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In the run-up to the next Cloud Expo, 7th Cloud Expo (November 1–4, 2010) being held at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Silicon Valley, it's time to give my earlier list a complete overhaul. Here, accordingly, is an expanded list of the most active players in the Cloud Ecosystem. I have increased it from the 'mere' 150 I identified back in January of this year, to 250, testimony – as if any were needed! – to the fierce and continuing growth of the "Elastic IT" paradigm throughout the world of enterprise computing. Editorial note: The words in quotation marks used to describe the various services and solutions in this round-up are in every case taken from the Web sites of the companies themselves. Omissions to this Top 250 list should be sent to me via Twitter (twitter.com/jg21) and I will endeavor to include them in any future revision of this newly expanded rou... (more)

Money Really Moving to the Cloud

Ever wish you saved a blog title for that ‘perfect’ eye-catcher?  Well, I do.  Last week I wrote about some cloud surveys talking about how financial institutions are using cloud services titled: CloudFucius’ Money: Trickles to the Cloud.  I get to this week’s weekly entry and Ka-Chow (with apologies to Lightning McQueen) that would have been the perfect title to this entry.  Oh well, as to not be included in the Department of Redundancy Department Hall of Fame, I had to be a little creative with something slightly different.  And for all of you looking at the title and wondering, ‘Did this guy just copy his last blog entry?’  I can assure you, this is all new material so let’s get to it. Have you seen the news?  Cloud Computing Ranks High on Fujitsu’s M&A Shopping List; HP, Dell in Bidding War for Cloud Computing Provider; 6fusion is hiring after raising $3 millio... (more)

How Some Journalists Confuse People About Cloud

Simon Wardley and I had a quick exchange about the sloppily written and factually inaccurate writing of Wired’s Jon Stokes. Simon commented about a November post on Wired CloudLine as follows: @swardley:  ”This Wired post on cloud from Nov ’11 – where it isn’t wrong (repeating unfounded myths), it is tediously obvious – bit.ly/wWLbsL” I piled on and Simon posted about another post here. @swardley: “Oh dear, another of the wired author’s articles - http://bit.ly/vHWPZW – is so full of holes, well, no wonder people are confused.” Stokes replied here. @jonst0kes:  ”@cloudbzz @swardley And I’d like to think that one of you could write a real takedown instead of slinging insults on twitter.” Challenge accepted. Let me just start by stating the obvious – When a respected editor like Stokes at a very respected zine like Wired puts up crap, misinformation and rubbish, it... (more)

Cloud Questions: it’s all about applications if you ask me

We’re less than two months out of the next CloudCamp. As usual that means, we’re getting some question to give our thoughts on. I have to say the questions were really good this time. So I thought I’d share them here as well. Q: Agree or disagree? – “While the IT savings aspect is compelling, the strongest benefit of cloud computing is how it enhances business agility.” While I’m not sure whether cloud actually saves IT money, business agility is for sure the biggest benefit. And I believe there is a lot more to come. So far we’ve seen a lot of activity on the IAAS and SAAS levels but not so much on PAAS. There is not a lot of choice for developers today, especially in private clouds. Expect this to be the next wave of innovation. One example here is www.appcara.com, who enable service providers and enterprises to build a PAAS on top of any cloud. Amazon’s recently a... (more)

EC2 Creators Nimbula Get $15m Bankroll

Nimbula, the so-called cloud operating system start-up put in train by a couple of the boys credited with creating Amazon’s EC2 service, has gotten a $15 million B round. Accel Partners led the check-signing. Sequoia Capital also pulled out a pen. Sequoia and VMware, oddly enough, staked Nimbula to its $5.75 million first round. Accel, like Sequoia, gets a board seat. VMware’s ex-CEO Diane Greene – in another small world moment – also sits on the board but is not an investor. The money is supposed to go into developing hybrid cloud computing technologies and pushing out Nimbula’s RESTful HTTP API-based widgetry for managing on- and off-premises infrastructures. The stuff is now in beta with a few multinationals in financial services, technology and healthcare that have scads of servers. Nimbula, which came out of stealth mode in June after getting started early las... (more)

Is OpenStack Cloud Computing Rocket Science?

There’s a real explosion of cloud platforms and management tools, it seems you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one these days. In the commercial proprietary solutions space you have – CA’s 3Terra AppLogic, Enomaly, Nimbula, RightScale. In open source there are Eucalyptus, Cloud.com, Open Nebula and Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud. There are a bunch more that I failed to mention. It makes you wonder do we really need another one? How much different can they be? I am not sure but the newest one appears to be rather significant. Today Rackspace has thrown their hat in the ring with their new OpenStack initiative in collaboration with NASA — as in rocket scientists, smartest guys in the world. Unlike Amazon’s EC2 which preaches open APIs, Rackspace is working to develop an open source platform that compliments their hosted cloud offering. They also have a strong open so... (more)

Cloud Ecosystem and How the Players fit in the End-to-End Solution for Enterprise Customers

As we are in the early stages of the transformation offered by cloud computing, there is lot of confusion around how various solutions and offerings fit in the overall picture for enterprise customers and the benefits of various offerings.  Whether you have to deliver SaaS, PaaS, or Custom Apps there are three building blocks you need to deliver them, datacenter with virtualization, IaaS layer on top of virtualization, and application/workload management for efficient deployment and management.  It can be argued that you don’t need virtualization or IaaS to deliver the SaaS or PaaS offerings, however, if you care about efficiency and agility you will be better off leveraging the IaaS layer running on top of the virtualization layer and using a tool for application/workload management for deploying and managing your solutions (SaaS, PaaS, or Custom Apps),  All ... (more)

EC2 Creators Strike Out on Their Own

A couple of Amazon's boys, credited with leading the development of EC2, have struck out on their own and launched Nimbula, whose purpose is to "blend EC2-like scale, agility and efficiency with private infrastructure customization and control." Apparently the Silicon Valley-based Nimbula has been in stealth mode for over a year and brought in $5.75 million in Series A funding from Sequoia Capital and VMware. And apparently it will be going after large organizations with a yen to have an EC2 of their very own. Nimbula is starting with Nimbula Director, a so-called cloud operating system that manages on- and off-premise IT resources on customer-controlled infrastructure. It's supposed to be capable of linear scaling to thousands of nodes and automated hands-off installation and data center management. It promises metered bursting into public clouds like Amazon along... (more)

Cloud Computing in 2013

Marc Andreesen said recently that 2012 will be remembered as the year of SaaS. What he meant is that SaaS has been around for a while, but it came of age this year, with examples of successes such as the Workday IPO. No one questions the significance of SaaS any more. But the year 2013 will see a shift to PaaS (Platform as a Service) with “most” new activities. There is already a blurring of the lines between IaaS and PaaS, as seen from Amazon’s AWS stack. But programmatic interface in PaaS will dominate as we move forward, catering to the developer community. The incumbents such as IBM, Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, and Adobe (representing “on-premise” software) will have to combat with pure-play cloud players. I saw a list of cloud pioneers and new cloud tools that are be worth sharing. Among the names (arguably) of cloud pioneers here are the often quoted – Warren Vo... (more)

Nimbula - Things That Come To Mind

I just learned through Twitter that some ex Amazon guys announced their new company, Nimbula. Quite an interesting company with a few things to think about: (Some answers might already be given by others but I still have to start my actual research). The fact that AWS loses some of their key people, does that indicate there was disagreement? I always thought they should have done more for private clouds. Amazon and EC2-like is used a lot on the website – does Amazon still have a stake in this? It does kind of explain Martin Buhr’s relative silence on Twitter the past few months compared to the year before … VMware is an investor – Diane Green is a board member: is this how VMware innovates? Is VMware’s cloud portfolio not as complete is I thought it was? Isn’t this partly competitive with VMware? Why no further integration with VMware? What’s the TAM? Any ex-Sun... (more)

Nimbula Announces Cloud Computing Operating System that Blends Amazon EC2

For customers seeking Amazon EC2-like services behind the firewall, Nimbula, a startup founded by former Amazon executives, announced plans to deliver its first product based on a comprehensive cloud computing operating system that efficiently manages on- and off-premises IT resources on customer-controlled infrastructure. The announcement was made today at GigaOM's Structure 2010 cloud computing conference, where Nimbula was one of eleven finalists debuting at the conference's LaunchPad! session. Called Nimbula Director, the new product is currently in beta with half a dozen large international customers in the financial services, technology and healthcare industries. A formal product launch is planned for the fall. According to beta customer Joubert Steyn, Managing Director of Information Technology, Metropolitan Health Group, Nimbula Director is appealing because ... (more)