Cloud computing companies are sprouting up faster than flowers in springtime. The surest sign of a new industry is a plethora of startups, and that is certainly the case in the cloud computing industry.
But after cloud computing’s first decade, there are two distinctly different truths.
First, the inevitable consolidation has not taken place. Sure, big firms have snapped up small players, but many cloud startups are still in growth mode and not looking to be bought.
Second, the presence of old school tech giants in cloud computing. Established firms are often the last to embrace a technology, or at least very late to it. They are so enamored to their current business model that there is no room for embracing a new one – or they fear the new model because it could disrupt their current business.
That's not the case here. In our list of the 50 leading cloud computing companies, you will see big names that have been around for decades. They recognized the new trend quick and got on board quick, too.
Please note: this list of cloud vendors is not in order of dominance or market share. Too many variables are involved to truly rank 50 cloud companies that way.
Cloud Computing Companies: the Leaders
What started as an experiment to use idle capacity has grown into the largest, most comprehensive cloud offering in the world. Its offerings range from compute, network, storage, and backup to software like DevOps and database. AWS is clearly and inarguably the 500-pound gorilla in the cloud computing sector.
Rather than fearing the new paradigm like it did with the Internet in the 1990s, Microsoft has embraced the cloud with a full on-demand service, Azure, and put two of its biggest cash cows – Office and SQL Server – in Azure for anyone to use.
In addition to its massive services offering to help migrate to a cloud environment, IBM smartly grabbed PaaS provider Softlayer in 2014 and jump-started its on-demand offering, giving people platform and infrastructure as a service. That's just the beginning of Big Blue's massive offerings, which include managed services, SDN, cloud migration services and on-premises private cloud servers and software.
Its Helion cloud service flamed out but HPE is deeply involved in the OpenStack community, offers an application development platform for cloud development and has an AWS-compatible platform for building private clouds called Eucalyptus, among other features.
The on-premises software giant has heavily leveraged its offerings into SaaS, PaaS and IaaS offerings, including middleware, database, Java, security and identity-management services that enable integrating legacy systems with cloud systems.
The consulting giant provides both private and hybrid cloud management solutions. Its flagship product is the CSC Agility Platform, which offers management, governance, and security across multiple public and private clouds.
The granddaddy of SaaS, the company has grown well beyond its initial offering of on-demand CRM to offer PaaS through its Force.com offering, an app builder called Site.com and a helpdesk system called Desk.com
Salesforce for the little guy. NetSuite offers cloud-based ERP, CRM and e-commerce applications for small- to mid-sized businesses. It is in the process of being acquired by oracle.
With 55 datacenters around the country, CenturyLink provides public and private cloud services, including bare metal servers that are IBM's main selling point, along with managed services and PaaS for writing apps without dealing with the underlying platform.
Verizon tried to get into the enterprise cloud market after the acquisition of Terremark but is unloading that business now to work on helping customers move legacy services to other clouds, like Amazon and Microsoft. It is also looking to be the connection provider between cloud services and data centers.
The telecom giant is making good on its commitment to deploy state-of-the-art infrastructure across its network and data centers. AT&T is working with Juniper Networks to deploy software-defined networking and is making a serious play for the Internet of Things market, leveraging its substantial connectivity assets.
12) Cisco Systems
With networking gear sales slowing, Cisco has pivoted to a cloud-of-clouds strategy with its InterCloud ecosystem. It launched the Intercloud service in 2014 designed to offer enterprise-class cloud IT services with two major components. The Intercloud Fabric enables workload portability, and Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) software for automatically provisioning of resources.
Despite its dominance, Google is still searching for an identity. For a while it billed itself as the place to build cloud apps using App Engine, but that didn't work. So earlier this year it announced a new strategy to "meet you where you are," as Eric Schmidt put it, and hired VMware founder Diane Greene to head the cloud business.
Specializing in managed cloud services and an OpenStack environment, Internap helps customers build route-optimized bandwidth services for latency-sensitive applications using an OpenStack environment. The company's AgileCloud is an IaaS service that lets developers to rent native OpenStack functionality by the hour or offer full time hosting.
The managed service provider has partnered with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure to offer managed services for both on top of its own managed cloud offering. Rackspace also offers web application hosting or PaaS, cloud storage, virtual private server, load balancers, databases, backup, and monitoring.
The vCloud Air public cloud service offers three services: data center extension, disaster recovery, and data center replacement.
Founded by ex-IBM people involved in the Watson supercomputer, CognitiveScale develops Big Data transformation and machine learning systems for decision-making and customer engagement. It offers industry-specific cognitive learning to help vertical markets, such as health care.
GoodData's business analytics tools support what it calls data monetization, taking input from up to 50 different data sources to help a customer utilize analytics and monetize all of the data they have gathered.
19) New Relic
The New Relic Software Analytics Cloud helps businesses monitor the performance of their Web applications to improve the customer experience. It also assists a company’s relationships with its reseller, strategic alliance, managed service provider, cloud platform and ISV partners.
20) Tableau Software
A leader in the business intelligence software market as well as the cloud, Tableau develops software that helps analyze and visualize large volumes of data to derive business intelligence and knowledge. Its data analytics software can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud.
Carbonite has grown from offering consumer online backup to a business-oriented cloud-based data protection provider, providing backup, storage, and disaster recovery, the latter of which came with the acquisition of Seagate's Evault business continuity and disaster recovery business.
Cloudera is one of the early players in the Hadoop Big Data market. In addition to its on-premises software, it offers a hosted, managed, compliant and secure version of its Hadoop distribution, rather than deploying your own.
Pivotal, a spin-off of EMC and VMware, offers Cloud Foundry, a PaaS service that offers a new way to build and deploy software rapidly and update it based on customer feedback. Pivotal also offered training to customers to build apps and offered analytics tools as well.
24) Puppet Labs
Puppet specializes in configuration management software with its Puppet Enterprise, which automates cloud management. Puppet Enterprise creates a PaaS-style provisioning service for management of heterogeneous systems to monitor compute, network and storage.
25) Red Hat
Its Cloud Infrastructure offers an open, private IaaS cloud based on OpenStack, while Cloud Suite offers container-based app development. Its OpenShift PaaS gives developers tools to quickly build, host and scale applications in cloud environments.