15 Cloud Computing Firms to Watch: Security, Storage, Apps: Page 2

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8) NephoScale: One of the more recent entrants to the IaaS market, cloud hosting provider NephoScale came out of stealth mode in January. NephoScale's public cloud infrastructure platform offers object-based storage, pay-by-the-hour servers and dedicated, on-demand servers. The company touts the CloudScript interface as one of its signature innovations, enabling users to control all elements of their cloud deployment using a single, one-to-many API call.

Most recently, the company debuted its Cloud Computing and Storage Starter Package, inviting clients to kick the tires with a free, one-year trial of a 256 MB cloud server and as much as 1 GB of storage.

"The industry is still in the stage where organizations are doing homework on cloud infrastructure services and this starter package will allow them to become familiar with our services without having to dip into their wallets," NephoScale President Bruce Templeton said in a statement.

9) Nimbula: Not one to mask its ambition, Nimbula is taking dead aim at Amazon's EC2 services with hybrid technology geared for enterprises and service providers. Earlier this month, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company released its flagship product, Nimbula Director 1.0, providing management for both cloud-based resources and on-premises data centers.

Nimbula describes itself as a "cloud operating system company," and was founded by a management team that helped develop Amazon EC2. For smaller deployments of up to 40 cores, Director is available for free download and licensing at the company's website, with an optional fee-based annual support service available for larger systems.

10) Prolexic Technologies: A provider of cloud-based security technology to mitigate DDoS attacks, Prolexic caters to government, enterprise and SMB clients. The firm boasts a proprietary mitigation and control software that it pairs with a global network of "scrubbing centers" served by filtering technologies, high-speed bandwidth, peering and routing hardware to detect and fend off DDoS attacks.

At the end of March, Prolexic received $13.9 million in funding from Kennet Partners, and was most recently rumored to be helping a major electronics manufacturer guard against a DDoS attack.

11) RightScale: Founded in 2006, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendor offers a fully automated management platform for cloud computing deployments. RightScale is working to lower the entry barriers to cloud deployments with server templates, a preconfigured, so-called "cloud-ready" mechanism for connecting servers with a cloud environment of the customer's choosing, such as Amazon's EC2.

Most recently, RightScale and Zend Technologies jointly announced a technology for deploying and managing PHP applications in the cloud. The new offering pairs RightScale's cloud management platform with Zend's PHP architecture and its Zend Server in what the companies are billing as an open platform-as-a-service (PaaS).

12) Skytap: In a fiercely competitive space -- self-service cloud automation -- Skytap recently grabbed headlines with the release of a new technology it claimed could establish a secure hybrid cloud, connecting an on-site data center with its cloud, in 10 minutes.

The secret? A point-and-click interface that locks down connections under a VPN and assigns role-based privileges for access and deleting files. Skytap, fresh off a $10 million C round of financing, is betting that it can win with a dead-simple hybrid cloud deployment solution that provides the security of the traditional data center with the scale of the cloud.

13) Spanning Cloud Apps: "Spanning Cloud Apps was founded to become the Norton Computing of the cloud computing era. That is, to do all of the things your other cloud apps should do, but don't." So proclaims the young company specializing in backup services for Google Apps on its LinkedIn page.

Spanning Cloud Apps, founded last year as a spinoff from Spanning Sync, offers its signature Spanning Backup product for a free trial and modest annual subscription, backing up an Apps domain's users' Google Docs, Contacts and Calendar in the cloud. In April, Spanning Cloud Apps received $2 million in Series A funding.

14) Standing Cloud: Another middle-market player, Standing Cloud offers enterprises a simple proposition: "We do the sys admin so you don't have to. Sure, you could handle Web application management. But why?"

The firm offers management services on a variety of big-league cloud operators, along with monitoring, backup and simplified application updates. Forrester analyst James Staten recently noted that Standing Cloud enables users to "deploy myriad open source software solutions to IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service), but goes a step farther in letting you choose from multiple clouds."

15) Zimory: This Berlin-based company offers a technology suite for enterprises to transition virtual data centers into cloud-based infrastructure. Zimory bills its Carrier Grade Cloud Computing portfolio as a comprehensive solution for deploying and managing secure and scalable public, private and hybrid clouds. Zimory is aiming to deliver a flexible, high-quality cloud solution while at once maximizing efficiency by tapping into underused resources. The firm's open technology can scale up to thousands of machines and connect with multiple clouds.

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