Cloud // Infrastructure as a Service
News
11/20/2012
11:12 AM
Charles Babcock
Charles Babcock
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

10 Cloud Computing Pioneers

Cloud computing has rewritten decades of technology rules. Take a closer look at 10 innovators who helped make it possible.
Previous
1 of 11
Next


It's hard to write history when you're still in the thick of recording it. However, in cloud computing we've amassed just enough background to name some of the early pioneers who've helped establish the relatively new computing paradigm.

The list is neither exhaustive nor all inclusive. And, undoubtedly, there will be other lists, highlighting other quiet innovators whose names we're just beginning to hear, and whose accomplishments will be well-known in the coming years.

But for IT managers in the midst of considering or adopting cloud computing, this list offers a commentary on where we have so recently come from, and where we may be going in the near future.

This list necessarily ignores how even these pioneers are standing on the shoulders of giants themselves. Consider, for example, the key work accomplished on distributed systems at Sun Microsystems and the early cluster builders, who preceded Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Rackspace on the cloud front.

Still, cloud development has moved at an accelerated pace compared to how long it took personal computing or client-server computing to emerge. Amazon Web Services Simple Storage Service (S3) service launched just six years ago, followed by Enterprise Compute Cloud (EC2). Google AppEngine launched in 2008. Microsoft's beta version of Azure cloud services came in 2009.

The cloud paradigm is less than a decade old, but from the start, there seemed to be an understanding among its diverse pioneers that a new era was dawning and it would share a set of common characteristics. Any list of cloud computing pioneers would have Amazon's Werner Vogels near the top. But the architects and hands-on implementers who made his evangelism real, like Chris Pinkham, also deserve a nod.

Even the individuals named are in the habit of saying progress in the cloud is seldom an individual effort. Usually cloud advances are established by a large group of collaborators, and more often than not they are working in full public view with an open source code project like OpenStack (or Eucalyptus or CloudStack) or the Open Compute hardware project.

But some individuals were standing there before the pattern of cloud computing emerged. They acted at a time when the notion was still under attack. In believing, they risked being branded as charlatans and producers of mere vaporware, when in fact they were forging ahead to help define a new era.

Delve into our look at 10 pioneers of the cloud computing era. The order in which they should appear will remain under heavy debate as long as the cloud history is still being written.

Previous
1 of 11
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
parkercloud
50%
50%
parkercloud,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/26/2012 | 6:20:41 PM
re: 10 Cloud Computing Pioneers
Some others, Greg Olsen founder of Coghead, very early PaaS startup and John Qualls and Pat O'Day of Bluelock
Leo Regulus
50%
50%
Leo Regulus,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/26/2012 | 8:36:22 PM
re: 10 Cloud Computing Pioneers
Suggested Editorial New Year's Resolution: No More Slide Shows !
cbabcock
50%
50%
cbabcock,
User Rank: Strategist
11/26/2012 | 9:09:43 PM
re: 10 Cloud Computing Pioneers
Pat O'Day, co-founder, CTO of Bluelock, has been an excellent spokesman for the cloud, pioneered public IaaS working with VMware-virtualized data center, a good candidate in hypervisor-specific sphere. Thanks, Rick Parker, cloud architect.Charlie, InformationWeek
Mike_Acker
50%
50%
Mike_Acker,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/27/2012 | 11:51:38 AM
re: 10 Cloud Computing Pioneers
u forgot Napster, LimeWire, ThePirateBay, and Kim.Com
Mike_Acker
50%
50%
Mike_Acker,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/27/2012 | 11:52:40 AM
re: 10 Cloud Computing Pioneers
yep, i've sent several notes to Firefox' Suggestion Box that we need a FREEZE plug in to stop all distracting animations
parkercloud
50%
50%
parkercloud,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/28/2012 | 4:58:24 AM
re: 10 Cloud Computing Pioneers
Please update the article to 12 Pioneers, see above. Thanks
Multicloud Infrastructure & Application Management
Multicloud Infrastructure & Application Management
Enterprise cloud adoption has evolved to the point where hybrid public/private cloud designs and use of multiple providers is common. Who among us has mastered provisioning resources in different clouds; allocating the right resources to each application; assigning applications to the "best" cloud provider based on performance or reliability requirements.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - August 20, 2014
CIOs need people who know the ins and outs of cloud software stacks and security, and, most of all, can break through cultural resistance.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.