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How Can We Differentiate Between the Top Cloud Vendors?

EntrepreneurCountry Global Thursday, 05 May 2011.

How Can We Differentiate Between the Top Cloud Vendors?

If you have read any of our other AVG SMB resource centre blogs then you'll know that cloud computing is not an open and shut case. The upshot of this is that we should really break any list of cloud vendors down into sub categories.

Ideally, an analysis of the cloud computing market place would separate ‘elements’ of the cloud into perhaps five segments: cloud platforms themselves, infrastructure, security, storage and cloud software & applications.

But for the purposes of this overview, let’s stick with what we can define as cloud ‘vendors’ specifically. The below list is merely presented as an hors d'œuvre. Some names you will know well, some names you may know for other reasons and some names may be new to you.

•      Akamai

•      Amazon

•      Microsoft

•      Enki

•      Fortress ITX

•      Joyent

•      Google

•      Rackspace

•      Salesforce.com

The ‘service’ selection factor

The important point here is not that the nine companies about all hover around the top ten cloud vendors list jostling for position on a month-by-month basis. No, the important point is that each company will have a different approach to service – and this is widely argued to be the major defining factor that will help us distinguish one cloud player from another.

Let’s not forget, cloud computing started out as a highly disruptive technology development (albeit mainly positive), with no previous customer references, very few SLAs (service level agreements), spirally security concerns and no tangible guarantee of ROI (return on investment).

Many would argue that cloud computing still sits in this mire of uncertainty and that security is still a massive concern. But things are better than that; building on the cloud is not like laying down foundations on quicksand, there are answers to most of the questions we will need answered.

The question is, how well can each cloud vendor attend to a customer’s concerns, questions and uncertainties? Once again, it will come down to service.



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