Companies looking to adopt public cloud infrastructure for use in Europe must navigate a complex set of choices in selecting the best service for their needs. The scale, price, and continuing innovation of U.S.-based market leaders such as Amazon, Rackspace, and Microsoft are compelling but undermined to a degree by data protection concerns and last year’s revelations of National Security Agency (NSA) snooping. Less-visible European providers may offer the perception of greater security, a network of data centers more closely aligned to the distribution of customers across the continent, and a support operation better suited to European cultural and linguistic diversity.
This Sector RoadMapTM identifies and categorizes the principal disruption vectors at play in this market segment and profiles a set of the significant solution providers in the space.
Amongst the companies surveyed, those with a strong multi-site European presence found themselves at an immediate advantage. Security and data territoriality remain significant concerns, particularly in Europe, but each of the providers discussed here has a credible position with respect to securing customer data inside the European Economic Area. The clearest point of differentiation for many customers lies in the strength of the partner ecosystem and the extent of interoperability with other systems. Current global market leader Amazon Web Services dominates in both of these vectors for now.
Each of the companies profiled below offers a robust and credible set of products, and all are able to identify satisfied – and often enthusiastic – advocates amongst their customers. At the end of the day, prospective customers for these services need to undertake their own assessment of their particular requirements and select accordingly. If you and all of your customers are in Austria or Croatia or France, for example, then selecting a cloud provider operating from Ireland or the UK may not be the best choice. For others, access to a global network of data centers may be critical, as may demonstrable interoperability with a private cloud running in their own data center or hosting provider. And for some, the overriding concern will be their mistrust of dealing with a company headquartered outside the European Union, even though that company guarantees to normally store European customer data inside Europe.
Each of these providers has their merits. Whether they are the best fit for your company and your workloads will depend upon your own assessment of relative strengths and weaknesses.
- Number indicates company’s relative strength across all vectors
- Size of ball indicates company’s relative strength along individual vector
Source: Gigaom Research