Gartner IAAS Magic Quadrant Visionaries – Summarized


Continuing on from my previous post Gartner IAAS Magic Quadrant Leaders – Summarized Version, I have outlined the list of IAAS Visionaries according to Gartner. Note this list is from October 2012. Gartner’s most recent IAAS report. I find the Visionaries section of the Magic Quadrant important as it features some interesting organizations and upcoming players in the IAAS industry.

Note: This is intended as an informational blog only and the details below are a summarized version of Gartner’s analysis. There is no intention on my part to specifically critique any of the IAAS vendors listed below. If you wish to get the a copy of the comprehensive report, it can be acquired from the Gartner website.

IAAS Visionaries – Gartner Magic Quadrant

Gartner IAAS

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Tier 3

Tier 3 is a small, independent service provider that is solely focused on cloud services. It offers paid-by-the-VM, vCloud Powered public cloud IaaS from data centers in the U.S., Canada, Germany and the U.K. It also offers database as a service, and is venturing into Cloud Foundry-based PaaS. It is responsible for Iron Foundry, the .NET extension of Cloud Foundry.

Strengths

  • Tier 3 combines a good set of features on a well-engineered platform,
  • Easy-to-use self-service portal. Although vCloud Powered, its core architecture and software platform contain substantial custom engineering of its own
  • Innovative and ambitious road map.
  • Tier 3 has a scriptable templating feature called Blueprints. Blueprints can be used to provision complex, multi-data-center infrastructure configurations incorporating VMs, network elements and applications.
  • Tier 3 is becoming a hypervisor-agnostic provider
  • It is emphasizing white-label and reseller capabilities, and the ability to federate between different Tier 3-based clouds.

Recommended uses: E-business hosting, cloud-native applications, general business applications, and test and development.

Cautions

  • While Tier 3′s offering is vCloud Powered, it does not expose the vCD UI. Consequently, customers do not receive the full extent of vCD’s self-service capabilities.
  • Tier 3 has limited brand awareness, marketing budget and sales capacity
  • Tier 3 is a small but innovative service provider with a pure cloud IaaS business, making it a highly attractive target for acquisition.

Virtustream

Virtustream is a small, independent service provider that is solely focused on cloud services. It offers hypervisor-neutral public and private IaaS on its xStream platform, available from data centers in the U.S. and the U.K. Managed services are optional.

Strengths

  • Virtustream’s founders have backgrounds in VMware and SAP consultancies.
  • Strongly consultative approach.
  • Expertise in SAP. Its cloud is targeted primarily at production applications.
  • Virtustream has developed its own cloud platform technology, and uses a single unified architecture across public and private offerings, both within its own data centers and within customer data centers. While much of its infrastructure is VMware-virtualized, it can also support other hypervisors, and it is compatible with the AWS API.
  • Virtustream’s micro-VM technology allows it to charge for resources consumed, rather than resources allocated.
  • Offer policy-based service-level management and application performance SLAs.
  • It will be one of the first IaaS providers to support Intel’s Trusted Execution Technology (TXT).

Recommended uses: Enterprise applications, general business applications, e-business hosting and cloud-native applications.

Cautions

  • Despite solid set of self-service features, it primarily targets complex, mission-critical applications where it is likely that the customer will purchase professional services assistance for implementation, and managed services on an ongoing basis.
  • Virtustream is a small but innovative service provider, making it attractive target for acquisition.
  • Strategy will require it to attract and retain significant engineering talent as well as application expertise.
  • Challenged to grow its brand awareness and to manage the lengthy sales cycles that will be common in its target use cases.

Rackspace

Rackspace is an independent Web hoster with a long track record of leadership in the managed hosting market. It offers a fixed-size, paid-by-the-VM, Xen-virtualized public cloud IaaS (Cloud Servers), with optional managed services, from data centers in the U.S. and the U.K. It also offers object-based storage (Cloud Files) with an integrated CDN (via a partnership with Akamai), database as a service, and cloud PaaS (Cloud Sites). It is a founder and the initial primary sponsor of OpenStack, an open-source cloud management platform, and its Cloud Builders business provides traditional commercial open-source support and professional services around it.

Strengths

  • OpenStack’s broad community of participating vendors is likely to make it a key cloud infrastructure ecosystem, in competition with VMware, Microsoft and Amazon.
  • Rackspace intends to use OpenStack to enable it to offer hybrid clouds to customers who want OpenStack both in their internal data centers and in Rackspace data centers.
  • Rackspace Cloud Servers is an easy-to-use service with a basic feature set, and excellent customer support.
  • It has one of the lowest entry price points, making it attractive for initial experimentation with cloud IaaS.
  • Rackspace has a large base of existing managed hosting customers that it can sell cloud into.

Recommended uses: Hybrid hosting where cloud IaaS is supplementary to a primarily dedicated infrastructure; and test and development for individual developers and small teams, where simplicity and ease of use are critical attributes.

Cautions

  • OpenStack is an emerging technology whose future direction is still uncertain.
  • Rackspace recently relinquished most of its control over the project by launching the independent OpenStack Foundation (of which it remains a platinum sponsor). OpenStack’s evolution may not necessarily align closely with Rackspace’s needs.
  • Rackspace Cloud Servers is a developer-centric, best-effort IaaS.
  • Appealed primarily to small businesses seeking a replacement for low-cost mass-market hosting.
  • Missing many features that are part of the offerings of most of the evaluated providers, and which are vital for many enterprise use cases.
  • Rackspace is currently in a transitional stage, running two public cloud IaaS technology platforms simultaneously. Some features are only available on one of those platforms. Rackspace’s pace of new feature introduction has accelerated significantly since the new platform’s launch. Existing Cloud Servers customers will eventually need to migrate to the new OpenStack offering.

Best of luck to these IAAS Visionaries. Maybe they will cross over to the leaders section in the not so distant future.

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