Gartner shows us a world of public cloud haves — and have-nots

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Some people — and I’m one of them — are cynical about the value of Gartner’s Magic Quadrants. But, sometimes they hit the nail on the head. And, they do just that in their most recent analysis of the Infrastrcuture-as-a-Service (IaaS) public cloud.

In this analysis, we see one ruler: Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Oh, Microsoft, with its Azure cloud has nothing to complain about. It’s the only other service in the leader quadrant. But, it still ranks well below AWS. And that’s no real surprise.

AWS, according to the Synergy Research Group, rules the public cloud services market with over 40% market share. By Synergy’s count, the other three major cloud providers – Microsoft, Google and IBM — together only have 23% of the market. Yes, Azure and its rivals are gaining ground but it’s at the expense of the smaller players. AWS? They aren’t feeling the heat of competition yet.

As for Azure, Gartner finds it works well, but lacks service experience, support, documentation and training. I’m not sure I buy that. A third of Azure’s virtual machines are Linux, but as Corey Sanders, Microsoft’s director of Azure Compute, points out, that leaves the rest running Windows Server — and Microsoft knows a thing or two about running that in the enterprise.

By Gartner’s count, Gogle Cloud Platform, is far behind the others in third place. Gartner thinks it’s a good choice for cloud-native companies, which is as it should be. Google has been running on containers and the cloud for over a decade now.

As for the rest? Gartner thinks IBM is taking too much time getting SoftLayer re-engineered. I can’t argue that point. I was recently at two cloud conferences, CoreOS Fest and Cloud Foundry Summit, and when IBM was mentioned (which wasn’t often) the question was inevitably when it would get its mojo back. As Gartner puts it, “The IBM Cloud experience is currently disjointed.”

In Gartner’s view, only Oracle Cloud and China’s Alibaba Cloud join Google and IBM in the “visionary” segment. This points out a problem I have with Gartner’s magic quadrants. Yes, these other clouds are significant — but visionary? What’s visionary about a public IaaS cloud in 2017? Nothing I can think of.

One thing Gartner didn’t see coming that is new and innovative is the rise of the Cloud Foundry Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). First, Google and now Microsoft are supporting this PaaS, giving them a feature AWS can’t match.

At the Cloud Foundry Summit, rivals Microsoft and Google were joined at the hip supporting this venture. Now, that’s something you don’t see every day. An empty chair was left on the stage for AWS, but as panel moderator Frederic Lardinois, a TechCrunch news editor, quipped “Seems like somebody’s missing.”

Besides speaking to Cloud Foundry’s popularity with enterprise customers, this also shows that even arch-enemies can join forces when they’re going after an industry giant.

As for the others, many would-be public cloud providers have pulled back. CenturyLink and Verizon are selling off their data center infrastructures. In the meantime, Rackspace has withdrawn from the public cloud to focus on managed cloud services.

So, while Gartner predicts that global public cloud services will grow 18% in 2017, AWS seems poised to continue its rule.


Cloud market update: AWS still leads, but is another player on the rise?

Docker comes to Microsoft Azure

Google gets its cloud together



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