Cloud Infrastructure Grows Up: Gartner MQ 2013 Analysis

For the 3rd straight year, CenturyLink Cloud was recognized by Gartner in its influential Magic Quadrant (MQ) for Cloud Infrastructure-as-as-Service. Readers of the MQ don’t just like it because it summarizes an entire industry with a single visual representation. Rather, its real value is derived from the deep analysis of vendors and market dynamics. Each year, the criteria for inclusion gets tougher as the demands of enterprise customers mature. In 2013, vendors can’t simply offer a warmed-over virtualization environment and brand it a cloud.

CenturyLink Cloud on the Gartner Magic QuadrantDownload Report >>

Gartner went hands-on with our platform and came away impressed.

CenturyLink Cloud combines an excellent, highly differentiated set of features on a well-engineered platform with an easy-to-use self-service portal. It is one of the few services with both cloud-native capabilities that are attractive to developers and the governance and management features needed by large enterprises.

In fact, one of their “cautions” about our company included an important compliment. Gartner says that we “will be challenged to match the engineering resources available to the market leaders, and therefore challenged to maintain its platform lead.” We aren’t a big company, but our engineering team has accepted that challenge head on. We look forward to building on this lead in the months and years ahead.

How does Gartner see the market evolving, and what does that mean for CenturyLink Cloud and our customers?

The MQ flags important trends enterprise customers to consider. Many of them map closely to our product strategy.

  • Gartner Take: Cloud IaaS is not a commodity. . All clouds are not created equal, and each cloud has their own set of value-added features. While this can limit portability between providers, this issue isn’t a unique to the cloud and is an accepted aspect of most IT vendor relationships. We’re obsessed with automation and user experience, and this manifests itself through a set of services that you can’t easily get elsewhere. It needs to be easy for customers to enter – and exit – our cloud, but our product and roadmap is full of customer-driven features that make it easier to create and manage sophisticated infrastructure environments.
  • Gartner Take: Hybrid cloud is not yet a reality. Gartner’s point here is simply that it’s not easy to migrate or manage servers that reside in disparate (cloud) environments. That said, from a different perspective of hybrid cloud, we’re seeing a measurable uptick in requests for deep integration between on-premises and cloud environments. Our recent introduction of self-service networking features, coupled with our VPN and Direct Connect capabilities, makes it possible for enterprises to truly treat the CenturyLink Cloud cloud as a close knit extension of their existing data centers – complex network topology and all.
  • Gartner Take: One size does not fit all.  Customer needs are far from uniform. Gartner points out that for any given workload, the priority could be performance, availability, security, customer service, ease of use, or something completely different. Not every cloud is suited for each dimension. While we like to think that we can run most any workload, we’ve optimized the platform for business applications, enterprise development and testing, ISV-to-SaaS transformation, and resellers looking to expand their portfolio of services.
  • Gartner Take: IaaS can be used to run a wide range of workloads. In 2013, the cloud isn’t just a playground for prototypes. Not only is it ideal for applications architected specifically for cloud-scale, but also for existing systems that reside in corporate data centers. Our reliable cloud services are there for applications that have to scale out *or* up. We work with numerous enterprise customers who don’t have cloud-native applications but still see significant value in running it in an agile cloud environment (The most common motivation is to accelerate the transition to IT-as-a-service). In those cases, there’s a premium placed on chargebacks, reliability and management of relatively static resources.
  • Gartner Take: Buying centers for IaaS are diverse. We are excited that our bet on developers as the new kingmakers is paying off. But while engineering plays a HUGE role in cloud adoption, Gartner recognizes that many cloud initiatives are led by business or IT operations. We have won several big accounts because of our sophisticated capabilities around account management, billing, rebranding, auditing, governance, and network management. Unless an organization is ONLY run by developers (like an early stage startup), there’s a need for automation, and practical capabilities that reduce the human cost of using the cloud..
  • Gartner Take: The cloud IaaS market is more similar to a software market than a traditional IT services market. Our interpretation: self-service and automation are critical to a successful cloud implementation. We couldn’t agree more. There’s a massive, unseen human cost to cloud that isn’t reflected in the cold costs of CPUs and RAM. Staff has to be trained to administer and manage the shared pool of resources. Automation provides the only way that an organization can successfully secure, patch, and manage their cloud environment. Our cloud services are chock full of ways to automate deployments and maintenance and we’re adding more every month!

Each year, the Gartner MQ gives IT leaders a pragmatic and unbiased way to get a handle on a very fluid industry. We’re proud of our strong showing in the last 3 editions, but don’t take Gartner’s word for it; try our cloud out for yourself! And if you love the idea of working on leading-edge technology for a hot-shot cloud company, join our team!

CenturyLink Cloud Recognized in the Magic Quadrant for the Public Cloud Infrastructure

Evaluation Based on Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute

BELLEVUE, Wash. — December 20, 2011 ― CenturyLink Cloud, Inc., the enterprise cloud platform provider, announced today that it has been selected by Gartner, Inc. for inclusion in the “Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure as a Service.” “We believe this inaugural Gartner Magic Quadrant for public cloud affirms what CenturyLink Cloud sees in the market: the growing demand for cloud offerings that serve unique customer communities. Our Enterprise customers expect a cloud platform designed for their unique needs — most notably high availability, security, disaster recovery, and advanced automation for IT agility,” says Adam Wray, CenturyLink Cloud CEO. “We consider our position in the Gartner Magic Quadrant evidence that CenturyLink Cloud is delivering a cloud platform for mission-critical applications and services to our Enterprise customers today and is well positioned to challenge for a leadership position in 2012. We are proud to be among the small number of leading providers selected by Gartner for inclusion in this report.” Gartner bases its evaluation on the “ability to execute” and “completeness of vision.” Ability to execute measures the vendor’s financial viability, market responsiveness, product development, sales channels and customer base. Completeness of vision reflects the vendor’s innovation, whether the vendor drives the market and if the vendor’s view of how the market will develop matches Gartner’s perspective. The Magic Quadrant for the Public Cloud Infrastructure as a Service was introduced earlier this year and covers multi-tenant cloud applications with a focus on scale-out cloud hosting, virtual lab environments, self-managed virtual data centers and turnkey virtual data center segments. Resources About CenturyLink Cloud CenturyLink Cloud helps large and mid-size enterprises bring applications and services to the cloud. The Bellevue, Wash.-based company provides an enterprise-grade virtual private cloud, enhanced by a framework-agnostic cloud orchestration layer to enable IT automation and agility. Architected for security, risk mitigation and high availability ― with 99.999% SLA at all layers and disaster recovery in every deployment — CenturyLink Cloud is optimized for production environments and mission-critical applications. CenturyLink Cloud’s innovative infrastructure delivers superior performance and resource optimization while expert support provides a virtual extension of in-house IT staff. For more information, visit About the Magic Quadrant Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in our research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. CenturyLink Cloud Contact: Wendy White VP of Marketing, CenturyLink Cloud (877) 388-4373 x834 Media Contact: Liam Rose, GolinHarris for CenturyLink Cloud (415) 318-4380