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Amazon Web Services competitors get bad news from Gartner

Bernard Golden | Sept. 5, 2013
Gartner just published its updated Infrastructure as a Service Magic Quadrant, and it's extremely sobering news for the cloud service provider industry.

Recognize that you're going to use and need to manage a hybrid, heterogeneous infrastructure environment. Any notion that your cloud environment will be homogenous is wrong. Proceeding on that basis runs the risk of being left in the dust by competitors that embrace the leader in the space.

Develop application architectures that leverage AWS's strengths, namely scalability and elasticity. Many applications are best-served by running in an environment that supports large-scale deployment and the ability to manage erratic traffic. Embrace the opportunity to use an environment that supports those characteristics, and seek out business offerings that require them. You're no longer handicapped by being limited to traditional IT environments that are static and expensive, so don't limit your potential by constraining your architecture design choices.

Embrace the potential for experimentation and innovation that AWS presents. It's inexpensive to try something out, and there's no requirement for long-term commitment in the AWS environment. Real-world use and feedback is almost always more useful than abstract discussion, so embrace the opportunity to use AWS as a test bed for new business offerings.

Finally, understand that AWS is going to be an important part of your infrastructure going forward. While many IT organizations prefer, understandably, to imagine that their environment will be primarily on-premises with an occasional overflow to an outside cloud environment, the reality of the future is that many, many workloads will be deployed externally — and a large proportion of them, according to Gartner, will be placed in AWS. This is a time to get serious about preparing to use AWS as a strategic part of your computing environment.

This latest IaaS MQ from Gartner indicates something unprecedented in my experience in IT. I've never seen a market that reflects such a distance between a single vendor and everyone else. Moreover, despite the best efforts of an entire industry, the leading vendor is increasing the distance between it and its competitors.

While Leong was quite explicit about the state of affairs in her blog post discussing the latest MQ, one wishes she had delved deeper into it. Why is there such a distance between AWS's offering and everyone else's? What skill or insight has allowed AWS to create an offering so superior to others in the market? Plainly stated, why hasn't a credible competitor emerged to challenge AWS?


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