Amazon Web Services (AWS) still dominates the cloud-based infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market, followed by Microsoft Azure and Google, according to Gartner’s new Magic Quadrant report. Gartner noted AWS and Microsoft are generally viewed as the default strategic enterprise cloud partners.
IBM and Alibaba both made noticeable moves forward, though Gartner noted both solutions have limitations. Alibaba Cloud services is unproven outside of the Chinese market, while the analyst firm was critical of IBM for its lack of innovation. IBM hasn't improved SoftLayer's infrastructure since buying it in 2015, noted Gartner.
Gartner also reported that Google Cloud is emerging as a key challenger and a "good option for cloud-native companies."
AWS’ dominance is due partly to the fact that it got to market first and established itself as a capable and reliable cloud provider. But Gartner also notes that AWS makes migrating to the cloud easy, and that’s helped it stay on top. AWS’s ecosystem "makes it easier to adopt and operate AWS in a best-practice fashion," according to Gartner.
While AWS and Microsoft are still dominant in IaaS, there were a few changes since Gartner’s last report. AWS is further ahead now, while Google — which really only began a hard enterprise cloud push two years ago — has gained significant ground and stands alone in the "visionaries" quadrant.
Given the huge potential of the cloud market, it’s likely more than one leader can prevail here. But Gartner also warns that although there are currently "thousands" of cloud IaaS providers, "buyers should be concerned about the long-term viability of non-market-leading offerings."