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100 Players in the Cloud Computing Ecosystem
In periods of economic uncertainty IT managers turn to look at what other options might enable them to continue to meet end-user and business demands for IT services. What new cloud technologies and techniques are coming over the horizon? Which vendors are driving the most Enterprise-relevant innovation? SYS-CON’s Cloud Computing Journal here expands its list of most active players in the fast-emerging Cloud Ecosystem.
Whether what you need is to achieve higher scale at lower costs than possible before, or to eliminate data center capital in favor of a “pay-as-you-go” model, Cloud Computing has a great deal to offer. Cloud computing is an opportunity for business to implement low cost, low power and high efficiency systems to deliver scalable infrastructure. It increases capacity and expands computing capabilities without heavy investment in infrastructure, training or software licensing.
3Tera – Offering what it calls “Cloud Computing Without Compromise,” 3Tera enables the provision and deployment of “scalable clustered applications in minutes from anywhere in the world.” The company currently has partners and is running in datacenters in seven countries (United States, Japan, Singapore, Argentina, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Serbia) on four continents (North America, South America, Asia, and Europe), with additional resources in South America and Australia soon to be available as well.
Agathon Group – A dedicated grid environment that allows charitable and non-profit campaigns to scale on demand.
Amazon – When Amazon introduced its virtual computing environment, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud or EC2, “to enable you to increase or decrease capacity within minutes, not hours or days,” it singlehandedly brought Cloud Computing to the very forefront of public awareness by using Web services to provide what it called resizable compute capacity in the cloud.” EC2 runs within Amazon’s proven network infrastructure and datacenters and allows customers to pay only for what they use (there is no minimum fee).
Appirio – Offers services and products to accelerate the adoption of on-demand solutions, and recently secured $5.6 million of financing in a Series B round led by Sequoia Capital.
Appistry – As a company that positions itself boldly “At the convergence of Grid Computing, Virtualization and SOA” Appistry offers a grid-based application platform that makes it very easy to scale-out CPU- and data-intensive applications across a virtualized grid of commodity servers. Unlike traditional grid products based on legacy scheduler technology, the company’s robust “fabric” architecture has no single point of failure and “is well suited for extreme transaction processing (XTP), software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud computing, and other data- and CPU-intensive applications.”
Apprenda – The true power of software-based computing was realized when software developers could stop focusing on interfacing directly with hardware, and instead focus on the ingenuity of their software, say the founders of Apprenda – the company behind SaaSGrid, an operating system for building and deploying Software as a Service applications, and a platform for conducting Software as a Service business.
Aptana – Aptana has recently beta-released Aptana Cloud, which it says “is architected to complement Cloud infrastructure providers like Amazon, Google, Joyent and others.” Targeted at rapid development, in particular web applications that need to scale rapidly (think Facebook applications etc.), Aptana cloud plugs into the Aptana IDE.
Arjuna – Describing its Agility offering as an “on-ramp to the Cloud [that] allows the IT department to begin to experiment with cloud computing in a gradual, incremental way, without any need for disruption to existing service,” Arjuna is positioned to help IT towards a world in which internal IT infrastructure can over time be increasingly subsumed into the cloud.
AT&T – AT&T broke into the cloud business in August 2008 with the global launch of what it calls AT&T Synaptic Hosting – described as “a next-generation utility computing service with managed networking, security and storage for businesses.”
Bluewolf – A leading provider of on-demand software deployment services, Bluewolf offers remote database management and recently announced its “Arcade” cloud storage offering that allows users to economically store a virtually unlimited number of files of all sizes through the Salesforce interface.
Cassatt – As early as 2004 Cassatt, led by visionary CEO Bill Coleman (the ‘B’ in BEA Systems), was outlining a roadmap to deliver on the promise of automating IT operations for on-demand computing. Currently its angle, Cloud Computing-wise, is to focus not on public or external clouds but on ‘Internal Clouds’ since external cloud computing but may be ruled out due to lack of SLA control, security, and compliance, whereas Cassatt contends there is an alternative: an internal Utility Computing architecture yielding the same simplicity and economies-of-scale as an external PaaS cloud. Definitely a company to watch.
Cisco – By virtue of its recent acquisitions, most significantly WebEx and PostPath, Cisco is firmly on its way to joining the Cloud Crowd. “We are believers in the cloud-based delivery model for certain types of services in particular inter-company collaboration services, and that is why we got WebEx and now PostPath,” Charles Carmel, Cisco’s vice president of corporate development, told Red Herring in August 2008.
Cloud9 Analytics – Offers what is calls “the industry’s first truly on-demand analytics platform” – the brainchild of CTO Scott Weiner, who views the Cloud as the ultimate data warehouse in the sky.
Cloudera – Recently co-founded by former Googler Christophe Bisciglia and others, Cloudera help its customers install, configure and run Hadoop for large-scale data processing and analysis.
Cloudscale – Cloudscale’s unique patent-pending cloud dataflow technology “automatically provides the parallelism and scalability required to handle anything from one-off personal analytics agents up to the most demanding live analytics applications required by the world’s leading organizations in business, web, science and government.”
Cloudworks – The goal of Cloudworks is to allow small and mid-market companies to outsource all of their computers, software, and data. Completely web-based, it works like Salesforce or Hotmail – a company’s employees can log in through a web browser to access their desktop, server, software, files, email…everything.
CohesiveFT – As the provider of what it calls ‘Elastic Server On-Demand’ – aimed at “enabling customers to build and manage applications for virtualized infrastructure and cloud computing,” CohesiveFT’s Elastic Server Platform allows users to assemble and deploy servers to Cloud Computing Platforms “in minutes.” The company likes to think of Elastic Server as a Great Enabler, “allowing you to package your apps for prime time, and do it all by yourself.”
Cordys – The Process Factory by Cordys is a simple, reliable and secure solution for anyone to create MashApps business processes from the Cloud – simply by mixing and matching standard business applications such as Google apps and commercially available services. MashApps can be made in minutes, without any coding. This tool has the capability to do for cloud application development environments what Visual Basic did for Windows – fast, easy, and efficient to develop and deploy bespoke applications.
Dataline – Provides cloud computing advice and expertise to the larger FSIs (i.e. Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, etc) and bundles commercial cloud computing offerings in a way that meets Federal customer requirements. Although not a product vendor, the role this company fills as a mid-level Federal System Integrator is crucial to the adoption of these technologies by the public sector.
Desktoptwo – This “Cloud desktop” offering from Sun Global Partner Sapotek describes itself as “your home in the cloud” and already claims to have users in 120 countries and a vibrant community.
Elastic Drive – see Enomaly
Elastra – Styling itself as a provider of “Elastic Computing,” Elastra offers to “design, deploy & manage database and application infrastructure in the Cloud in minutes – all with the click of a button.” Dedicated to providing companies building applications with a way to radically innovate the way they develop their products and deliver them on IT infrastructure, Elastra’s aim is to help a company “unlock the value of cloud computing by using virtualized hardware environments with cloud-provisioned database and infrastructure software that are easily configurable and do not require scripting, respond elastically to changing load and are delivered in the cloud with meter-based pricing.”
EMC – When creating a Cloud Computing division within the company in February 2008, EMC CEO Joe Tucci delared that 85 percent of data will be managed in what he called “big, safe information repositories in the Internet ’sky,’ so to speak. We’re [talking] cloud computing…”
Engine Yard – As a company dedicated to “furthering innovation in Ruby, Rails and cloud computing,” Engine Yard offers Rails-focused 24/7 operations support on top of great infrastructure to companies in search of a smooth path from 100 users to 100,000 users. In July 2008 the company closed $15 million of Series B financing led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), which included participation from Amazon.com.
ENKI – The company aim is “to allow you to focus on delivering your application to your customers while we handle the operations side: providing computing as a reliable service.”
Enomaly – see Enomalism
Enomalism – Founded in November 2005 by Enomaly Inc, Enomalism – a so-called “Elastic Computing” platform – focuses on “solving the cost and complexity for enterprises that run large technical server infrastructures.” Enomalism’s flavor of cloud computing simplifies IT management as well as increases efficiencies of system resources. “IT administrators no longer need to install software and manually set up all the systems, but may instead use management software do this. Resources are used more efficiently because computers can be consolidated to achieve more tasks. This ensures that underutilized systems do not sit idle.”
eVapt – Claims to enable “usage based monetization (instant SaaS metering) for SaaS and Cloud Computing vendors.”
FlexiScale – The brainchild of CEO Tony Lucas, FlexiScale is a flexible, scalable, automated hosting platform (“Cloud Computing On-Demand”).
CIO, CTO & Developer Resources
Force.com – see Salesforce.com
GigaSpaces – Founded in 2000, with offices in the US, Europe and Asia, GigaSpaces allows businesses and developers “to predictably scale on-line systems under any peak demand, guarantee real-time performance under any data processing load and seamlessly leverage the economies of scale offered by virtual computing environments such as clouds and grids.”
GoGrid/ServPath – Launched in 2006 as ServePath’s latest growth opportunity, GoGrid, claims the company, “delivers true ‘Control in the Cloud’ by combining many of the familiar features of dedicated server or managed hosting with the flexibility and scalability of cloud server hosting.” In other words, with GoGrid customers can grow production servers in real time to meet demand without affecting their uptime. Provisioning and de-provisioning of servers is all done via the Internet.
Google – Without a doubt ‘the elephant in the cloud’ – According to this well-researched article, Google filed as long ago as February 2006 a provisional patent application with 91 different numbered claims that arguably makes it clear that Google has a multi-year lead in cloud computing.
Hadoop – See Apache Hadoop
Heroku – According to the San Francisco-based company’s founders, “Heroku means never thinking about hosting or servers again.” In May 2008 they raised a $3 million round of funding for their online deployment system for Ruby on Rails apps. Heroku is a Y Combinator start-up.
Hyperic – Founded in 2004, Hyperic provides complete, easy-to-use monitoring and management software for all types of web applications, including hosting it in the cloud via its CloudStatus dashboard currently in beta.
IBM – IBM approaches cloud computing “from the inside out” as it describes it. This means that Big Blue’s focus is on building the most secure, efficient and resilient infrastructure for today’s organizations, and building the cloud experience as part of that infrastructure. With more than a dozen Blue Cloud Computing Centers worldwide, IBM provides cloud services, ready for use, designed to assist organizations in proving a cloud experience for their constituents. In addition, IBM is the premier company to help build an organization’s private cloud, or leverage any of the many IT services that are today provided by IBM through cloud computing, like Capacity on Demand, or the IBM Information Protection Services.
Interoute – Europe’s largest and most advanced fibre optic network, the Interoute platform operates as effectively Europe’s largest privately owned cloud.
Joyent – The Joyent platform, which “enables teams to effectively communicate and collaborate with email, calendaring, contacts, file sharing, and other shared applications,” already serves billions of Web pages every month and helped LinkedIn scale to 1 billion page views per month. Self-described as an “On-Demand Computing” provider, Joyent has developed, built and scaled some of the earliest Ruby on Rails applications – and as a result, developed a world-class infrastructure, a methodology around how to deploy and scale (both up and down) Rails applications.
Kaavo – provides a platform for managing distributed applications in the clouds. Kaavo’s core product, Infrastructure and Middleware on Demand (IMOD), “makes it easier for individuals and businesses to implement on-demand infrastructure and middleware and run secure and scalable web services and applications.”
Keynote Systems – Long a player in the SaaS space, Keynote recently announced the opening of its cloud infrastructure and is offering any Web team concerned with their end users’ experience free access to KITE (Keynote Internet Testing Environment), its product for testing and analyzing the performance of Web applications across the Internet cloud. With a Web application’s performance depending on a variety of clouds’ infrastructures, ad servers and other third party content, potential pitfalls grow exponentially and Keynote contends understandably that “it’s more important than ever for Internet companies to test and measure applications to ensure a superior end user experience.” With KITE, companies have free access to Keynote’s cloud infrastructure and a tool to test and monitor their applications from cities all over the world, helping mitigate performance issues.
Layered Technologies – Offers virtualization and cloud computing systems.
LongJump – The Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution that LongJump offers is described by the company as “an on-demand platform for creating and delivering business applications to manage data, streamline collaborative processes and provide actionable analysis.” The company claims that the LongJump platform has “extensive features around security access, data analysis and visualization, and process automation – all on the web.”
Meeza – Qatar-based, Meeza is currently the only Cloud Services Provider within Middle East North Africa region.
Microsoft – According to this recent article – “Microsoft’s Cloud Vision is Coming Together” – Redmond’s Cloud Platform vision is coming together. “Look for more information at PDC2008!” writes Microsoft Developer & Platform Evangelist John C. Stame.
Nirvanix – Provider of an enterprise cloud offering that offers companies with more than 5TBs of data a highly scalable storage and delivery platform, Nirvanix has already raised more than $18 million in funding from world-class investors including Intel Capital. The company’s customers include Fortune 50, media and entertainment and innovative Web 2.0 customers.
OpenNebula – OpenNebula is a widely used open-source tool for the efficient, dynamic and scalable management of VMs within datacenters (private clouds) involving a large amount of virtual and physical servers. It supports Xen, KVM and on-demand access to Amazon EC2. The tool is being used as core component in several cloud projects, such as RESERVOIR.
OpSource – Delivers a complete Web operations solution for software as a service and web companies.
Parallels – Founded in 1999, Parallels optimizes computing by providing virtualization and automation software to businesses and service providers across all major hardware, operating systems, and virtualization platforms. Parallels is working closely with a network of ISVs and service providers to enable them to build their cloud computing and software-as-a-service offerings, meeting the needs of end-user organizations of all size. Parallels technology is also used by large enterprises creating their own in-house clouds.
ParaScale – “Cloud storage” involves clustering tens to hundreds of servers together to act as one giant file repository with massive capacity and parallel throughput for a variety of applications. ParaScale’s software “enables the enterprise or service provider to build enormous storage pools on commodity hardware at an affordable cost.”
Platform Computing – Founded in 1992, Platform is a pioneer and global leader in HPC (high-performance computing) and takes the view that there is an intersection between grid computing and cloud computing in that both cloud and grid propose an architecture that masks the complexity of managing thousands of commodity servers from their users.
Quantivo – Claims to be “revolutionizing the Business Intelligence (BI) world by combining Cloud Computing with an innovative and patented ‘Affinity Analytics’ technology.” Company recently won the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal’s prestigious Emerging Technology Award in the Cloud Computing category.
SalesForce.com – has a toolkit for cloud computing development, Force.com.
RightScale – The company’s main offering is an automated cloud computing management system that helps companies create scalable web applications running on Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). Through its platform and consulting services it “enables companies to create scalable web solutions running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) that are reliable, easy to manage, and cost less.”
rPath – Founded in 2005, rPath is pioneering an approach for application distribution and management known as “virtual appliances” – which in turn are a key enabler of cloud computing. “Virtual appliances eliminate the hassles of the general purpose operating system and free vendors and customers to focus on application value instead of technology management,” says the company. Virtual appliances eliminate the time consuming task of installing, configuring and maintaining complex application environments.
ServePath/GoGrid – Launched in 2006 as ServePath’s latest growth opportunity, GoGrid, claims the company, “delivers true ‘Control in the Cloud’ by combining many of the familiar features of dedicated server or managed hosting with the flexibility and scalability of cloud server hosting.” In other words, with GoGrid customers can grow production servers in real time to meet demand without affecting their uptime. Provisioning and de-provisioning of servers is all done via the Internet.
SIMtone – Durham, NC based SIMtone has developed and commercialized a ‘Universal Cloud Computing Platform’ that allows network operators and businesses “to host, manage and quickly provision any cloud-hosted services, and ubiquitously deliver them to zero-touch terminals that can be standalone, low cost hardware appliances, or software terminals usable via browsers or on PCs, thin clients and mobile devices.”
Skytap – Seattle-based Skytap’s goal is “to make serving up virtual machines over the internet as ubiquitous as delivering HTML to a browser.” Its initial product offering, Skytap Virtual Lab, is a hosted, on-demand service for virtual lab automation and management.
SLA@SOI – SLA@SOI’s vision is “to create a business-ready service-oriented infrastructure that will empower the service economy in a flexible and dependable way.”
SmugMug – Founded 5 years ago, SmuMug calls itself “the ultimate in photosharing” since it offers unlimited storage and stores backup copies of each photo in multiple datacenters. With more than 315,000 paying customers already, and 288,000,000 photos, SmugMug is a QED of cloud computing.
SOASTA – No one who heard SOASTA speak at AJAXWorld in 2007 about best practices in AJAX testing will be surprised to hear that Web testing is also at the heart of its CloudTest offering, a Cloud-based testing solution “built on the cloud to enable application testing in the cloud.”
Sun – In July 2008, David Douglas was named Senior Vice President of Network.com, Sun’s offering based on the Sun Grid project. Douglas is now the head of Sun’s overall cloud computing initiative and his group now reports directly to Sun’s CEO Jonathan Schwartz. “”We continue to see huge potential in the cloud space,” commented Douglas as the news of his appointment was announced.
Terremark – Offering ‘Enterprise Cloud’ services that “let you control a resource pool of processing, storage and networking and allow you to deploy server capacity on demand,” Terremark as years of experience managing complex, mission critical infrastructures and applications for leading companies around the world.
The GridLayer – see Layered Technologies
VMware – A virtualization leader and pioneer, VMware has effectively delivered the technology that makes today’s clouds possible. With the pervasive presence of VMware in many accounts, enterprises are leveraging their virtualization infrastructure to build internal clouds, and leverage technology like VMotion to flex resources for DR or test and development to external clouds, as needed. Its vCloud initiative, says the company, “offers users of all sizes this robust and reliable platform, support for any application on or off site, and choice from over 100 service providers worldwide who deliver the cloud on VMware.”
Zuora – With its “Powering the Business Cloud” slogan, Zuora has planted its flag firmly atop the Cloud Billing mountain. The company describes its Z-Commerce Platform as “the first commerce platform for cloud developers.