Key Criteria for Evaluating Hyperscale Compute Alternativesv1.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision-Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Hyperscale Compute Alternatives Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  7. Analyst’s Take
  8. About Joep Piscaer

1. Summary

Organizations today look to the cloud for their compute and data storage needs. Three vendors—Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP)—dominate the market, often referred to as the “big three” hyperscalers or public cloud vendors. AWS is by far the current market leader in both revenue and number of customers, and its service ecosystem is the most complete.

Enterprise IT organizations are embracing the public cloud for newly built cloud-native applications and migrated legacy applications alike. However, not all organizations, and not all workloads, are a natural fit for the big three public cloud vendors, based on a variety of factors, including the complexity of the product portfolio, price point, regional availability of services, and competitive restrictions.

Kubernetes’s rising popularity means that customers are mindful of the freedom that its inherent portability brings and they want to be free of the shackles of any individual cloud provider. Containers are portable across public clouds and other environments, so customers are evaluating alternatives and more open cloud ecosystems for storage and compute.

There are other utility compute services that offer a wide range of compute, storage, and networking services across geographically dispersed locations that may be a better fit in these cases. These cloud providers often offer specific advantages over the big three public cloud vendors, including simpler product portfolios, a range of pricing models and pricing points, local support or personnel presence, in-person implementation and customer success services, local or edge data centers, or solutions for specific niche use cases.

This report focuses on service providers that offer ubiquitously available, scalable, elastic, multitenant pools of compute resources and adjacent compute, storage, and networking services in an on-demand, self-service manner, billed as a measured service.

While utility compute services make up the core technological focus of this report, adjacent services for storage and networking are key aspects of any infrastructure and will be included in the evaluation. In particular, we’ll look at block and object storage services, as well as key networking services, including firewalls, load balancers, and connectivity services. Additionally, we’ll examine services that complete the portfolio, such as bare metal services, managed Kubernetes, managed databases, and various security services, including distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection.

As with any utility service, purchasing models can make all the difference, and providers must offer both fixed-term and pay-as-you-go models to satisfy both capital expenditure (CapEx) and operational expenditure (OpEx) buyers.

The GigaOm Key Criteria and Radar reports provide an overview of hyperscale compute alternatives, identify capabilities (table stakes, key criteria, and emerging technology) and evaluation metrics for selecting an alternative, and detail vendors and products that excel. These reports give prospective buyers an overview of the top vendors in this sector and help decision-makers evaluate solutions and decide where to invest.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.

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