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Top Cloud Computing Companies of 2012

Written by Ken Kinlock
Published on Monday, 02 July 2012

saasIn looking at the benefits of moving to Cloud Computing, it keeps hitting me that size of the provider is important. Last thing you need is a provider that can't respond to your request for more resources for a new and critical project. In selling the Cloud concept, “scalability” is one of the “biggies” to wake up the client to the power of Cloud Computing. I took a look at the published results for 2012 and 2011 and put my own spin on them.

For the third year in a row, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been on top. Why not? They sort of pioneered this whole movement. AWS has cut prices 19 times in just the past six years. The first line on their WebSite sums up their positive attitude: “Creating an account is free, only pay for what you use” We need to remember they created this puppy in 2002 to utilize their excess computer capacity; look what they have done with it!

Rackspace Inc. (Last year at No. 6 was Rackspace). Even without new acquisitions, they still remain a leader. They have been a player since beginning in 1998 to host custom applications. They do managed hosting as well as public cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS), and hybrid cloud services that blend the two technologies. A great logo: “Run Your Cloud Anywhere; Get Fanatical Support Everywhere”.

One of three telcos to make this year’s list, CenturyLink spent $2.7 billion on Savvis Inc. This move gives them a network of 48 international data centers with nearly 2 million square feet of floor space. 

Last year at No. 3 was IBM.

Salesforce.com is the company that successfully pioneered cloud-based, enterprise-class CRM solutions. Now they are going after the next era of cloud computing: social media, mobile computing and real time. Salesforce believes its acquisition of Heroku, with its popular Ruby Platform as a Service, will help it establish a leadership position there.

Last year at No. 4 was Salesforce.com.

When Verizon/Terremark went on the Top 10 cloud computing providers of 2011 list (Last year at No. 2 was Verizon/Terremark), its future as one of the largest telco/cloud hybrids was still uncertain. Would enterprise cloud consumers see the value of the $1.4 billion deal? And would Terremark be able to give enterprises the customization they so desired? Since then: Terremark certainly hasn’t lost its cloud presence and Verizon definitely is not the only telco that sees the hot cloud computing market as a lucrative investment. Competition will be tight in 2012, though, as other telco cloud service providers like CenturyLink/Savvis, Level 3/Global Crossing and even Tata Communications fight to be heard in a market that’s cranking up the volume.

Last year at No. 5 was CSC.

Joyent Inc. has made some friends in high places. Last year a

t No. 10 was Joyent. In

2010, Dell chose Joyent to power its cloud; the public cloud provider is also the cloud engine behind several online gaming platforms as well as LinkedIn. This year, Joyent has been making announcements left and right about new strategic partnerships, focusing its efforts on data-intensive, high-performance applications.

Last year at No. 6 was Rackspace.

If market researcher IDC’s prediction that the cloud infrastructure market will grow to $11 billion by the end of next year is correct, then the folks running Citrix are going to look pretty smart. Citrix Systems Inc. has bought a basket of cloud computing infrastructure and services companies recently, most notably Cloud.com. Adding in the purchase of ShareFile, a provider of cloud-based data storage, should complement Citrix’s portfolio of virtualization and collaboration products including GoToMeeting.

Last year at No. 7 was Google.

Bluelock has steadily gained visibility the last several years by aligning itself closely with VMware’s vCloud Datacenter and by delivering cloud services with a solid reputation for reliability. The company, which connects users’ VMware data centers with its public cloud, has made a comfortable living focusing largely on small and midsize companies. It offers cloud hosting coupled with managed IT services.

Last year at No. 8 was Bluelock.

Microsoft is on the list again this year because of the size of its checkbook. They have an "all in" commitment to the cloud, despite some missteps.

Last year at No. 9 was Microsoft.

VMware is trying to position itself as the go-to guy, the middleman and an enabler to help enterprises get to private and public clouds. Whether businesses buy into VMware’s channel approach -- and whether these “clouds” turn out to be anything more than virtual data centers -- remains to be seen. But one thing’s for sure, VMware figures to be a force in 2012. As an example, VMware has announced an Open Source Project to enable Apache Hadoop to run on private and public Clouds.

Last year at No. 10 was Joyent.

Last year at No. 5 was CSC and last year at No. 7 was Google; both remain a force.

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