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3/18/2013
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Charles Babcock
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9 More Cloud Computing Pioneers

These industry leaders helped propel cloud computing to the forefront of technology innovation.
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In a 2009 issue of the MIT Technology Review, James Urquhart was named one of the 10 most influential thinkers in cloud computing. That was back when the term was still being disparaged by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and (at the time) HP CEO Mark Hurd. He was also named one of the top three cloud bloggers by The Next Web in 2011. From 2006 to 2008, he was a senior sales engineer positioning the Cassatt data center platform to deliver automated application deployment and operations, prior to its acquisition by CA Technologies. From 2008 to 2011 he was market strategist and technology evangelist for cloud at Cisco Systems. During this period, Urquhart spoke on the role of Linux and open-source code in cloud at the 2010 Linux Collaboration Summit, one of around 60 speaking engagements that year.

He is the former writer of The Wisdom of Clouds blog on CNet, which ran from 2008 to 2011. In his postings and appearances, he made concise, logical arguments for why cloud computing, mistaken as a new technology, was really a new operations model. He dissed the frequently used analogy between cloud and electric utilities, saying using data intelligently and distributing electricity are two different things. He did a five-part series on how cloud and virtualization were forcing a rethinking of the enterprise IT software stack.

He is currently VP of product strategy at enStratus, a cloud workload management firm where he works with another cloud advocate, Bernard Golden. His latest job has cut down his frequent commentaries, but he is still a contributor to the technology news site GigaOm/Cloud, including a Jan. 27 post on DevOps and fragility versus stability in IT operations.

Urquhart is described as having "a profound interest in the broad landscape of the software industry" along with "a great combination of interpersonal and technical skills" by Christopher Kriese, an independent, San Francisco Bay-area senior software engineer with whom he has worked.

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Nick
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Nick,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/21/2013 | 3:08:36 PM
re: 9 More Cloud Computing Pioneers
The development of the OpenStack software by the various companies who have contributed modules to the project is a testament to a unique bond in cloud computing market. Open source systems have created camaraderie amongst organizations that are otherwise competitive. At the end of the day, interoperability benefits everyone.

Cary Landis is another person worth mentioning on this list. Like Reuven Cohen, Landis worked with NIST where he helped define the reference architecture for cloud computing. In the past, he founded KeyLogic, which services a multitude of business sectors from DoD, DoE and more. He coauthored the GǣCloud Computing Made EasyGǥ which details the benefits of cloud computing for a variety of demographics. Currently, he is the President of Virtual Global, a cloud computing company that provides a handful of PaaS services for the development of custom SaaS applications. He also serves NJVC where he is the practice lead for Cloudcuity.
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Strategist
3/20/2013 | 5:46:01 PM
re: 9 More Cloud Computing Pioneers
Good suggestions from parkercloud, thanks. Pat O'Day was already a candidate for the next list, and this piece didn't get done without a mention of Bluelock. I tend to disagree that only those present at the beginning qualify as cloud pioneers. I was actually looking for more of a mix, those who came along after and made contributions that were needed and hadn't been made yet. Hence, there's references to valuable work done with Google Compute Engine, not announced until June 2012, by Sebastian Stadil and Chandra Krintz. (There's a tip of the hat to Cloud Camp, too but additional credit is probably in order.) Many thanks for those ideas.Charlie Babcock, senior writer, InformationWeek
Leo Regulus
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Leo Regulus,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/20/2013 | 2:41:28 PM
re: 9 More Cloud Computing Pioneers
Information Week only had one important New Year's Resolution this year. '"No Slide Show Articles with out a prominent 'View-as-one-page' link." How's that working out for you so far?
parkercloud
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parkercloud,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/20/2013 | 1:51:04 AM
re: 9 More Cloud Computing Pioneers
Real Cloud pioneers need to have been involved with Cloud beginning 2006 or so, credit should
be given where credit is due.

Greg Olsen, founder of Coghead maybe the very first PaaS, wrote the influential
Cloud article Going Bedouin.
John Qualls and Pat O' Day of Bluelock
Dave Nielsen of Cloud Camp
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
3/19/2013 | 3:50:54 PM
re: 9 More Cloud Computing Pioneers
James Urquhart became one of the first people I followed for cloud commentary and remains an honest voice in the cloud community on Twitter. Charlie, thanks for this look at a diverse group of cloud thinkers. Any feedback on who else you'd include, readers?

Laurianne McLaughlin
InformationWeek
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