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The Cloud

While services like Amazon’s S3 and EC2 have been around for some time, the rise of both the nebulous (sorry) term “cloud computing”, and various cloud based services and platforms in the last couple of years has been one of the most significant developments on the web landscape. For the first time in this survey we asked a number of questions in an attempt to get a sense of the extent to which respondents are relying on cloud based platforms, infrastructure and services.

First, we asked respondents whether they ‘rely on “Cloud Computing” resources?’. A surprisingly large 22% responded that they did.

Do you rely on “Cloud Computing” resources?

Answer Count %
Yes (49c1) 312 22.25%
No (49c2) 922 65.76%

We followed up by asking what particular type of cloud resources they use. We offered three choices (respondents could choose more than one response). The simplest, and arguably most long standing cloud-based resource, storage, such as Amazon’s S3, accounted for the highest response, at nearly 17%. “Infrastructure as a service” (for example Amazon’s Elastic Cloud 2 (EC2) or Rackspace Cloud service), was nominated by 10% of respondents. Platforms as a service, such as Google’s AppEngine are used by 7% of respondents.

If so, what do you use the cloud for?

Answer Count %
Infrastructure as a service (e.g. Amazon EC2) 144 10.27%
Platform as a service (E.g. Google App Engine) 103 7.35%
Online storage (e.g. Amazon S3) 233 16.62%

Lastly, we asked respondents to tell us which particular services they were using. We gave respondents a choice of some of the most well known services, as well as the opportunity to let us know which other services they used. Perhaps not surprisingly, as they are the most well established, Amazon’s EC2 and S3 were the most widely used, with more than 13% of all respondents to the survey saying that they use S3. Google’s AppEngine, while currently only supporting applications written with Python and Java, is used by nearly 6% of all respondents. While not an option for respondents to choose, 2.3% of respondents mentioned using RackspaceCloud servers, which most likely somewhat understates the percentage using this service. Microsoft’s Azure platform was only commercially available from the first day of our survey period (February 1st), was still used by around the same number of respondents than some much more long standing services as Heroku and Joyent.

What cloud services do you use?

Answer Count %
Amazon EC2 94 6.7%
Amazon S3 190 13.55%
Google App Engine 80 5.71%
Windows Azure 7 0.5%
RackspaceCloud 32 2.3%
Heroku 8 0.57%
Joyent 8 0.57%
Bungee 1 0.07%
Other 75 5.35%

This is an area where hype is somewhat reflected in developer practice. WE’ll continue to keep an eye on how developers use cloud ased services in future surveys, and expect a further uptake in coming years.


We’ll wrap up by making some overall observations and comparisons with the previous survey, and go out on a limb with some predictions for technology trends in web design and development in 2010.

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Three days of talks, two of them in the engineering room. Web Directions you have broken my brain.

Cheryl Gledhill Product Manager, BlueChilli