I’ve spent hours doing various kinds of maths in order to figure out how big the big cloud providers actually are, and I tought it was worth sharing (part of) the results. Before showing you the numbers, I want to make sure who reads this post fully understands the method and the results, so please don’t jump to the numbers.
The most difficult part of the job was figuring out a way for measuring their size. Provided that my aim is not to calculate how big a single cloud provider actually is, but rather how they compare to each other, I decided to count the number of public IP addresses the company is using.
This number could seem easy to understand, but believe me it is not. It means nothing if you want to measure the size of a single platform, because we don’t know how those IP addresses are being used internally, and don’t know how many of them are being used by customers.
Moreover, we are in the cloud era, and thousands of instances could be hidden behind a single frontend with a single public IP: in this case, my calculation method would count them all as a single instance. This is the reason why I’m making a distinction between leaders and low cost providers.
It’s all about their typical use case: low cost providers generally don’t host big infrastructures or clusters, so their instances are more likely to be using public IP addresses. Leaders are hosting very large scale platforms, and they are more likely to host extremely high percentages of non public facing instances.
I’m counting for each cloud provider the number of IP addresses announced by its Autonomous System(s). In addition, leaders publish a list of IPs that they use (see Sources), but I’ve found this list to be used in different ways: Microsoft Azure for example is announcing all the ranges included in its list, but Amazon is not. I double checked and the ranges not being announced are really assigned to Amazon, so this simply means they aren’t being used (yet).
This is making the comparation yet more difficult to carry out, because in it we have players that simply announce to the internet any range they own, and others that announce only the ones actually in use or soon to be.
Finally, here are the numbers (remember the unit of measure is the single public IP address).
And a graph.
Do you think I forgot someone? Please let me know!
Announced: IP ranges announced from the company’s one or more Autonomous Systems.
* Ref: “Where can I find Compute Engine IP ranges?”