Latest Posts

Latest Comments


Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) 2013


Posted by |

Does dominance reflect ability?

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant – a research tool developed by the firm to analyse a marketplace – is once more making the rounds, with the Magic Quadrant for Infrastructure as a Service 2013 revealing some interesting trends for those in the business to think about. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), the round-up asserts, is “a type of Cloud computing service; it parallels the infrastructure and data centre initiatives of IT.” This sole branch of the Cloud services industry was taken into consideration by the study, with Gartner analysing the solutions, features, and data centre specifics of IaaS offerings from the current ‘major’ players.

Those who are aware of IaaS as a concept, be it providers or customers, will no doubt be aware of Amazon Web Services (AWS). Accordingly, the survey pointed to AWS, the Cloud platform delivered over the Internet by industry giants Amazon.com, as the dominant offering on the market in terms of adoption across 2012/early 2013. Given Amazon’s size and subsequent marketing power, it is unsurprising that many businesses are opting for this easy to access service. But even the survey, while nodding to AWS as the incumbent to beat, also noted their rather prominent shortcomings. It’s hard to escape the reports of outages and downtime, including a recent server issue which took down social media sites Twitter and Vine in August 2013. AWS’s susceptibility to multi-region failures (simultaneous downtime at geographically-separated data centre sites), experiencing multiple instances across 2011 and 2012, is also problematic. Customers who had paid extra for multi-region redundancy were left shocked when such events left them with no way to access data and applications, majorly interrupting business continuity. While this is a rare occurrence, it is one that all businesses should consider before handing over their mission-critical resources to large IaaS providers, no matter their marketplace dominance. Smaller IaaS providers are often able to meet, and in many cases surpass, the bar set by the bigger, public Cloud platforms, given their ability to monitor their comparably modest (in size) infrastructure more attentively to avoid such widespread issues and adhere to competitive SLAs.

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant survey does note that the IaaS marketplace is increasingly widening, with the ‘differentiators’ of the larger providers being offered more and more by smaller, private Cloud providers. Given the other benefits of such organisations, including dedicated, UK-based support operations and the enhanced security of a private IaaS environment (which we’ve talked about previously here), the survey’s assertion of AWS’s position in the industry shouldn’t sway CIOs’ decisions away from choosing providers they may at first be less familiar with; as discussed above, bigger is not always better.



Post a comment

Comment submitted! Comments needs approval before being displayed.