25 Cloud Vendors You Need To Know

2011 Need To Know: Cloud and SaaS Vendors

The cloud computing and SaaS markets are growing to sky-high proportions. Forrester Research has estimated that come 2020, the cloud computing market will be a $241 billion behemoth. Cloud computing and SaaS have both caught their stride by promising applications and infrastructure at a fraction of the cost and without the need for clunky hardware and bulky software licenses.

There are a host of vendors out there ready to capture the massive market opportunity that the cloud and SaaS create. This list comprises the cloud and SaaS vendors that have made the biggest splash both in the market and with the channel, from massive mainstays like Dell, HP and IBM to up-and-comers in the enterprise cloud space like Google, NetSuite and Workday.

Whether it’s productivity apps in the cloud, cloud services or SaaS-based on-demand CRM, these vendors seized a market in transition and did it well. These are the big boys, the ones you need to know about.


For all intents and purposes, Amazon created cloud computing. Its cloud computing offerings, which cover infrastructure with Elastic Compute Cloud and storage with the Simple Storage Service, paved the way for cloud computing as we know it.


AT&T offers cloud storage and compute services under its Synaptic umbrella and has pledged to put the bulk of a $1 billion investment into cloud computing as it battles other traditional telcos, carriers and cable companies for dominance.


CA has put more than $1 billion into cloud computing through a series of strategic acquisitions. The company is now building out its portfolio of cloud computing offerings that let MSPs take the reins of their customers’ clouds.


Cisco is making a massive push into the cloud, and is playing up its network prowess as setting the stage for cloud computing. The company’s cloud play is a continuation of the virtualization story it started with its Unified Computing System.


Open cloud, NetScaler Cloud and now ’personal cloud’ only scratch the surface of Citrix’s repertoire. Citrix built a foundation with virtualization and application delivery offerings and has continually expanded upon it to be a cloud powerhouse.


Dell has launched a private cloud strategy and a public cloud strategy and is continuing to bulk up its presence in the growing cloud game with a host of strategic big-dollar acquisitions that raise its cloud computing profile, such as its recent buy of Boomi.


The infrastructure monster has dived headfirst into cloud computing with its own cloud and virtualization plays, and with strategic partnerships with the likes of Cisco and VMware through VCE to move its traditional big data customers to the cloud.


GoGrid offers pureplay Infrastructure-asa- Service that gives customers a secure and reliable hosted cloud platform on which to deploy and manage their applications and workloads. GoGrid’s Partner Exchange Platform lets ISVs and developers monetize cloud apps.


From productivity apps to a development platform, Google Apps and Google App Engine, respectively, Google has made a massive name for itself in the cloud game. Google has evolved beyond just Docs and Gmail to become a true cloud force.


HP rattled cloud cages everywhere with its proclamation that it would lead the cloud market in the near term. With a wide portfolio of private cloud offerings and public cloud plays and an apps marketplace on the way, the company means business.


This year, IBM launched financing and equipment rental options for partners to build a cloud business and a cloud deployment platform for production environments, moves that have IBM confident that its cloud sales will double by year’s end.


Intacct’s name says it all: take ’Internet’ and add ’accounting’ and boom, there’s Intacct. The company pioneered SaaS by giving small and midsize businesses an online, or cloudbased, accounting software option amid a sea of on-premise and desktop-tied offerings.


Intuit has become a household name thanks to its consumer TurboTax software, but it’s its cloud and SaaS-based business-focused financial and tax preparation offerings like Quicken and QuickBooks that put the software maker at the top of the SaaS heap.


Joyent makes software that lets users run their own clouds. With the company’s SmartDataCenter line of products, Joyent has been giving organizations the keys to drive their own public clouds via a complete software stack and a growing set of services.


Microsoft wasn’t bluffing about its ’all in’ cloud strategy. Since that proclamation, Microsoft has hit hard with its Windows Azure platform and a host of other cloud plays while also paving the way for Office 365, its soon-to-be cloud productivity suite.


NetSuite rivals Salesforce.com with its cloud software that ties financials and accounting, CRM, inventory and e-commerce software into one system. And NetSuite makes sure the channel is taken care of with incentives the bigger players can’t offer.


OpSource offers up cloud and managed hosting solutions for businesses to whittle down IT infrastructure and tighten up costs. On top of its hosting, it adds application, change and performance management and application optimization.


Rackspace changed the game when it moved from its traditional hosting model to cloud computing via its CloudServers compute offering and CloudFiles storage play. Rackspace also is the driving force behind the OpenStack cloud project.


Salesforce calls itself the original cloud company, and in many ways that’s true. Its cloud-based on-demand CRM portfolio is the biggest in the biz. Salesforce pioneered the subscription-based software model and has recently added more social capabilities.


Savvis, which was acquired by CenturyLink, made its bones as an IT services company offering hosting, cloud, co-location and connectivity via its stable of data centers. And as part of a major telco, Savvis is expected to extend its reach.


Symantec is delivering a one-two punch of cloud security and cloud storage. With Symantec. cloud it is eliminating hardware and offering a cloud-based endpoint protection via e-mail, Web and instant messaging. And for storage, Symantec delivers a scalable platform.


Terremark became a cloud darling and a service provider up-and-comers would model themselves after. It offers cloud computing through its Enterprise Cloud infrastructure, vCloud Datacenter service and vCloud Express. It was recently acquired by Verizon.


Among carriers, Verizon has made the biggest push into the cloud. With a computing-as-a-service offering, cloud security and a host of other cloud services, plus its acquisition of Terremark, Verizon has become a cloud leader with a vision of everything-as-a-service.


VMware got the virtualization ball rolling and stormed the cloud with offerings that include its vCloud Director. And with the recent launch of the open-source PaaS Cloud Foundry and strategic cloud partnerships, VMware is shouldering its way into the cloud.


Workday is making the SaaS model its own with its on-demand software offerings for global human resources, payroll and financial management. Workday bills its next generation of business services as a SaaS alternative, but it has made itself a top contender.