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2/22/2010
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John Foley
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Four New Cloud Computing Favorites

Four startups have emerged as finalists in Cloud Connect's Launch Pad contest, in which the public voted for their favorite new or in-development cloud application or service. These finalists provide a good indication of what's next in the cloud.

Four startups have emerged as finalists in Cloud Connect's Launch Pad contest, in which the public voted for their favorite new or in-development cloud application or service. These finalists provide a good indication of what's next in the cloud.Appirio has developed what it describes as "the world's first social services-management application for the enterprise." The app, called Social PS Enterprise, is an implementation of Salesforce.com's new Chatter collaboration functionality, and it gives professional services teams a shot of social networking capabilities, such as real-time chat. It works with Appirio's Professional Services Enterprise (PS Enterprise), which is software as a service and based on Salesforce's Force.com.

A second finalist is CloudSwitch, which makes software "appliances" that IT pros can use to move virtualized software back and forth between corporate data centers and public cloud services. As I said more than a year ago, most IT departments will adopt a hybrid cloud model, rather than just private clouds or just public clouds. Tools like CloudSwitch's Explorer and Enterprise appliances make that possible.

The other two Launch Pad finalists have the word "scale" in their monikers, a reference to the fact that they scale to manage so-called big data. MaxiScale provides file serving and storage with promised scalability into the hundreds of petabytes. MaxiScale says its Flex Software Platform can grow to 50,000 nodes in one cluster. The product is aimed at Internet data centers; in other words, it can be used by service providers to deliver cloud services or by businesses to build private clouds.

There's also Drawn To Scale, a company so new that its Web site isn't even complete. Drawn To Scale's platform, built on the open source Hadoop framework and related HBase database technology, is aimed at letting users store, process, serve, query, and search data "of any type or size."

The above finalists, selected from dozens of entries, will present their technologies at Cloud Connect, which runs March 15 to 18 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. (Cloud Connect is produced by UBM TechWeb and InformationWeek is a media sponsor.) You can view videos of the Cloud Connect Launch Pad finalists here.

Attend our Webcast on virtualizing your Windows and Linux infrastructure. It happens Thursday, Feb. 25. Find out more (registration required).

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