GigaOm Key Criteria for Evaluating Full-Stack Edge Deployment Solutionsv1.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision-Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Full-Stack Edge Deployment Sector Brief
  3. Decision Criteria Analysis
  4. Analyst’s Outlook
  5. About Andrew Green

1. Executive Summary

Full-stack edge deployments are cloud-managed and cloud-connected software-defined hyperconverged solutions that provide all the tools for running applications at customers’ preferred locations for local data collection and processing.

These solutions bring a cloud-like experience to edge or on-premises locations, enabling customers to run applications locally, and collect, process, and analyze data there. This scenario can support latency-sensitive use cases for real-time application, operate in air-gapped scenarios, and minimize cloud data transfers, resulting in lower costs and simpler cloud architectures.

These solutions operate on top of converged infrastructure, which packages compute, storage, and networking into a single appliance. Such appliances can be deployed in remote industrial locations, such as retail stores where IT support is limited, or even in on-premises data centers. Because the solutions operate on top of converged infrastructure, customers do not need to invest in architecting the infrastructure stack, such as by defining network connectivity between different elements, or by dealing with heterogeneous appliances and their proprietary management consoles.

To further support this reliance on converged infrastructure, full-stack edge deployments aim to deliver plug-and-play solutions, enabling appliances to be fully provisioned on being plugged in and connected to the internet. The solution can then download a set of configuration files and prepackaged images containing services and development environments.

To support a cloud-like experience, full-stack edge deployments enable administrators to provision resources and services such as compute instances (virtual machines or VMs, containers), storage services (data lakes, object storage), networking constructs (routers, NAT), and security (firewalls, antiviruses).

With the infrastructure component of the IT stack in place these solutions can also deliver services such as load balancers, databases, managed Kubernetes, and even a collection of AI models.

Further, these solutions can integrate with public cloud providers to send and receive data from cloud environments, logically group applications running on the full-stack edge deployment with public cloud applications and services, orchestrate public cloud services from the same management console, and set up backup and disaster recovery to cloud-based services.

Multiple deployments can be clustered and managed together so that geographically distributed systems can have configurations pushed to them simultaneously and consistent applications and policies can be defined across all deployments.

Business Imperative
These solutions tackle the challenges not addressed with traditional on-premises IT hardware-software stacks or with cloud environments. By bringing the developer-friendly centralized management way of the cloud to edge devices, organizations can benefit from a streamlined deployment and management experience. Large and geographically distributed environments are set to benefit the most from centralizing and automating applications that run at the edge.

Sector Adoption Score
To help executives and decision-makers assess the potential impact and value of a full-stack edge deployment solution to the business, this GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a structured assessment of the sector across five factors: benefit, maturity, urgency, impact, and effort. By scoring each factor based on how strongly it compels or deters adoption of a full-stack edge deployment solution, we provide an overall Sector Adoption Score (Figure 1) of 3.6 out of 5, with 5 indicating the strongest possible recommendation to adopt. This indicates that a full-stack edge deployment solution is a credible candidate for deployment and worthy of thoughtful consideration.

The factors contributing to the Sector Adoption Score for full-stack edge deployment are explained in more detail in the Sector Brief section that follows.

Key Criteria for Evaluating Full-Stack Edge Deployment Solutions

Sector Adoption Score







Figure 1. Sector Adoption Score for Full-Stack Edge Deployment

This is the first year that GigaOm has reported on the full-stack edge deployment space in the context of our Key Criteria and Radar reports. This GigaOm Key Criteria report highlights the capabilities (table stakes, key features, and emerging features) and nonfunctional requirements (business criteria) for selecting an effective full-stack edge deployment solution. The companion GigaOm Radar report identifies vendors and products that excel in those decision criteria. Together, these reports provide an overview of the market, identify leading full-stack edge deployment offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these solutions so they can make a more informed investment decision.


The GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a detailed decision framework for IT and executive leadership assessing enterprise technologies. Each report defines relevant functional and nonfunctional aspects of solutions in a sector. The Key Criteria report informs the GigaOm Radar report, which provides a forward-looking assessment of vendor solutions in the sector.

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