Gartner’s recent 2013 Magic Quadrant report for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service makes for an interesting read. Amazon Web Services are now placed way ahead of the others in terms of being market leaders and Microsoft’s Windows Azure makes it into the Visionary quadrant.
Amazon was the first to really figure out how to commoditise the packaging and creation of infrastructure on demand in the cloud. AWS CloudFormation is a really clever product – you can treat all your infrastructure as code (JSON files) and version control the changes you make to your stack over time, this is a really powerful concept. Recently AWS introduced support for processing CloudFormation stacks in parallel making the process of spinning everything up even faster. According to Gartner, AWS now has over five times the compute capacity than the total of all the other providers in the study, that’s a lot of flashing leds!
Although it started life as a pure PaaS offering, Windows Azure entered the IaaS space in April 2013 when Microsoft launched support for virtual machines and virtual networks. It’s interesting to see that in just 5 months they are now leading the way in the visionary quadrant. The strength of Windows Azure lies in its rich developer tooling and its hybrid offering.
“Microsoft has a vision of infrastructure and platform services that are not only leading stand-alone offerings, but also seamlessly extend and interoperate with on-premises Microsoft infrastructure (rooted in Hyper-V, Windows Server, Active Directory and System Center) and applications, as well as Microsoft’s SaaS offerings. Its vision is global, and it is aggressively expanding into multiple international markets…”
Its interesting times ahead as both Google’s and VMWare lifted the curtains on their IaaS offerings this year. This can only lead to more price drops and choice for consumers over the coming 12 months as the big players continue to battle it out in the cloud – bring it on!