Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting, Europe

Archived Published: 30 June 2015 ID: G00268959



Cloud-enabled managed hosting services are continually being evolved in Europe to meet the demands of data sovereignty and more agile computing. Infrastructure managers need to choose their vendor partner with great care in order to get the optimum service for their individual requirements.

Market Definition/Description

This document was revised on 12 October 2015. The document you are viewing is the corrected version. For more information, see the Corrections page on

The European marketplace consists of 28 member states of the European Union. Each member state has its own interpretation of the EU rules on data privacy, as well as separate languages and cultures. The scope of this Magic Quadrant focuses primarily on the European marketplace, incorporating the top six countries by GDP (Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands). In each of these countries, customers prefer their languages to be supported, as well as service providers to have a data center presence in their countries to address data sovereignty concerns. Some providers in this Magic Quadrant take the approach of having data centers in each of the major hubs within Western Europe, while others prefer a more decentralized, global delivery approach. This Magic Quadrant focuses on multinational as well as domestic service providers that have achieved a significant market share in one or more European countries.

Cloud-enabled managed hosting (CEMH) is a standardized, productized hosting offering that combines a cloud-enabled system infrastructure (CESI) platform — consisting of a pool of compute, network and storage hardware — with cloud management platform software to facilitate self-service and rapid provisioning, with managed services. The infrastructure platform should be located in a service provider's data center, and requires the use of a standardized deployment across all service provider customers and leverages a single codebase. At minimum, a service provider must supply server OS management services, including guest OS instances if virtualization is used. The provider must also supply other managed and professional services relating to the deployment and operation of the infrastructure, such as security services, patching, backup, load balancing, and optional application management for database and middleware. All services should be available to customers with the option to take some or all.

For a more detailed overview of cloud-enabled managed hosting, see "Technology Overview for Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting."

Increasingly, Gartner is witnessing more vendors in this sector offering support and management services for public clouds (either internal platforms or third parties) as part of their overall hosting solutions. This hybrid approach gives the customers more flexibility to buy public infrastructure as a service (IaaS), private IaaS fulfilled within the vendor's own data center(s) and colocation managed through a single portal. Data sovereignty still remains a challenge for some of the larger public IaaS providers; therefore, it is not unusual for CEMH vendors to support multiple IaaS providers with different geographical spread of data centers.

Cloud-enabled managed hosting has limited customization and is sold on a stand-alone basis, with no requirement to bundle it with other services, such as application development, application maintenance, database administration and data center outsourcing (DCO) services.

Customers of cloud-enabled managed hosting must be able to access a self-service interface after initial installation, although it may be different from the platform interfaces used internally by the provider. A service provider can potentially intervene in the self-service workflow to manually approve, deny or alter the customer's requests — as long as the provisioning requested is fulfilled in a fully automated manner thereafter. Managed services (such as OS backups, patching and monitoring) must be available to the customer — preferably monthly or daily, but, at a maximum, no longer than the commitment term for the underlying compute resources.

Although this Magic Quadrant focuses on the enterprise-class, cloud-enabled managed hosting market, offerings and revenue presented on more traditional, dedicated server infrastructure have been included. This is to reflect the emerging nature of the cloud approach in Europe, which is some two years behind North America in adoption, which is seen as the most advanced in hosting services. Such delivery models include:

  • Multitenant, provider premises: Compute, storage and networking hardware is shared among many customers, and is housed in the service provider's facilities and fully managed by the provider. This is the most common use case, and also encompasses cloud IaaS offerings where the provider offers management of guest OS instances.

  • Single-tenant, provider premises: Compute and storage hardware is dedicated to one customer (versus used by many customers), and is housed in the service provider's facilities.

In addition to server OS management, optional managed and professional services related to infrastructure operations may be offered, such as:

  • Management of infrastructure software at the middleware or persistence layer, such as Web server software, application servers and database servers

  • Management of storage, including backup and recovery

  • Management of host-based and network-based security functions

  • Management of network devices, such as application delivery controllers

  • Professional services associated with hosting, such as architecture consultation, capacity planning, performance testing, security auditing and data center migration

  • Management of workloads on public IaaS, either in-house or fulfilled through a third party

Cloud-enabled managed hosting services must be available to customers with shorter-term commitments measured in months versus traditional managed hosting measured in years. While customers may opt for longer-term contracts (one to three years) in order to secure greater overall discounts, this is solely at the customers' discretion. Ultimately, cloud-enabled managed hosting must afford customers the ability to change the amount of capacity in use without any contract additions or modifications.

Use Cases Covered by This Evaluation

This Magic Quadrant focuses on the following common use cases, independent of the type or types of infrastructure used to serve these workloads:

  • E-business hosting for digital marketing websites, e-commerce websites, SaaS, social websites and similar modern online properties and applications. These workloads are often complex, and are associated with a high rate of change in systems and application infrastructure.

  • Web-based business application hosting for corporate intranets and Web-based applications delivered to users primarily within the enterprise. The applications may be commercial software or in-house-developed applications; workloads are often relatively static, and do not have a high rate of change.

  • Enterprise application managed hosting for the infrastructure underlying large commercial software applications, such as those of Oracle and SAP. These workloads are often complex, with individual requirements, and require specialized knowledge to operate optimally, but do not have a high rate of change. CEMH providers usually provide support for single instances of these applications, most commonly associated to a Web presence. Support for a fully integrated platform of multiple ERP, CRM and other enterprise applications falls out of the scope of this Magic Quadrant.

All three use cases are typically tactical sourcing decisions that center around one application or a single group of closely related applications (such as everything associated with an enterprise's video portal). They are typically best-served by a best-of-breed provider that has strong operational expertise with similar solutions. However, many customers expand their use of hosting over time, and the choice of a provider may become a strategic decision for a customer.

In the cloud-enabled managed hosting market, it is difficult to find a provider that excels in all the areas mentioned above, as well as in certain countries within the EU as mentioned previously; providers may be leaders in some delivery areas, but may lag behind in others. Additionally, smaller providers may do one thing extraordinarily well, but may not have a comprehensive set of services or the geographic reach that enables them to address a broad array of use cases. As a result, it is important to match your use case with a vendor that excels in meeting your particular functional and geographic needs.

It is also crucial to note that this Magic Quadrant shows the overall position of a vendor in the cloud-enabled managed hosting and traditional managed hosting markets specifically, which can impact potential revenue figures for inclusion, and does not consider a provider's strength in other adjacent delivery areas in IT services (although this may be referenced in the vendor profiles). Therefore, it is crucial to look beyond just the placement of the vendors in this Magic Quadrant during your evaluation and selection, as your individual needs may be best-serviced by vendors in the Leaders quadrant, as well as by the Niche Players, especially if you have an unusual need.

Magic Quadrant

Figure 1. Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting, Europe
Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Source: Gartner (June 2015)

Vendor Strengths and Cautions


Atos is selling its cloud services under the Canopy brand. Canopy originally was positioned as a joint venture with EMC and VMware both owning an undisclosed minority stake, but recently, Canopy was repositioned as an Atos operating company, with EMC and VMware now having transferred their stake to Atos. Customers wanting to procure any higher-level services incorporating Canopy's services typically do so via Atos, which, as a result, is by far (over 90%) the biggest consumer of Canopy services.

European Data Center Presence: France, Germany, the Netherlands, U.K.

  • In addition to a wide European footprint, Atos has a strong portfolio of data-center-managed services and expertise in system integration and consulting that enables integration of multiple delivery models (CEMH, traditional hosting, DCO/infrastructure utility services [IUS]).

  • Atos' capability in supporting multiple applications, including mission-critical applications and operating systems, allows it to offer more managed services for noncommodity enterprise applications than traditional Web-hosting providers.

  • Despite solid growth in the (substantial) Atos installed base, the market traction and brand recognition of its cloud brand Canopy has so far been lower than expected, especially outside the mentioned installed base.

  • More than other providers, Atos has separated its cloud platform offering from its managed services offerings. This leaves the task of navigating the middle ground (cloud-enabled managed hosting) that lies between Canopy's more self-service-oriented product offerings and Atos' more outsourcing-oriented managed services portfolio to Atos' sales and presales teams.


Attenda is a U.K.-based managed hosting and cloud service provider that focuses on running critical business applications. Attenda provides both colocation (through its partnership with Datum), infrastructure and application hosting through its own platform, as well as managing services on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Its approach as a business outcome service allows it to offer highly customized services based on its own methodology and product set, yet tied to client business success. The vendor offers hosting of e-business and e-commerce sites, and business applications from SAP, Oracle and Microsoft. Its customer base includes midsize and large companies that share Attenda's focus on the U.K. market, which is one of the largest in Europe.

European Data Center Presence: Germany, U.K.

  • Attenda takes a high-touch approach to managed hosting, with dedicated teams and individuals assigned to establish direct relationships with customers. This leads to customers who are generally enthusiastic about the offering, and who describe the relationship with Attenda as a partnership more than a formal contractual relationship. This is further underlined by the lowest churn rate of all the included vendors in this Magic Quadrant.

  • Apart from hosting business-critical, custom-made and Web-facing systems (such as hotel reservation and e-commerce sites), Attenda also hosts the back-end SAP systems for many of its customers, and can — in cooperation with a consulting partner — deliver a subscription-based SAP Business All-in-One offering.

  • The vendor's customized approach allows it to be very adaptable to individual business requirements, with the ability to use resources from multiple third parties for areas such as specialist applications and commoditized IaaS.

  • By offering a managed service layer on AWS, Attenda can provide a flexible hybrid model to its customers.

  • The high-touch model, although highly appreciated by customers, can prove more difficult in terms of keeping up with market growth than more productized (off-the-shelf)-type offerings.

  • Attenda's low growth rate for CEMH, in comparison to other vendors, demonstrates focus on more complex system integration than stand-alone CEMH.

  • Attenda has a presence mainly in the U.K., with its portals and support being solely in English. Wider European support is limited to a small presence in a Frankfurt data center.

  • Attenda's customized approach doesn't allow complete automation, and, thus, does not allow it to offer the discounted prices being offered by other service providers.

BT Global Services

BT Global Services — part of BT Group — is a provider of managed network, communications and IT services, with a global footprint and a continued strong focus on meeting the specific needs of vertical industries. It competes by targeting BT's existing networking, communications, security and contact center customers by offering access to its cloud services at no incremental network cost, and also targeting European multinational corporations (MNCs) with service requirements stretching beyond Europe.

European Data Center Presence: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, U.K.

  • BT's go-to-market strategy is to provide choice and connected control. It has rolled out its cloud solutions to 20 delivery locations in 18 countries on five continents now, in addition to strong connectivity to third-party data centers and cloud providers.

  • In conjunction with its vertical-solution focus (reaching beyond pure infrastructure services), the company has been expanding its automated delivery capabilities through its upgraded and enhanced Cloud Management System (CMS) 4.0 capabilities.

  • By positioning itself as a cloud service integrator for customers wanting to explore the possibilities of cloud computing, BT can leverage its corollary professional capabilities, BT Advise and BT Assure, under its "Cloud of Clouds" value proposition.

  • Customers need to understand how BT's continued transformation from a generic aspiring IaaS provider, to a more vertical-focused cloud solution provider and subsequently to a potential partner in cloud adoption and transition, matches their current plans and requirements.

  • BTs cloud management solution (CMS 4.0) offers advanced business and bundling capabilities that go beyond the platforms of most of its competitors; but it is largely built on commercial (non-open-source or in-house-developed) software, which can negatively impacts BT's ability to be price-competitive against those vendors that have far more internally developed platforms.


CenturyLink is a large global telecommunications provider operating data centers in North America, Europe and the Asia/Pacific region. The vendor offers cloud-enabled managed hosting on a VMware-based platform, and can also provide data center colocation services and traditional managed hosting. CenturyLink supports customers in English, and can provide managed services for Linux, Windows, Solaris, HP-UX and AIX OSs (although Solaris, HP-UX and AIX support exists outside of the vendor's cloud-enabled managed hosting offering).

European Data Center Presence: Germany, U.K.

  • CenturyLink has historically supported a broad range of infrastructure requirements for clients, including a wide range of support for database and middleware stacks, and application support through the vendor's acquisition of the IT outsourcing arm of Ciber in 2012.

  • CenturyLink has a clear strategy in investing in verticalization, providing a strong go-to-market proposition for sectors such as financial services and insurance, retail, media, and travel and transport.

  • CenturyLink has long had a highly comprehensive self-service portal, which covers all the products that it sells (including network services). New investment into this portal allows management of in-house public and private cloud and managed services, as well as some view of colocation through one single interface.

  • Occasionally, Gartner clients report inconsistent customer service levels for CenturyLink. CenturyLink is working to improve these service levels.

  • CenturyLink's rebranding from Savvis has caused a loss of brand equity in the European market, where CenturyLink is a relatively unknown entity among domestic audiences. Work is underway to promote the CenturyLink brand.

  • CenturyLink has a limited hosting sales presence across Europe, largely focusing on the U.K. and Germany.


Claranet is a Pan-European network and managed hosting provider with a presence in multiple countries, including the U.K., France, Germany, and the Iberia and Benelux regions. It offers colocation, hosting, network and application services to midtier companies from data centers located in the previously mentioned regions. Claranet also provides management for AWS, allowing it to offer a truly hybrid model.

European Data Center Presence: France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, U.K.

  • Claranet has introduced agile process teams to complement its ITIL teams in order to meet the increased demand for more flexible hosting of Web-based applications.

  • The vendor offers fully regionalized business units comprising sales, marketing and technical support. This is especially attractive to markets that are sensitive to local sales, data sovereignty and technical support.

  • Claranet is one of the few providers starting to offer loss-of-business clauses on top of the standard SLAs, bringing it more in line with the IT outsourcers that sit at the periphery of this market area.

  • Hosting is becoming a more important part of Claranet's overall portfolio (more than 50% of its revenue), which enables its sales force to focus more on, and have a better understanding of, the managed hosting business than some of the more network-centric providers.

  • Although one of the few European-headquartered providers with a Pan-European footprint, Claranet approaches each country differently, resulting in a nonhomogeneous solution portfolio. Coordination efforts are in place to limit this however.

  • Based on Gartner inquiry calls, Claranet lacks the brand equity of its competition due to its relative size, which will put it at more of a disadvantage the more it competes with the data center outsourcers.

  • Claranet does not offer any strong verticalization in comparison to some of the other providers, leaving its brand name weaker in certain markets.


Colt is an international network and IT service provider that provides hosting services focused on major European countries (the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands), with a presence in the U.S. and Asia. Colt is evolving its organizational structure to focus more on business lines for cloud and hosting, in order to strengthen its go-to-market and operational focus.

European Data Center Presence: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, U.K.

  • By investing in enterprise application capabilities, Colt is further deepening the range of requirements it could already address with its network, colocation, hosting and cloud services.

  • The vendor's strong Pan-European presence of both data centers and sales offices puts it ahead for customers concerned with data sovereignty in individual European countries.

  • The vendor is leveraging its infrastructure and data network investments by serving both direct (enterprise) and indirect (small or midsize business [SMB]) markets. Its reseller propositions are more comprehensive than other vendors surveyed, although its strength is currently with the traditional voice and connectivity business.

  • To further strengthen its growth in IT services, Colt has been putting significant positioning and sales enablement efforts into segments beyond its established verticals, such as financials.

  • Colt's strong emphasis on partnerships with large vendors leaves it more reliant on the technology roadmaps of those partners, in comparison with other service providers that have built a more customized and integrated platform.

  • Colt has made some progress on positioning as a managed cloud provider. However, throughout Gartner inquiries, Colt is still not seen immediately as a hosting provider, due to its brand positioning and related promotional activities. Gartner continues to receive occasional negative feedback about Colt's service quality, highlighting the challenge Colt faces of adapting to the more flexible requirements of CEMH.

  • In Gartner's experience, Colt will face a challenge in moving its traditional reseller channel away from traditional voice and connectivity services to more complex cloud and hosting services.


Fujitsu deploys services in the infrastructure equipment and services market, the data center outsourcing market and the managed hosting market; and it has a significant footprint in Western Europe, from its presence in the U.K., Germany and the Nordics. In addition to its existing Microsoft- and VMware-based platforms, the company is launching a new OpenStack-based platform and continues to position its cloud integration platform as a differentiator. Its managed service activities address both Mode 1 and Mode 2 activities of customers and are not just limited to its own technology platforms.

European Data Center Presence : Finland, U.K.

  • Fujitsu's focus on globalization (which basically means industrialization and rationalization of portfolio and service delivery) is not early, but provides a sound approach to support its cloud strategy, which increasingly will be focused on deploying OpenStack as a common platform for the creation of global homogeneous offerings.

  • Fujitsu's Cloud Integration Platform (FCIP) is evolving its proposition to support the integration of hybrid clouds into business process, a capability that is in line with Gartner's vision of cloud adoption.

  • Business is growing steadily, and momentum can be supported by Fujitsu's focus on managing hybrid IT for clients looking for offerings that support both modes of a bimodal IT strategy.

  • The company already has a competitive footprint in Northwest Europe and aims to grow in the broader EMEA region.

  • Although Fujitsu is showing significant hosting revenue growth in Europe, it currently maintains a lower global customer satisfaction percentage than its competition, a result that leaves significant room for improvement.

  • Fujitsu's reliance on third-party software products for a significant part of its management and middleware solutions can impact the company's ability to be priced competitively and to keep up with the pace of innovation of (public) cloud providers that largely create their own management and middleware software.

  • Fujitsu's cloud-enabled managed hosting offer is mainly used to support the transformation of current hosting and DCO customers in Fujitsu's key (Northern European) regions, instead of being leveraged to gain traction with new customers.


IBM is a highly diversified global technology company that operates data centers in North America, Europe, the Asia/Pacific region and Latin America. The vendor offers cloud-enabled managed hosting on VMware-based and OpenStack-based platforms, and can provide sales support in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch and Portuguese — although the platform is offered only in English and French in Europe. IBM can provide managed services for Linux, Windows and AIX OSs.

European Data Center Presence: France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, U.K.

  • IBM's Cloud Managed Services (CMS) form the platform for not only CEMH but also for IBM's DCO business and, therefore, has been comprehensively engineered and deployed throughout the world. CMS data centers are now connected on the same private network backbone as all SoftLayer data centers, providing a global-scale hosting solution for both traditional and born-in-the-cloud applications, as well as hybrid.

  • IBM's Cloud Managed Services platform is well-suited for core enterprise applications, and has a broad degree of supported platform technologies that it leverages — including x86, AIX and Power — and can utilize multiple hypervisors for optimal application performance.

  • IBM's data center and sales presence allow it to provide comprehensive coverage of the European market, which is especially useful for large non-European-domiciled multinational enterprises that require a global partner.

  • The vendor's managed cloud platform utilizes a mediated provisioning process to address integration of the automation with ITIL process demands, whereby customers can request changes using a self-service portal; however, IBM engineers must do manual sign-off on the quality assurance tests for new compute instances, leading to provisioning times that may be hours or days. Additional automation is called out in the product roadmap.

  • IBM manages the security and uptime OS-instance SLAs, which requires IBM to control change management. Customers leveraging the platform do not typically have full administrative access to operating system instances they are paying for, and if they do need elevated privileges for a period of time, the SLAs are suspended.

  • IBM is executing a roadmap to resolve its three disparate cloud platform strategies — OpenStack, SoftLayer and CMS — which will likely take time to resolve, and may slow the pace of additional feature development overall.


Interoute continues to leverage — toward its cloud and managed hosting offerings — the investments in its substantial Pan-European fiber-based network and data center services capability. Unlike most other European providers, it caters both to pure-play digital service providers and to traditional enterprises, offering a full portfolio of networking colocation, hosting and cloud services from local data centers in major European countries. The company leverages its European footprint to cater to digital service providers and startups within legal or data residency constraints.

European Data Center Presence: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, U.K.

  • For the traditional enterprise market, Interoute caters to both the Mode 1 and Mode 2 types of workloads of enterprises pursuing a bimodal IT strategy. For Mode 1 workloads, it offers a strategy of consolidation, migration and transformation that can also address not-yet-virtualized workloads.

  • Native digital service providers (and also enterprise customers getting started) are onboarded through the self-service capabilities of the Interoute CloudStore and its online sales and support capabilities (virtual data center [VDC] self-service), but can grow their service into higher levels of management services such as VDC Assist and VDC Managed.

  • Through its investments in software-defined networking (SDN), it combines the value of the fiber network connecting its data centers with its compute platforms, offering unique capabilities, such as no-cost movement of workloads and data between its international data centers (for example, to accommodate disaster recovery [DR] and failover).

  • Interoute's layered structure of product and support offerings (from fully self-service to fully managed) can complicate navigating the organization for customers getting started on their managed service or cloud journeys.

  • Although Interoute has an advanced product set that has been integrated within its network, there is a challenge to educate customers in order to satisfy compliance and security standards using this innovative approach.

  • Interoute's expansion into North America puts it into a highly competitive and advanced market, in which it could struggle to compete for local business.


KPN is the incumbent, €8 billion revenue Dutch communications service provider. Over the past few years, it has drastically realigned and consolidated its IT, data center and hosting services into a single go-to-market unit focused on its local market, aiming to make it easier for customers to do business with the historically complex and segregated organization. Hosting and cloud — together with machine-to-machine and security — are identified as strategic growth areas.

European Data Center Presence: The Netherlands

  • KPN's transition-focused approach toward the cloud is pragmatic, addressing three domains — (mobile) worker productivity, enabling digital business, and making IT more agile and simple — at three levels (user, application and infrastructure). But it depends on several parts of the 2015 roadmap (which includes private cloud options and orchestration) to be completed in order to gain the required traction and momentum.

  • The partnership with IBM SoftLayer around its IaaS standard offering (whereby IBM delivers the IaaS services from a local KPN data center and over the KPN network) can be attractive to customers torn between using a local provider and levering a global cloud offering.

  • KPN positions itself as a single trusted source (KPN One, offering an integrate buyer experience through a single bill, single contact, single sign-on, single app store, single help desk), and offers customers a single management platform (Grip).

  • KPN has hosting operations solely in the Netherlands, which limits both the attraction to customers from other European countries and its growth possibilities, as it is already one of the largest hosting and data center service players in its local national market.

  • To prevent overreliance on the IBM SoftLayer partnership, KPN must continue to invest in its in-house Microsoft- and VMware-based platforms to maintain control over its product development roadmap and to keep up with the fast-moving technical trends being observed in this market.

  • Continued internal reshuffling and reorganization potentially is a distraction for the company and could slow down the speed of product introductions further.

NTT Communications

NTT Communications is a large global telecommunications provider with data centers in North America, as well as in the Asia/Pacific region and Europe. The vendor provides cloud-enabled managed hosting on a VMware-based platform, as well as data center colocation services and traditional managed hosting. NTT Communications can support customers in 11 languages, including English, Spanish, French, Italian, German and Dutch, and can provide managed services for Linux and Windows OSs.

European Data Center Presence: Austria, Germany, Switzerland, U.K., France, Spain.

  • As a leading communications service provider in the Asia/Pacific region, NTT Communications has a proven track record of operating in the region and can be an ideal choice for European customers that will have significant infrastructure needs in Asia.

  • The integration of software-defined networking into its cloud and hosting capabilities allows customers to increase or decrease bandwidth on communications links and to change the guaranteed processing performance of firewalling on-demand via a portal user interface.

  • NTT Communications' additional lines of business — including its managed security services — enable the vendor to build broader solution sets for customers needing a more comprehensive outsourcing model than just hosting.

  • The acquisition of e-shelter will give NTT Communications a springboard into the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) market, although work will be needed to roll out cloud platforms in these data centers.

  • There has been continued investment in the cloud platforms since last year, but the underlying platforms still lag behind those of its peers in terms of technical innovation, although capability for application management services is being delivered through its Global Management One service.

  • NTT Communications has started moving toward high-level "business outcome" objectives in some strategic deals, and away from the technical SLAs typically found in hosting. Pursuing both approaches can be a challenging strategy to execute well for both types of these standard and business outcome SLAs; therefore, customers will need to conduct due diligence on the support processes to ensure there are no gaps.

  • Gartner has received occasional feedback from customers detailing inconsistent customer service experiences.


Rackspace is a large publicly traded managed hosting and cloud IaaS that operates data centers in North America, as well as in Europe (the U.K.) and the Asia/Pacific region. The vendor offers cloud-enabled managed hosting on a Xen platform based on OpenStack, and can also offer traditional managed hosting. Rackspace has sales offices in the U.K., the Netherlands and Switzerland, and can provide managed services for Linux and Windows OSs.

European Data Center Presence: U.K.

  • Rackspace has been a leader in managed hosting for many years, with many customers among the European independent software vendor community, and was very early to adopt a strategy of allowing managed services to be purchased on the same consumptive basis as Rackspace's IaaS capacity.

  • Rackspace has a deeply rooted cultural focus on providing superior, high-touch customer service. Gartner clients consistently report high levels of customer satisfaction in day-to-day operations, and customer loyalty is high.

  • Rackspace's service-level agreements are seen as the highest in the industry, with new 200% to 1,000% credit schemes putting it well above any other hosting provider.

  • The vendor's portal is well-integrated and provides customers with access to many managed services, such as backup and restore operations, data encryption, designing monitoring notification plans and more.

  • Despite being in the Leaders quadrant in this Magic Quadrant, Rackspace has not deployed infrastructure capacity outside of the U.K. Customers with data residency requirements or latency concerns in European regions farther away from the U.K. need to take this into consideration.

  • Rackspace has opted to provide managed services for Web applications such as MongoDB and Magento, rather than focus on particular verticals and their unique application, data sovereignty and compliance requirements. Although this application support is a differentiator, it will not be as pervasive as that from suppliers that have solutions for specific verticals.

  • Some other carrier providers in the Leaders quadrant are now offering SDN integration for WAN services along with their managed hosting services, putting Rackspace at a disadvantage when it comes to WAN and hosting requirements.

Sungard Availability Services

Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS) is a large IT availability and business continuity provider with data centers in in multiple locations in Northern Europe and in the U.S. The vendor offers cloud-enabled managed hosting primarily on a VMware-based platform, and can also provide data center colocation services as well as traditional managed hosting. Sungard AS can support customers in English and in additional languages via third-party partners, and can provide managed services for Linux, Windows, Solaris, HP-UX and AIX OSs (although Solaris, HP-UX and AIX support exists outside of the vendor's cloud-enabled managed hosting offering).

European Data Center Presence: France, Ireland, U.K.

  • Sungard AS has a well-established track record in helping customers address complex disaster recovery and business continuity needs across a wide spectrum of technology platforms. It offers a Recover2Cloud (R2C) solution backed by a portfolio of Recovery-As-A-Service capabilities, with SLA-backed recovery time objective and recovery point objective metrics.

  • Sungard has refined its ability to leverage its cloud platform to migrate existing Availability Services customers toward production hosting, also for more complex and critical application scenarios.

  • Sungard AS is a strong choice for organizations with complex IT availability and recovery needs, as evidenced by its leadership position in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Disaster Recovery as a Service.

  • Sensing customer demand for hyperscale IaaS platforms like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure, Sungard AS intends to expand its managed and recovery services to those platforms in the near future.

  • Sungard AS's managed cloud platform has more mediated (that is, requiring human intervention) needs for the provisioning of instances than most CEMH vendors, resulting in higher service provisioning times.

  • After launching a CloudStack-based IaaS offering in 2014, the company has decided to change directions and will be moving toward OpenStack instead. This may present stability/migration challenges for customers, and will consume engineering time that could otherwise have been put to new capability development above the infrastructure layer.

  • The vendor has been improving its customer service levels in recent years, but customer satisfaction is still somewhat inconsistent, and pricing is considered higher than average in comparison with competitors in the European market.

  • Sungard AS's European presence is limited to Northern Europe, with no support for Germany, Europe's second largest market for hosting. This puts the vendor at a disadvantage compared with other Pan-European hosting providers.


Telefonica, the telecom conglomerate with headquarters in Spain, has been increasingly focusing on its Spanish-speaking home market and on opportunities in Latin America. While in the process of divesting its O2 activities in the U.K., Telefonica continues to invest and expand Telefonica Germany. During this transition, it has focused more on capturing the business and enterprise opportunity at home, for example, by achieving 34% growth in the sale of digital services.

European Data Center Presence: Spain

  • Besides managed hosting, the company offers a wide portfolio of services, including virtual data center, disaster recovery, specific offers for SMBs (based on Acens, a Telefónica company) and desktop as a service (DaaS; a virtual desktop solutions). It has launched integrated SMB offers that span both IT and communications services.

  • During 2014, it launched new services in areas such as platform as a service (PaaS), and evolved its SAP and Oracle services to higher levels of automation and resilience. In addition, it is planning to expand its management layer capabilities to manage hybrid environments, spanning customer on-premises and hyperscale cloud provider infrastructure services.

  • With its Unica architecture, in a limited commercial launch phase, the company pursues economies of scope by sharing infrastructure to service SMBs, enterprises, and internal IT and operational technology (OT; networking) workloads from a single pool of capacity.

  • While the long-term direction is sound, the fact that several of Telefonica's current platforms reached end of life and that the company is transitioning to its new Unica platform may hinder Telefonica's ability to grow in the highly aggressive and competitive European market.

  • Although growing successfully in Latin America, the company is struggling to expand — or is even receding — its geographic footprint across Europe, which makes it a less attractive option for European customers outside its home market.

  • Despite the integrated and automated foundation that the new Unica architecture potentially can offer, the current operation still depends on customers raising change requests that are subsequently processed by Telefonica staff on top of the automated platform.


Verizon is a large global telecommunications service provider that operates data centers across Europe, the Asia/Pacific region and the Americas. The vendor offers cloud-enabled managed hosting on a VMware-based platform, and can also provide data center colocation services and traditional managed hosting. Verizon can support customers in English, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese (although not all languages are available for all services), and can provide managed services for Linux, Windows and Solaris OSs.

European Data Center Presence: The Netherlands, U.K.

  • Verizon has recently completed a significant platform overhaul with the launch of Verizon Cloud, offering a cohesive view of layered granular managed services and SLA priorities across differing "cloud spaces" within the infrastructure environment.

  • Verizon's additional lines of business — namely, its telecommunications business, managed security services and enterprise application outsourcing — allow the vendor to build comprehensive solution sets for customers looking for a more complete outsourcing model than just hosting.

  • Verizon's Enterprise Cloud Managed Edition offers customers the ability to provision dedicated physical servers as well as virtual servers, with billing available in daily increments.

  • Despite providing managed hosting for some large customers in European and other industries, the vendor continues to focus more on being a networking player than a hosting or managed services provider.

  • Given that the Verizon Cloud platform is very new overall, customers should consider proceeding carefully with large Web-scale workloads until the platform has proven itself over time.


Vodafone is a global telecom company providing a wide range of mobile, managed voice, data, hosting and IP-based network services and applications. Its data centers are currently based in the U.K., Ireland, Spain, Germany, Turkey, New Zealand and Africa. With Vodafone's share of the approximately $130 billion Verizon Wireless sale, plans are in place to expand services globally and into mainland Europe.

European Data Center Presence: Germany, Ireland, Spain, Turkey, U.K.

  • Vodafone's approach of offering both mobile and fixed-line connectivity, colocation, CEMH and cloud services is being further enhanced with hybrid management platforms for the hosting and cloud elements.

  • Current investment and control of the network to underpin cloud solutions will allow Vodafone deeper control on executing its roadmap, and also to evaluate the potential of bringing to market services created with major public clouds.

  • The focus of Vodafone's geographical business units is moving more toward CEMH, providing the drive for more resources and investment in this area.

  • Vodafone's provision of mobile managed services, such as fraud detection, alongside its hosting capability offers a clear differentiator from most other CEMH vendors.

  • Vodafone's main revenue comes from mobility and fixed-line communication. Although the hosting service sits in its own business unit, the potential remains for Vodafone to lose its focus on managed hosting in order to concentrate investment and strategic focus on the higher-revenue business units, as has been seen with other acquisitions of communications companies.

  • Although good progress has been made in growing the capabilities outside of the U.K., with the introduction of the German DC operation, there is still a modest Pan-European footprint in comparison to the leaders in this area. Work is underway to roll out to other geographies this year.

  • Vodafone's general enterprise sales force has relatively little experience selling managed hosting to the enterprise customer, and has undergone sales training in the past year, but will likely require further comprehensive support.

Vendors Added and Dropped

We review and adjust our inclusion criteria for Magic Quadrants and MarketScopes as markets change. As a result of these adjustments, the mix of vendors in any Magic Quadrant or MarketScope may change over time. A vendor's appearance in a Magic Quadrant or MarketScope one year and not the next does not necessarily indicate that we have changed our opinion of that vendor. It may be a reflection of a change in the market and, therefore, changed evaluation criteria, or of a change of focus by that vendor.


  • KPN

  • Atos


  • AT&T — This year, AT&T has not been able to demonstrate sufficient revenue in CEMH to allow it to be included.

  • Easynet — This year, Easynet has not been able to demonstrate sufficient revenue in CEMH to allow it to be included.

  • SFR — This year, SFR has not been able to demonstrate sufficient revenue in CEMH to allow it to be included.

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria

The inclusion criteria are used to determine which vendors will be covered in this research. Included vendors must meet the following criteria:

  • The provider must sell cloud-enabled managed hosting as a stand-alone service, with no requirements to bundle it with application development, application maintenance, or other IT outsourcing and/or data center outsourcing.

  • The provider's qualifying offering must allow customers direct or mediated self-service for OS instance provisioning on a CESI platform, with usage-based billing and resource-metering increments, as well as OS management services that are co-terminus with the underlying compute resources.

  • The service evaluated must be enterprise-class, offering 24/7 customer support (including phone support), and must all have infrastructure availability SLAs.

  • The provider must have a geographic footprint within Western Europe with enterprise-class data centers suitable for large-scale managed hosting.

  • The provider must be positively positioned in the cloud-enabled managed hosting market based on Gartner-estimated market share.

Products and Services Excluded From This Evaluation

This Magic Quadrant is for cloud-enabled managed hosting only. That means the following adjacent services are explicitly excluded from evaluation:

  • Colocation: Although many cloud-enabled managed hosting providers also offer colocation, the quality of colocation offerings is not evaluated in this Magic Quadrant. This Magic Quadrant should not be used to select colocation vendors.

  • Self-managed cloud IaaS: Many businesses want a self-provisioned, self-managed dynamically provisioned infrastructure; they want to take advantage of the cost-efficiencies of a provider's scale and automation tools, but do not want to relinquish control. If your interest is primarily in self-managed cloud infrastructure, see "Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide."

  • DCO and remote infrastructure management (RIM): Although many DCO providers may manage the infrastructure for Web applications as part of a DCO contract, this Magic Quadrant evaluates only managed hosting that is sold as a stand-alone service within provider-owned data center facilities. It explicitly excludes hosting that may be part of a more general DCO or RIM contract. DCO providers are covered by "Magic Quadrant for Data Center Outsourcing and Infrastructure Utility Services, North America," "Magic Quadrant for Data Center Outsourcing and Infrastructure Utility Services, Europe," and "Magic Quadrant for Data Center Outsourcing and Infrastructure Utility Services, Asia/Pacific."

  • Application management services: While some managed hosting providers may have some expertise in understanding how best to run the infrastructure underlying specific applications, we consider managed hosting services to stop below the application layer. Application layer services are part of the application management market; see "Magic Quadrant for Oracle Application Management Service Providers, Worldwide" and "Magic Quadrant for SAP Application Management Service Providers, Worldwide."

  • Cloud management platforms: Cloud-building hardware and software — software such as BMC Cloud Lifecycle Management, Citrix CloudPlatform and OpenStack, and integrated solutions such as HP CloudSystem Matrix — are not evaluated in this Magic Quadrant, which is restricted solely to services. Instead, see "Cloud Management Platform Vendor Landscape."

Vendors Considered, but Not Included

For this Magic Quadrant, we evaluated a significant number of managed hosting providers operating within Europe, but were unable to include them all. Some did not qualify for this Magic Quadrant on the basis of their market shares in Europe or because they failed to meet other inclusion criteria.

The following providers were considered, but excluded:

  • UKFast, a U.K.-centered hosting provider offering IaaS, managed hosting and colocation services

  • HP, a global service provider that offers CEMH and IaaS services based on an OpenStack platform

  • Adapt, a U.K.-centered hosting company that has grown through acquisition

There are thousands of service providers around the world that offer managed hosting services of some type, and hundreds that focus primarily on this market or derive a significant amount of revenue from it. Many small providers can provide an excellent level of service, so do not let a lack of inclusion in this Magic Quadrant deter you from evaluating these providers, because we do not consider service quality when determining inclusion. Insufficient revenue and geographic presence alone could disqualify otherwise excellent providers.

Evaluation Criteria

Ability to Execute

The most heavily weighted criteria for a managed hosting provider's Ability to Execute are its service offerings and service excellence, as reflected in customers' experiences with sales, support and operations. Overall business viability, as reflected in the provider's ability to serve a customer successfully over a three-year period without significant disruption, and the provider's track record, also contribute to this rating. Here, Gartner emphasizes immediate capabilities for the use cases we see most often.

Table 1.   Ability to Execute Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation Criteria


Product or Service


Overall Viability


Sales Execution/Pricing


Market Responsiveness/Record


Marketing Execution


Customer Experience




Source: Gartner (June 2015)

Completeness of Vision

The market for managed hosting is evolving rapidly, so it is vital that service providers have a vision for the future needs of customers and for how they will adapt their offerings to meet those needs. The full context of a provider's vision is important, as cloud computing continues to alter the market dramatically. We also evaluate a provider's approach to growing its business, including its strategy for marketing and sales, international expansion, and vertically focused market solutions.

Table 2.   Completeness of Vision Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation Criteria


Market Understanding


Marketing Strategy


Sales Strategy


Offering (Product) Strategy


Business Model


Vertical/Industry Strategy




Geographic Strategy


Source: Gartner (June 2015)

Quadrant Descriptions


Leaders have proved they have staying power in this market, can frequently innovate on their existing products and can be relied on for enterprise-class needs. They have proved their technical competence and ability to deliver services to a wide range of customers. They address multiple use cases with stand-alone or integrated solutions.

New managed hosting customers should sign two-year contracts with these companies, whereas larger enterprise application hosting customers should aim for longer contracts of three to five years. Satisfied customers renewing a contract with one of these firms should sign a three-year deal. Cloud IaaS customers should buy these services on demand when the pricing structure makes sense to do so, or in contracts lasting one year or less.


Challengers have a track record of delivering good service capabilities but are trailing the market's evolution. They are typically companies that have solid traditional managed hosting services, but have not exploited technology and market demand to build cloud services.

New managed hosting customers should sign two-year contracts with these companies, whereas larger enterprise application hosting customers should aim for longer contracts of three to five years. Satisfied customers renewing a contract with one of these firms should sign a three-year deal. Cloud IaaS customers should buy these services on demand when the pricing structure makes sense to do so, or in contracts lasting one year or less; they should exercise caution as these vendors are likely still proving their cloud services.


Visionaries have an innovative and disruptive approach to the market, but their services may be new and unproven, and they frequently have limited service portfolios. Visionaries have an "early mover" advantage in providing cloud services, as well as roadmaps that may turn them into Leaders in the future.

Because the business of Visionaries can change radically in a short period, we recommend that customers buy these services from them on demand, or in contracts lasting one year or less.

Niche Players

Niche Players are typically specialists with more focused product portfolios, or are emerging vendors. They may serve one use case particularly well — better than a more generalized vendor.

New and renewing customers of stable, narrowly focused Niche Players should sign two- or three-year contracts. New and renewing customers of emerging Niche Players with businesses that are still rapidly evolving should buy services on demand, or in contracts lasting one year or less. If you are using managed services, be wary of making short-term, tactical choices, as it can be inconvenient and expensive to change providers.


Despite being in the media shadow of cloud computing, managed hosting is still an appropriate solution for many organizations that want to outsource infrastructure and routine IT operations tasks. Cloud is beginning to alter the traditional managed hosting market, and is creating a new category of service — cloud-enabled managed hosting.

Market Overview

Cloud-enabled managed hosting represents the evolution of the traditional managed hosting market, as the influences of cloud IaaS begins to alter buyer behaviors and expectations. As the hosting market shifts from the use of hardware dedicated to each customer sold on multiyear contracts to the use of an underlying CESI, customers are starting to bring cloudlike expectations to managed service offerings.

All Infrastructure Requires Management

The term "managed services" has traditionally referred to services that are performed by humans, although those capabilities may have been augmented to some degree by automation. Within the managed hosting market, these services have typically encompassed functions such as:

  • Infrastructure monitoring, alerting and incident response

  • Management of server OS instances and (optionally) software at the middleware and persistence layer, if in use — such as Web server software, application servers and database servers

  • Applying hardware and software patches supplied by vendors, in order to maintain systems in a preferred operational state

  • Management of storage services, including data backup and restore operations

  • Management of any network devices in use, such as firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems, load balancers and WAN optimizers

These services, coupled with dedicated computing hardware sold on multiyear service contracts, have defined the managed hosting market for over 15 years.

During the past seven years, the cloud IaaS market has substantively altered the market for outsourced computing capabilities by automating the traditional infrastructure provisioning process and providing customers with self-service interfaces. Computing capacity can be brought online in minutes in an IaaS environment; whereas in traditional managed hosting, provisioning infrastructure is often a process that can take days or even weeks.

Cloud-enabled managed hosting lives between these two markets, with automated provisioning systems that can quickly provide computing capacity to customers — typically within 24 hours, but with the best systems having near-real-time provisioning. However, while infrastructure provisioning has benefited from years of automation capabilities developed for the IaaS market, the automation of managed services has traditionally lagged behind. On average, cloud-enabled managed hosting represents around 10% of traditional hosting revenue, although this figure can be higher in more-innovative organizations and is growing at an exponential rate.

The evolution of cloud-enabled managed hosting will see the same transformation for managed services that cloud IaaS saw for the provisioning of computing resources. Over time, providers will begin to automate their processes to quickly provision managed service capabilities for customers, and will allow them to subscribe to those services in much shorter intervals — perhaps an hour or a month, but ultimately no longer than the term commitment for the underlying computing resources. Self-service user interfaces for all managed services supplied by a provider will be exposed in unified portals, and utilized by both providers and customers cooperatively in managing an application environment.

Through careful integration of agile automated services with structured operational processes and strong technical staffing, successful service providers will be able to amplify their abilities to manage customer environments via technology, rather than the traditional approaches of scaling through staffing or via leveraging offshore resources.

The Vendor Landscape Is Emergent

The market for cloud-enabled managed hosting is still in its early stages. While many participants in the market have refined their service delivery processes in the traditional managed hosting market over many years, much of this work still takes place behind the scenes with — in some cases — nothing more than a service ticket request system or a phone call as the lone interface for all of a customer's managed service needs. This year has seen more providers bring a hybrid service offering management of colocation, CEMH and both in-house and third-party IaaS services.

The European market is still behind the U.S. in terms of revenue split for CEMH against traditional dedicated server hosting, although the market is catching up based on Gartner inquiry and observed revenue splits from vendors in this survey. The marketplace is also observing continued merger and acquisition activity in the national provider level, with the potential for new vendors to fulfill revenue inclusion criteria in 2016.


  • Gartner client inquiries in 2014 and 2015 (currently more than 1,000 cloud IaaS and hosting-related inquiries per quarter)

  • Service provider interviews and product demonstrations in 2014 and 2015

  • Surveys of cloud-enabled managed hosting providers in 2014 and 2015

  • Customer references from cloud-enabled managed hosting providers in 2014 and 2015

  • Hands-on trials of cloud-enabled managed hosting offerings in 2014 and 2015

  • Public information from sources such as U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings, press releases, vendor websites and community support forums.

Evaluation Criteria Definitions

Ability to Execute

Product/Service: Core goods and services offered by the vendor for the defined market. This includes current product/service capabilities, quality, feature sets, skills and so on, whether offered natively or through OEM agreements/partnerships as defined in the market definition and detailed in the subcriteria.

Overall Viability: Viability includes an assessment of the overall organization's financial health, the financial and practical success of the business unit, and the likelihood that the individual business unit will continue investing in the product, will continue offering the product and will advance the state of the art within the organization's portfolio of products.

Sales Execution/Pricing: The vendor's capabilities in all presales activities and the structure that supports them. This includes deal management, pricing and negotiation, presales support, and the overall effectiveness of the sales channel.

Market Responsiveness/Record: Ability to respond, change direction, be flexible and achieve competitive success as opportunities develop, competitors act, customer needs evolve and market dynamics change. This criterion also considers the vendor's history of responsiveness.

Marketing Execution: The clarity, quality, creativity and efficacy of programs designed to deliver the organization's message to influence the market, promote the brand and business, increase awareness of the products, and establish a positive identification with the product/brand and organization in the minds of buyers. This "mind share" can be driven by a combination of publicity, promotional initiatives, thought leadership, word of mouth and sales activities.

Customer Experience: Relationships, products and services/programs that enable clients to be successful with the products evaluated. Specifically, this includes the ways customers receive technical support or account support. This can also include ancillary tools, customer support programs (and the quality thereof), availability of user groups, service-level agreements and so on.

Operations: The ability of the organization to meet its goals and commitments. Factors include the quality of the organizational structure, including skills, experiences, programs, systems and other vehicles that enable the organization to operate effectively and efficiently on an ongoing basis.

Completeness of Vision

Market Understanding: Ability of the vendor to understand buyers' wants and needs and to translate those into products and services. Vendors that show the highest degree of vision listen to and understand buyers' wants and needs, and can shape or enhance those with their added vision.

Marketing Strategy: A clear, differentiated set of messages consistently communicated throughout the organization and externalized through the website, advertising, customer programs and positioning statements.

Sales Strategy: The strategy for selling products that uses the appropriate network of direct and indirect sales, marketing, service, and communication affiliates that extend the scope and depth of market reach, skills, expertise, technologies, services and the customer base.

Offering (Product) Strategy: The vendor's approach to product development and delivery that emphasizes differentiation, functionality, methodology and feature sets as they map to current and future requirements.

Business Model: The soundness and logic of the vendor's underlying business proposition.

Vertical/Industry Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of individual market segments, including vertical markets.

Innovation: Direct, related, complementary and synergistic layouts of resources, expertise or capital for investment, consolidation, defensive or pre-emptive purposes.

Geographic Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of geographies outside the "home" or native geography, either directly or through partners, channels and subsidiaries as appropriate for that geography and market.