|By Jeremy Geelan||
|October 28, 2008 07:00 PM EDT||
What are the three companies expected to benefit most from the cloud computing boom? One answer would be Google, Akamai, and VMware - according anyway to the Rule Breakers newsletter run by the founder of The Motley Fool, Dave Gardner.
"At Motley Fool Rule Breakers, we believe cloud computing will massively disrupt the desktop computing industry that came before it -- and we think three stocks, in particular, will profit handsomely from the shift," writes Tim Beyers, who adds:
"Cloud computing is to storing and processing data what the electrical grid is to plugging in your television: a scalable way to deliver services while matching supply and demand across the grid."
But SYS-CON's Cloud Computing Journal would most certainly add Amazon to the list of the heaviest heavy-hitters in cloud computing. In fact, right now there are as many as fifty companies highly active in the space. As follows from the list below.
Editorial note: The words used to describe the various services and solutions are in every case taken from the Web sites cited, so as ever we encourage developers, IT operations managers, and new/growing companies in every case to "suck it and see" by downloading or otherwise sampling the offering in question for themselves.
Omissions should be sent to cloud (at) sys-con.com, and we will endeavor to include them in a future revision of this round-up.
3Tera - Offering what it calls "Cloud Computing Without Compromise," 3Tera enables the provision and deployment of "scalable clustered applications in minutes from anywhere in the world." The company currently has partners and is running in datacenters in seven countries (United States, Japan, Singapore, Argentina, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Serbia) on four continents (North America, South America, Asia, and Europe), with additional resources in South America and Australia soon to be available as well.
Amazon - When Amazon introduced its virtual computing environment, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud or EC2, "to enable you to increase or decrease capacity within minutes, not hours or days," it singlehandedly brought Cloud Computing to the very forefront of public awareness by using Web services to provide what it called resizable compute capacity in the cloud." EC2 runs within Amazon's proven network infrastructure and datacenters and allows customers to pay only for what they use (there is no minimum fee).
Appistry - As a company that positions itself boldly "At the convergence of Grid Computing, Virtualization and SOA" Appistry offers a grid-based application platform that makes it very easy to scale-out CPU- and data-intensive applications across a virtualized grid of commodity servers. Unlike traditional grid products based on legacy scheduler technology, the company's robust "fabric" architecture has no single point of failure and "is well suited for extreme transaction processing (XTP), software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud computing, and other data- and CPU-intensive applications."
Aptana - Aptana has recently beta-released Aptana Cloud, which it says "is architected to complement Cloud infrastructure providers like Amazon, Google, Joyent and others." Targeted at rapid development, in particular web applications that need to scale rapidly (think Facebook applications etc.), Aptana cloud plugs into the Aptana IDE.
AT&T - AT&T broke into the cloud business in August 2008 with the global launch of what it calls AT&T Synaptic Hosting - described as "a next-generation utility computing service with managed networking, security and storage for businesses."
Cassatt - As early as 2004 Cassatt, led by visionary CEO Bill Coleman (the 'B' in BEA Systems), was outlining a roadmap to deliver on the promise of automating IT operations for on-demand computing. Currently its angle, Cloud Computing-wise, is to focus not on public or external clouds but on 'Internal Clouds' since external cloud computing but may be ruled out due to lack of SLA control, security, and compliance, whereas Cassatt contends there is an alternative: an internal Utility Computing architecture yielding the same simplicity and economies-of-scale as an external PaaS cloud. Definitely a company to watch.
Cisco - By virtue of its recent acquisitions, most significantly WebEx and PostPath, Cisco is firmly on its way to joining the Cloud Crowd. “We are believers in the cloud-based delivery model for certain types of services in particular inter-company collaboration services, and that is why we got WebEx and now PostPath,” Charles Carmel, Cisco's vice president of corporate development, told Red Herring in August 2008.
Cloudworks - The goal of Cloudworks is to allow small and mid-market companies to outsource all of their computers, software, and data. Completely web-based, it works like Salesforce or Hotmail - a company's employees can log in through a web browser to access their desktop, server, software, files, email...everything.
CohesiveFT - As the provider of what it calls 'Elastic Server On-Demand' - aimed at "enabling customers to build and manage applications for virtualized infrastructure and cloud computing," CohesiveFT's Elastic Server Platform allows users to assemble and deploy servers to Cloud Computing Platforms "in minutes." The company likes to think of Elastic Server as a Great Enabler, "allowing you to package your apps for prime time, and do it all by yourself."
Desktoptwo - This "Cloud desktop" offering from Sun Global Partner Sapotek describes itself as "your home in the cloud" and already claims to have users in 120 countries and a vibrant community.
Elastra - Styling itself as a provider of "Elastic Computing," Elastra offers to "design, deploy & manage database and application infrastructure in the Cloud in minutes - all with the click of a button." Dedicated to providing companies building applications with a way to radically innovate the way they develop their products and deliver them on IT infrastructure, Elastra's aim is to help a company "unlock the value of cloud computing by using virtualized hardware environments with cloud-provisioned database and infrastructure software that are easily configurable and do not require scripting, respond elastically to changing load and are delivered in the cloud with meter-based pricing."
EMC - When creating a Cloud Computing division within the company in February 2008, EMC CEO Joe Tucci delared that 85 percent of data will be managed in what he called "big, safe information repositories in the Internet ’sky,’ so to speak. We’re [talking] cloud computing..."
Engine Yard - As a company dedicated to "furthering innovation in Ruby, Rails and cloud computing," Engine Yard offers Rails-focused 24/7 operations support on top of great infrastructure to companies in search of a smooth path from 100 users to 100,000 users. In July 2008 the company closed $15 million of Series B financing led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), which included participation from Amazon.com.
ENKI - The company aim is "to allow you to focus on delivering your application to your customers while we handle the operations side: providing computing as a reliable service."
Enomalism - Founded in November 2005 by Enomaly Inc, Enomalism - a so-called "Elastic Computing" platform - focuses on "solving the cost and complexity for enterprises that run large technical server infrastructures." Enomalism's flavor of cloud computing simplifies IT management as well as increases efficiencies of system resources. "IT administrators no longer need to install software and manually set up all the systems, but may instead use management software do this. Resources are used more efficiently because computers can be consolidated to achieve more tasks. This ensures that underutilized systems do not sit idle."
Force.com - see SalesForce.com
GigaSpaces - Founded in 2000, with offices in the US, Europe and Asia, GigaSpaces allows businesses and developers "to predictably scale on-line systems under any peak demand, guarantee real-time performance under any data processing load and seamlessly leverage the economies of scale offered by virtual computing environments such as clouds and grids."
Google - Without a doubt 'the elephant in the cloud' - According to this well-researched article, Google filed as long ago as February 2006 a provisional patent application with 91 different numbered claims that arguably makes it clear that Google has a multi-year lead in cloud computing.
Heroku - According to the San Francisco-based company's founders, "Heroku means never thinking about hosting or servers again." In May 2008 they raised a $3 million round of funding for their online deployment system for Ruby on Rails apps. Heroku is a Y Combinator start-up.
Hyperic - Founded in 2004, Hyperic provides complete, easy-to-use monitoring and management software for all types of web applications, including hosting it in the cloud via its CloudStatus dashboard currently in beta.
IBM - IBM approaches cloud computing "from the inside out" as it describes it. This means that Big Blue's focus is on building the most secure, efficient and resilient infrastructure for today’s organizations, and building the cloud experience as part of that infrastructure. With more than a dozen Blue Cloud Computing Centers worldwide, IBM provides cloud services, ready for use, designed to assist organizations in proving a cloud experience for their constituents. In addition, IBM is the premier company to help build an organization’s private cloud, or leverage any of the many IT services that are today provided by IBM through cloud computing, like Capacity on Demand, or the IBM Information Protection Services.
Joyent - The Joyent platform, which "enables teams to effectively communicate and collaborate with email, calendaring, contacts, file sharing, and other shared applications," already serves billions of Web pages every month and helped LinkedIn scale to 1 billion page views per month. Self-described as an "On-Demand Computing" provider, Joyent has developed, built and scaled some of the earliest Ruby on Rails applications – and as a result, developed a world-class infrastructure, a methodology around how to deploy and scale (both up and down) Rails applications.
Keynote Systems - Long a player in the SaaS space, Keynote recently announced the opening of its cloud infrastructure and is offering any Web team concerned with their end users’ experience free access to KITE (Keynote Internet Testing Environment), its product for testing and analyzing the performance of Web applications across the Internet cloud. With a Web application’s performance depending on a variety of clouds’ infrastructures, ad servers and other third party content, potential pitfalls grow exponentially and Keynote contends understandably that "it’s more important than ever for Internet companies to test and measure applications to ensure a superior end user experience." With KITE, companies have free access to Keynote’s cloud infrastructure and a tool to test and monitor their applications from cities all over the world, helping mitigate performance issues.
LongJump - The Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution that LongJump offers is described by the company as "an on-demand platform for creating and delivering business applications to manage data, streamline collaborative processes and provide actionable analysis." The company claims that the LongJump platform has "extensive features around security access, data analysis and visualization, and process automation – all on the web."
Microsoft - According to this recent article - "Microsoft's Cloud Vision is Coming Together" - Redmond's Cloud Platform vision is coming together. "Look for more information at PDC2008!" writes Microsoft Developer & Platform Evangelist John C. Stame.
Nirvanix - Provider of an enterprise cloud offering that offers companies with more than 5TBs of data a highly scalable storage and delivery platform, Nirvanix has already raised more than $18 million in funding from world-class investors including Intel Capital. The company's customers include Fortune 50, media and entertainment and innovative Web 2.0 customers.
Parallels - Founded in 1999, Parallels optimizes computing by providing virtualization and automation software to businesses and service providers across all major hardware, operating systems, and virtualization platforms. Parallels is working closely with a network of ISVs and service providers to enable them to build their cloud computing and software-as-a-service offerings, meeting the needs of end-user organizations of all size. Parallels technology is also used by large enterprises creating their own in-house clouds.
Platform Computing - Founded in 1992, Platform is a pioneer and global leader in HPC (high-performance computing) and takes the view that there is an intersection between grid computing and cloud computing in that both cloud and grid propose an architecture that masks the complexity of managing thousands of commodity servers from their users.
SalesForce.com - has a toolkit for cloud computing development, Force.com.
RightScale - The company's main offering is an automated cloud computing management system that helps companies create scalable web applications running on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). Through its platform and consulting services it "enables companies to create scalable web solutions running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) that are reliable, easy to manage, and cost less."
rPath - Founded in 2005, rPath is pioneering an approach for application distribution and management known as "virtual appliances" - which in turn are a key enabler of cloud computing. "Virtual appliances eliminate the hassles of the general purpose operating system and free vendors and customers to focus on application value instead of technology management," says the company. Virtual appliances eliminate the time consuming task of installing, configuring and maintaining complex application environments.
ServePath/GoGrid - Launched in 2006 as ServePath’s latest growth opportunity, GoGrid, claims the company, "delivers true 'Control in the Cloud' by combining many of the familiar features of dedicated server or managed hosting with the flexibility and scalability of cloud server hosting." In other words, with GoGrid customers can grow production servers in real time to meet demand without affecting their uptime. Provisioning and de-provisioning of servers is all done via the Internet.
SIMtone - Durham, NC based SIMtone has developed and commercialized a 'Universal Cloud Computing Platform' that allows network operators and businesses "to host, manage and quickly provision any cloud-hosted services, and ubiquitously deliver them to zero-touch terminals that can be standalone, low cost hardware appliances, or software terminals usable via browsers or on PCs, thin clients and mobile devices."
Skytap - Seattle-based Skytap's goal is "to make serving up virtual machines over the internet as ubiquitous as delivering HTML to a browser." Its initial product offering, Skytap Virtual Lab, is a hosted, on-demand service for virtual lab automation and management.
SmugMug - Founded 5 years ago, SmuMug calls itself "the ultimate in photosharing" since it offers unlimited storage and stores backup copies of each photo in multiple datacenters. With more than 315,000 paying customers already, and 288,000,000 photos, SmugMug is a QED of cloud computing.
SOASTA - No one who heard SOASTA speak at AJAXWorld in 2007 about best practices in AJAX testing will be surprised to hear that Web testing is also at the heart of its CloudTest offering, a Cloud-based testing solution "built on the cloud to enable application testing in the cloud."
SOASTA Executive Chairman Kevin Gardner is a speaker at SYS-CON's upcoming Cloud Computing Expo in San Jose, CA (19-21 November, 2008).
Sun - In July 2008, David Douglas was named Senior Vice President of Network.com, Sun's offering based on the Sun Grid project. Douglas is now the head of Sun's overall cloud computing initiative and his group now reports directly to Sun's CEO Jonathan Schwartz. ""We continue to see huge potential in the cloud space," commented Douglas as the news of his appointment was announced.
Terremark - Offering 'Enterprise Cloud' services that "let you control a resource pool of processing, storage and networking and allow you to deploy server capacity on demand," Terremark as years of experience managing complex, mission critical infrastructures and applications for leading companies around the world.
VMware - A virtualization leader and pioneer, VMware has effectively delivered the technology that makes today’s clouds possible. With the pervasive presence of VMware in many accounts, enterprises are leveraging their virtualization infrastructure to build internal clouds, and leverage technology like VMotion to flex resources for DR or test and development to external clouds, as needed. Its vCloud initiative, says the company, "offers users of all sizes this robust and reliable platform, support for any application on or off site, and choice from over 100 service providers worldwide who deliver the cloud on VMware."
VMware's VP of Emerging Business, Dan Chu, is a speaker at SYS-CON's upcoming Cloud Computing Expo in San Jose, CA (19-21 November, 2008). He will be giving a session entitled "The Enterprise Cloud: Applications On and Off Premise."
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Nov. 28, 2014 05:00 PM EST Reads: 1,273
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,352
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 PM EST Reads: 1,686
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 1,358
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 1,506
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
Nov. 27, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,700
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 27, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,319
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Nov. 27, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,256
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Nov. 27, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 1,280
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 1,556
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:00 AM EST Reads: 1,528
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 1,362
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 1,423
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,223
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,268
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Nov. 26, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,651
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 24, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,743
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,645
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Nov. 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,778
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,810