Cloud Wars: 2020 Edition

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Because there was sadly no Gartner Catalyst conference this year, we've missed the annual tradition of presenting "Cloud Wars", our cloud provider comparison session. Nevertheless, the Gartner for Technical Professionals (GTP) team has published updated Solution Scorecards for six global cloud providers -- Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Alibaba Cloud, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, and IBM Cloud -- this year. Notably, the IBM Cloud update is now an assessment based on the Gen 2 VPC-enabled IaaS + IAM-enabled PaaS including Watson Data Platform (vs 2019's Gen 1 "the services formerly known as SoftLayer" IaaS + "the services formerly known as Bluemix" PaaS). Scorecards evaluate providers against specific criteria, in a fully transparent way. There are 270 evaluation criteria (available in "Solution Criteria for Cloud Integrated IaaS and PaaS"), spanning nine categories of capabilities. Each criterion can be fully objectively scored. Every scorecard presents an evaluation against these criterion; each criterion is scored, with a write-up providing more details (and workarounds or alternatives, if necessary), plus links to related documentation and evidence. Each scorecard also contains an analysis and recommendation for each vendor; these are typically 70+ page docs with very deep detail, and contain spreadsheets that allow you to customize scoring for your own organization. Scorecard data is also available in the Gartner Cloud Decisions platform, where you can also find Gartner-generated benchmarks (for provisioning times, compute performance, network performance, etc.) for each provider. Scorecards are really useful for avoiding feature-by-feature RFPs (which cloud providers hate and aren't a great way to select a provider), as well as quickly looking up if a given provider has a particular desired bit of functionality, and comparing providers against one another for the purposes of looking for good technical fit for a particular workload. And they contain deeper analysis of providers, with more technical detail, than you'll find in our Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Services. The table below contains links to the scorecards, plus the (publicly-available) document summaries broken down into table form. The summaries read, "Vendor has a solution score of Score out of 100, making it a Bottom Line for technical professionals responsible for cloud production deployments." Scores are a weighted score out of 100 points. The table is ordered from highest to lowest solution score. Vendor/Link Score Bottom Line Amazon Web Services 93 Attractive strategic option Microsoft Azure 78 Viable strategic option Google Cloud Platform 71 Generally viable option Alibaba Cloud 69 Generally viable option Oracle Cloud Infrastructure 62 Scenario-specific option IBM Cloud (current gen) 24 Scenario-specific option Producing a scorecard is a tremendous multi-month effort for a huge team of people. This year, rather than breaking up the evaluations by provider, we decided to break them up by category, so a single analyst author would conduct and write evaluations for a given criterion across all six providers. The authors were assisted by analysts in our interactive content team, who focus on data-gathering for vendor evaluations. That means that the authorship credits on the docs don't fully recognize everyone's contributions, so they receive thanks below for all of their hard work. (My task was to lead the project, speak to a lot of reference customers and partners, and write the general overview and analysis of each provider.) Category Analyst Author Interactive Content Analyst Resilience Brian Adler Michael Hobson Compute Paul Gore Adrian Wong Storage Brian Adler Michael Hobson Networking Simon Richard Diana Petrosyan Security Eli Khnaser Anna Ni Software Infrastructure Services Eli Khnaser Diana Petrosyan Digital Business Infrastructure Paul Gore Adrian Wong Operations and Governance Marco Meinardi Adrian Wong Vendor Management Alan Waite Michael Hobson If you're looking for more guidance on choosing cloud providers -- whether at the strategic level, or at the level of workload placement -- consider the following research notes (Gartner paywall): How to Initiate the Selection of Strategic Cloud IaaS Providers Designing a Cloud Workload Placement Policy Document As always, we're happy to talk to your particular situation and interests in client inquiry! (There is always tons of additional detail that we don't publish.)

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