Just what is IaaS anyway? Based on what was written in Gartner’s just published edition of Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, the answer is defined by Amazon as primarily a service for the SMB, emerging and mid-sized market. They seem to have a somewhat fractured view of how they are evaluating the market. Most of the services that they are evaluating are mid-market focused (which they state), so how much this applies to the needs of the enterprise is debatable. While there is no question that Amazon is the all-around leader – they did define the market after all, they have always been aggressively focused on delivering services for mid-market and emerging companies. I call it IaaS for the masses and there is plenty of money in building services that target the 80% of the market that is satisfied with a reasonably priced (at least at a small scale) generic product that works most of the time. I don’t have to tell you about the most recent of a string of outages at Amazon just this week that calls into question the whole notion that a 98% uptime SLA is good enough.
From CTP’s perspective, since the majority of our customers are the big enterprise, we need to evaluate IaaS providers against a very different set of criteria. The enterprise is going to be more cautious — partially because they need to be and partially because they can afford to be — about putting anything beyond dev/test in these types of public IaaS services. Gartner only touched on the IaaS requirements that are really important to the enterprise, regulatory compliance, true high availability SLA’s, support for large scale global deployments and a cost structure that isn’t essentially linear. From that perspective, the Magic Quadrant would look very different: CSC, IBM, HP, Savvis and Terremark would all be top tier players, with Rackspace and Amazon in the niche quadrant.
On a side note, it is quite noticeable just how many of the providers on the list have at least some OpenStack built into their infrastructure. HP Cloud Services is 100% based on OpenStack, while RackSpace is migrating from their legacy infrastructure as fast as they can convert their customers. Internap, AT&T and others have either already stood up OpenStack services or have announced that they are in the works. Definitely validates the OpenStack approach.
About the Author
Beth Cohen, Cloud Technology Partners, Inc. Transforming Businesses with Cloud Solutions