At the beginning of the new millennium there was not yet such a thing as a cloud computing vendor, though (as we have seen) teams were already hard at work on several significant efforts . . . and several of these eventually blossomed into key cloud computing vendors.
In fact, only a few years after a modest beginning for the nascent industry, there is a vibrant vendor ecosystem, with everything from relatively established players to the latest, most hopeful startups, and much in between. Hardly a month passes without numerous, significant product announcements, nor a quarter without new vendors and open source projects.
Cloud computing is clearly an area of rapid evolution. As a result, in order to ensure the most useful (current) information this brief appendix contains information that is least likely to change rapidly—overview information for the major categories, including examples of some of the vendors in each category.
Comprehensive, current listings of companies and products, including industry trends and recent developments are available on the web site. The major categories include three that correspond to the major layers of the cloud technology stack, and two for those providing expertise in one form or another. Each category includes vendors focused on public, private, and hybrid cloud offerings; those focused on commercial as well as government markets; startups and the established; open source, open distribution, and traditional distribution models; and in many cases, all of the above.
Of course certain vendors have offerings in more than one category; a handful intend to cover each category, though that will likely be difficult to achieve and maintain. In any case, here are the major categories, along with a few notes about the history that shaped each category.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Vendors in the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) category primarily fall into two broad groups: those that provide an existing IaaS and those that provide technology to enable IaaS. Vendors that provide an existing IaaS generally come from cloud technology providers (e.g., Amazon), managed services or hosting providers (e.g., Rackspace, Savvis, etc.), and integrated vendors such as HP, IBM, and Dell.
The technology providers include those who provide software stacks to manage physical or virtualized infrastructure (such as VMWare) as well as those who provide hardware (of varying degrees of commodity) that is intended for easy stacking, replacement, and so forth (all of the major hardware providers, several startups, and certain fresh entrants from nontraditional vendors, such as Cisco).
This is a category that is likely to see significant innovation– in particular, as the trend towards commoditization of the infrastructure matures, then very-high volume providers of commodity infrastructure are likely to dominate, both amongst the ready to consume IaaS and the technology providers.