No public cloud fits the stringent criteria required for "enterprise" use, according to the soothsayers at Gartner, though Amazon is far ahead of the competition.
In a report released on Monday Gartner ranked Windows Azure for public cloud use and found it fit 55 per cent of enterprise criteria, compared with 53 per cent for Rackspace and 71 percent for Amazon, according to documents seen by The Register.
Any score less than 100 means the companies are not "ready for widespread enterprise production environments for every business but are capable of hosting many workloads," Gartner analyst Chris Gaun told El Reg.
All three clouds shared some failings, such as a lack of global load balancing, keeping many services in extended "preview" forms, failing to offer good cloud-to-cloud replication services,
letting the NSA slurp data, and a lack of transparency over recovery processes.
"Recovery plans [are] not widely available," Gaun said. "There are some issues on the performance as well. The kit they are using on the hardware side is so abstracted we know nothing about it as far as the storage architecture, the network architecture."
But where the differences between Microsoft and Rackspace and AWS are most apparent is in the reduced number of services operated by the former two, compared to the latter.
"AWS defines innovation and feature sets that many competitors aim to incorporate into road maps and offerings months and years in the future," according to Gartner.
Rackspace came in for some specific criticisms for its inability to select from multiple data centers in a single data center region that can make synchronous replication impossible, and difficulties over importing virtual machines.
Microsoft, by comparison, was drubbed for a lack of a mainstream bulk data import ability, and "minimum non-Oracle and Microsoft enterprise application choices in marketplace".
When asked Gaun said he expects Amazon would be at around 77 per cent if assessed today – the AWS assessment was carried out at the start of the year – and could attain a 100 percent ranking in the first half of 2015.
"Features are coming out very quickly, new data centers are popping up all over the world, and, of course, new providers are entering the market."
What about the virtual hybrid cloud service (vCHS) from VMware, and Google's Compute Engine (GCE), we wonder? As the services are either are in beta, Gartner did not evaluate them, but Gaun says "they both have the potential to be big challengers to the current market leaders." ®