Gartner Research

Decision Point for Selecting Virtualized Compute: VMs, Containers or Serverless

Published: 29 May 2019

ID: G00385503

Analyst(s): Tony Iams


Containers and serverless computing enable applications to be virtualized using more cloud-native approaches than before. This Decision Point helps I&O technical professionals select a virtualized compute method that will provide the most agile infrastructure for a particular application.

Table Of Contents

Decision Point Question

Decision Overview

Decision Tool

  • Decision Flow 1: Application Deployment Scenario
  • Decision Flow 2: Select Virtualized Compute Method for New Application
  • Decision Flow 3: Select VM Method
  • Decision Flow 4: Select Container Hosting Method

Principles, Requirements and Constraints

  • Principles
    • Optimizing Infrastructure for Cloud-Native Architecture
    • Operational Goals
  • Requirements and Constraints
    • Application Architecture
    • Deployment Infrastructure
    • ISV Support
    • Persistence Requirements


  • VMs
  • Containers
  • Serverless

Future Developments

  • Deploying fPaaS on Premises
  • Serverless Containers
  • Container-VM Convergence

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