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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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John Keagy co-founded ServePath with David Hecht. ServPath in 2001, in the first days of cloud computing, became GoGrid, one of the earliest IaaS providers. That was a long time ago, but in many ways GoGrid has matched the basic steps of Amazon Web Services in generating self-provisioning IaaS.

Co-founder Keagy became CEO, Hecht became chief marketing officer. Hecht left to market CloudKick, which graphed a customer's network bandwidth in the cloud and other usage metrics. It was acquired by Rackspace in December 2010. Hecht currently markets the product line of CloudAmp, bringing Google analytics to application users.

Having previously founded and run InReach Internet, one of the leading ISPs in the Western U.S., Keagy sold it in 1999 and two years later founded ServePath, which became a leader in the dedicated server hosting market, a predecessor to the virtualized, self-provisioning cloud-hosting service.

Keagy has founded 13 companies that have achieved breakeven status; seven have become profitable or were sold. In 2008, when ServePath became GoGrid, an IaaS provider, Amazon was still offering its IaaS as a beta service.

After 10 years at GoGrid, Keagy felt the company was beyond the startup phase with its own CIO, CFO and CMO. So in June 2011 he left it in the hands of the board's executive chairman, Warren Heffelfinger, to work more with Upstream Networks, where he was president. Keagy remained a member of the GoGrid board. Eight months later, he was called back to the GoGrid CEO's seat.

"Sitting on the sidelines when I have the opportunity to move the needle, when I have so much more leverage on how I invest my career, I've got to take advantage of that," he told The West Host Industry Review. "There are a few things I can be doing that are transcendental and that are exciting. But when you're talking about changing the future of computing? Those are big words and the best way is taking the helm as CEO at a pioneer cloud infrastructure."

Gartner has previously placed GoGrid in the "visionary" segment of its cloud industry quadrant; this year it labeled GoGrid a "challenger," along with Joyent and close VMware partner Bluelock.

Richard Donaldson, director of global managed services at eBay, calls Kreagy "a tireless entrepreneur with great vision, excellent motivational skills and an ability to create an atmosphere of success … which is critical to any ongoing business. Bright, insightful and fun to work with."


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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
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.
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