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Charles Babcock
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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David Linthicum had such a strong technology reputation before the cloud era that he isn't associated exclusively with it, as are Werner Vogels, Google's data center architect Urs Hozel or Enomaly's Reuven Cohen. Linthicum was an early explainer of the client/server era, the possibilities of integrating Windows and Linux environments (a common practice today), and the mind-numbing complexity of enterprise application integration. Six of his 13 books mark major phases of computing architecture, including those on client/server, e-business, Web services and cloud computing.

In October 2009, his publisher brought out Cloud Computing and SOA Convergence In Your Enterprise, A Step by Step Guide. It played to mixed reviews because people who wanted to learn about the cloud weren't necessarily approaching it from the perspective of managing data and services in a services-oriented architecture environment. But many IT managers were, and it became a guidebook for enterprise architects who had concluded the cloud was real but didn't know how to approach it.

His role has been more than technical. He has been a constant interpreter of how the role of IT will change in the cloud era and how disruptive it will be to traditional ways of doing things.

With his stone-cold realism, his implementer's practicality and his intellectual unwillingness to rationalize away drawbacks or complexities, Linthicum played a key role in converting doubters to the ranks of cloud computing. His is not the most impassioned voice on cloud; he is, nevertheless, one of the most persuasive to entrenched IT managers, skeptics and non-believers.

He is currently founder and CTO of Blue Mountain Labs, a cloud-computing consultancy, and writes a regular column on cloud computing for InfoWorld and GigaOm Pro.

Jeremy Geelan, senior VP of Sys-Con Media and Events and conference chair of the Cloud Computing Conference and Expo, says Linthicum's 2009 book "does that rarest of things: he manages to combine showing why SOA [service-oriented architecture] and cloud computing complement one another, with a lucid game plan of how a business can take advantage of the synergies."


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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.
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
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?
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
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
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