Organizations are embracing multicloud, using close to five clouds on average, according to the RightScale 2019 State of the Cloud report from Flexera, published Wednesday. Some 84% of enterprises now have a multicloud strategy, and 66% have a central cloud team in place, the report found.

Public cloud spending is also on the rise: Half of enterprises spend more than $1 million per year on public cloud, and plan to spend 24% more on it this year, the report found.

SEE: Cloud migration decision tool (Tech Pro Research)

The report surveyed 786 respondents, 58% of which work in enterprises of over 1,000 employees. Though Amazon Web Services (AWS) still holds the majority of public cloud adoptions with 61% of organizations using it, Microsoft Azure is steadily catching up, at 52%, the report and our sister site ZDNet noted. Google Cloud Platform remains a far third place at 19%, according to the report.

Increased cloud adoption has led more organizations to explore configuration management tools. Automated configuration management was one of the early drivers of the DevOps movement, and allows developer and testing teams to more rapidly create products. When done correctly, configuration management is a powerful tool for operations teams, with the potential to eliminate the need to configure servers by hand.

Here are the most popular configuration tools used by both enterprises and SMBs, according to the report:

SEE: Top cloud providers 2019: AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud; IBM makes hybrid move; Salesforce dominates SaaS (ZDNet)

Breaking these results down year-over-year, use of Ansible grew from 36% in 2018 to 41% in 2019–surpassing Chef, which grew from 36% to 37%, as well as Puppet, which grew from 34% to 37%. Rounding out the list is Terraform, which experienced a jump from 20% to 31%, and Salt, which increased in usage from 13% to 18%.

The popularity of Ansible is not a surprise, as it is a strong tool for managing a large number of servers, according to TechRepublic’s Jack Wallen. Ansible allows users to create flexible, automated tasks that can be run from a centralized server to act on remote hosts, so you can undertake admin duties that would otherwise require you to log onto each remote machine manually and run those commands individually, Wallen wrote.

To learn how to write an Ansible playbook, check out Wallen’s TechRepublic story. You can also learn how to install Ansible on Ubuntu Server 18.04 in this TechRepublic story.