To evaluate public cloud platforms, you have to look at the breadth of cloud services developers use, which means including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Windows Azure, and’s Heroku in the same comparison. 
That’s right — there’s a mix of IaaS and PaaS products in our evaluation. Why? Our job is to help AD&D leaders select the right platform for their public cloud deployments. Developers seek utility where they can find it. Thus, the most widely used public cloud platform in our surveys is not a PaaS, but rather AWS, which is commonly labeled an IaaS.
Public cloud platforms  unlock the flexibility, productivity, and economic advantages of cloud computing. Our just-published Forrester Wave™ on enterprise public cloud platforms evaluates the 14 leading providers of platforms  for the enterprise. We included AWS, CloudBees, Cordys, Engine Yard, GoGrid, Google, IBM, Mendix, Microsoft, MioSoft, Rackspace,, SoftLayer, and Verizon Terremark in the evaluation.
In conducting this research, we learned that cloud platforms don’t fit into neat product categories. AWS is much more than an IaaS; Microsoft and Google now provide both PaaS and IaaS products. This finding (previewed in this blog) is vital to helping AD&D leaders sort through a veritable explosion of new products labeled “PaaS”.
The key to selecting the right cloud platforms for your shop is knowing your developers. Not all the developers using public cloud platforms are the same. The cloud developers we met during our research fit into three groups: 
  • Coders. These are programmers who want to concentrate on perfecting their applications and not be bothered with configuring and maintaining application servers and databases — and certainly not virtual infrastructure.
  • DevOps pros. These are expert programmers who want and need to configure the platform supporting their code.
  • Rapid devs. These are developers who prefer not to code; coding takes too long. They value graphical, automated tools for creating applications instead of IDEs.
Our analysis of the leaders in this market springs from these developer categories. Yours should do the same. Only by understanding developer goals and needs can we select the best public cloud platform for these developer types.
Which vendors and public cloud platforms are best? We found that AWS, Microsoft, and are very strong providers. But each of the other providers we evaluated has strengths worth considering. Best to read the full report and use our interactive tool to match your organization’s specific requirements to the choices available. 
James Staten and I collaborated on this research. Forrester clients can access the full report here. For a more in-depth preview of this report, please join Forrester VP and principal analyst James Staten and me for a client webinar on this Wave tomorrow, Tuesday, June 18th. Register for this call here.