Gartner’s 2018 IaaS Magic Quadrant delivers up-to-date insight into the state of the Infrastructure-as-a-Service landscape. For IT professionals concerned with the effective management of the public cloud, it offers extensive insight into the strengths and weaknesses of six leading cloud vendors, ranking them on their ability to execute and their completeness of vision. For a totally uncut version, it’s worth downloading the full report. But if you’d prefer a high-level overview of the key takeaways – here’s an executive summary.
1. The Market Remains Consolidated Around Two Clear Leaders
In the early days of cloud computing, the market was highly fragmented with a number of providers all vying for a piece of the action. Since 2015, however, the market has consolidated dramatically, and two leaders have emerged above all others.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, these two giants take the form of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, and account for the overwhelming majority of the IaaS-related infrastructure consumption in the market.
Gartner’s Magic Quadrant reports that, due to their size, most customers will choose one of these leaders as their strategic cloud IaaS provider. And has even cut the Magic Quadrant down to include just four other vendors – Google Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, Oracle, and IBM – to demonstrate the level of consolidation that has taken place in recent years.
2. Service Expectations Continue to Rise
As customer demand continues to drive the proliferation of cloud services, the expectation of what these services can achieve grows in tandem.
According to Gartner’s report, public cloud customers now demand “market-leading technical capabilities — depth and breadth of features, along with high availability, performance and security.”
And this demand isn’t limited to hardware. It encompasses management features, developer services, and cloud software infrastructure services as well.
If you’re on the look-out for a new cloud service provider, or you’re thinking of increasing your reliance on public cloud resources, be sure to scrutinize all offerings before purchase, that way you won’t be left with any nasty surprises.
3. Multi-Cloud Strategies Have Become the Norm
The latest iteration of the cloud computing market sees organizations turn their backs on single-provider strategies and instead utilize multiple cloud vendors to maximize the benefits of their cloud.
According to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, this type of strategic set-up has grown in popularity dramatically thanks to the fact that customers want to have a broader array of solutions to choose from.
For organizations looking to choose the best service provider for each of their core use-cases, while avoiding vendor lock-in, embracing a multi-cloud methodology is the optimum tactic.
4. Customers Do Not Always Save Money with IaaS
A primary draw of cloud computing has always been its propensity to save organizations money, but, for larger organizations, the capacity for savings is often mitigated by other factors.
Gartner’s report found that for businesses with existing internal data centers, well-managed virtualized infrastructure, efficient IT operations teams, and a high degree of automation, IaaS for steady-state workloads is often no less expensive, and may be more expensive, than an internal private cloud – particularly when not maintained and optimized effectively on an ongoing basis.
For those who operate at the enterprise-level, continuous cost-optimization and financial management practices are essential if cost-savings are to be accrued and maintained across the cloud lifecycle.
5. New Offerings Present New Challenges
Cloud computing is an industry now synonymous with fast-paced innovation and product evolution. However, according to Gartner, new service offerings usually have a minimalist feature set, may have poor operational reliability, and will often lack a supporting ecosystem – in fact, even offerings that are more than two years old may not have established a track record of enterprise customer success.
It’s important to remember that, before you choose to purchase or upgrade to the latest iteration of product or services provided by your cloud provider, you must seek out reference customers similar to you in organization type, IT management style, software development life-cycle, workload type, implementation size, and tolerance for risk if you are to avoid unwanted repercussions.
6. Third-Party Management Services Remain Valuable
One of the most important takeaways from Gartner’s report is not to underestimate the value of third-party cloud management services.
The report states that these services can be very helpful for governance functions, and may be designed for single-cloud or multi-cloud use. It adds that, if for multi-cloud, the services should be able to support integrated cost management, identity and access management, and security and compliance reporting.
For enterprise organizations looking for an independent third-party cloud management service that ticks all the right boxes then look no further than Cass. Specializing in helping enterprise organizations to gain greater financial control over a more secure environment, we deliver a single pane-of-glass across AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud workloads.
To learn more about what Cass can do for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Or, to learn more about the public cloud, specifically how to keep costs optimized on an ongoing basis – download our guide to public cloud cost management.