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Countdown to Cloud Expo: Forrester Reports on the Private Cloud

Leading Industry Analyst Firm Lands Bombshell Report on Private Cloud Computing Vendors

Leading industry analyst firm Forrester is about to land a bombshell on the private cloud part of the Cloud Computing ecosystem. The explosion comes in the form of a report from Forrester Research in which fifteen top Private Cloud solution providers are weighed in the balance...and, in a few cases, found seriously wanting.

Forrester has been in the vanguard of Cloud market analysis for a goodly while. Its "Private Cloud Solutions Market Overview" however is the first time that its top Cloud analysts - James Staten and Lauren E. Nelson - have really put top private cloud vendors through their paces.

In order to provide greater transparency to its research, Forrester asked all vendors to conduct a demo, going through a series of compulsory steps. The demos were recorded on video.

The companies Staten and Nelson chose to focus on were: Abiquo, BMC Software, CA Technologies, Cloud.com, Dell, Enomaly, Eucalyptus Systems, Hexagrid Computing, HP, IBM, Microsoft, newScale, Platform Computing, Red Hat, Tibco Software and VMware.

The resulting report is completely unique in affording a detailed glimpse of the state of this slice of the industry in Q2, 2011.

What emerges will be a delight to Cloud Expo New York participants such as Diamond Sponsor, Dell, and Platinum Plus Sponsor, Abiquo. It will not be such a pleasure for a company like Enomaly, which fared very badly indeed.

What emerges above all is the difference between companies whose private Cloud solutions are really out there being used and tried and tested and stretched..and those whose offerings clearly aren't. In other words, companies that could point Forrester toward reference customers actually using the solution in question as a cloud came out top. Those whose clients (in one example) were only leveraging their run-book automation features atop a traditional virtualized environment, exhibiting neither multitenancy, self-service, nor resource consumption tracking (three indispensible characteristics of a true "Cloud" solution), fared very poorly in comparison.

This report very much sorts, in other words, the Private Cloud men from the boys.

Who are the men?

Well, Abiquo for one. For a company like Abiquo to hold its own against giants like IBM, HP, Microsoft, and Dell would be remarkable enough. For it to outright beat them in several different categories, well that is nothing short of remarkable. In the world of Cloud computing, viewed at this crucial inflection point of Q2, 2011, one thing emerges with crystal clarity: Abiquo is an industry pack leader. And if viewed in terms of what Forrester calls "pure-play Cloud solutions" it fares strongly, coming ahead of all its competititors - represented, in this report, by Cloud.com (which comes a strong second), Enomaly, and Eucalyptus Systems.

Forrester stresses that the companies included in its report were those vendors whose Cloud solutions were "production-ready" and could provide solid enterprise customer references that were using the solution as a private cloud inside their enterprise. Another criterion was that each solution had to provide all the core capabilities of a private IaaS environment.

Although the Forrester report does not itself arrange its results in "ranking" order, electing instead just to list each solution provider alphabetically, Cloud Computing Journal has been doing some sub-analysis of its own that shows the overall performance in the report to be as follows:

First place:         Platform Computing
Second equal:    HP / IBM / VMware

Fifth Place:         Abiquo
Sixth equal:        BMC / Dell
Eighth equal:      CA Technologies / Cloud.com / Tibco
Eleventh place:  newScale
Twelfth equal:    Eucalptus / Hexagrid / Microsoft
Fifteenth:            Enomaly

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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