Gartner‘s recent Magic Quadrant data was released, rating the current VPS and cloud providers on their ability to deliver viable and effective products to the IT marketplace. One of the significant features in the Quadrant results is that they are divided into tiers including "leaders", "challengers", and "visionaries" in the industry. Leaders of the industry offer robust and proven services, often with managed applications; challengers are those companies that have made significant gains in the past year. Visionaries, meanwhile, are those that think outside the box but do not necessarily offer the same level of quality or service as the leader or challenger providers, and it is in this category that Gartner places Amazon.
Gartner sees the compute cloud as both flexible and effective but lacking the managed services that set many of the leaders apart from the pack. While Amazon is a leader in the industry and has a massive portfolio of services and features, Gartner cautions that Amazon does not offer any bundled services, is entirely on-demand and does not have collocation server offerings. The Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud sits firmly in the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) arena, one that it has largely helped to define, unlike Windows Azure, which is a platform as a service (PaaS). Amazon has always pushed the boundaries of what can be done with virtual technologies and defends both its on-demand service and 99.95% uptime (down from the 99.99% and 100% of many competitors) by saying that server maintenance and other predicted downtimes are calculated as part of that 99.95%, giving a more accurate prediction of real downtime.
While the Elastic Compute Cloud may rank Amazon as a visionary rather than a leader, the company’s innovation is unmatched in the industry.