Blog post

The forthcoming Public Cloud IaaS Magic Quadrant

By Lydia Leong | May 16, 2011 | 1 Comment


Despite having made various blog posts and corresponded with a lot of people in email, there is persistent, ongoing confusion about our forthcoming Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, which I will attempt to clear up here on my blog so I have a reference that I can point people to.

1. This is a new Magic Quadrant. We are doing this MQ in addition to, and not instead of, the Magic Quadrant for Cloud IaaS and Web Hosting (henceforth the “cloud/hosting MQ”). The cloud/hosting MQ will continue to be published at the end of each calendar year. This new MQ (henceforth the “public cloud MQ”) will be published in the middle of the year, annually. In other words, there will be two MQs each year. The two MQs will have entirely different qualification and evaluation criteria.

2. This new public cloud MQ covers a subset of the market covered by the existing cloud/hosting MQ. Please consult my cloud IaaS market segmentation to understand the segments covered. The existing MQ covers the traditional Web hosting market (with an emphasis on complex managed hosting), along with all eight of the cloud IaaS market segments, and it covers both public and private cloud. This new MQ covers multi-tenant clouds, and it has a strong emphasis on automated services, with a focus on the scale-out cloud hosting, virtual lab environment, self-managed virtual data center, and turnkey virtual data center segments. The existing MQ weights managed services very highly; by contrast, the new MQ emphasizes automation and self-service.

3. This is cloud compute IaaS only. This doesn’t rate cloud storage providers, PaaS providers, or anything else. IaaS in this case refers to the customer being able to have access to a normal guest OS. (It does not include, for instance, Microsoft Azure’s VM role.)

4. When we say “public cloud”, we mean massive multi-tenancy. That means that the service provider operates, in his data center, a pool of virtualized compute capacity in which multiple arbitrary customers will have VMs on the same physical server. The customer doesn’t have any idea who he’s sharing this pool of capacity with.

5. This includes cloud service providers only. This is an MQ for the public cloud compute IaaS providers themselves — the services focused on are ones like Amazon EC2, Terremark Enterprise Cloud, and so forth. This does not include any of the cloud-enablement vendors (no Eucalyptus, etc.), nor does it include any of the vendors in the ecosystem (no RightScale, etc.).

6. The target audience for this new MQ is still the same as the existing MQ. As Gartner analysts, we write for our client base. These are corporate IT buyers in mid-sized businesses or enterprises, or technology companies of any size (generally post-funding or post-revenue, i.e., at the stage where they’re looking for serious production infrastructure). We expect to weight the scoring heavily towards the requirements of organizations who need a dependable cloud, but we also recognize the value of commodity cloud to our audience, for certain use cases.

At this point, the initial vendor surveys for this MQ have been sent out. They have gone out to every vendor who requested one, so if you did not get one and you wanted one, please send me email. We did zero pre-qualification; if you asked, you got it. This is a data-gathering exercise, where the data will be used to determine which vendors get a formal invitation to participate in the research. We do not release the qualification criteria in advance of the formal invitations; please do not ask.

If you’re a vendor thinking of requesting a survey, please consider the above. Are you a cloud infrastructure service provider, not a cloud-building vendor or a consultancy? Is your cloud compute massively multi-tenant? Is it highly automated and focused on self-service? Do you serve enterprise customers and actively compete for enterprise deals, globally? If the answers to any of these questions are “no”, then this is not the MQ for you.

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1 Comment

  • Dear Lydia,

    We are a leading Managed IT Hosting Service Provider headquartered in India with our own Multi-tenant IaaS (Public Cloud) platform that enables self-provisioning of servers, network and storage on-demand. We would like to participate in the vendor surveys for this MQ.

    Will appreciate if you can advise on the way forward.


    Sujit Janardanan