The era of cloud computing is dawning amid great fanfare, supported by mountains of cash and reams of hype.
Whether this change is positive is debatable – very real concerns plague cloud computing – but the tech industry has decided: the cloud is king.
Just as the hulking mainframes of the 1960s were replaced by client server systems in the 1980s, the in-house datacenter is now shifting toward an externally-based model.
Vendors of every size are maneuvering, targeting this new market. They know their future rests on their ability to grab a piece of this emerging paradigm before it’s fully established.
Far more than the general public realizes, this once-in-a-generation shift is radically altering the technology business.
In the process it’s also altering everything from healthcare to education to retail. Even the U.S. government, never an early adopter, just unveiled plans to start offering cloud computing services to federal agencies.
But wait. What Exactly Is Cloud Computing?
In the gold rush, many general IT vendors are becoming cloud computing vendors – or at least touting their products as such.
In the same way that the lowly pretzel, once merely a salty snack, is now “low cholesterol,” these days every new app is Specially Designed for the Cloud.
At times, it seems all tech vendors are cloud computing vendors.
In the hubbub, the term cloud computing is an ever expanding buzzword. There are private clouds and public clouds and hybrid clouds.
Some people use “cloud” as a synonym for virtualization – while others clearly disagree with this use. So who’s right?
In lieu of an ultimate authority, let’s use research firm Gartner’s definition. It’s a good one:
“…a style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service to external customers using Internet technologies.”
Translated into human-speak: We’ll access our software over the Web, instead of on our hard drive.
Your software might sit on a server in New York or New Delhi or New Haven, Connecticut.
Or – hang on to your jetpack – maybe that app combines services from apps that reside in New York and New Delhi, with an add-on from a New Haven provider. Beam me up, Scotty.
Forget for a moment how complicated this all is. The fantabulous level of mind-bogglingly sophisticated infrastructure support.
The monitoring, the firewall issues, the rent vs. buy debates, the many snafus of remote software.
Instead, think about how the cloud upsets the status quo. In years past, only deep-pocketed companies had muscular datacenters.
This offered huge competitive advantages. Now a fledgling start-up or an entrepreneur with an idea can rent one as needed. The cloud levels the playing field remarkably.
This is precisely what cloud pioneer Amazon EC2 offers, renting hefty server power to small-fry outfits (and some not so small-fry).
Just as the Internet enables any 12-year-old to appear grown up, a rented cloud-based infrastructure gives any dreamer with a few dollars a Fortune 500-style datacenter.
Big boys, be afraid. And SMBs, rejoice.
cloud computing spend, cloud computing vendors
Worldwide cloud computing spend by type, 2012 forecast (source: IDC)
This doesn’t mean the little guys will run the cloud show.
Not even kind of. Cloud Computing’s Big Five – IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, Salesforce and Google – each has an hyper-aggressive eye on the prize.
Microsoft, with its Azure cloud initiative, is quietly investing massively in leviathan datacenters across the country to host its cloud offering (imagine, a software firm pouring big bucks into physical machinery).
IBM’s cloud push benefits greatly from the company’s global stance and deep focus on services.
Google’s cloud strategy is supremely well positioned, with a well-tuned international server network and its Web-based Chrome OS.
Some industry wags deride Amazon as the utility cloud provider whose offering isn’t differentiated enough, yet it keeps growing.
Plucky, self-promoting Salesforce – with its Force.com cloud platform – is perennial acquisition bait, with the leading rumored suitors Google and Oracle (why not EMC – they snapped up VMware?)
Cloud Vendor Backlash Due Any Quarter (the Dirty Secret)
Despite the hype, the cloud is earning plenty of Bronx cheers. A report in April from McKinsey & Company set off a firestorm among the chattering classes.
Titled Clearing the Air on Cloud Computing, it opined that while the cloud is good for SMBs, large companies are better served keeping operations in-house.
The cloud, which McKinsey – gasp! – called over-hyped, could actually be more expensive for big firms.
Particularly when you factor in lost tax deductions for in-house equipment depreciation.
Plenty of cloud computing vendors attacked the report. Some said it neglected the pace of cloud innovation.
Others noted that competition would push down prices. But the volume of debate revealed that its criticism surely hit a nerve.
Yet questions over the cloud’s financial advantages are only part of its challenge.
Clearly, cloud computing has a dirty little secret the vendors don’t talk about much: security.
As security guru Bruce Schneier notes, with the cloud “You have to trust your outsourcer completely.”
When a company works with an external cloud vendor, that external firm, too, often relies on outsourced support.
A cloud vendor may itself be outsourcing some (or a lot) of its own operations. Which means you, the unsuspecting cloud client, may be relying on an entire pyramid of vendors, whose alliances and sense of fair play (or lack thereof) can shift by the nanosecond.
Consequently, the idea of ”cloud computing security” is something of an oxymoron.
One of these months you’ll read headlines about a big fat disaster. Cloud provider A goes down, which – whoops – brings down cloud providers B, C, and D.
Data is lost, customers flee. But surprise: management at companies C and D had never heard of company A – until its implosion means they can’t update client records for ten days.
Still, the bad news won’t kill the cloud. We can’t ever go back to enclosed datacenters. The cloud is simply easier, faster and more flexible.
We hear about big plane crashes and keep flying, and we’ll learn about massive data disasters and keep using the cloud.
You can pine for the good old days when everything sat on your friendly local server, but that era is rapidly passing away.
Cloud Computing Winners And Losers
Among the losers: Anyone who’s tied to a particular operating system. Future humans will look back and chuckle about the OS flame wars, the squabbles over Windows, Linux and Mac.
When everything is delivered over the Net as a service, the platform OS ceases to matter. As long as the software can, say, crunch numbers or track inventory, it can be any OS.
Oh sure, the first generation of cloud vendors will still make noises about the OS. Customers will reflexively gravitate to familiar platforms.
But long term, an employee accessing a remote service only cares about how well it works, not who made it.
Another loser: in-house IT support staff. When a big chunk of the IT infrastructure resides out-of-house, that tribe of uber-techies, the server room folks who’ve never liked the suits, won’t be needed. Or less of them will be needed.
In theory the exiled IT staff will find work among the growing crop of third party cloud providers.
But the problem is that remote datacenters will get ever more efficient and virtualization technology will allow fewer and fewer staffers to run them.
(The staffers’ best hope is that the coming cloud world will be so horribly complicated – and it will be – that they’ll still be very needed.
In fact they may be needed more than ever. However, the cloud will turn the IT talent competition into even more of a global marketplace than it is now.
It you’re not able to go head to head with pros from India, Malaysia and Poland, you better go teach science at the local high school.)
Perhaps the biggest winner: security providers. The last few years have seen the rise of the IT security pro, with hackers getting smarter and networks more complex.
And the cloud’s crazy spaghetti patch of connections, with spigots everywhere, is a hacker’s heaven.
The resulting confusion will turn security folks into the new royalty. Mothers, tell your babies to get IT security training. They’ll be employed for life.
The other winner: compliance experts. Who’s responsible for your data when it resides remotely?
Who’s reviewing all the thick contracts with a fine-tooth comb to ensure your data is properly monitored? (or that there’s someone to sue if it isn’t?) Bring on the lawyers and the regulators.
On a brighter note, probably the cloud’s biggest winner – at least in its infancy – will be entrepreneurs and vendors.
Freed from the enclosed confines of the in-house data center, cloud computing offers a blooming garden of open opportunities.
Everything is being reshaped, from network architecture to application delivery. The entrenched vendors can’t control every profit opportunity. There’s room for plenty of interlopers.
Which brings us to our list of 85 cloud vendors. Each is getting in early, when vast swaths of clients have yet to even consider the cloud, much less pick a vendor.
Yet many won’t survive. The emerging cloud is too complicated, with too many turns in the road before it’s established.
Particularly for the small, under-funded firms, navigating so much rapid change (and greater client demands) will be too much.
Be aware that this list of cloud computing vendors:
• Isn’t necessarily the “greatest” or the “top” cloud companies. Indeed, some are giants and some are start-ups without a single client. But as a cohort they provide a real-time snapshot of an important emerging trend.
• Although this list is numbered 1 through 85, the numbers are merely a helpful guide. Having a low or high number is not indicative of any ranking.
Cloud Computing Vendors
1) Amazon Web Services
Leading cloud pioneer Amazon offers several different in-the-cloud services.
The best known is Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, or Amazon EC2, which allows customers to set up and access virtual servers via a simple Web interface.
Fees are assessed hourly based on the number and size of virtual machines you have ($.10 -$.80 per hour), with an additional fee for data transfer.
EC2 is designed to work in conjunction with Amazon’s other cloud services, which include Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Simple DB, Cloudfront, Simple Queue Service (SQS), and Elastic MapReduce.
Notable: The Amazon Web Services list of partners is high profile, including the likes of Citrix, Facebook, IBM, Oracle, Red Hat, and others.
Yes, they own search – and are working on owning the cloud. With Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, and Picasa in its lineup, Google offers some of the best known cloud computing services available.
They also offer some lesser known cloud services targeted primarily at enterprises, such as Google Sites, Google Gadgets, Google Video, and most notably, the Google Apps Engine.
The Apps Engine allows developers to write applications to run on Google’s servers while accessing data that resides in the Google cloud as well as data that resides behind the corporate firewall.
While it has been criticized for limited programming language support, the Apps Engine debuted Java and Ajax support in April, which may make it more appealing to developers.
Notable: Google recently revealed its philosophy of cloud computing in this Enterprise Blog post written by senior project manager Rajen Sheth: “As companies weigh private data centers vs. scalable clouds, they should ask a simple question: can I find the same economics, ease of maintenance, and pace of innovation that is inherent in the cloud?”
Although it was somewhat late to the cloud computing party, IBM launched its “Smart Business” lineup of cloud-based products and services in June.
For now, the company is focusing on two key areas: software development and testing, and virtual desktops.
But the company makes it clear that the cloud model has much wider-reaching implications, noting that “cloud computing represents a true paradigm shift in the way IT and IT-enabled services are delivered and consumed by businesses.”
The company has also made noises about partnering with Google – the two companies would be a potent duo in the cloud sector.
Notable: A big part of IBM’s advantage in the cloud is the remarkable reach of its international presence.
Early customers of IBM’s cloud computing offerings include South Africa’s Nedbank and China’s Sinochem.
It’s a critical question facing the tech industry: Can Microsoft, the king of the traditional world of packaged software, leverage its hulking muscle to grab a similar position in the cloud world?
The answer is unclear but Microsoft is certainly trying. The software giant’s ambitious Azure initiative has a solution for every Microsoft constituency, from ISVs to Web developers to enterprise clients to consumers.
Formally unveiled in 2008, Azure is still very much a work in progress. If it succeeds as Microsoft hopes, in future years we’ll be talking about “Windows Azure,” a cloud-based OS that offers remote computing power, storage and management services.
To make the dream come true, Microsoft is investing a king’s fortune in a network of $500 million, 500,000-square-feet datacenters around the country.
The facilities will presumably form the physical backbone of the cloud network. If all goes according to plan, Microsoft will not only control the software but also the physical infrastructure that delivers that software.
In other words, the company is attempting to be even bigger than it is now. (No one ever accused Redmond of being modest.)
Perhaps the company’s ace in the hole: it understands enterprise management – a critical building block – more than its top competitors.
Notable: In a March 2009 interview with the New York Times, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer jumped up and drew a diagram on a white board of the company’s cloud computing plans.
It’s a squiggly, complicated drawing, leading the reporter to ask if the plan wasn’t overly complex.
Not at all, Ballmer explained, detailing how current flagship Windows Server will be replaced by Windows Azure.
In a quote that suggests that Microsoft is very attuned to the cloud trend, he told the Times: ““Anything that has been a server needs to be a service.”
More than 59,000 companies use Salesforce.com’s Sales Cloud and Service Cloud solutions for customer relationship management, which has helped make it one of the most well-known and most successful cloud computing companies.
In addition, through Force.com, it allows developers to use the Salesforce.com platform to develop their own applications.
Users can also purchase access to the Force.com cloud infrastructure to deploy their applications.
Notable: In its 10-year history, Salesforce.com has amassed an amazing lineup of awards. Its impressive client roster includes Dell, Dow Jones Newswires, Kaiser Permanente, and SunTrust Banks.
Perhaps more impressive: even in the recession the company reported stellar financial results.
Although Oracle chief Larry Ellison hasn’t always been a big supporter of the cloud model – and yes, that’s an understatement – Oracle’s cloud offerings are substantial.
The company’s cloud portfolio includes a number of SaaS solutions which fall into three broad categories: CRM On Demand, Beehive On Demand (secure collaboration), and Sourcing on Demand.
For developers, they offer Oracle Platform for SaaS. And they’ve also partnered with Amazon Web Services to allow companies to deploy or backup Oracle Database and other products through EC2.
In addition, thanks to its recent acquisition, Oracle also adds Sun Microsystems’ cloud offerings to its portfolio. That’s some serious heft.
Notable: In fiscal 2009, Oracle reported $779 million in revenue from its On Demand applications. That’s an increase of 12 percent from 2008’s $694 million.
Plus: Here’s an excellent video of Lew Tucker, CTO of cloud computing at Sun, explaining why future cloud apps won’t need humans.
7) EMC And VMware
Tech titan EMC and subsidiary VMware (of which EMC owns approximately 90%) have a broad portfolio of cloud-related offerings.
EMC’s storage portfolio has been extended for cloud computing, while VMware is leveraging its virtualization expertise to get a foothold in the cloud space.
VMware’s Virtual Appliance Marketplace gives customers access to approximately 1,000 applications that can be deployed as virtual appliances.
EMC’s Atmos, released late in 2008, is designed to be “massively scalable and globally distributed,” but it operates as a single storage entity for cloud computing.
One of cloud computing’s main obstacles is data movement. By using metadata and data policies, Atmos streamlines the delivery of petabytes of information.
VMware’s expertise is with private clouds at the moment, but its Cloud OS is an ambitious attempt to capture the broader cloud market the way Microsoft dominated the PC market through Windows.
According to VMware, its cloud operating system is “specifically designed to holistically manage large collections of infrastructure – CPUs, storage, networking – as a seamless, flexible and dynamic operating environment.”
VMware argues that Cloud OS will manage the complexity of the next-generation data center, public or private, much the way a traditional computing OS manages an individual machine.
Notable: As leaders of both the storage and virtual server markets, the EMC-VMware team could well dominate the early stages of cloud computing.
Even with a slew of formidable competitors, most of who complain about VMware’s closed environment, this is a tandem that competitors must fear.
Additionally, VMware has announced partnerships with several vCloud Service Providers who provide on-demand computing capacity. They include Hosting.com, iTricity, and Terremark.
A tech heavyweight, HP’s cloud-related offerings include a number of “foundational technologies,” such as HP Adaptive Infrastructure, ProLiant SL Extreme Scale-Out servers and the HP Service Delivery Platform.
Additionally, HP offers cloud-related services, including consulting services, HP Utility Computing services, and the company also delivers its Adaptive Infrastructure as a service.
The above are all in line with traditional HP offerings. What’s interesting from a cloud perspective, and what is being overlooked by other vendors, is governance.
HP’s SOA management and governance service helps organizations enforce policy, automate application lifecycles, automate recordkeeping and manage contracts.
Meanwhile, HP is leveraging its SaaS capabilities to offer the Cloud Assure service.
HP Cloud Assure helps organizations assess and validate cloud security, performance and application availability.
Notable: At the end of July, HP entered into an agreement with Intel and Yahoo to create a “global, multi-data-center, open-source test bed for the advancement of cloud computing research and education.”
A major player in the tech world, SAP entered the cloud computing fray with the purchase of Coghead’s assets.
Coghead had been in the PaaS space. It had developed a web-based, enterprise-class visual software editor to help customers launch cloud-based applications.
Coghead shut its doors in February, and SAP promptly swooped in and picked over the carcass.
At the Interop conference in May, CTO Dr. Vishal Sikka’s keynote address gave some hints about SAP’s cloud strategy.
As Sikka sees it there are three near-term opportunities that SAP can (or already is) cashing in on.
Sikka indicated that SAP will tailor its existing software to capitalize on “business network service clouds,” such as iTunes (already powered by the SAP Business Suite); cloud-based services in the SaaS mold, such as on-demand SFA or PSA applications; and mission-critical enterprise applications, such as any number of on-demand infrastructure offerings.
Even while discussing cloud computing’s many benefits, SAP sounds pretty cautious.
They’re not as skeptical as Oracle was only a few months ago – a skepticism that immediately disappeared with the Sun acquisition – and much of that skepticism probably comes from the fact that its effort to sell a SaaS-type offering, Business ByDesign, has been universally regarded as a failure.
Notable: That said, as SAP faces increasing competition from Microsoft and Oracle expect it to start being more aggressive about cloud computing soon.
Since Dell is a computer maker that has never focused on software or networking, you might think it’s a stretch to call it a cloud vendor.
But Dell very much disagrees. First, it (unsuccessfully) attempted to patent the term cloud computing (which is kind of funny, almost like trying to patent the term datacenter).
More successfully, the company launched DCS – Data Center Solutions – to target an audience of businesses that need help configuring a cloud-based datacenter.
DCS handles everything from optimization to project management to global consulting. Who says Dell is just a hardware firm?
Referring to DCS, Dell CEO Michael Dell toldBusinessweek in 2008 that, “We created a whole new business just to build custom products for those customers.
Now it’s a several-hundred-million-dollar business, and it will be a billion-dollar business in a couple of years—it’s on a tear.”
Notable Dell has made a number of acquisitions to build out the software side of its cloud offering, including Everdream (desktop management software), Silverback Technologies (remote monitoring) and Message One (email management).
The goal, it appears: provide one-stop shopping for businesses that want to build an automated datacenter running commodity boxes, all optimized for the cloud. That is likely a lucrative strategy.
Recently, Novell has announced several cloud-related ventures. In July, they demonstrated the Novell Cloud Security Service at the Burton Group Catalyst Conference.
And in June, they announced the release of Moblin, a new open-source operating system designed to make it easier to use cloud computing from the desktop.
Other cloud-related projects include the SUSE Appliance Program and the recently acquired PlateSpin Workload Management Solutions.
Notable: Justin Steinman, Novell’s VP of solution and product marketing, says that Novell’s role is to be “an arms vendor to the cloud.”
In other words, they plan to provide software that makes it easier for companies to use the cloud.
Known for accelerating Web content, Akamai intends to do the same for cloud-hosted applications.
This past spring, Akamai inked a deal with OpSource to integrate Akamai content delivery tools with OpSource’s cloud service.
One of the key roadblocks with cloud computing is availability. This deal intends to make application delivery a building block of cloud-based applications.
Akamai has entered into other cloud-related partnerships with Citrix and Fujitsu.
Notable: Despite the recession, Akamai is still doing fairly well. The company just released its Q2 2009 earnings report, showing revenues of $204.6 million and a net income of $36 million, a 5% increase over Q2 2008.
However, this number does represent a 3% dip from Q1 2009 in terms of both revenue and net income.
Rollbase encourages its customers to “Roll your own”—er, that is, to use Rollbase software to create custom Web apps quickly.
Or you can use one of their pre-built apps (for CRM, employee management, bug tracking, etc.) for just $49 per user per month.
The Rollbase platform includes Google Apps integration, allowing customers to create applications that seamlessly interact with Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Docs.
Notable: The team behind Rollbase previously developed Recruitforce, a SaaS talent recruiting solution that was purchased by Taleo and became Taleo Business Edition.
Appirio bills itself as a provider of “both products and professional services that help enterprises accelerate their adoption of the cloud.”
The company’s strategy is to focus on existing platforms, such as Google Apps, Amazon Web Services and Salesforce CRM, and provide tools and services that help customers leverage those platforms.
These engagements, the company believes, will serve as a springboard to broader adoption of its cloud offerings.
Appirio has more than 2,500 customers, including Avago, Hamilton Beach, Japan Post Network, Pfizer and Qualcomm.
Notable: Founded in 2006, Appirio is backed by $16.7 million in VC funding from Sequoia Capital and GGV Capital.
Designed for Salesforce.com users the Cloud9 Dynamic Pipeline Management Suite provides more detailed data and reports on sales activities with the goal of improving overall sales performance.
It calls the technology “the industry’s first truly on-demand analytics platform” and claims to “deliver value in just 24 hours and require zero installation, zero maintenance and zero IT support.”
Notable: Cloud9 announced in June that it had received a second round of funding from InterWest Partners and Leapfrog Ventures. It currently boasts a diverse roster of more than 50 customers, including Fandango, Ryder, and Siemens AG.
16) 3Leaf Systems
A key building block in cloud computing entails assembling cheap commodity hardware into a muscular and multi-dimensional datacenter.
The start-up 3Leaf develops virtualization solutions that (when it comes to market) will turn a room full of low cost boxes into a CPU pool that can service the enterprise datacenter.
Given that heavyweights like VMware and Microsoft already lay claim to this sector, 3Leaf will likely need to distinguish itself with low price to gain a foothold.
But the many customers needing virtualization solutions in the years ahead suggests there’s room for more offerings.
However, that won’t happen too soon: a 3Leaf representative tells me the company has “Partners but no customers at this time.”
Notable: 3Leaf has attracted an impressive a $35 million in venture funding from Enterprise Partners, Alloy Ventures, Intel Capital, Storm Ventures, and LSI Logic Corporation. CEO B.V. Jagadeesh was a VP at major virtualization player Citrix. Among its technology partners, 3Leaf lists IBM, HP and Red Hat.
AppNexus’s value proposition zeroes in on instant gratification. According to the company, building and managing infrastructure has historically been an expensive, difficult process that can take months to complete.
AppNexus claims that its offering accelerates the process, allowing customers to reserve servers, launch applications and load balance them in as little as 30 minutes using a self-service interface.
The company was co-founded by Brian O’Kelley (CEO) and Mike Nolet (CTO), both of whom came from Right Media, an online ad exchange that was acquired by Yahoo for $680 million in 2007.
Notable: AppNexus has raised an $8 million Series B round of funding from Venrock and Kodiak Venture partners, in addition to an undisclosed amount of initial funding from Khosla Ventures, First Round Capital, Grape Arbor, and individual investors.
18) Platform Computing
Platform Computing provides computer infrastructure sharing software that helps organizations create clusters, grids, or clouds.
While it has been offering HPC (high-performance computing) solutions aimed at enabling clusters and grids for several years, the company’s primary cloud solution is still in beta.
Just announced in June, Platform ISF claims to be “the first end-to-end cloud management product for enterprises to build and run their private clouds” and will be generally available this fall.
Notable: Notable customers who have used Platform Computing products for cloud computing include Harvard Medical School and Singapore-based cloud infrastructure provider Alatum.
AT&T; launched its Synaptic Hosting service last August. As part of AT&T;’s $3 billion global network investment, Synaptic Hosting was rolled out to provide a utility computing service combined with enterprise-class managed networking, security and storage.
AT&T;’s cloud technology came from its acquisition of USinternetworking (USi). AT&T; is using USi technology as the foundation for its five “super IDCs” (Internet Data Centers) in the United States, Europe and Asia, each of which serves as a regional gateway to the AT&T; network cloud.
Notable: The super IDCs are designed to support large-scale computing and on-demand applications via virtualized servers.
In May, the company released an additional service, Synaptic Storage as a Service, a storage-on-demand offering. AT&T; is using storage products from EMC for the platform, and both companies have agreed to jointly develop and market the service.
Caspio is another provider of “do-it-yourself” tools for cloud computing. Caspio focuses on databases, providing an on-demand database platform that helps users create and deploy interactive web applications.
The company claims that its Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) powers over 70% of major US newspaper sites, Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, universities, non-profits, and thousands of smaller businesses.
Caspio’s most direct competitor, Coghead, closed its doors in February. (Its assets were acquired by SAP.) Since then, Caspio has launched an aggressive effort to snatch up Coghead’s former customers.
Quality Behavioral Outcomes, a Hawaii-based health agency, used Caspio’s flagship service, Caspio Bridge, to migrate several Web applications within a week.
Notable: Caspio was founded in 2000 by CEO Frank Zamani, who co-founded Autoweb and led it to its IPO in 1999.
Like several other established companies who’ve waded into the cloud space, CA did so through an acquisition, in this case the private cloud startup Cassatt.
CA purchased the bulk of Cassatt’s IP and absorbed the majority of its employees in June.
CA had already been beefing up its virtualization portfolio and repurposing its management offerings to handle cloud computing.
Now, though, the company owns pure-play cloud technology (Cassatt’s data center performance optimization technology) and has a team with a cloud background to lead the charge.
Notable: According to Ajei Gopal, EVP of the Products and Technology Group at CA, the acquisition strengthens CA’s ability to deliver “on the promise of Lean IT for our customers.”
Cassatt had been focusing on internal clouds. As the technology is integrated into CA’s portfolio, expect it to expand beyond private data centers soon.
Cisco has a long history of entering new spaces via acquisition, and cloud computing is no exception. After acquiring WebEx and PostPath, Cisco has built out a “cloud-based collaboration platform.”
Cisco is initially focusing on private clouds, rather than going head to head with public cloud vendors, such as Amazon and Google.
According to CTO Padmasree Warrior, Cisco’s early roadmap is centered around they call the Inter-Cloud, “a future state in which federation will occur and CIOs will be able to dynamically and securely move large workloads from one service provider’s cloud to another.”
Warrior says that Cisco believes there are four layers in the value chain for cloud computing, and Cisco is operating in three of them.
The top layer is SaaS; the second is PaaS, followed by an infrastructure-as-service layer (currently dominated by Amazon Web Services and the only layer that Cisco doesn’t plan to compete in – at least for now).
The final layer is Cisco’s bread and butter: the datacenter technologies and hardware that enable cloud networks.
Notable: For more on Cisco’s cloud vision, refer to our related story: Cisco’s Cloud Strategy: “We’re Not Amazon.”
23) Red Hat
Red Hat has been bulking up its virtualization portfolio for some time, highlighted by the acquisition of Qumranet in 2008.
Predictably, like a forced move in chess, this led to a cloud computing effort, Cloud computing with Red Hat, a software project still in beta.
Powered by Amazon Web Services, Cloud Computing with Red Hat “provides everything needed to develop and host applications: compute capacity, bandwidth, storage, and . . . [an] open source operating system platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux.”
Notable: Red Hat also launched a cloud provider certification program in June. This may appear to be just a marketing move, but with every company that can pronounce the word “cloud” rushing into the space, it’s not a bad idea.
Moreover, the first company to sign up was Amazon Web Services, which delivers instant credibility to the program.
Zoho.com competes head to head with Google Apps and Microsoft. To date, Zoho.com has launched 19 different applications, including CRM, email, word processing, BI and web conferencing applications.
Zoho Cloud SQL allows developers to interact with business data stored across various applications, in house or in the cloud, via SQL. Zoho Creator is PaaS software that helps users create online database applications.
In December, Zoho.com integrated Zoho Creator with Google App Engine, which according to the company “effectively makes Zoho Creator an integrated development environment (IDE) for Google App Engine that lets users deploy their applications on third-party cloud platforms.”
Interesting way to compete with a rival.
In April, the firm released Zoho Mobile, which extends Zoho applications to mobile devices, including iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile and Symbian.
Notable: Zoho.com is a division of ZOHO Corporation (formerly AdventNet). ZOHO Corp. has three separate business units: Zoho.com, of course; ManageEngine, which provides IT management tools; and WebNMS, which focuses on OEMs in the network and telecom space. ZOHO Corp. claims more than 40,000 customers worldwide.
While most of the major players in cloud computing are located in the US, a few Middle Eastern companies are also getting into the game.
Arabic for “Advantage,” Meeza is an IT management and services company located in Qatar.
In addition to its consulting and IT management offerings, Meeza offers clients the ability to run applications in the cloud at Meeza’s state-of-the-art data center in the Qatar Science and Technology Park.
Notable: At its launch party in November 2008, Meeza announced that it had signed an agreement worth QR125 million (about $34 million USD) to provide infrastructure services for Vodafone Qatar.
One of the most important enabling technologies for cloud computing, virtualization, is a Citrix strength.
After acquiring XenSource for $500 million in October 2007, the company is arguably one of the top two or three virtualization vendors.
(For more on Citrix virtualization roadmap, refer to “Is Citrix’s $500 Million Purchase of XenSource Paying Off?”)
With the release of Citrix Cloud Center (C3) last fall, Citrix announced its intention to be a cloud infrastructure provider.
C3 is essentially a repurposing, or “integration” as Citrix calls it, of existing virtualization and networking products that “power many of today’s largest Internet and Web service providers.”
The cornerstone of Citrix cloud strategy is Xen. As CTO Simon Crosby puts it, waxing hyperbolic, “Xen is everywhere in the cloud. The whole notion of cloud computing relies on Xen.”
Exaggerated or not, Citrix’s investment in Xen is indeed a competitive advantage, giving the company a clear, value-rich roadmap. The XenSource acquisition also leapfrogged Citrix to the top of the VDI market.
Notable: Add a tight partnership with Microsoft and the fact that Amazon EC2 leverages Xen, and Citrix emerges as the leading cloud infrastructure provider – although down the road fending off Cisco will be a challenge.
Cloudera is building its business on top of the open-source project Apache Hadoop, a Java-based framework supporting data-intensive applications running on distributed computing clusters built from commodity hardware.
The company secured $6 million in a second round of VC funding in June, bringing its total funding to $11 million. Funding came from Greylock Partners and Accel Partners.
Notable: Hadoop has been adopted by a few Internet giants, including Yahoo!, The New York Times and Facebook. The core technology was developed at Google. Google uses a related technology, MapReduce, to analyze data across cheap, distributed computers. Cloudera’s management team gained experience at Oracle, Google and Yahoo.
Here’s a video interview with Cloudera CEO Mike Olson.
Zuora provides subscription billing and payment products that help cloud computing utilities, SaaS providers, and other subscription services get paid.
While the company’s solution can be used by any kind of subscription-based service, the company’s tagline – powering the business cloud – makes it clear that its sights are set on the emerging cloud computing marketplace.
Its product line includes Z-Billing, Z-Payments, Z-Force (billing and payments integrated with Salesforce.com), and Z-Commerce Platform (for cloud computing).
Notable: In its first year in business, Zuora signed up more than 100 customers, including Sun Microsystems, Box.net, and Cloud9 Analytics.
29) Reductive Labs
Reductive Labs developed Puppet, an open-source automated system administration engine.
Puppet’s declarative-based language enables engineers to programmatically encode semantics about why systems are configured a particular way.
According to the company, this helps engineers build systems and administrators manage them “as code.”
By managing IT infrastructure as code, Puppet creates an audit trail, showing what systems are running and where, the history of all the work done on the system, and the policies that Puppet is carrying out.
The company’s second product, Facter, is an analysis tool for reporting system configuration and status. It too is open source.
According to Reductive Labs, such companies as Google, Digg, Twitter, New York Stock Exchange, Barclays Capital, Oracle, Sun, Red Hat, Harvard Law, and Stanford University have adopted Puppet to help automate and mange their IT efforts.
Notable: Reductive Labs closed a $2 million series A round of funding in June. The round was led by True Ventures and included private investors.
CEO and founder Luke Kanies was previously a product design specialist with BladeLogic. He also has a background as a system admin.
Still in the pre-product stage, CloudSwitch intends to offer software appliances for cloud infrastructure.
The company says that it’s building a software switch that protects enterprises from the “complexity, risks and potential lock-in of the cloud, turning cloud resources into a flexible, cost-effective extension of the corporate data center.”
Ellen Rubin, formerly head of marketing at Netezza, and John Considine, previously Director of Engineering for Sun’s Platform Products Group, founded the company in 2008, incubating it at Matrix Partners.
Since then, this stealth-mode startup has generated a heck of a lot of buzz and pulled down a decent amount of funding for a company only beginning to beta test its product.
CloudSwitch has raised two rounds of VC funding totaling $15.4 million from Matrix Partners, Commonwealth Capital Ventures and Atlas Ventures.
Notable: John McEleney joined the company in June and serves as CEO and President.
McEleney was previously with SolidWorks, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dassault Systems S.A., where he served as CEO from 2001 to 2007 and as a Director since 2000. During McEleney’s tenure, SolidWorks grew to have over 40,000 global customers, $350 million in revenues and a market valuation of $1.5 billion.
If you’re a SaaS vendor or building a private cloud to manage your internal applications, Apprenda’s SaaSGrid Platform hopes to make the process easier with key features like multi-tenancy, grid scalability, metering and monetization, and billing management.
You can purchase a license to deploy SaaSGrid in your own datacenter, or you can access it as a Platform as a Service (PaaS) through Apprenda’s hosting partner Peer 1.
Notable: Apprenda founders Sinclair Schuller, Matt Ammerman, and Abe Sultan write an SaaS Blog that discusses the changes Cloud Computing and SaaS are bringing to the technology industry.
Cordys provides software to develop, manage and monitor business processes and enterprise clouds.
Cordys’ main offering is its Business Operations Platform (BOP), which is a suite consisting of Business Process Management (BPM), Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) and SaaS Deployment Frameworks (SDF) software.
Taken together, this positions Cordys in the PaaS space. The company’s cloud offering seeks to address what the company sees as the two main areas of cloud computing, “the Services and Application Cloud and the Infrastructure Cloud.”
The Service and Application Cloud is basically pay-as-you-go SaaS. The Infrastructure Cloud follows the more standard cloud infrastructure (and PaaS) definition of on-demand, hosted capacity, or as Cordy’s calls it the “Pay as you Grow” usage model.
Notable: Process Factory software allows developers to apply the mashup principle to existing cloud applications, creating “MashApps.”
Cordys Enterprise Cloud Orchestration platform is intended as a kind of middleware that will bridge the many various cloud flavors, from private clouds to hosted ones – to whatever specialized hybrids pop up as the space evolves. Customers include Comcast, NYSE, the World Bank, China Netcom and Tata Motors.
Elastra provides cloud management software for the enterprise. Cordys intends to bridge public and private clouds, envisioning itself as a cloud management provider.
According to Elastra, while cloud computing provides a flexible means to consume computing resources, “IT organizations struggle with the lack of policy-based control and the manual processes required to architect, deploy and manage complete enterprise-grade application systems in these environments.”
The Elastra Enterprise Cloud Server enables IT organizations to deliver flexible policy-based computing solutions to the businesses they serve.
Enterprise Cloud Server is intended to accelerate the delivery of architected applications by enabling policy-based designs to be realized in IT-controlled private and public computing clouds.
The company is backed by $14.6 million in funding. Its most recent funding round was led by Bay Partners, with Amazon.com and existing investor Hummer Winblad Venture Partners participating.
(That’s right, this is a cloud company playing with money from the cloud leader, Amazon.)
Notable: The company is led by founder, President and CEO Kirill Sheynkman, who previously founded two other startups, both of which were later acquired, Sheynkman spent the early part of his career with Oracle and Microsoft.
The rest of the management team hails from Oracle, BEA Systems, Symantec and eWorld Systems.
34) Arista Networks
No matter how disruptive cloud computing is supposed to be, it still must use regular old hardware like servers, load balancers and switches.
Arista Networks’ 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches are designed for “large datacenter and computing environments.”
Arista’s secret sauce, its Extensible Operating System (EOS), is software based on a multi-process state sharing architecture that “completely separates networking state from the processing itself.”
The result is automatic fault recovery and the ability to apply incremental software updates that don’t affect the state of the system.
Notable: Arista has an impressive management team, headed by Andy Bechtolsheim and Jayshree Ullal.
Bechtolsheim, who co-founded and served as Chief System Architect at Sun Microsystems, serves as Chief Development Officer and Chairman.
President and CEO Jayshree Ullal previously served as an SVP at Cisco, where she ran the Data Center, Switching and Services Group, which brought in $10 billion in annual revenue.
Customers include Lawrence Livermore National Labs, Northwestern University and BitGravity. The company has also inked cloud-related partnerships with Citrix, VMware, NetApp and several others.
Formerly known as XDS, Inc., SIMtone offers two primary product lines: Its USP line lets network operators manage and deliver cloud computing services to its customers.
Its VSP line helps users create a “cloud computing-enabled” infrastructure and is available in Business, Enterprise, and Service Provider editions.
SIMtone also sells a line of cloud-computing terminals. They look like laptops, but they never store or process any data. Instead, they just connect users to cloud computing services.
Notable: A privately-held company, SIMtone has financial backing from Motorola Ventures, Brightstar Corporation, and Kodiak Venture Partners.
36) Univa UD
Univa UD offers solutions for the management of HPC (High Performance Computing) systems, data center automation and cloud computing.
In May, the company released Reliance 3.0, an application service governor product for cloud computing enablement.
Reliance functions as an “intelligence layer” for cloud-based infrastructures, making decisions about where to allocate pooled computing resources to ensure that application SLAs are met.
The 3.0 version features a “drop-in approach” that allows users to implement service governance without replacing existing systems.
In late July, the company released its UniPlan product, which simulates project workloads for applications and then performs detailed scenario analyses to identify potential bottlenecks or performance gaps.
A week later the company launched UniCloud 2.0, which enables the formation of a cloud environment that unifies provisioning, configuration and virtualization management with application configuration into a single web-services-based framework.
Notable: Univa UD is led by CEO Jason Liu, who formerly served as CEO of Intrinsic Technologies. Customers include Pathwork Diagnostics and Corus.
The company has raised $24 million in funding. Investors include River Cities Capital Funds, ARCH Venture Partners, New World Ventures, Appian Ventures and OCA Ventures.
LongJump is the SaaS and cloud offering of Relational Networks, which also offers CRM and SFA solutions for the media industry.
LongJump positions itself in the PaaS sector, providing a business application platform that enables IT organizations to create their own private clouds. Included tools provide management and security over applications.
Additionally, service providers can use LongJump to launch their own SaaS offerings.
Notable: The company’s platform offers a multi-tenant development and runtime environment, supporting the creation of multi-tenant applications.
LongJump provides a visual development environment entirely based on open software and standards.
One of the pioneers in the virtual appliance space, rPath offers two separate products that make cloud computing easier: rBuilder, available as a download or as a hosted service, simplifies the process of creating virtual appliances so that applications are easier to deploy in the cloud.
And rPath Lifecycle Management Platform makes it easier to manage and update applications whether they are deployed physically, virtually, or in the cloud.
Notable: In early August, rPath announced that Sony Pictures Imageworks would be using rPath technology to manage its animation applications.
And while it’s not quite up to Imageworks’s standards, rPath has created an animated video of its own that explains cloud computing in terms that almost anyone can understand.
UK-based ElasticHosts provides “flexible servers in the cloud.” The company is certainly ambitious, competing head to head with Amazon and Google.
ElasticHosts argues that its solution is “tailored for web hosting, unlike Amazon EC2, which is a less targeted virtualization solution.”
In contrast with Google Apps, ElasticHosts supports multiple technologies, whereas Google “is limited to Python applications running in their proprietary environment.”
Notable: ElasticHosts was founded by Chris Webb, serving as CEO, and Richard Davies, CTO.
Davies was previously with McKinsey & Company, where he advised senior management at a large number of global high-tech and telecoms clients. Webb formerly served as a consultant for a number of UK startups.
As cloud computing reshapes business and technology, these pioneering cloud computing vendors lead the way.
40) Engine Yard
Engine Yard provides a hosting environment for open-source Ruby on Rails applications. Engine Yard’s tools also streamline the deployment and management of Ruby on Rails applications.
In July 2008, the company closed a $15 million series B round of funding led by New Enterprise Associates and with participation from Amazon.com and Benchmark Capital, which financed the company’s $3.5 million Series A round.
With financing from Amazon, Engine Yard gets automatic cloud credibility. Additionally, the Ruby on Rails community is an active and growing one, giving Engine Yard a significant group of potential customers to target as it continues to evolve.
Notable: Founded in 2006, Engine Yard is lead by CEO John Dillon, who previously served as President and CEO of Hyperion Solutions and CEO for Salesforce.com.
COO Don Jaworski came to Engine Yard from Brocade Communications, where he served as VP of Product Development.
Cloud computing has introduced a blizzard of new terms, and one you’ll likely be hearing more of is Infrastructure as a Service, or IaaS.
With IaaS, clients no longer invest in bulky hardware, large datacenters and complex apps. Instead they buy (or rent) a complete virtual stack from an IaaS provider.
Enomaly’s flagship product, Elastic Computing Platform (ECP) enables a variety of service providers – such as hosting providers, telcos, and managed service providers – to establish Infrastructure as a Service solutions for their clients.
With ECP 3.0, customers use a real-time dashboard system to monitor and control a multi-tenant service provider cloud platform, which ties in with provisioning and billing systems.
Enomaly claims that over a dozen service providers, domestically and abroad, are now establishing IaaS solutions leveraging the company’s ECP.
High profile clients include France Telecom and Best Buy. Looking ahead, by the end of this year Enomaly expects to unveil what it calls a “high assurance cloud technology,” which it says will provide enhanced security.
Notable: The company’s CEO, Richard Reiner, was founder and CTO of Assurent Secure Technologies (acquired by TELUS in 2006), a SaaS firm that focused on IT security. Reiner holds a number of patents in the area of software security.
Never forgetting its roots, Enomaly – founded in 2004 – continues to support the development community based on its earlier generation open source code; the app is called ECP 2.x Community Edition.
Terremark provides “utility-enabled managed IT infrastructure solutions.” The company began rolling out its cloud computing services last summer.
Terremark’s Enterprise Cloud is a managed cloud platform for deploying mission-critical applications.
Enterprise Cloud’s Infinicenter web portal allows users to configure and provision virtual servers and server groups.
It also has features for organizing servers according to role and dynamically extending them according to utilization.
Terremark is one of the few cloud computing vendors to give concrete financials regarding their cloud sales.
In a conference call discussing Terremark’s Q1 fiscal year 2010 earnings, CEO Manny Medina reported $2.5 million in revenues related to cloud services.
That’s a small part of its overall revenues, which totaled $65.8 million, but it’s solid start for a year-old service in a nascent market space.
Notable: In May, VMware put its weight behind Terremark’s cloud and managed IT approach, purchasing 4 million shares of newly issued common stock at $5 per share, for a total investment of $20 million.
eVapt focuses on an overlooked but pesky part of SaaS and cloud offerings: metering and billing. The company says that its On Demand Monetization Platform takes “the pain out of monetizing” SaaS and cloud services.
Tools within the solution address service provider pain points, such as the difficulty of providing flexible pricing and billing models, insufficient usage data, and the high cost of manual billing.
Customers include PeopleAdmin, QuickArrow, and Economist.com.
Notable: eVapt has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Applied Reasoning.
FlexiScale provides public cloud computing resources and hosting. Based in the UK, FlexiScale’s most direct competitor is Elastic Hosts.
As with Elastic Hosts, however, FlexiScale is gunning for bigger quarry, namely Amazon and Google.
For both of these startups, a large chunk of their value proposition is simply location. They’re based in the EU and, their logic goes, thus better able to serve EU customers.
That logic sounds reasonable, but both Amazon and Google have EU-based data centers.
However, these companies are arguably better versed in the needs of their EU customers and better able to navigate issues like EU regulatory compliance.
FlexiScale also touts a more fully featured service offering, providing a support team, standard IP addresses, 100% SLAs and more as standard features of its package.
Notable: FlexiScale is owned by XCalibre, a UK-based web hosting company.
Unisys designs, builds and manages mission-critical computing environments. The Unisys cloud product line, which it is still building out, will enable clients to choose the type of data center computing services that best meet their business objectives, from self-managed private clouds to managed cloud services to hybrid solutions.
The company launched its Secure Cloud Solution on July 31. Secure Cloud enables enterprise clients to securely move conventional business applications – including those with secure or sensitive data, such as human resources, financial, customer and healthcare information – into a managed, shared cloud service without costly, time-consuming rewrites or other alterations.
With security and compliance being two big cloud sticking points, Unisys is taking steps to address those issues.
Its Stealth data protection technology “cloaks data from detection as it moves through the network.”
Thus, users in a multi-tenant environment can share the same IT infrastructure without fear of compromising the security of their data.
The company also plans to release a Stealth version for SANs to protect “data at rest.”
Notable: Earlier this month, Unisys responded to the current recession through private debt exchange offers that reduced the company’s total outstanding debt by approximately $130 million (~12%) and reduced 2010 debt maturities to $65 million.
Among its other products and services, iLand offers VMware-based cloud computing services for small- and medium-sized enterprises.
Unlike some of its competitors, iLand’s cloud supports nearly every operating system, including all Windows versions, Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD.
It currently operates five SAS70 certified data centers in the US and one in the UK.
In addition to production application cloud hosting, the company also offers “cold” hosting for disaster recovery situations and co-location for companies who wish to house their own servers in iLand’s facilities.
Notable: iLand recently announced a partnership with Vizioncore that improves their replication capabilities.
A division of ServePath, a web hosting company, GoGrid provides a “multi-tier, cloud computing platform that allows you to manage your cloud hosting infrastructure completely on demand through an intuitive, web interface.”
GoGrid is directly positioned against Amazon EC2. It differentiates itself through broader support of various Windows and Linux operating systems, lower pricing and a 100% uptime SLA.
This is really splitting hairs, though, since Amazon offers a 99.95% uptime SLA .
Notable: GoGrid claims 2,000+ customers, including high profile companies like Novell and SAP.
48) Good OS
Good OS currently offers two products. The first product, gOS, is a full desktop OS that was used in the Everex line of desktops that were sold at Wal-Mart before Everex closed its doors.
The second product, Cloud, is a web browser combined with a pared down operating system for Web, email and chat.
It’s suitable for netbooks and mobile devices, but also allows for toggling between other browsers on devices with the processing power to do so.
Of course, with a name like Cloud, the OS is designed to shield constrained devices from processing and storage burdens, moving them instead to the cloud.
Instead of booting to a desktop, as with gOS, Cloud instead uses the browser as a desktop replacement.
Notable: The company was founded by David Liu, who previously founded and ran a web development company.
HyperOffice isn’t usually included in cloud discussions because, unlike many of the other vendors on this list, the company doesn’t slap the term cloud on everything it does.
The term it does slap on everything is collaboration, which in this case is descriptive, rather than marketing spin – but if you think back a few years, the term “collaboration” used to have about the same amount of hype as “cloud computing” does today.
HyperOffice’s collaboration suite contains all of the usual suspects in terms of features: email, calendar, contact management, document management, and project management.
Most collaboration suites can be loosely defined as hosted in the cloud, whether a public or private one.
That alone wouldn’t cut it for this roundup, but in May HyperOffice announced a concerted effort to target its collaboration suite to cloud customers by teaming with Etelos, a provider of cloud PaaS solutions.
Notable: HyperOffice also offers a cool application for driving collaboration to the iPhone – and what is the data side of the iPhone, especially the iPhone App Store, but a cloud-based application depository – albeit a rather closed one?
Quantivo provides on-demand behavior analytics software designed to help retailers better understand their customers and increase sales.
Their portfolio includes products and solutions aimed at both online and brick-and-mortar retailers and both B2B and B2C operations.
In order to use the in-the-cloud service, customers first complete an interview with Quantivo personnel to determine which products will fit their needs; they then upload their data to the Quantivo data center. Analytics become available within a couple of business days.
Notable: Winner of multiple awards, Quantivo was recently named to the Red Herring 100 North America and was listed as one of five Cool Vendors in Retail by Gartner.
Based in Washington, D.C., Intridea is a web development and consulting company.
Yes, there are about a million firms like that, but Intridea has designed some pretty cool cloud-based applications, such as Present.ly, a social networking and micro-blogging service, and Earth Aid, which provides consumers with energy monitoring and reduction tools and then pays them for saving energy by selling energy savings credits on the carbon credit market.
Most of Intridea’s applications are built on Ruby on Rails.
Notable: Founded by Dave Naffis, who is a senior partner and serves as lead architect, and Yoshi Maisami, a senior partner and head of business development, Intridea has several Fortune 500 customers, including AARP, Comcast, GEICO and McKinsey & Co. Government agency customers include NIH, NSA and NASA.
UK-based ThinkGrid currently operates four data centers (or, as they would write, “centres”) in the US and the UK.
Their key services include hosted desktop, hosted e-mail, file sharing, hosted phone and VOIP, cloud storage and backup, and server hosting.
Although they focus primarily on small- and medium-sized businesses, they do also some solutions targeted at the needs of enterprises.
For potential customers who are curious about how cloud computing works, they offer the opportunity to try it out for free.
Notable: Recent customer wins include London’s Heythrop College and IPTV provider CompleteTV.
Kaavo provides an “application-centric management and security solution for cloud computing.” Kaavo contrasts its offering versus “infrastructure-centric” management tools.
According to Kaavo, tools developed for managing applications tied to specific physical hardware cannot deal with the scale and complexity of applications in the cloud.
Kaavo’s IMOD (Infrastructure and Middleware on Demand) management suite, in contrast, is purpose-built to manage virtual resources in cloud environments.
Features include a single-click interface to deploy, start and stop applications in a multi-server setting; the ability to create encrypted disk volumes; auto-scaling based on pre-defined triggers; the ability to monitor CPU, memory, I/O and disk space of virtual servers; auto-recovery tools, and more.
Notable: Kaavo was founded in November 2007 by Jamal Mazhar, who serves as CEO and whose previous experience was with ING, where he managed integration, development and continual improvements to ING’s IT assets.
Before that, he was the lead architect of the GE Capital e-Business team. In other words, Mazhar has an IT pro’s background and reflects this in Kaavo’s offerings.
54) Layered Technologies
Based in Plano, Texas, Layered Tech started out as a typical web hosting company. It has used that experience, however, to build out cloud infrastructure and service offerings.
Truth be told, this is where most web hosting is moving eventually, but some hosting companies are embracing virtualization and cloud computing better than others.
A look at Layered Tech’s cloud and managed services offerings shows just about everything you can get from cloud providers like FlexiScale or GoGrid.
Notable: In January, Layered Tech launched its Astro platform, which is intended to simplify the provisioning of and streamline the management of hosted servers.
As its name implies, MultiFactor is a multi-factor authentication company. However, MultiFactor’s all-software solution, SecureAuth, does more than standard authentication.
Designed from the ground up to work with web services, it is more accurately described as an “identity enforcement solution.”
One of the troubles with authentication in the cloud is linking cloud-based applications back to enterprise-based identity stores. Typically, this requires customized coding and complex APIs.
The other approach is to move identity management entirely to the cloud, but unless you’re an SMB or startup, it’s doubtful you’ll take that approach.
MultiFactor believes that as IT moves more and more processes to the cloud, identity will be one of the last things to remain in house.
It’s simply too risky for most enterprises to give up even the slightest bit of control over identity.
Designed as a web service, SecureAuth ties into existing enterprise identity stores, such as Active Directory, and enforces the identities, roles and policies out to enterprise applications, be they in-house, web-based or cloud-hosted applications.
SecureAuth works by authenticating both the client and the server for each session via a non-exportable cryptographic credential.
When authorized users log into the network for the first time or log in with a new device, they’re redirected to SecureAuth’s registration system, which can be customized to use out-of-band contact, knowledge-based questions, or other organization-specified means to serve as an additional identity factor.
SecureAuth has been tailored to work with several cloud-based offerings, including Salesforce.com and Google Apps. The software can serve as the engine for SSO and be integrated with VPNs for remote users.
Notable: The company is backed by private investors, having raised approximately $8 million.
MultiFactor is managed by Craig Lund, CEO, who formerly managed IBM’s security sales teams for the U.S., Canada and Latin America; Garret Grajek, COO, who was previously with Netegrity, where he led the installation of SiteMinder, the security suite that controls all user access to the E*Trade Financial Services website; and Thomas Stewart, CFO, who previously held senior positions in both finance and marketing at Intel.
56) MX Logic/McAfee
MX Logic is another security company hoping to take advantage of cloud computing’s inherent security weaknesses.
MX Logic’s expertise is with email and messaging security and website protection. The company also offers message archiving and disaster recovery services.
Last month, the company upgraded its product line to address cloud-based messaging services.
The MX Logic Control Console gives users a single interface to manage accounts and service settings, including pre-authentication, password and security-question pages, outbound message filtering and more.
The company is led by John Street, Chairman and CEO, Pete Khanna, President and COO, and Scott Chasin, CTO. Street came to MX Logic from USA.NET, where he served as Chairman and CEO and raised over $100 million of private equity financing. Khanna was formerly EVP of Inflow. Chasin previously served as CTO and “Chief Visionary” for USA.NET.
Notable: On July 30, as this story was being written, McAfee announced an agreement to purchase MX Logic for approximately $140 million in cash at closing, with an earn-out of up to an additional $30 million in cash if certain performance targets are met.
According to McAfee, the addition of MX Logic will give them “the most comprehensive cloud-based security portfolio in the industry.” That’s debatable, but McAfee’s side of the debate would be a strong one.
McAfee’s Global Threat Intelligence now protects more than 33 million nodes through cloud-based security intelligence, analyzes 100 billion messages per month and rates 1.9 billion e-commerce and search transactions each day.
For cloud-based computing, McAfee’s “Security-as-a-Service” provides vulnerability assessments, cybercrime scanning services, email and messaging security, business continuity services and more.
Notable: The acquisition of MX Logic is expected to close in Q3 2009.
Web-hosting provider XCalibre is also the company behind FlexiScale, a Europe-focused cloud computing utility.
Despite their relatively small size and narrow target market, XCalibre isn’t afraid to take on the big boys, offering a chart comparing FlexiScale to Amazon and Rackspace and making the dubious claim that FlexiScale is “Europe’s only Cloud computing solution.” They boast true pay-as-you-go pricing with no contracts, 100% SLA, and multiple OS support.
Notable: Flexiscale customers include RSS solution providerMediafed, cloud computing technology vendor CohesiveFT, and social networking software maker SocialGO.
While it looks and acts a lot like a local file server, customers actually access Zetta Enterprise Cloud Storage over the Internet via standard protocols such as NFS and CIFS.
Although the storage solution can be used by companies of any size, Zetta primarily focuses on serving large enterprises in the manufacturing, rich media, and financial services sectors.
Through the service, customers can store and retrieve up to hundreds of petabytes of unstructured data, without purchasing any hardware or paying for unused capacity.
Notable: In July, Zetta was named to the AlwaysOn Global 250, and in April, Zetta won first place for storage infrastructure at Under the Radar 2009.
ParaScale argues that advances in computer hardware over the past decade make it possible to deliver solutions for file storage, management, and distribution that offer far more capacity and higher read/write bandwidth, while being easier to manage and less expensive to purchase and operate.
Nothing new there, Moore’s law applied to storage, but ParaScale has followed this vision to offer cloud storage software optimized for such applications as video-on-demand, digital document archiving, scientific data analysis, video surveillance management and medical image remote diagnosis.
As opposed to most of the other vendors calling themselves cloud storage providers, ParaScale does not provide a hosted storage service.
Rather, their solution is targeted to enterprises, which can then use that technology to create their own public or private clouds.
The software “runs in user space on any commodity server running standard Linux and forms a highly scalable, self-managing storage cloud, with massive capacity and parallel throughput.”
Notable: Founded in 2004, ParaScale secured a $11.37 million Series A round of funding last summer from Charles River Ventures and Menlo Ventures.
CEO Sajai Krishnan was formerly GM of the StoreVault Division of NetApp, responsible for creating and developing the division’s multinational efforts within the mid-market segment.
Founder and CTO Cameron Bahar previously led the design, deployment, and operation of Scale8’s distributed Internet storage service and, at the HP Enterprise Systems Technology Lab, developed system software for disk volume management, data security and utility data center management.
Technically, NComputing is better defined as a VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) provider.
However, NComputing makes the savvy observation that while cloud computing is being hyped as a way to bring down IT and data center costs, it does nothing to bring down end-device costs.
Marry VDI to cloud computing – which major virtualization players like VMware and Citrix are doing too – and you can do some serious cost cutting.
For now, NComputing’s major value proposition is cost. At recent tradeshows, like Interop and CloudWorld, NComputing demoed a “$70 cloud desktop.”
According to the company, today’s PCs are pretty much like supercomputers, and 99% of all PCs users aren’t doing any supercomputing.
(And the compute- and memory-intensive things they’re accessing at work, they probably shouldn’t be.)
NComputing takes a single PC and delivers it to as many as 30 users, who use NComputing end terminals that consist of bundled monitors, keyboards and mice.
This is the age old thin-computing model, but the cost game is a dubious one for computing vendors. With netbook (and even desktop) prices falling through the floor, is a solution like this worth it?
Perhaps. If you look at consumption beyond the simple computing calculation and factor in power, patching, updates, etc., a solution like this could gain traction. NComputing claims that it slashes acquisition and support costs by as much as 70%.
The trouble is that the barrier to entry for competitors isn’t all that high. Even more troubling is that behemoths like VMware, Citrix, Microsoft and even Google are stomping around this market space.
For now, the company will try to avoid these major players by targeting the education and nonprofit sectors and emerging markets like Eastern Europe and Africa.
Notable: NComputing is backed by more than $28 million in VC funding from Menlo Ventures, Scale Venture Partners and Korea’s Daehong Technew Corporation.
NComputing certainly has cheap-computing pedigree. CEO Stephen Dukker previously founded eMachines.
NetSuite successfully built its business around the eponymous business software suite that includes accounting, BI, CRM, e-commerce and ERP.
SuiteCloud, NetSuite’s business-class cloud offering, provides SaaS infrastructure, the bundle of business software tools included in the original NetSuite, a so-called business software OS (NS-BOS) that serves as a development platform, and an ecosystem called SuiteApp.com that provides related apps that hook into the SuiteCloud platform.
Last November, NetSuite entered into a partnership with HP to target cloud computing solutions to SMBs.
Notable: The company (originally named LetLedger) was founded by Evan Goldberg, who serves as Chairman and CTO, and Larry Ellison of Oracle.
Goldberg had been a VP at Oracle before founding LetLedger. Ellison no longer serves in a management capacity or occupies a board seat at NetSuite.
Zach Nelson, President and CEO, has held a variety of executive positions spanning marketing, sales, product development and business strategy with such companies as Oracle, Sun, and McAfee/Network Associates.
Nirvanix provides a cloud storage service, a service that the company argues will change storage into a utility.
Think of Nirvanix’s SDN (Storage Delivery Network) as a cross between a storage virtualization and an application delivery network service.
Unlike other storage services, which write applications to specific storage hardware, SDN takes the virtualization approach and looks like a single drive to applications, regardless of where in terms of hardware or geography that storage is actually located.
That’s all well and good for backups and disaster recovery, but what about applications actually residing in the cloud?
For these, Nirvanix serves up data from the nearest data center to boost response time. Nirvanix offers a number of storage-related services for large file transfers, collaboration, archiving, offsite data protection and more.
Notable: Nirvanix raised more than $23 million in funding from Intel Capital, Valhalla Partners, Mission Ventures, Windward Ventures and the European Founders Fund.
President and CEO Jim Zierick previously held CEO positions with Aspyra, a provider of clinical and diagnostic information solutions for the healthcare industry, and LogicalApps, a provider of embedded controls software for enterprise applications.
Customers include Axentra, The Planet, Arizona State University and NASA. An ASU-NASA project is storing images from the recently launched Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter with Nirvanix.
Founded in 2002, OpSource provides cloud-based operations infrastructure and services for SaaS and Web-based businesses. The company’s flagship platform, OpSource On-Demand, “delivers hundreds of applications on-demand to millions of users and manages billions of transactions everyday.”
OpSource On-Demand includes both operations-side and business-side features that help organizations achieve ROI for new applications quickly.
Operational features include security, automatic backup, disaster recovery, application monitoring and management, database management and more.
Business features include on-demand billing services, customer usage analytics, end-user support and OpSource Connect, which provides “infrastructure for two-way web services interactions, allowing customers to consume and publish applications across a common web services infrastructure.”
The company is led by CEO Treb Ryan, who co-founded the company with CTO John Rowell.
Ryan was previously President of the Americas for Metromedia Fiber Network (MFN). Rowell formerly served as VP of Operations for MFN.
Notable: OpSource closed a $10 million Series E round of funding in February from NTT, Velocity Venture Capital, Key Venture Partners and Artiman Ventures. This brings total funding to date to approximately $64 million.
In March, OpSource entered into an agreement with Akamai to give their joint customers the ability to marry Akamai’s content distribution and route optimization services with OpSource’s service suite.
CohesiveFT calls its Elastic Server platform a “web-based ‘factory’ for assembling, testing, and deploying custom stacks and servers to virtual machines or clouds.”
Elastic Server allows customers to quickly define and deploy servers for clouds and virtual environments, such as Amazon EC2, VMware and Xen.
The idea is to target companies not yet comfortable with all-out cloud computing, allowing them to test smaller deployments.
Users are able to mix and match several open source projects, such as Apache, Ruby on Rails and MySQL, with a range of open-source OSes, all running on virtual machines.
The company also offers a cloud security product, VPN-Cubed. Currently only available for EC2 users, VPN-Cubed provides a secure overlay network that allows customers to control the addressing, topology, protocols, and encrypted communications for devices deployed to the cloud. As its name suggests, think of it as a cloud-specific VPN.
CohesiveFT is managed by Craig Heimark, Chairman; Patrick Kerpan, CTO; Dwight Koop, COO; and Phil Clarke, VP of Business Development.
The team’s background is with SBC Warburg, Borland Software, Swiss Banks capital markets and Inforte.
Notable: Founded in July 2006, CohesiveFT’s Investors include Chess Venture Ltd., OCA Ventures, Clay Struve and Nauiokas Park.
Parallels is really a virtualization company, but without server virtualization, the economics of cloud computing don’t add up.
At first glance, Parallels occupies a dangerous market space. VMware, Citrix, Microsoft and now Oracle (through the Sun acquisition) all have deeper pockets, wider channels and a far greater number of entrenched customers than Parallels, making Parallels a long shot to make it in the virtualization market.
The company has gained a bit of traction by beating competitors to market with a desktop virtualization solution for Mac – probably not viable as a long-term strategy, but it certainly buys them time.
They’re also doing well with Windows and Linux desktop virtualization, but the competition there is getting stiffer by the minute.
Moving beyond virtualization, though, Parallels has a pretty compelling cloud vision. As they see it, there are five types of clouds emerging as the space matures.
The first three are all proprietary platforms, represented by Google, Microsoft, Amazon and other large players.
Type 4, channel clouds of services providers, and Type 5, private clouds, are where Parallels says it will stake its claim.
For service providers, Parallels offers typical cloud services, such as application development, deployment and management tools. For internal clouds, the company offers various data center automation tools.
Notable: Parallels’ history is an odd one. It was secretly acquired by virtualization software maker SWsoft in 2004.
Since then, the acquiring company has been absorbed into the acquired, and the SWsoft name has been dropped and its technology rolled into the Parallels product suite. Investors include Insight Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and Intel Capital.
The company claims 10 million “customer end users” in 125 countries and recently launched a cloud-computing sales push into the Asia-Pacific region by opening offices in Australia and South Korea, adding to existing ones in China, Japan, India and Singapore.
GigaSpaces’s PaaS offering is based on GigaSpaces XAP (eXteme Application Platform) and Amazon EC2.
Like the other products in this category, its goal is to make it easier for enterprises to move applications to the cloud or to develop applications in the cloud, including Web apps based on Java EE, Spring Framework, Jetty, or Glassfish.
The company claims the product saves customers money by reducing machine hours, bandwidth, and storage while eliminating the need for other cloud computing products.
Notable: Last year, GigaSpaces was ranked as the third fastest-growing technology company in Israel. Its customers include Dow Jones, Gallup, and Virgin Mobile.
Rackspace started out in 1998 offering data center services, such as dedicated server hosting and storage.
As with many other hosting providers, Rackspace has moved into the cloud space. Unlike the herd rushing into cloud computing now, though, Rackspace was an early mover.
In April, the company named Chief Strategy Officer Lew Moorman as President of the company’s cloud business, signaling just how important cloud computing is to Rackspace’s future roadmap.
The Rackspace Cloud suite offers access to virtual servers, an application and website building service and a storage service.
To broaden its appeal to the developer community, the company has just released the “Cloud Servers API,” an open source API that allows users to create, configure and control Rackspace Cloud Servers from within their own applications.
Notable: Rackspace customers include a number of startups and online companies, as well as Radio Flyer and Razorfish.
68) Hyperic/Spring Source
A purveyor of multiple system monitoring and management tools, Hyperic offers three separate solutions for monitoring cloud resources. CloudStatus, still in Beta, provides real-time and weekly reports of activity for companies using the most popular cloud service providers, including Amazon Web Services and Google Apps Engine.
Hyperic HQ gives companies a unified view of activity on both cloud and internal resources, and Hyperic HQ for AWS allows enterprises to access a Hyperic HQ instance through Amazon Web Services.
Although it still uses the Hyperic name, the company was recently acquired by Spring Source.
Notable: Hyperic monitors some of the world’s largest Web applications, including those run by CNET, Yahoo, and Comcast.
With a ten-year history, Intuit’s QuickBase online database is something of an elder statesman in the world of cloud computing. It’s hardly Intuit’s only foray into cloud computing though. They also offer cloud-based versions of the QuickBooks small business accounting software, Quicken personal finance software, TurboTax tax software, and other less well-known packages for payroll, healthcare expense tracking, real estate management, and more.
In June, Intuit announced a new which will allow other software developers to market SaaS offerings to Intuit small business customers through the Intuit workplace.
Notable: Last year, Intuit was named one of America’s most admired companies.
RightScale’s cloud management platform helps customers manage the IT processes that used to be in their data centers but are now out there somewhere in the cloud.
The platform does such things as set up server clones, load balance them, monitor for and report errors and perform automated backups.
In April, the company rolled out additional features that allow customers to manage both applications hosted in public clouds as well as resources within their own private clouds from a single management interface.
The company landed a $13 million second round of VC funding this past December.
Index Ventures led the round, which was joined by Benchmark Capital, which funded the company’s $4.5 million first round.
Notable: RightScale was founded by Michael Crandell, CEO, Thorsten von Eicken, CTO, and Rafael H. Saavedra, VP of Engineering.
Crandell previously served as CEO of several SaaS companies and EVP of eFax.com. von Eicken was formerly founder and Chief Architect of Expertcity (which was acquired by Citrix Online) where he directed the architecture of GoToMeeting. Saavedra was previously Director of Software Development at Expertcity.
Web 2.0 applications can be notoriously difficult to troubleshoot. Soasta’s CloudTest addresses that problem by providing affordable load, performance, functional, and UI/Ajax testing capabilities that simulate real world scenarios.
It supports all of the most commonly used browsers and the most common protocols (Soap, Http(S), Html, Ajax, etc.)
While it was originally “built on the Cloud to Test inside the Cloud,” CloudTest is also available as a standalone appliance for testing behind your firewall.
Notable: Intuit used CloudTest to make sure its TurboTax Online service would perform as anticipated even with the peak loads of April 14 and 15.
And Activision successfully used the product to test the Guitar Hero III site before the 2007 holiday season.
A core concept in cloud computing is the Application Programming Interface, or API.
Companies that allow access to their Web applications – say, for instance, to developers or clients – do so through an API, which is a portal to the infrastructure.
Mashery, founded in 2006, has built its business on the centrality of the API. The San Francisco-based company provides a SaaS infrastructure for supporting a firm’s API.
Its management and monitoring tool allows a company to control details like who has access to its data via an API.
Among other advantages, this enables businesses to form Web-based partnership with other online businesses – which is the core of cloud computing.
Mashery has garnered an impressive customer list, including Alcatel-Lucent, Hoovers, Netflix and Best Buy.
Notable: Mashery’s management team – here’s their blog – includes Oren Michels, CEO, who was president of Colt HR and Winebid.com; and Ajay Arora, VP of strategy and services, who held executive positions at newScale and Centrata. Mashery has so far raised $2 million in venture funding.
Other players in the API management sector include Sonoa Systems and 3scale.
CloudWorks began life as a sort of outsourced IT department for small- and medium-sized businesses.
Now in addition to providing helpdesk services, CloudWorks also hosts its clients’ desktops, servers, software, files, email, backups, etc.
Clients simply log in to the Web-based service from any browser on a Mac or PC. Prices start at $45/month.
CloudWorks is particularly appropriate for businesses that have a number of salespeople who frequently work from the road or a large percentage of telecommuters.
In fact, CloudWorks’ own staff uses the service to perform their jobs every day.
Notable: CloudWorks lists Citrix, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, and Dell as its technology partners.
Skytap offers “cloud-based virtual labs.” Skytap’s stated goal is to “make serving up virtual machines over the internet as ubiquitous as delivering html to a browser.”
Skytap Virtual Lab provides users with self-service provisioning of virtual servers, storage and network bandwidth.
Tools allow for automated set-up and tear-down of application environments, along with quality assurance, IT operations testing and automated replication services.
Skytap also offers a software library that contains major operating systems, databases and IT- and business-related software.
Founded in 2006, the company closed a $7 million series B round of funding in March. The second-round funding from Ignition Partners, Madrona Venture Group and Washington Research Foundation brings the total raised to date to $13 million.
Customers include WildBlue, Acresso Software, Ellie Mae and Oracle.
Notable: Skytap is headed by CEO Scott Roza, who was formerly VP of worldwide OEM and channel sales for HP/Opsware’s Business Service Automation business unit.
John Janakiraman, VP of Engineering and CTO, was also previously with HP, where he was the research manager for the Data Center Architecture team at HP Labs.
Matt Perrine, VP of Sales and Business Development, was formerly EVP of Worldwide Sales at Asempra, an early stage start-up; before that he served as EMC’s first VP of Sales for its Open Software Division.
Unlike more traditional virtualization approaches, AppZero de-couples applications from the underlying operating system so that it is easier to move them from one server to another, which is especially helpful in a cloud computing environment. It calls this technology a Virtual Application Appliance or VAA.
Notable: Recently, AppZero and cloud computing hosting provider GoGrid announced a partnership that encourages enterprises to use AppZero VAAs to simplify the process of moving applications to the GoGrid cloud. And in April, Gartner listed AppZero as one of the Cool Vendors in Cloud Computing.”
Enki may be smaller than many of the companies offering utility computing services, but that seems to fit their target market—small- to medium-sized business.
They focus on providing pay-as-you-go cloud computing resources for companies that need to start small and ramp up.
Enki also offers consulting services and outsourced operations based on 3Tera’s AppLogic.
Notable: While it does contain some of the to-be-expected company hype, Enki’s blog also does a great job explaining some of the finer points of cloud computing.
In particular, you might want to check out the Cloud Computing 101 series.
We’re taking a bit of a flyer on CloudScale. The somewhat chatty (for still being in stealth mode) early stage startup promises to bring “real-time analytics to everyone – unleashing creativity and ‘turning real-time data into action’ everywhere.”
The company was founded by Bill McColl, who left the Oxford University Computing Lab to start the company.
McColl had been Professor of Computer Science and Chairman of the Faculty of Computer Science at Oxford.
Notable: Opened in January of this year, CloudScale plans to launch later this year.
The company claims that its technology will be as easy to use as a spreadsheet and will enable users “grappling with information overload to focus on only the most relevant real-time data and events of interest to them, with seamless integration from desktop or mobile clients to real-time intercloud analytics.”
Besides McColl, CloudScale’s management team also features Tony Faustini, who serves as VP of Business Development and Product Management and who was most recently with Microsoft Silicon Valley.
Formerly known as CloudNine, Hosting.com’s Cloud Enterprise solution lists flexibility, scalability, and efficiency as its key features.
Services are hosted in five fully redundant data centers strategically spread throughout the US (Denver, CO; Irvine, CA; Louisville, KY; Newark, NJ; and San Francisco, CA).
Although the company continues to do business as Hosting.com, in May of this year it was acquired by HostMySite.com.
Notable: Last fall, Hosting.com secured an additional $2 million in funding from CapitalSouth Partners, and in April, it announced an important partnership with VMware.
3Tera’s ambitious tagline, “Cloud Computing without Compromise,” refers to its AppLogic product, which is a grid operating system whose goal is to free clients from the constraints of specific hardware-software combinations.
AppLogic enables applications to be assembled using completely self-contained software elements, which 3Tera refers to as virtual appliances.
When an application starts working, its virtual infrastructure is created dynamically. In this scenario, an application is considerably more scalable.
This freedom from traditional hardware-software is a main theme of cloud computing – one of the many ways that the cloud upsets the existing status quo.
Notable: The company is partnering with RedPeak solutions, a cloud computing consultancy, to provide cloud service to enterprise customers.
3Tera’s customer list includes BT, a networked IT services provider, and Contegix, which provides hosting solutions for enterprise applications.
Appistry’s flagship product is the CloudIQ Platform, which aims to make it easier for companies to use both public and private clouds.
CloudIQ Platform incorporates the CloudIQ Manager, which was released earlier this year and makes it possible for enterprises to migrate existing applications to public and private clouds.
In July 2009, Appistry won an American Business Award as the “Most Innovative Company of the Year in Computer Software and Services Industries,” and Gartner’s Massimo Pezzini has called their solutions “fresh, radical, and powerful technology.”
Notable: In 2008, Appistry reported 200 percent year over year growth and expanded its list of Fortune 500 clients, which includes FedEx, Lockheed Martin, General Electric and Northrop Grumman.
10Gen provides commercial support for the open source MongoDB database. MongoDB is well-suited for a high volume, low value data like a Web site’s data store, and not so adapt for highly transactional systems like banking, which need a good old-fashioned (costly) relational database.
In the lean and low-cost world of cloud computing – especially for SMBs and developers looking to incorporate a cheap database into a larger solution – MongoDB serves a real need.
Notable: 10Gen has attracted $1.5 million in venture funding from New York-based Union Square Ventures. The company was co-founded by Kevin Ryan, the onetime CEO of DoubleClick.
Workday delivers enterprise-class HR, business management and financial software as on-demand services.
If not for an impressive leadership pedigree and a ton of VC money, we may not have included Workday in this roundup. Nearly every SaaS player is starting to throw around the term “cloud,” after all, but that doesn’t necessarily make them drivers of the space.
Workday, however, was founded in March 2005 by former PeopleSoft founder and CEO Dave Duffield, who serves as CEO and Chief Customer Advocate, and former PeopleSoft Chief Strategist, Aneel Bhusri, who serves as President.
In April, the company secured a $75 million series E round of funding from New Enterprise Associates, Greylock Partners and Duffield.
Notable: Workday was founded after Oracle snatched up PeopleSoft for $10.3 billion in a hostile takeover.
In the SaaS and cloud space, Workday most closely competes with – surprise, surprise – NetSuite, an Ellison-founded company.
Workday has 80+ customers, some of them former PeopleSoft clients poached from Oracle. Customers include StoneRiver, Chiquita Brands and Sony Pictures.
83) Wyse Technology
Wyse Technology refers to itself as a “thin computing,” rather than cloud computing company.
With Wyse’s solution, organizations can replace PCs with thin or “zero” clients, which results in reduced costs and streamlined device management.
Wyse’s “zero client computing” solution requires no local OS on the end unit. Instead, any device-side information is provisioned to the client desktop “when it is powered up, based on the worker’s role in the organization.”
In July, Wyse released its Virtual Desktop Accelerator (VDA) , which is intended to overcome latency issues associated with cloud-hosted applications.
According to Wyse, most hosted applications are typically 100-300 miles away from end users, a distance near enough to avoid latency and packet-loss issues.
However, as more and more applications are moved to distant cloud-computing centers, content delivery and application performance become problems.
Because of these issues, businesses are forced to maintain multiple data centers to handle all geographies.
Wyse claims that its VDA “virtually eliminates these geographic constraints by accelerating network protocols up to three times in order to greatly enhance remote end-user productivity and experience in virtualized settings.”
Notable: Tarkan Maner, President, CEO and Chief Customer Advocate, previously led marketing, product management, business development, and strategic business alliance initiatives at Computer Associates.
The majority of Wyse’s customers are in the education, government and health care sectors, although they are well represented in such other verticals as call centers and financial institutions. Customers include Americall Group, Gold’s Gym, Harvard University’s Physics Department and Norton Healthcare.
Savvis has built a name for itself as a hosting provider. In 2002, when Intel decided to exit the hosting business, Savvis was selected by Intel to provide hosting and network services to their clients.
Two years later Savvis acquired the assets of Cable & Wireless USA, which included 3,000 enterprise customers, 15 data centers and a Tier 1 backbone. Savvis now has over 2,000 employees and 28 data centers.
Leveraging current trends, the company also now has a cloud-related side of the business. Savvis fits into the Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud niche.
Savvis’s Cloud Compute combines the company’s traditional secure hosting service with expandable automated provisioning and virtualization technologies.
SavvisStation Portal allows customers to deploy services and application and step them up or down depending on usage.
Notable: Savvis claims its customers include 40 percent of the Fortune 100. Gartner has named the company a “leader” in its Magic Quadrant for Web Hosting and Hosted Cloud System Infrastructure Services.
Savvis is led by CEO Phil Koen, who previously served as President and CEO of Equinix.
Clearly, the world of cloud computing changes quickly, which means that some vendors shift focus just as quickly.
Sausalito-based firm Joyent in mid August sold two of its hosting services, BingoDisk and Strongspace, instead deciding to focus on cloud services and Web apps.
That was probably a smart move – hosting tends to be a commodity play, with less room to grow than the services sector.
Touting itself as “enterprise class cloud computing,” the company hopes to give Amazon Web Services some stiff competition.
To this end, Joyent and Sun’s database teams have partnered to create what they call Virtual Appliance templates for MySQL.
The result, claims Joyent: Performance benchmarks demonstrate that Joyent’s Virtual Appliance for MySQL can deliver 3 times the number of Transactions per Second than comparable deployments of XEN-based clouds, such as Amazon’s EC2.”
Of course never everyone agrees on benchmark tests – they can be done any number of ways. But it’s still an impressive sales claim.
One of Joyent’s competitors is Engine Yard, which also offers Ruby on Rails infrastructure services.
Notable: Joyent co-founder and CEO David Young worked at Moody’s Investor Service, and was also co-founder and CTO of manageStar, an enterprise services management software firm.
Mark Mayo, the company’s VP of engineering, was the Director of Grid Computing at the Genome Sciences Center. Joyent’s management team blogs at the Joyeur blog.