Surprised? Cloud providers bring in $2B in first quarter

Given all the hoopla surrounding cloud computing it, it’s not surprising that revenue from cloud services is growing. Total worldwide revenue from top Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service players hit $2 billion for the first quarter of 2013. That’s up a healthy 56 percent from the year ago period, according to Synergy Research Group.

These numbers factor in AWS and Amazon’s Elastic Beanstalk on the PaaS side; Google App Engine; IBM’s SmartCloud and SmartCloud Application Services; Microsoft Azure and Cloud Services for Windows Azure;’s Heroku and (but not its bigger Software-as-a-Service applications business.)

Key takeaways:

  • Amazon(S amzn) Web Services remains alone atop the heap with  27 percent of total IaaS and PaaS revenue in Q1, up from 24.7 percent for the year-ago period.
  • crm) is second largest but it’s revenue share decline year over year to 6.8 percent from 7.9 percent.
  • North America accounts for more than half the worldwide IaaS/PaaS revenue.

CIS Q113

These figures won’t surprise folks who already see Amazon Web Services at a $2 billion-a-year revenue rate. Morgan Stanley thinks AWS alone will hit $24 billion in revenue in the next decade. While other players — Microsoft (s msft), IBM(s ibm), Google (s goog) and Fujitsu all saw slight growth.  Some of the major telcos — AT&T(s t), NTT and Verizon — were off slightly year over year.

These numbers beg the question of whether anyone can catch Amazon. Google just made its Google Compute Engine IaaS generally available, and Microsoft launched its Azure IaaS capabilities in April. Those well-funded entries along with VMware’s hybrid cloud service coming online, will pose more competition for the AWS monolith.

AWS  boosters say the company’s 6-year-head start makes it invincible, but many workloads have yet to migrate: IDC estimates that just 5 percent of total IT spend is now in the cloud. That leaves lots of upside opportunity for the companies who delivers the best, most flexible and cost efficient services.

Who that might be is up in the air, but one place you can hear all about the top candidates will be at GigaOM’s Structure where a list of cloud powerhouses including VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels and Microsoft Server and Tools group president Satya Nadella will all be on hand to talk up their companies’ cloud strategies.