Who are the Cloud Computing Leaders?

With the Cloud Revolution in full swing, several cloud computing leaders have rushed to the forefront to establish themselves as the industry’s vanguard. Several of these companies are already household names thanks to their success in other commercial fields, but a few of them may be new to cloud novices. In this article we’ll take a look at five companies who we believe, through a combination of innovation and customer service, have emerged as the undisputed leaders in cloud computing technology.

Top Five Cloud Computing Leaders for 2011
Amazon

Already a major player in the pc-based cloud market thanks to its popular Amazon Web Services (AWS), the online retailer appears poised to make a game-changing play for the mobile device cloud market as well. Speculation is rampant that the 2011 release of the Silk web browser for the Amazon Kindle is just a prelude to the company modifying its EC2 server toward cornering the market in that rapidly-expanding niche.

Salesforce

One of the early cloud computing leaders in the Software as a Service (SaaS) market, Salesforce.com continued its reign this year as the leader in contact management software. Its top-notch solutions combine flexibility, a comprehensive menu of features, and excellent security to easily outdistance CRM alternatives offered by other cloud computing companies.

Google

The Google App Engine was already one of the more highly-regarded cloud computing solutions in the personal cloud market, but when the Big G added a bevy of new features in early 2011 to target it toward enterprise users, the ground shook throughout the industry. The search engine behemoth is also well on its way to becoming one of the top cloud storage providers in the world today, thanks to its increasingly popular Google Cloud Storage service.

Rackspace

By aggressively pushing innovation in the Platform as a Service niche, Rackspace is hoping to stay on its lofty perch as the second-biggest cloud revenue generator in the industry behind Amazon. Considered by many to be one of the “founding fathers” of cloud technology, the company has traditionally been unrivaled in customer experience and continued that claim in 2011.

Microsoft

The continued ascension of the Windows Azure Platform has transformed relative cloud newcomer Microsoft into a force to be reckoned with in the Platform as a Service niche. Of course, the software giant’s Microsoft Online Services (providing Software as a Service) has also contributed to the company’s rising cloud profile.

Who are the Next Cloud Computing Leaders?
The next generation of leaders in cloud computing is probably already here, although they’ll have a hard time unseating the current bunch. Companies like GoGrid and Verizon have already unveiled impressive, innovative new contributions to the cloud market and appear to be just getting started. Of course, as long as equally-creative companies like Google, Amazon, etc. remain in the cloud game (and there’s no reason to doubt that they will), it figures to be easier to earn a spot among the cloud computing leaders than it will be to stay there.

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