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The CF List: 20 Cloud Storage Service Providers You Should Know

AWS, Google and Microsoft Azure continue to dominate the cloud storage market.

Edward Gately

December 16, 2021

20 Slides

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated customer cloud adoption and cloud migration programs, and increased awareness in cloud storage service providers.

A cloud storage service stores data on the internet through a cloud computing provider who manages and operates data storage as a service.

According to Allied Market Research, the global cloud storage industry is expected to exceed $222 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of nearly 22%.

Our latest CF List focuses on cloud storage service providers. Analysts with Omdia, S&P Global Market Intelligence and IDC weighed in on cloud storage market trends and what it takes to be a successful cloud storage service provider.

Cloud Storage Helped During COVID-19

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451 Research’s Henry Baltazar

Henry Baltazar is research director at S&P Global’s 451 Research.

“The cloud wound up helping in a lot of gaps,” he said. “Especially early on in the pandemic, it wasn’t as easy to get things delivered. We had situations where data centers weren’t that accessible … you’d only have half the staff in any given time. So I think cloud helped solve that gap for some of the customers. We did see some customers that, even with limitations to the supply chain and things like that, still weren’t ready to go to cloud. The market continues to evolve, but people that don’t do cloud are still going to have some objections.”

According to a recent S&P Global report, 59% of storage users said public cloud spending is impacting their on-premises storage budgets.

“CIOs start thinking let’s try to move this to cloud so we can get to OpEx cost,” Baltazar said. “And it’s not just OpEx cost, but maybe it’s better if the cloud is managing the hardware and taking care of those things as opposed to having dedicated people babysitting these boxes. If something’s in the cloud, you don’t worry about a network port dying or a controller dying, or hardware dying or even hardware being refreshed. That’s all cloud responsibility. So that’s part of the dynamic in terms of what’s happened in the past year. And part of the acceleration is you have more and more organizations realizing they want to reduce the OpEx cost and not just the CapEx cost.”

Changing Cloud Storage Buyer Behavior

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IDC’s Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith is a research manager in IDC’s enterprise infrastructure practice. He said from a storage and infrastructure perspective, the pandemic has made many organizations more risk averse. That has impacted cloud storage buyer behavior.

“More than ever, buyers want flexible, OpEx-based purchase models (e.g., consumption based, subscription based),” he said. “The landscape in the public cloud storage market has not changed significantly among the top five providers in the past year. What is interesting is the level of partnership going on between public cloud providers (e.g., AWS, NetApp OnTap), and a range of new market entrants in the small-mid market, specifically on the storage side (Backblaze B2, Cloudflare R2, Wasabi).”

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Omdia’s Dennis Hahn

Dennis Hahn is principal data analyst of data center storage at Omdia. He said the most effective cloud storage solution offers the ability to store massive amounts of data with acceptable access latencies and at a low cost.

“Of course they need to have a S3-compatible API,” he said. “The [storage] also has to be highly scalable and with good high availability to data.”

The Big Three

The big three — Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google and Azure — have dominated the cloud storage market, Hahn said. Smaller cloud storage vendors have been growing for data-centric and specific use cases.

“Smaller cloud storage vendors seem to be getting market traction by positioning storage closer to the edge and being more cost effective for certain workloads – video and backup mostly,” he said. “Making the users feel like they have control over their data is a factor. Data sovereignty and in-country storing are important.”

We’ve compiled a list, in alphabetical order, of 20 top cloud storage service providers. It’s based on analysts’ feedback and recent news reports. The list is by no means complete. It includes a mix of well-known providers as well as lesser-known ones making strides in cloud storage.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Edward Gately or connect with him on LinkedIn.

About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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