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Differentiation in IaaS

by Kyle Hilgendorf  |  April 11, 2012  |  4 Comments

I recently took a customer phone dialog regarding key differentiators in a public cloud IaaS offering.  The customer wanted to discuss differentiators among services that are not commonly considered.  The customer had already considered differences among scalability, geographic offerings, VM catalogs, pricing, security controls, network options, and storage tiers.  They were essentially asking about “periphery” differences or those things that might not be immediately obvious.

I created a journal list of the things we discussed and thought that this blog would serve valuable for many others.  I will not take the time to describe each in detail here, but I welcome comments and debate below.  As always, Garter for Technology Professional (GTP) customers can schedule a call with me at anytime.

This is not an exhaustive list and is not in any particular order:

  • Graphical User Interface / Management Console
  • Provider Transparency
  • Payment Models
  • Billing (granularity)
  • Compliance
  • Enterprise management capabilities (asset, deploy, change, incident, problem, …)
  • Ecosystem of partners & user community
  • Support levels
  • Simplicity of service  vs. Feature set
  • SLAs (breadth of, definition, and clarity)
  • Performance
  • APIs (robustness & documentation)
  • Integration

Each of the above bullets can warrant a lengthy discussion in itself.  But as you are considering public cloud IaaS offerings, do not forget these items.

Additional Resources

Category: cloud  evaluation  iaas  

Tags: assessment  cloud  iaas-2  providers  transparency  vendor-management  

Kyle Hilgendorf
Managing VP
7 years with Gartner
16 years IT industry

Kyle Hilgendorf is a Managing VP in Gartner for Technical Professionals, covering public/hybrid cloud computing and data center infrastructure. Read Full Bio


Thoughts on Differentiation in IaaS


  1. Andi Mann says:

    Good list, Kyle, should be useful.

    Your readers may be interested in the work of Carnegie Mellon University (along with partners like CA Technologies), who created an in-depth set of criteria called the Service Measurement Index (SMI).

    The SMI is a set of business-relevant Key Performance Indicators that provide a standardized method for measuring and comparing a business service regardless of whether that service is internally provided or sourced from an outside company.

    Clearly important for comparing IaaS providers, but it can also be used to differentiate SaaS offerings, or even non-cloud services.

    More info is online at http://www.cloudcommons.com/about-smi/

    Andi Mann
    CA Technologies.

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  3. […] Kyle Hilgendorf works as a principal research analyst in Gartner's IT Professionals service. He covers cloud computing (external and hybrid), as well as application, desktop and server virtualization. Read Full Bio Coverage Areas: ← Differentiation in IaaS […]

  4. […] week I wrote a short blog on some not-so-common differentiators among public cloud IaaS providers. This week, Gartner […]



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