- Gartner ranked Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure as the only two cloud "leaders" in its annual Magic Quadrant ranking of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers, released Thursday.
- Microsoft Azure ranked just behind Amazon Web Services for the third year in a row.
- The next closest provider was Google, which executed well for its completeness of vision, but was less successful in its ability to execute, keeping it out of the leader category. Several providers that appeared on last year’s report vanished from this year’s rankings altogether, including Verizon, CSS, Interoute, Joyent and Dimension Data.
The report analyzed the IaaS space only, which Gartner defines as both public and private cloud offerings.
"The market for cloud IaaS has consolidated significantly around two leading service providers," according to the report. "The future of other service providers is increasingly uncertain."
Gartner called Google "visionary," while seven other cloud providers — CenturyLink, Fujitsu, IBM, NTT Communications, Rackspace, Virtustream and VMware — were referred to simply as "niche players."
AWS has led the cloud market by a wide margin thus far, but Microsoft is continuing to gain ground. Gartner said AWS has a compute capacity "many times the aggregate size of all other providers in the market." And although Microsoft "is neither as feature-rich nor as mature as AWS, many organizations can now consider it ‘good enough’ and base their vendor decision on factors other than technical capabilities," according to the report.