Amazon Decimates!

Amazon Web Services Decimates All Comers–Bigger Base, Faster Growth, More Innovation
Comment Now Follow Comments

Amazon Cloud

There is one thing that almost every independent cloud computing commentator agrees upon and that is that Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing division of the Seattle-based behemoth, is the largest public cloud vendor on earth.

It was Amazon which invented the idea of public cloud infrastructure when someone within the company had the smart idea to package up and sell some of the massive infrastructure footprint and operational efficiency that the company had. Since then, AWS has continued to innovate across a huge number of different product lines and has continued to grow massively, essentially creating the reference point from which other vendors are judged.

But despite the widespread acceptance of the reality of the situation, other vendors try and skew statistics to suggest that they are, in fact, a more important player. Which is why robust analysis, of the sort produced by traditional industry analyst firms, is an important aspect of both marketplace assessment and the customer decision-making process.

In the case of Gartner, this happens via the Gartner Magic Quadrant, a report that measures cloud vendors on both their completeness of vision and their ability to execute. The Gartner Magic Quadrant, while not a perfect assessment, is the best proxy we have for delivering a definitive answer to the “who is best?” question.

The report was written by Gartner VP and distinguished analyst Lydia Leong, an analyst that most in the industry hold in exceptionally high regard for her work in the public cloud infrastructure space. According to the report, AWS has more than ten times the computing capacity of the next 14 largest infrastructure vendors combined. That point needs to be reiterated – AWS dwarfs the collective public cloud footprint of Google, Microsoft, CenturyLink, VMware, IBM, Rackspace and a host of others. That is a stunning finding giving AWS an insurmountable lead in what is a race that is still very much in its early stages.

This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Gartner does point out that AWS is perhaps a difficult vendor to manage that perhaps lets customer service and support lag a little behind the pace of its growth and innovation. That’s a fair criticism but is also a tiny black mark on an impressive metaphorical halo positioned on the head of Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO.

In terms of what the report says about AWS, the news is pretty much all good. In the last Magic Quadrant, published last year, Gartner suggested that AWS had five times more capacity than all other players. This year that number has ballooned to ten times. AWS is regarded as the “safe choice” in the market and is the vendor most often chosen for strategic cloud adoption. AWS is the only leader recommended for implementing enterprise applications and Gartner recommends AWS for “all use cases that run well in a virtualized environment,” including enterprise applications.

So with little doubt that AWS is king, the only thing left to talk about is who is a safe bet outside of the leader. This is an important conversation since most companies will need to at least consider a multi-vendor cloud strategy when it comes to public infrastructure.

Microsoft and its Azure cloud computing platform is the only other company that falls above the mid-point on its ability to execute. Of the other players, IBM, CSC, and Verizon have all slipped significantly on their rating while HP has been entirely dropped from the report. On that note, Leong writes that:

While HP continues to operate its cloud IaaS offering (HP Public Cloud), it now only actively seeks to market and sell this offering as part of a hybrid solution. It no longer has sufficient market share to qualify for inclusion in this Magic Quadrant.

While I am the first person to pour scorn on HP’s twists and turns when it comes to the public cloud, I will admit that the company has long indicated a lessening focus on the public cloud. It should also be pointed out that this report only measures public cloud vendors and that HP’s positioning is much more about being a hybrid cloud provider. That said, public cloud is, of course, a critical part of the hybrid cloud and HP’s inability to rate on this MQ will negatively impact its private cloud sales as well.

Google, the dark horse in the race, is still early. The report opines that:

Google is still in the rudimentary stages of learning to engage with enterprise and midmarket customers, and needs to expand its sales, solutions engineering and support capabilities. Google lacks many capabilities important to businesses that want to migrate legacy workloads to the cloud

That said, Google is moving fast and has some real ambition in the space.

On the up-side. VMware and its vCloud Air product made some good progress in moving up the rankings while CenturyLink and Rackspace, two dark horses in the space, held their positions. Both these companies have a significant opportunity as credible hybrid cloud vendors and service providers and hence this steady position in the report will be seen as positive.

Leong is fairly neutral about IBM’s SoftLayer offering saying that it has little to distinguish itself from its competitors. Leong suggests that IBM needs to stop resting on its laurels and invest more heavily in building out SoftLayer functionality.

All in all the report is fascinating reading and must have Bezos and Amazon CTO Werner Vogels doing cartwheels over their granola bowls. The battle for supremacy has been won and to the victor go the spoils. It’s now just the bit parts left to fight over.

 

Connect with Ben on Twitter @benkepes | LinkedIn 

Source