Hoffman likes his chances of going up against the gorillas of the industry. "If someone really wants to take on AWS," which Hoffman clearly states he wants to do, "you have be multi-region, multi-AZ from the get-go." If a provider takes a pure-hardware approach, it says it would cost a half billion dollars to set it up. "We're in a space where, as a private company, we're partnering with a top-three chip maker [Intel], we have our own technology stack end-to-end and we've raised hundreds of millions of dollars." The company announced its latest $85 million funding round in January.
Gartner says it will be an uphill climb for Joyent, though, especially when it's competing with companies that have much greater resources they can devote to R&D. "Joyent is focused on developing its own technology, which creates long-term challenges in competing against providers with greater development resources," Gartner says. If Joyent remains a niche provider, Reese believes it has a chance to carve out a chunk of the market and serve it well. It's an open question if a company like Joyent can scale up to the size of some of the major cloud providers in the market, though.