Who is leading in cloud?
The market for cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is growing worldwide, with leading providers offering a broad set of capabilities and cost-savings potential on top of trusted and proven safety and security. Vendors all claim to have the highest security standards, the best collection of features, and the most elastic resources. It’s hard to know which cloud provider to choose, especially when many IT professionals are still coming up to speed on cloud technologies.
In Gartner’s July 16, 2019 Cloud IaaS report, the clear leaders were Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google, with Oracle, IBM and Alibaba Cloud making appearances as niche players. There were no visionaries or challengers in this year’s report, and no vendors were added or dropped from last year’s list.
The full report provides extensive insight into the Cloud IaaS Magic Quadrant criteria, selection process, and findings. We’ve summarized the top takeaways to help give you a bit of insight and simplify your search for the best cloud IaaS provider for your company.
The top 10 takeaways from the Gartner Magic Quadrant Cloud IaaS report
- Cloud is a lot bigger than compute, storage and networking. The global leaders in cloud IaaS are leaders in digital transformation, offering ready-made platforms for container-based application development, big data computation, multitenant compute, elastic storage, serverless computing, and more. These leaders put scalable, modern, development and compute environments into the hands of any company, regardless of size or maturity.
- The leaders are forward-thinking and globally capable. Gartner recognizes that cloud is a rapidly changing technology and has shifted its criteria to account for changes. To make this year’s list, cloud IaaS vendors must sell public cloud IaaS as a stand-alone service, they must be top global providers for all relevant segments, and their business and technical capabilities must be suitable for supporting global businesses and mission-critical, large-scale workloads.
- Each of the leaders has something unique to offer. From AWS’s ability to support a broad range of customer profiles, to Google’s automated and scalable IaaS with Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) capabilities, to IBM’s strong brand and existing global customer relationships, every vendor that made the list has unique strengths that helped secure their position.
- There may not be a single solution that has all the answers. Along with the strengths of each platform, Gartner offers a list of cautions when choosing your providers. You’ll want to read and understand where these solutions might fall short and evaluate their potential versus your unique business and technical requirements.
- Your chosen vendor may fill a niche, but might fall short in the long run. The providers selected as Niche Players offer excellent services for the use cases or regions they support. However, they should be viewed as specialists rather than complete providers. Before choosing a niche vendor, be sure to understand their roadmap and make sure it aligns with your vision for your organization.
- Service level agreements (SLAs) vary by vendor. Generally speaking, cloud IaaS providers maintain 99.95%+ compute availability. However, SLAs differ significantly from vendor to vendor. When evaluating cloud providers, be sure to understand SLAs and notable exclusions for maintenance windows, storage up-time, and access, or low-cost “burstable” instance.
- Top providers offer simplified billing options. Gartner has made simplified billing a requirement for making the Cloud IaaS Magic Quadrant. All providers present on the list can invoice and consolidate bills from multiple accounts, providing businesses with the ability to easily see exactly how much they are spending on their cloud IaaS platform each month.
- Security, compliance and support are all included. Gone are the days of security and support up-sales. The Magic Quadrant leaders were all found to be secure, HIPPA, DPA and GDPR compliant, and provide some level of enterprise-class support. Some of the vendors include 24x7 customer support via phone, email and chat, along with an account manager, as part of the package.
- Services aren’t required, but they’re available To qualify for this list, vendors had to provide public cloud without requiring customers to purchase professional services. However, all of the Quadrant leaders either provide professional services directly or partner with vendors who offer specialized services, including everything from configuration to development to training and certification.
- The list is not a comprehensive representation of the cloud IaaS market. As with all market reports, when the firms say, “All providers,” what they mean is, “All providers evaluated by this study.” It could be that you’re using a local or regional cloud provider that is adequate for your needs. However, if your company has their eye on expansion, a global leader in cloud IaaS may provide you with the improved technology, uptime, security and support you need for long term success.
Keep your IT staff ahead of the cloud IaaS curve
Once you make the move to cloud IaaS, cloud certified employees will become invaluable to your organization. Competition is steep for those who have cloud training for the top cloud providers, and companies with a cloud-trained workforce gain a substantial advantage over their competition.
“Most of the public cloud providers have extensive partner programs,” says Myles Brown, Senior Cloud and DevOps Advisor at ExitCertified.
“AWS, for example, has both technology partners and consulting partners. In order for organizations to get further up the list and become premier or advanced partners, they need a certain number of employees with associate and professional-level certifications.”
If your company is looking to adopt cloud, you’ll need to ensure that your staff is skilled and certified to get the most from your cloud platform. As you move toward adoption of one of the top-performing cloud providers, you’ll want to work with a cloud training and certification vendor that can help your staff become experts in your chosen IaaS solution.
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