Feeds

Amazon's cloud dwarfs all others, Gartner finds

It's Bezos' world, say the Magic Quadrant cultists

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The disciples of Gartner's Magic Quadrant have sallied forth to reveal the latest findings of their uncaring quadrilateral god – and the results show that Amazon is the one true cloud, followed at a distance by enterprise supplier CSC.

The magic quadrant is Gartner's way of ranking technologies, and sees the analyst firm plop companies into four squares, split by an x axis representing "completeness of vision", and a y axis for "ability to execute". Good technology is up and to the right, bad technology is down and to the left. Strange it may seem, but Magic Quadrant rankings matter an awful lot as they give companies the chance to sling an easily understandable diagram in front of some MBA-educated executive and point to their company's name and say, "You see, Mr. Exeutive, we're here and the others are all down there, so clearly you're going to want to go with us for your mission-critical IT" – or so we imagine.

The infernal infrastructure-as-a-service magic quadrant report was published by Gartner on Monday, and marks Amazon as a "leader" of cloud technologies, trailed by CSC, and with other companies such as Microsoft and Rackspace hovering around the so-so center. IBM, meanwhile, languishes in the bottom left corner, highlighting the gulf of expertise between the old IT companies and the predatory customer-focused guile of Amazon.

Other evaluated companies included HP, GoGrid, SoftLayer, Fujitsu, Virtustream, Tier 3, and Joyent in the "niche player" section, and Dimension Data, Savvis, and Terremark in the top left "challenger" section.

Rackspace sat at the dead center of the chart, and in its report Gartner gave the company's tech a mild drubbing, but praised its "outstanding" marketing. Rackspace's marketing costs jumped 26.5 percent in the company's most recent financial quarter, while the company saw its margins fall as it got into a bloody price war with Amazon.

One eye-brow raising fact to creep out of the quadrant is the scale at which AWS operates, which dwarfs deep-pocketed rivals including Microsoft.

"AWS is the overwhelming market share leader, with more than five times the compute capacity in use than the aggregate total of the other fourteen providers in this Magic Quadrant," the report says. "It has by far the largest pool of capacity, which makes its service one of the few suitable for batch computing, especially for workloads that require short-term provisioning of hundreds of servers at a time."

This figure reflects the amount of revenue-generating IT assets both real and intangible – cores, VMs, provisioned RAM, et cetera – in use by the providers, Gartner research vice president (and author of the report) Lydia Leong tells The Register.

It also indicates that although capital expenditures are a good indicator of the possible potential scale of a cloud provider, they can't tell you anything about utilization.

Amazon_Google_Microsoft_Rackspace_Capex

GoogleSoft may have dropped big on CapEx, but it's Amazon that is raking in the green

Though the financial results of major cloud operators indicate that Google and Microsoft have outspent Amazon on capital expenditures (pictured), the Gartner findings show that Amazon is the one approaching higher asset utilization for cloud.

To assemble the quadrant, Gartner analysts used customer references, hands-on trials of service offerings, public information from cloud providers, surveys of over 75 cloud providers, and an unspecified number of candid service-provider interviews.

The market at the moment may be defined by Amazon, but Gartner expects a more competitive cloud-computing marketplace in a year or so, pointing to the surprising success of Microsoft, the coming general availability of Google's IaaS, and IBM's integration of SoftLayer as all signs that "this market is becoming considerably more competitive".

Unless, of course, the NSA spying revelations snuff it out entirely and we witness the Balkanization of cloud into distinct legislative and political regions. But if that happens, it's going to take a few months for us to get the data in the coming financial quarters of the megaclouds. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box
Only 250th most powerful in the world? Bring back Michael Fish
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.