Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud 2019

Published 16 July 2019

Market Definition

Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a type of cloud computing service; it parallels the infrastructure and data center initiatives of IT. In the context of this Magic Quadrant, cloud IaaS is defined as a standardised, highly automated offering, where compute resources, complemented by storage and networking capabilities, are owned by a service provider and offered to the customer on demand. This Magic Quadrant considers both sourcing patterns and associated customer imperatives.

Magic Quadrant

Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide (July 2019)

Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide


Leaders Strengths and Cautions


Google is an internet-centric provider of technology and services. Google has had an aPaaS offering since 2008, but did not enter the cloud IaaS market until Google Compute Engine was launched in June 2012 (with general availability in December 2013).
Offerings: Google Cloud Platform (GCP) combines an IaaS offering (Compute Engine), an aPaaS offering (App Engine) and a range of complementary IaaS and PaaS capabilities, including object storage, a Docker container service (Google Kubernetes Engine [GKE]) and event-driven “serverless computing” (Google Cloud Functions). Google also offers GKE On-Prem (software for on-premises deployment), a container-based offering for enterprise deployments. It has a multi-fault-domain SLA. Colocation needs are met via partner exchanges (Google Cloud Interconnect).
Locations: Google has multiple regions across the U.S., as well as a presence in Belgium, Japan, Singapore, Germany, the Netherlands, the U.K., India, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Switzerland and Taiwan. Google has a global sales presence. Support is available in English and Japanese. The portal is available in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Turkish, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese and Thai. Documentation is available in English, German, Japanese and Brazilian Portuguese. Google operates regions with availability zones, but these zones can be separate buildings or separate power, cooling, networking, and control planes.
Adoption profile: GCP initially appealed to Mode 2 buyers with demonstrated strengths associated with big data and other analytics applications, machine learning projects, cloud-native applications, or other applications optimized for cloud-native operations. GCP is also beginning to attract enterprises with traditional Mode 1 workloads such as SAP.
Recommended uses: 
  • Google has leveraged its internal innovative technology capabilities (e.g., automation, containers, networking) by providing a scalable IaaS offering with PaaS capabilities, centered on open-source ecosystems. While catering initially to cloud-native startups, Google is in the process of expanding its reach to enterprise customers.
  • Google has differentiated technologies on the forward edge of IT, specifically in analytics and machine learning. This has driven some enterprises to select Google as a strategic cloud provider where they have deployed applications that are anchored by BigQuery.
  • Google has innovated programs to assist customers with the process of operations transformation via its Customer Reliability Engineering program. The program uses a shared-operations approach to teach customers to run operations the way that Google’s site reliability engineers do. This has the potential to tether Google more closely to enterprise customers.
  • Google demonstrates an immaturity of process and procedures when dealing with enterprise accounts, which can make the company difficult to transact with at times. This can be attributed to its nascent focus on the enterprise market. The immaturity of process is most pronounced in areas such as contract negotiation, discounting, independent software vendor (ISV) licensing, integration with enterprise systems and support. Google is aggressively targeting these shortcomings.
  • Google has a much smaller pool of experienced MSP and infrastructure-centric professional services partners than other vendors in this Magic Quadrant. Its own professional services are still gaining traction in driving customer implementations. Some prospective customers find that these ecosystem limitations heighten migration risk.
  • Google’s overall enterprise coverage from a field sales and solutions perspective is behind its competitors. Further, enterprises often lament about Google’s inability to craft appropriate solutions for enterprise requirements when engaging with solution architects.

Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services (AWS), a subsidiary of Amazon, is a cloud-focused service provider. It pioneered the cloud IaaS market in 2006.
Offerings: AWS is integrated IaaS+PaaS. Its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) offers metered-by-the-second multitenant and single-tenant VMs, as well as bare-metal servers. AWS’s hypervisors are based on Xen and KVM. There is multitenant block and file storage, along with extensive additional IaaS and PaaS capabilities. These include object storage with an integrated CDN (Amazon Simple Storage Service [S3] and CloudFront), Docker container services (Amazon EC2 Container Service [ECS], ECS for Kubernetes [EKS], and Fargate) and event-driven “serverless computing” (AWS Lambda). VMware offers a VMware Cloud Foundation service within AWS data centers (VMware Cloud on AWS). Enterprise-grade support is extra. It has a multi-fault-domain SLA. Colocation needs are met via partner exchanges (AWS Direct Connect).
Locations: AWS groups its data centers into Regions, each of which contains at least two availability zones (data centers). It has multiple Regions across the U.S., as well as in Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the U.K., Australia, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden and Brazil. It also has one Region dedicated to the U.S. federal government. There are two China Regions — Beijing (operated by Sinnet) and Ningxia (operated by Ningxia Western Cloud Data Technology [NWCD]) — which require a China-specific AWS account. It has a global sales presence. The portal and documentation are provided in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese and Spanish. The primary languages for support are English, Japanese and Mandarin, but AWS will contractually commit to providing support in a large number of other languages.
Adoption profile: AWS strongly appeals to buyers seeking agile operations, but is also frequently chosen for traditional styles of IT operations. AWS is the provider most commonly chosen for strategic, organizationwide adoption. Transformation efforts are best undertaken in conjunction with an SI.
Recommended uses: All use cases that run well in a virtualized environment. Applications that are potentially challenging to virtualize or run in a multitenant environment — including highly secure applications, strictly compliant or complex enterprise applications (such as SAP business applications) — require special attention to architecture.
  • Enterprises make larger annual financial commitments and deploy more mission-critical workloads on AWS than with any other hyperscale provider. This speaks to how enterprises perceive AWS as a strategic provider of cloud infrastructure and platform services relative to other providers in the market.
  • AWS has a broader range of customer profiles, ranging from startups and small and midsize businesses (SMBs) to large enterprises, than any other provider in this market. Enterprises using AWS benefit from the early adopters, which help to push new technologies into the mainstream, derisking such services and making them easier to consume and manage as a result.
  • AWS is the most mature, enterprise-ready provider, with the strongest track record of customer success and the most useful partner ecosystem. Thus, it is the provider chosen by not only customers that value innovation and that are implementing digital business projects, but also preferred by customers that are migrating traditional data centers to cloud IaaS.

  • AWS makes frequent proclamations about the number of price reductions it has made. Customers interpret these proclamations as being applicable to the company’s services broadly, but this is not the case. For instance, the default and most frequently provisioned storage for AWS’s compute service has not experienced a price reduction since 2014, despite falling prices in the market for the raw components.
  • AWS prioritizes being first to market with respect to delivering new services and capabilities. As a result, it is willing to launch feature-poor services or services without deep cross-platform integration, which it often defers to the future to address. The quest to be first to market sometimes results in services that need years of substantial engineering updates.
  • As the ambitions of Amazon’s CEO expand into additional markets, the boards of directors for companies in potentially threatened verticals have directed their IT organizations to avoid the use of AWS where possible. This may ultimately limit AWS’s success in some verticals, and may impact the associated ecosystem. IT leaders in these verticals should consider a contingency plan for board-level directives.


Microsoft is a large and diversified technology vendor that is increasingly focused on delivering its software capabilities via cloud services. Microsoft entered the cloud IaaS market with the launch of Azure Virtual Machines in June 2012 (with general availability in April 2013).
Offerings: Microsoft Azure is integrated IaaS+PaaS. It offers metered-by-the-second Hyper-V-virtualized multitenant compute (Azure Virtual Machines), as well as specialized large instances (such as for SAP HANA). There is multitenant block and file storage, along with many additional IaaS and PaaS capabilities. These include object storage (Azure Blob Storage), a CDN, a Docker-based container service (Azure Container Service), a batch computing service (Azure Batch) and event-driven “serverless computing” (Azure Functions). The Azure Marketplace offers third-party software and services. Colocation needs are met via partner exchanges (Azure ExpressRoute) such as those from Equinix and CoreSite.
Locations: Microsoft calls Azure data center locations “regions.” There are multiple Azure regions in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, France, Australia, India, Norway, UAE, Switzerland, Japan and Korea, as well as regions in Ireland, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Singapore and Brazil. There are also six regions for the U.S. federal government; two are dedicated to the Department of Defense. (The two Azure China regions are part of a separate service operated by 21Vianet Group.) Microsoft has global sales. Documentation is available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil and Portugal), Japanese, Korean and Mandarin. Support and the service portal are available in those languages, plus Czech, Dutch, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Swedish and Turkish.
Adoption profile: Microsoft Azure appeals to both Mode 1 and Mode 2 customers, but for different reasons. Mode 1 customers tend to value the ability to use Azure to extend their infrastructure-oriented Microsoft relationship and investment in Microsoft technologies. Mode 2 customers tend to value Azure’s ability to integrate with Microsoft’s application development tools and technologies, or are interested in integrated specialized PaaS capabilities, such as the Azure Data Lake, Azure Machine Learning or the Azure IoT solution accelerators.
Recommended uses:
  • Enterprises that are strategically committed to Microsoft technology generally choose Azure as their primary IaaS+PaaS provider. The integrated end-to-end experience for enterprises building .NET applications using Visual Studio and related services while deploying them to Azure is unsurpassed. Microsoft is leveraging its tremendous sales reach and ability to co-sell Azure with other Microsoft products and services in order to drive adoption.
  • Azure provides a well-integrated approach to edge computing and Internet of Things (IoT), with offerings that reach from its hyperscale data center out through edge solutions such as Azure Stack and Data Box Edge.
  • Microsoft Azure’s capabilities have become increasingly innovative and open, where 50% of the workloads are Linux-based along with numerous open-source application stacks. Microsoft has a unique vision for the future that involves bringing in technology partners through native, first-party offerings such as those from VMware, NetApp, Red Hat, Cray and Databricks.

  • Microsoft Azure’s reliability issues continue to be a challenge for customers, largely as a result of Azure’s growing pains. Since September 2018, Azure has had multiple service-impacting incidents, including significant outages involving Azure Active Directory. The nature of many of these outages is such that customers had no controls in order to mitigate the downtime.
  • Gartner clients often experience challenges with on-time implementations within budget and that results from Microsoft setting unreasonably high expectations for customers. Much of this stems from modestly improving capabilities of Microsoft’s field sales teams to appropriately position and sell Azure within its customer base.
  • Enterprises frequently lament the quality of Microsoft technical support (along with the increasing cost of support) and field solution architects. This negatively impacts customer satisfaction, and slows Azure adoption and therefore customer spending.