Part 2: Cloud Computing – A Complex Ecosystem?

Cloud Landscape

There are many different ways to categorize the players involved in enabling the Cloud Computing space. A simple category consists of those who simply provide “Public Cloud” services –  3rd parties who host the services for enterprises outside the fire-wall.

Then there’s a small group who help you provision cloud services (private and/or public) from “bare metal” (starting with the actual hardware). These companies will attempt to install the software on your datacenter servers from operating system to enterprise applications.

Lastly, there’s the cloud stack itself – the software that makes up the software components used by enterprises to deploy public and private cloud services.

  1. Public Cloud Vendors
  2. Cloud Provisioning
  3. Cloud Stack

Enterprise Applications

These applications can consist of legacy programs developed for departments within enterprise lines of business, whether they be executive tools in general, marketing, sales, engineering, HR, finance, manufacturing, or otherwise.

Application Middleware

These applications are components of the cloud offering that tightly integrate with enterprise application layer, often augmenting it. Examples include:

  1. Monetization/Billing/Payments
  2. Identity/authentication
  3. Voice

Development & Test

These applications are used to help develop and debug cloud applications – namely, a development environment. Examples include:

  1. Ruby on Rails dev platform
  2. Virtual machine application stack creation/test
  3. Quality Assurance

Virtualization Management

This suite of applications provide value-add on top of public cloud providers (e.g. Amazon) with extended management dashboards as well as hypervisor console extensions. Example functionality includes:

  1. Virtual machine deployment, monitoring, bundling
  2. Image configuration, tracking, modification (within VM)
  3. User access controls
  4. Load balancing / auto-scaling
  5. Application frameworks (e.g. for, google, etc.)
  6. Hierarchy navigation (cloud -> datacenter -> rack -> physical box -> VMs)

Cloud storage / data management

This segment can provided as a part of a storage-centric public cloud service or as components to building your private cloud. Functionality includes:

  1. Create & manage cloud storage
  2. Virtualization of server storage
  3. Storage SaaS
  4. HW solutions for Cloud attached storage
  5. On-demand file serving
  6. Data security

Provisioning Systems

These systems are the most complex, offering to automate the creation of datacenter cloud installations (whether for private or public usage). Functionality can include:

  1. Bare metal provisioning (to VM layer) for Private Clouds
  2. VM application stack provisioning (Private & Public)
  3. Private/Public cloud software upgrades/lifecycle management
  4. API layer mimicking public cloud service, providing seamless private/public cloud application I/F

Public Cloud Offerings

A host of providers fit into this space, with the top ten players including:

  1. Amazon EC2
  3. Flexiscale
  4. Joyent Accelerators
  5. Microsoft Azure
  6. Rackspace Mosso Cloud
  7. ServePath GoGrid
  8. Skytap
  9. Sun Microsystems Cloud
  10. Terremark Enterprise Cloud

Part 3: Cloud Computing – A Complex Ecosystem?

Part 1: Cloud Computing – A Complex Ecosystem

Jim Kaskade

Jim Kaskade is a serial entrepreneur & enterprise software executive of over 36 years. He is the CEO of Conversica, a leader in Augmented Workforce solutions that help clients attract, acquire, and grow end-customers. He most recently successfully exited a PE-backed SaaS company, Janrain, in the digital identity security space. Prior to identity, he led a digital application business of over 7,000 people ($1B). Prior to that he led a big data & analytics business of over 1,000 ($250M). He was the CEO of a Big Data Cloud company ($50M); was an EIR at PARC (the Bell Labs of Silicon Valley) which resulted in a spinout of an AML AI company; led two separate private cloud software startups; founded of one of the most advanced digital video SaaS companies delivering online and wireless solutions to over 10,000 enterprises; and was involved with three semiconductor startups (two of which he founded, one of which he sold). He started his career engineering massively parallel processing datacenter applications. Jim has an Electrical and Computer Science Engineering degree from University of California, Santa Barbara, with an emphasis in semiconductor design and computer science; and an MBA from the University of San Diego with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and finance.