Brian Adler is director of enterprise architecture at RightScale. He has more than 20 years of technology experience in the aerospace, defense, automotive, messaging, and SaaS industries. For the past seven years, Adler has helped RightScale enterprise customers design and build scalable and resilient cloud solutions spanning a wide array of industries and use cases.

Back in the olden days (early 2007), there was one player in IaaS: Amazon Web Services (AWS). And AWS had one instance family, the M1. It was good. But as tech years move faster than dog years, the landscape has changed quickly and dramatically. There are new players — notably Azure, Google, and IBM SoftLayer — and new offerings. Even when you consider only the compute offerings of the IaaS providers, the options are vast and varied. Granted, compute is at the core of what these providers offer, and as such they look to differentiate those items. The result has been an explosion in the number of options in the compute realm of IaaS.

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