When we heard the news that Gartner had positioned Internap in the Niche Quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for Cloud Enabled Managed Hosting, we all came out of our cubes and offices and did a collective air high five to mark the achievement. The first-time selection was reason enough to celebrate, but we also take pride in our niche positioning. Gartner points out that Niche Players are typically specialists with more focused product portfolios and that “they may serve one use case particularly well — better than a more generalized vendor.”
17th Century English Economist William Petty famously noted that Dutch shipbuilders could build vessels faster and at half the price by assigning teams to perform specialized tasks. Rather than having workers build an entire ship and then move on to the next one, groups of technicians performed the same function across several in-process ships. This specialization led to more opportunities for observation, faster learning and increased innovation.
In the same way, Internap specializes by delivering high-performance capabilities to companies that have performance-sensitive workloads. Specifically, we provide unique hybridization and networking features that improve application responsiveness and reduce cost.
Gartner recognizes some of these capabilities in their note:
CrowdStar, a mobile gaming company with an elegant game called Covet Fashion, is a perfect example of an Internap customer with an application that requires both powerful infrastructure (highly consistent networking, disk I/O and processing power) combined with rapid, programmatic scalability. CrowdStar’s previous provider offered a wide range of services, but it lacked the ability to address the scalability and horsepower needs of Covet Fashion and CrowdStar’s other data-intensive games. Distil Networks, Taptica and Scanline VFX are other examples of customers that benefit from Internap’s performance specialization.
So, you can see why we’ve chosen not to offer certain services (like managing email applications or SharePoint sites). We provide infrastructure and infrastructure management for high-performance applications. That’s it. Selection to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is based on a provider’s ability to execute and their completeness of vision. As with the Dutch shipbuilders, sharp focus can bring a measurable extent of both.