Who are some of the top Cloud Computing service providers?
If you own a business or are involved in some facet of management (IT or corporate) you’re probably familiar with the online chatter concerning cloud computing and the many benefits it offers. Given its increasing popularity and full-service nature, many businesses are opting to sign up with cloud providers in lieu of taking a more hands-on approach (i.e. a private cloud).
What is a cloud provider and what do they do, you ask? You should think of a cloud provider as operating in a similar fashion as that of a utility company. In other words, a cloud service provider is basically offering you a metered service, which is based on consumption. However, unlike utility companies (which act to only provide access to a resource) cloud providers often give their clients a complete solution. This is to say that many of these companies aren’t simply granting you access to their hardware / service, they actually mange, maintain and / or set up your infrastructure. Of course this type of implementation isn’t always completely self-contained and/or remote; often times, those who are have cloud providers will also need qualified personnel on-site to manage IT assets. This is why it’s a great idea to get your IT squad certified in cloud computing. Additionally, if you are an IT professional, now is the time to familiarize yourself with some of the finer points of cloud computing, if for no other reason than to protect your future career.
The following cloud service providers are among the most visible, dependable, affordable, and impressive for 2012. These providers have tailor-made services which are designed to compliment the needs of various types and sizes of businesses as well. So, without further ado, let’s start shopping.
Bluelock is a cloud service provider that primarily seems to service mid to small sized businesses. In addition to offering fully managed services, Bluelock has been a leader in terms of convincing more and more organizations to transition (all or in part) to cloud computing.
This public cloud provider is fairly well known given that it is the engine behind LinkedIn, Dell, and a bevy of online gaming sites. Joyent has been primarily concerned with forging new partnerships in recent months, as well as with integrating all manner of accelerated-performance applications. As if all of that weren’t enough, Joyent is also forming strategic partnerships with emerging telecommunications companies; definitely a provider to keep an eye on in the future.
CenturyLink / Savvis
The recent merger or rather, absorption of Savvis into CenturyLink has produced what can only be described as an extremely significant cloud provider. Given that CenturyLink already has a great number of infrastructure-related assets on hand (networking and hosting) and Savvis, as an entity, is capable of providing managed cloud services as well as products, it is pretty clear that this is a match made in heaven.
A very forward thinking company, Rackspace is currently able to offer its customers managed hosting, Public cloud hosting (PaaS), and even hybrid cloud service. To say that the company is doing well would be an understatement; they are seeing significant growth year over year (in 2011 they netted around $1.3 Billion). This is a great “all-purpose” cloud provider for businesses, whether they are looking for a complete solution or perhaps a gentle transition to the cloud by way hybridization.
Amazon web services, a.k.a. AWS
Seeing Amazon on a list of the top cloud providers shouldn’t really come as any great surprise. Since the emergence of the cloud computing market, Amazon has been right there with various types of services and products for a variety of customers. Amazon’s AWS offers its users a dizzying number of simple to understand (and implement) options which are coupled with a managed service. Not only does AWS give its clientele options for each category of their service (storage, networking, database, etc…), it also achieves this at an extremely affordable / attractive price. There’s a very good reason that Amazon is a leader in providing cloud computing services, they have the tools, resources, finances, and vision needed to really deliver a top-tier experience.
So there you have it, 5 excellent cloud computing providers to choose from (assuming you are establishing service in 2012). While it’s impossible to say which of these organizations is going to be able to deliver the best type of solution for your money (without having knowledge of the specifics involved with regards to your business and industry), it’s safe to say that any of these fine companies should be more than able to provide you with top-notch cloud service.