IaaS vs. PaaS: 2015 Cloud Trends from the State of the Cloud Survey

In the RightScale 2015 State of the Cloud Survey, we asked technical professionals about their use of various public cloud providers, including IaaS and PaaS platforms from Microsoft Azure and Google. We wanted to dig a little further into the IaaS and PaaS data to answer a couple of questions:

  • How much overlap is there between IaaS and PaaS users? Are people using one or the other or a combination of both?
  • When we combine IaaS and PaaS offerings for Microsoft Azure and Google, how does that change the overall picture of adoption?

PaaS Users Also Use IaaS

First we looked at the overlap between users of any PaaS (Google and Azure) and IaaS in our survey. IaaS was used more broadly, and the vast majority of PaaS users were also using an IaaS provider.

Azure Users Skew Toward IaaS, Google Users Skew Toward PaaS

Next we looked separately at users of Google and users of Azure to determine the split between IaaS and PaaS within each provider. Among Azure users, IaaS was more popular. Among Google users, PaaS was more popular.

Combined IaaS/PaaS Adoption for Azure and Google

Because there are respondents who use both IaaS and PaaS from a cloud provider, you can’t simply add the IaaS and PaaS numbers because you will double count respondents that use both. To get the combined adoption for each vendor, we analyzed the data to look at the unique number of respondents who use any Azure service (IaaS/PaaS) or Google service (IaaS/PaaS). We also included the AWS adoption for comparison purposes. Although AWS has add-on PaaS-like services for its IaaS offering, it doesn’t have a distinct PaaS offering.

Compared to 57 percent of respondents who are running applications in AWS, 15 percent are running applications in either Azure IaaS or PaaS, and 10 percent are running applications in either Google IaaS or PaaS.

Bottom Line: IaaS Is Winning

Overall there is much higher IaaS adoption. IaaS is used more than PaaS among Azure users, while PaaS is used more among Google users. Both Azure and Google have seen stronger growth of IaaS adoption over the past year compared to their PaaS offerings.

Download the RightScale 2015 State of the Cloud Report to see more cloud trend data.

All charts and data from this blog article and the RightScale 2015 State of the Cloud Report can be used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.