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Cloud IaaS Research: AWS and Microsoft are the ‘Leaders’ in cloud IaaS

Cloud IaaS Research: AWS and Microsoft are the ‘Leaders’ in cloud IaaS

A new Magic Quadrant study by Gartner Inc., which echoes the findings of almost every cloud services research report, shows Amazon Web Services Inc. as the market leader. It is clearly ahead of No. 2 Microsoft and its Azure cloud in the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) market.
There is one thing that differs between the Gartner report and the Synergy research study. Gartner paints a two-horse race, while Synergy cited four leaders — including Google and IBM — in Q2 market share for IaaS, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and hosted private clouds. Gartner noted that IaaS was becoming more intertwined with PaaS.
It’s all AWS in the IaaS space.
Gartner stated that AWS has a broad customer base and offers the most diverse use cases, including mission-critical and enterprise applications. In its August report, Gartner highlighted the strengths of AWS. It has the largest share in compute capacity used by paying customers, many times more than any other provider in the market. This has allowed it to attract a community of open-source tools and more than 1000 technology partners who have licensed their software to run on AWS. They have also integrated their software with AWS capabilities or delivered add-on services.
Gartner defines IaaS in the context of its report as: “a standardized, highly automated offering where compute resources, complemented with storage and networking capabilities are owned by a provider and offered to customers on demand.” The resources can be scaled and elastic in near real-time, and are metered according to use. The customer has direct access to self-service interfaces, including a Web-based user interface and an API. The resources can be multi-tenant or single-tenant and hosted by the service provider, or on-premises at the customer’s data centre. This Magic Quadrant includes both public and private cloud IaaS offerings.
Gartner’s new report identifies several strengths and weaknesses of AWS, but it also lists many caveats. According to Gartner, although it is easy to get started with AWS services but the depth of its offerings might require professional assistance beyond what is available through standard support mechanisms.
Gartner stated that the AWS pricing structure is a complex area that lends itself to cost management tools from third parties.
Another warning: “Organizations that are unable to quickly take advantage new capabilities will not be able to reap the full benefits AWS’s rapid introductions of new services and expanded capabilities of existing services.” As new capabilities become more cost-effective or better, customer’s best practices could be lost. Customers who are less experienced may feel overwhelmed by all the options available. Third-party assistance is strongly recommended.
As you might expect, however, AWS strengths far outweigh any potential dangers.
Gartner stated that although AWS is a mature provider, it remains an agile, innovative thought-leader with broad impact across a variety of IT markets. It has the most extensive IaaS- and PaaS capabilities. It has the most extensive capabilities to manage large numbers of users and resources. It continues to expand its service offerings rapidly and to offer better-level solutions. It has a multi-year competitive advantage over all of its competitors and is therefore the common reference point for benchmarking. AWS may not be the right fit for all needs, but it has become the “safe choice” in this market and appeals to customers who want the most comprehensive capabilities and long-term market leadership.
Google was the only vendor that was included in the IaaS study in the “visionaries”, while IBM and SoftLayer cloud were grouped with all other vendors in “niche players”, leaving the “challengers” section empty.
The same two lead roles were identified in a May 2015 Magic Quadrant report

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