaaS revenues increased 55% and 57%, respectively. Amazon dominates the IaaS segment, accounting for 36% of revenues, and is quickly approaching PaaS leader Salesforce’s 19% market share. Although well behind Akamai and Level 3 in theCDN/ADN segment, Amazon holds the number three spot with a 7% market share.”

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Rackspace, because of its roots as opposed to its budding OpenStack cloud business,  leads the managed hosting segment, followed by Verizon and NTT. Across all segments, Amazon is the market leader in North America and NTT leads in Asia. Europe, the Middle East and Africa or EMEA is a battle ground hotly contested by  France Telecom-Orange, British Telecom, and Deutsche Telekom.

Content Delivery Network (CDN) leader Akamai remains at the front of the pack in that category, followed by Level3 and Amazon.

Numbers like these are fascinating snapshots of what will doubtless be a changing market. I was surprised to see Amazon so strong in PaaS — it was ranked second after Salesforce.com.  Amazon’s Elastic Beanstalk PaaS just doesn’t seem to have that much traction — but definitions of PaaS vary and the array of higher-level services that Amazon offers atop its IaaS foundation (but aren’t considered Elastic Beanstalk) could be considered PaaS-like.  Salesforce.com’s PaaS tally presumably includes both Force.com and Heroku.

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