No shortage of options in Gartner’s cloud managed hosting Magic Quadrant

(c) can arsiray

It’s that time of year again: Gartner has released its Magic Quadrant for cloud-enabled managed hosting, with 16 vendors in all assessed.

Seven vendors made the top right leaders section of the report; BT Global Services, CenturyLink, Claranet, Colt, Interoute, Rackspace and Verizon. Interoute scored top in completeness of vision, while Rackspace emerged victorious on ability to execute.

Of the two highest scoring players’ strengths and cautions, Interoute was praised for its self service onboarding capabilities through its CloudStore, as well as its investments in software defined networking (SDN) and offering movement of workloads and data between international data centres for no cost. However the virtual data centre provider was criticised for its relatively complicated structure of product support offerings, and cautioned as to how it will address the North American market.

Rackspace was given high marks for its early strategic play in allowing managed services to be bought on the same consumption basis as its IaaS products, as well as being praised for its customer service – the fanatical support – and its integrated portal. However, its key criticism was that, “despite being in the leaders quadrant”, Rackspace had not deployed infrastructure capacity outside of the UK. “Customers with data residency requirements or latency concerns in European regions farther away from the UK need to take this into consideration,” the report warns.

This is one of the more interesting facets of the report: Gartner notes alongside each vendor its European data centre presence, recorded by country. With new Europe-wide data protection regulations likely to be put in place, it’s an important issue for companies. Rani Osnat, VP strategic marketing at CTERA Networks, argues it’s definitely here to stay.

“There are two levels of sovereignty that people look at; one is where the data is, the other is who is it stored with and where is that company registered?” he told CloudTech. One of the classic examples, from an American perspective, was back in April 2014 during a case regarding Microsoft and an Irish customer, when a judge ruled US-based providers had to hand over customer emails even if they are stored overseas.

Yet Osnat added: “I think that is less important than where the data resides, mostly because [of the] statistics. The number of such orders that were issued and required, then actually provided, were very, very low – a few incidents per year.”

It’s worth noting, as Gartner always stresses with these reports, due diligence is its own reward and executives should not be making big business decisions purely based on where a dot lands in a square. You can find the full report here (email required).