2014-20-November-private public cloud.jpg

Forrester Research just named what it considers the leaders in hosted private cloud solutions and the top guns of security among public cloud platform service providers.

In its newly released Wave, the research giant tabbed Virtustream and Datapipe as industry leaders in its Wave for Hosted Private Cloud Solutions.

Meanwhile, Amazon Web Services took the top spot in this week's Wave for Public Cloud Platform Service Providers’ Security. Three other public cloud security offerings -- IBM's, Microsoft's and CenturyLink's -- offer competitive advantages. Forrester only included those four providers in its public cloud security assessment.

Private Leaders' Strengths

Virtustream and Datapipe have strong services that support customer experience, top security and monitoring capabilities and an "intuitive" self-service portal, according to Forrester researchers.

"Virtustream enhanced its service with a public cloud offering, strong user permissions and more granular reporting capabilities," Forrester researchers wrote in its private cloud Wave report.

Datapipe, meanwhile, secured additional custom resources in advance and achieves the "appearance of cloud-like resource expansion for custom environments."

"Cloud-like delivery times are unusual for highly customizable environments," according to Forrester's researchers. "This approach helps secure customers for early hosted private cloud implementations but may be increasingly difficult to sustain as enterprises start using their service as a cloud rather than as an ever-expanding environment."

Following "close behind" the private cloud leaders are CSC, HP, Dell, Blue Box and Joyent. Those who offer "competitive solutions" include CenturyLink, Rackspace, Verizon, AT&T and Fujitsu, while VMware, Canopy, Orange Business Services and VooServers lag, according to Forrester researchers.

Rackspace Response

Reaching out to CMSWire in light of the Forrester recognition, Rackspace officials said Forrester’s study was conducted in July and ranks Rackspace based on the previous version of Rackspace Private Cloud powered by OpenStack, which was based on the Havana code release.

Between the time the study was conducted and when it was published, Rackspace released an enhanced version of Rackspace Private Cloud (RPC). This new version of RPC is based on the Icehouse release and includes features that address many of the opportunities Forrester highlights as areas of improvement such as SLAs and automation.

Rackspace, AWS, IBM and others made news in September when a security vulnerability in the public cloud affected certain versions of XenServer, a popular open-source hypervisor.

Last year at this time, Forrester tabbed ASG Software Solutions, BMC Software, CA Technologies, Cisco Systems, Citrix Systems, Eucalyptus Systems, HP, IBM, Microsoft and VMware as the most significant private cloud providers.

AWS on Public Leader Board

So why AWS alone among public cloud security offerings? Forrester Researchers said AWS has a "broad set of security capabilities in data center security, certifications and network security."

Further, they wrote, it excelled in customer satisfaction, security services partnerships and a large installed base. The size of its development and technical support staff leads the way.

Gartner also this year saw AWS as a leader.  It had Microsoft competing in the traditional business market and Google challenging it in the cloud native market.

IBM, Microsoft and CenturyLink earned praise in Forrester's report this month -- just not as much as AWS. Each of them "showed great data center security, a nice level of security attestations, and some level of their own professional services to implement security-related projects."

They each have a mix of financial services, healthcare, government and media clients.

Public, Private Challenges

"Security has been the number one impediment to adoption" in the public-cloud space, according to Forrester researchers. Organizations want these cloud service providers (CSPs) to "act as strategic partners and see built-in and optional cloud security services provided by the CSPs as the way to address their top cloud security challenges."

As for the hosted private cloud market, Forrester officials deem that as young.

"Although reporting and network security services help differentiate vendors today, long term, customers will look to hosted private cloud providers to provide hybrid cloud management and fully automated services," the researchers said in the private cloud Wave. "Today most vendors allow provisioning of public cloud services through their portal but don’t allow load balancing or movement of workloads."

Title image by Des Morris (Flickr) via a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.