Earlier this year I changed research roles within Gartner, which has changed the focus of my work a bit. Since I hadn’t published any blog entries for a while, I thought it’d be worthwhile to update readers on that, and also highlight some of our most recent research …
For those of you that are familiar with Gartner’s research units, we are roughly divided up into three organizations – Gartner for Business Leaders (the group that I worked for previously) which has a strong vendor focus, Gartner for IT Leaders which focuses broadly on the needs of end-user organizations at multiple levels, and Gartner for Technical Professionals (what became of our acquisition of Burton Group in 2010) which also focuses broadly on the needs of end-user organizations, but with a heavier tactical and technical focus overall. I’ve moved into Gartner for Technical Professionals (GTP) where I work on public cloud research along with some great colleagues such as Drue Reeves, Kyle Hilgendorf, Mindy Cancila, Elias Khnaser, and far too many others to name individually.
Of course, I still work just as close with all of my former colleagues in Gartner for Business Leaders and Gartner for IT Leaders on a daily basis … and I still focus largely on the same companies and technologies (IaaS, hosting, and colocation) … but the output of my research is now different in that I’m writing much longer notes than before, and they are all focused on the needs of Gartner’s end-user clients. Along those lines, my very first research note which just published a few weeks ago – Migrating Production Applications into Public Cloud IaaS (subscriber link) – is something that I’ve been wanting to put together for Gartner end-user clients for a number of years based on the challenges I was sensing our end-user clients were facing as they were struggling to figure out the real-world/hands-on tasks they needed to go through to get started with public cloud IaaS. There is so much to consider – from identity management, permissions, storage types, compute SLAs, wide-area networking and more – that it can get overwhelming in trying to figure out where to start. I’ve tried to scratch the surface on that a bit basis by giving customers a broad overall framework of things they really need to make sure they have lined-up on the technical front before they really start using IaaS on a production basis in-earnest. Admittedly, though – there is still far more to that topic overall than what can be covered in just 35 pages … so I’ll be writing more to go along with that over the next year.
(coincidentally, that is also the topic of my main presentation at Gartner’s Catalyst conference this year in San Diego – if you have a chance, stop by and say hello!)
In addition to writing that note, I also got to work with Kyle and Eli on updating our incredibly detailed in-depth assessments of each of the major “hyperscale” IaaS providers. Based off of our 234-point Evaluation Criteria for Public Cloud IaaS we go through and validate and (if necessary) test each feature from the major providers against those criteria. It’s an amazing body of research that launched a few years ago in GTP, and it’s been exciting to be able to take part in the refresh of that this year (I did the update for our assessment of Google Cloud Platform, which is starting to come up a bit more often in end-user discussions lately as Google starts to make more serious overtures towards the enterprise). My colleague Eli wrote up a great blog post detailing the evaluation criteria and in-depth assessments overall that is worth reading for some insights on where the major platforms are at (even if you’re not a Gartner subscriber).
The pace and excitement in the public cloud IaaS market shows no signs of stopping. Major mainstream enterprises such as J&J, CapitalOne, GE, Juniper (who has apparently closed 17 data centers over the past three years) and many more … have all come out stating that public cloud services are a critical part of their strategic future. It’s truly exciting to be able to help organizations like these as they work through the process of transforming their plans into reality.