Earlier this month, Gartner released its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers – and the usual suspects dominated the report. Top of the class once again was Amazon Web Services, beating Microsoft into second place, with the pair way out ahead of the rest of the pack.
The high level summary of the report was that the market for Cloud IaaS has consolidated significantly around these 2 leading organisations. The future of other providers is therefore increasingly uncertain, with many of these vendors expected to exit the market entirely.
To access the Gartner report, click here.
The Gartner Magic Quadrant
The Gartner Magic Quadrant is the name given to the series of market research reports conducted by leading industry research organisation, Gartner Inc. These reports aim to provide qualitative analysis over a market’s direction, maturity and participants.
This analysis results in a final grid, charting the position of vendors in the industry. This grid consists of four quadrants entitled Leaders, Challengers, Visionaries and Niche Players.
The position of these vendors is determined by a complex research methodology, incorporating a range of factors, with different weightings attributed based on their perceived importance. Plotted against the axes are the ‘ability to execute’ and the ‘completeness of vision’ of each vendor.
As you can see from the 2016 Magic Quadrant for the Cloud IaaS market, there are two very clear ‘Leaders’ in the industry, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft. With the exception of Google, the remaining vendors are all crowded into the ‘Niche Player’ quadrant. This shows clear market dominance from a small number of key players.
Amazon Web Services strengths
As well as plotting the position of vendors on the Magic Quadrant itself, the report also provides a profile of each provider, including strengths and cautions associated with their offering.
When it came to the market leader, Amazon Web Services, Gartner noted that it had by far the biggest and most diverse customer base. This included a wealth of enterprise and mission-critical applications. The amount of compute capacity in use by paying customers was also found to be ‘many times that of the aggregate size of all other providers in the market’ signalling the company’s dominance in this respect.
The Amazon Web Services partner ecosystem was another factor, which Gartner saw as a great strength. With more than a thousand technology partners and a comprehensive programme of partnership levels, competencies and certifications, AWS has built up a very active community.
AWS has been at the forefront for quite some time now, but, despite being classed as a ‘mature provider’, the company remains agile and innovative in the markets it serves. This is reflected in the constant expansion of its service offerings and its commitment to providing higher-level solutions.
Is AWS the safe option?
In the Magic Quadrant report, Gartner argues that while AWS might not be the ideal fit for every business need, it has to an extent become the safe choice in the market. The pure wealth of services and capabilities on offer from Amazon Web Services, combined with its long-term market leadership make it a safe bet for many businesses.
However, Gartner was also quick to caution that this wealth of options can often be overwhelming for less sophisticated customers. It therefore suggests that thorough training and assistance from third-party software and consulting partners are both highly recommended.
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