7 Cloud Computing Acquisition Targets: Page 2

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3) Vaultscape

You probably thought SaaS stood for “software as a service.” Yet in Vaultscape’s view it’s actually “Storage as a Service.”

A cloud-based archival service, it promotes itself as a highly reliable – “bank grade” – storage service that offers a connection via a straightforward REST-based API – which is private, not public, for obvious security reasons.

Vaultscape offers deep security. It provides VPN Tunnel connection for the user dashboard; a two-way SSL Site Certificate and AES/Twofish electronic security Key; and three levels of access protection. (Yes, its secure datacenter is designed with biometric, visual and digital login security, with enough industry certifications to impress even the most paranoid CIO.) With that much of a moat, James Bond himself couldn’t break in.

The company claims its prices are “up to 50% lower than tape,” but price is the weakness of any competitor in the field. Why? Because storage, no matter how advanced, tends to be a commodity. If one vendor can offer it at X dollars per terabyte, the next vendor can undercut them by 5 percent less. And a giant vendor can leverage economies of scale.

So how, precisely, will Vaultscape distinguish itself against the deepest pocketed competitors? That’s hard to say, but a vendor who’s built a large enough client list is always an attractive purchase.

4) Longjump

Some companies get anxious when they consider cloud computing, especially bigger companies. No matter the cost advantages, the idea of letting sensitive data outside the firewall sends up red flags – with good reason.

Longjump’s Business Application Platform (BAP) addresses this by offering an on-premise, private, cloud-based application platform. That means mission-critical data can be pooled, cloud-style, behind your secure firewall, letting execs and managers create and share composite applications with mix-and-match data sets.

And – for those adventurous clients – the company also supports hosting its solution on external platforms like Amazon’s.

Among other uses, Longjump is leveraged by developers who want to bring to market an extensive multi-tenant application, without building their own platform. (Think, for instance, of the way that Salesforce’s Force.com offers a development platform.) So ISVs and other service providers can use Longjump to sell SaaS offerings.

In other words, Longjump is a Platform-as-a-Server (PaaS) provider. Or, more accurately – warning, here comes deep jargon – it’s an APaaS, an application-platform-as-a-service play. This is because the Longjump solution offers a virtualized application development platform.

If that’s not enough cloud acronyms for you, in January 2009 LongJump also unveiled a DaaS (database-as-a-service) solution. This service competes with the likes of Amazon’s SimpleDB service.

5) RightScale

If you can’t beat ‘em, join them. Or at least hop on board the cresting wave. RightScale, which offers a cloud management platform, makes it clearly on its homepage: it enables firms to “create Web solutions running on cloud providers such as Amazon EC2.”

Translated: we may be a small company, but we help you interface with the big, established names in cloud computing. (It also supports GoGrid and Flexscale cloud hosting, and has an alliance with Rackspace.) That sounds like a workable strategy to stay afloat as the cloud market evolves toward major players.

Amazon itself, however, might suggest that no such third party solution is needed to manage your cloud on its servers. But RightScale scored a major coup: its Cloud Management Platform supports the “technology preview” of the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (in conjunction with Eucalyptus, an open source cloud project that recently received venture funding).

This Ubuntu-RightScale partnership will enable companies to manage private clouds within their own firewalls. Or companies can use hybrid clouds, combining externally and internally hosted resources.

Ubuntu isn’t the only outfit to believe in RightScale: earlier this year the company scored $13 million in series B venture funding. Given the gloomy headlines, that’s very nice piece of coin. Another point in its favor: former MySQL Marten Mickos joined the board of directors, a development that might help funding. (Where Mickos goes, money tends to follow.)

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Tags: open source, cloud computing, Google, IBM, Salesforce

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