AWS once again leading the way in the IaaS marketplace

On the 3rd of August 2016 Gartner published its annual Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service and it comes as no surprise to see Amazon Web Services leading the way once again. Gartner, Inc. is an information technology research and advisory company which publish a series of market research reports. One of these reports is the Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service which provides market research and qualitative analysis into that market, the direction of that market and the providers within that market.

AWS lead the way in the IaaS marketplace

The four sections of the Magic Quadrant can be broken down as follows:

  • Services suitable for adoption.
  • Broad range of use cases.
  • Track record of successful delivery.
  • Significant market share.
  • Serve some current market needs.
  • Good services targeted at specific market needs.
  • Not adapting to market challenges quickly enough.
  • Possibly not a broad enough scope of ambition.
  • Ambitious vision of the future.
  • Investing in developing new technologies.
  • Services are still emerging.
Niche Players:
  • Excellent providers for their specialist use cases.
  • Do not serve a broad range of use cases.
  • Limited capabilities in IaaS and weak offerings.
  • Possible uncertain futures.

The Magic Quadrant graphic shows AWS and Azure in the leader’s Quadrant with no vendors at all making it into the challenger’s Quadrant and Google being the only vendor to make it into the visionaries’ Quadrant and still unable to make any significant gains in the market since last year. All others vendors are placed in the niche players section, apart from Google who come under the visionaries section. The graphic illustrates well how the IaaS market currently stands with all other vendors seeming to lose ground on the 2 main vendors.  

Gartner 2016 MQ hi-res graphic

Two Market Leaders

Gartner concluded that the current market direction favours two market leaders, namely AWS and Azure and because of this it could raise barriers for others attempting to gain a share of the IaaS market. The clear leader of the market is AWS, however, being much larger than its closest competitor which could result in skewing the market even further.

Buyers should treat non-market leading vendors with caution, as vendors with many service providers are reconsidering their IaaS cloud strategies. Buyers should treat new IaaS platforms with caution as well, as they may seem competitive in terms of cost but may not have the requisite technical expertise as the other more significant players in the market.

Greatest strengths

In relation to Amazon Web Services, Gartner has outlined some of its greatest strengths and has also outlined some of the things to be cautious about in relation to AWS. One of its strengths outlined is that it has the largest share of resources being used by paying customers and it is many times the size of all other competitors in the market. It also has a comprehensive ecosystem of partners with expertise in all aspects of AWS adoption from application development expertise to full data centre migration.

One of the great benefits also outlined in the report and something that anyone who is just getting started with AWS is their comprehensive training and certification programmes to enable users to successfully adopt its service offerings and along with its partner network enable customers to adopt and manage AWS using best practices.

Third Party Specialists

Gartner also outlined the requirements for expertise when it comes to adopting Amazon Web Services: “While it is easy to get started with AWS, optimal use requires expertise. Customers must proactively seek the depth of sales and solution architecture engagement they need to be successful; this may require professional services, not just support.” This is where third party solution specialists can bridge the gap between AWS and successful adoption of the services that they provide.

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