Gartner: Amazon runs away with IaaS cloud Magic Quadrant; Microsoft catching up

Brandon Butler

Behind these two behemoths, there is everyone else in the market. There is no lack of providers in this market, but they all have their pros and cons. CenturyLink, for example, is a solid contender having bought Savvis and even more recently acquiring Tier 3, both IaaS-focused companies. Armed with a solidly engineered offering the company should be able to compete for enterprise workloads, but Gartner warns that over the long haul CenturyLink will be challenged to match the investments that AWS, Microsoft and Google will be able to make on their platforms.

CSC was a top contender in last year's Magic Quadrant but has lost some favor in this year's ranking. Gartner says the company does a good job at enabling enterprise workloads to run in a cloud environment. But, with the company's acquisition of ServiceMesh - which provides services for deploying workloads to multiple providers - CSC is becoming more of a cloud broker to competing clouds like AWS, Azure and others. Gartner questions what that will mean for CSC's internal resources being devoted to its cloud operations.

Google is seen as a strong contender, but its offering is relatively new and lacks features many mainstream enterprises may be looking for, and it has no hybrid cloud strategy, Gartner says. Verizon has a strong IaaS platform, and a network to back it up, but it's launching a new service at some point this year that is not generally available yet, so that too is young.

IBM is seen as a strong competitor too, especially given the company's acquisition of SoftLayer. But Gartner says IBM is "cloudwashing" its SoftLayer bare-metal dedicated hosting offering as cloud, and it says the company will have to differentiate on higher-level services compared to the commodity infrastructure offerings from SoftLayer. Those companies are each listed as visionaries by Gartner, but not market leaders.

HP is attempting to build up a hybrid cloud offering based on OpenStack, but it too is nascent and lacking some features. VMware has a new IaaS offering named vCloud Hybrid Service, which Gartner said is appealing to IT decision makers, but Gartner questions if developers will be as interested in the platform compared to offerings from AWS and Microsoft.

Rackspace, Dimension Data, Fujitsu, Go Grid and Joyent are each listed as "niche" players in the market with their own advantages and plenty of concerns as well.

The takeaway is that the IaaS market is still young given that AWS has such a huge lead, in a couple of years the market will be much more mature.

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