The 100 Coolest Cloud Computing Vendors

Cloud computing certainly has become cool. Some might say it’s on the verge of being ’Fonzie cool.’ So cool in fact, that nearly everyone is getting in on the game out of fear of being left behind. As we storm into 2010, vendors are either paddling out to catch the wave or risking being sucked in by the undertow; VARs are too.

Among the myriad vendors with their heads in the clouds, there are plenty that do it right. But what makes these 100 cloud vendors collected here so cool isn’t just the technology. These guys attack the cloud with a certain panache. A sort of swagger, if you will. They get the job done and they look good doing it.

And as the cloud continues to evolve from a buzzword to a critical technology, solution providers are going to have to rely on these vendors more and more, especially as organizations look to eliminate the overhead and capital expenditures that legacy on-premise hardware and software solutions can carry. Moving applications and systems into the cloud is the future, and the future is now.

’You have to transform the way you think,’ said John Ross, CTO of GreenPages, a Kittery, Maine-based solution provider. ’[VARs] have to transform themselves into service providers.’

The 100 vendors listed here in five categories -- storage, security, productivity, infrastructure and platforms -- do just that: They help VARs transform themselves into true service providers and help organizations and enterprises take advantage of the ease, flexibility, scalability, elasticity and cost savings that leveraging cloud computing has to offer.

This list comprises household high-tech names you’re no doubt familiar with. They’ve maintained their cool by attacking a new market with style and grace. The roundup also contains dozens of vendors that may have, until now, flown under your radar, but as you cautiously cross the cloud computing chasm it would behoove you to get to know them and get to know them well.

Cloud computing is at a critical intersection, and these 100 vendors are the crossing guards. They’re going to help you and your customers get to your cloud computing destinations quickly and safely and in a way that’s unique. It’s all going to happen really fast. Take a deep breath and dive in, because pretty soon you’ll find yourself stopping and saying, ’Whoa! That was cool!’