This week, Forrester published The Forrester Wave™: Cloud Cost Monitoring and Optimization, Q2 2018 report. For those of you who aren’t familiar, the Forrester Wave is a rigorous vendor evaluation conducted over several months by the Forrester Research team. It’s meant to help enterprises put together a short list of vendors for them to evaluate.
The analyst conducts initial research to determine if the product or service is mature enough and garners enough buyer interest for a Forrester Wave. We think the Cloud Cost Monitoring and Optimization Wave demonstrates that this market is reaching a new level of maturity.
I’m excited about this report for many reasons: first of all, it provides an excellent set of criteria for enterprises to use when selecting a cloud cost monitoring and optimization solution. Secondly, CloudHealth Technologies is a leader in this evaluation with the top score in the Market Presence category. The Forrester report notes that “To support governance, CloudHealth’s platform is built around a robust policy engine that provides templatized workflows for policy creation with a unique embedded quality assurance process.”
This evaluation included an in-depth evaluation of the nine leading vendors in the cloud cost monitoring and optimization space. Of these, four were named leaders, three were named strong performers, and two were named contenders. Just to be included in this evaluation, vendors had to meet the following criteria:
- Have core capabilities of cloud cost monitoring, optimization, and remediation
- Support at least two public cloud platforms
- Meet the minimal threshold of enterprise customers and solution revenue (at least 40 unique enterprise customers or have a solution revenue greater than $10 million for 2017)
- Be sold as a standalone tool
- Be generally available as of January 1, 2018
Let’s dive into the criteria that Forrester deems important for your vendor selection process. They break criteria into three sections: current offering, strategy, and market presence. Current offering and strategy make up the X and Y axis that plot a vendor’s place on the Wave. One thing I really appreciate about the Wave is the rigorous methodology behind it that allows you to see exactly why vendors are ranked and placed where they are. You can even download a Wave scorecard and change the weightings to get your own customized vendor shortlist.
Evaluation criteria under current offering include:
- Cloud platform resources supported: What is the vendor’s ability to do resource discovery and support multiple different cloud platforms? And to what depth can they support the specific services within each cloud platform?
- Cloud service administration and governance: This includes analysis of the admin portal, overall usability, and integration with authentication services. What are the vendor’s capabilities when it comes to billing, reporting, and out of the box policies?
- Cloud monitoring: How does the vendor do cost, capacity, and performance monitoring, and how can the vendor group these reports by tags or other metadata?
- Cost Optimization: What types of recommendations and remediations can the solution provide? Do they possess cost optimization capabilities like scheduling and what-if modeling?
- Support services: What types of support services does the vendor provide? How extensive are these support offerings?
- Platform experience and SLAs: What are the vendor’s SLAs for response times and availability and are there credits for non-compliance?
- Integrations and APIs: Does the vendor offer many out of the box connections to other tools in the customer’s environment? Is the platform API-accessible?
Evaluation criteria under strategy include:
- Product vision: Does the vendor have a strong roadmap with clear published objectives and milestones?
- Market approach: Does Forrester believe the vendor has a strong multi-region presence with active investment and strong go-to-market strategy?
- Partner ecosystem: How well does the vendor enable their channel partners? How many channel partners do they have, and are they successful?
- Commercial model: How much does the solution cost? Are discounts available?
Evaluation criteria under market presence include:
- Number of customers: How many customers actively use the solution?
- Product revenue: What is the vendor’s revenue for the solution over the past four quarters?
- Market share: How much technology spend does the vendor have under management?