Analyst house Forrester recently released the Forrester Wave Hybrid Cloud Management report. They used a 31-criteria evaluation to identify the most significant vendors. Like Gartner, Forrester ranks the vendors in categories, Leaders, Strong Performers, Contenders, and Challengers. The report is designed to help infrastructure and operations professionals make the right choice when researching a hybrid cloud management platform.
Hybrid clouds are growing in popularity. Many organizations want a private cloud to pair with their public cloud to keep sensitive workloads and data in a safer environment. This can lead to a lot of management related headaches, this is where a hybrid cloud management platform comes in to help.
12 vendors made the list – BMC Software, Cisco, CloudHealth Technologies, Embotics, HyperGrid, Micro Focus, RackWare, Red Hat, RightScale, Scalr, Turbonomic, and VMWare.
Background of hybrid cloud management
Forrester points out that the initial days of hybrid cloud management were slow to pick up because many organizations weren’t willing to risk moving to a hybrid cloud. It’s far more complex than just managing a single public cloud. This led to some early hybrid cloud management vendors leaving the market entirely.
The market is still relatively unclear, as vendors are exploring what role solutions will play and how they’ll differentiate themselves. Vendors are working to extend their products beyond management. These innovations include developer interfaces, API abstraction layers, cost optimization, and automation capabilities.
Considering the diversity of this growing market, understanding the marketplace increases in importance. Forrester’s evaluation comes down to a vendor’s current offerings, strategy, and market presence. The inclusion criteria include features such as multi-cloud management across workloads, supporting at least AWS, Azure and vSphere-based clouds, and it must be sold as a standalone tool.
Some vendors offer more products in relation to hybrid cloud management, but that doesn’t indicate a vendor’s quality. For example, the highest ranked vendor is RightScale, who only has one offering. RightScale focuses exclusively on HCM solutions and was the first relevant solution to the market. Their cloud management platform improves configuration tooling, templates, or developer experience with third-party options. One notable feature is that RightScale created a separate cost-management product. The intent was to allow early adopters to focus on cloud management and optimization before adding more complex features like automation.
The other three leaders were Scalr, VMware, and Embotics. Scalr Enterprise provides a solution built for optimization powered by analytics and automation. The product can deny a request in a native platform based on policies established in the management portal. Other providers on this report only offer alerts or recommendations.
VMware offers the vRealize Suite which pairs with various other VMware management tools. Forrester points out that its strength is “its customer numbers, template and workflow designers, capacity monitoring, partnerships, and prebuilt integrations.” VMware is clearly one of the biggest vendors on this list and Forrester recognizes them as having an immense market presence. Their extensive resources make their high placement in this report unsurprising.
Embotics is the final leader in this report. Embotics vCommander allows users to leverage their cloud in multiple ways. vCommander provides options for a Cloud Brokered portal, or through the native platform (Cloud Direct). Forrester states that their major strengths are customer experience, directory integration, compliance policy depth, and its configuration management flexibility.
The vendors listed as strong performers were CloudHealth Technologies, HyperGrid, Turbonomic, Cisco, Micro Focus, BMC Software, and Red Hat. RackWare was the sole contender, and there were no challengers in this report.
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