10 Cloud Computing Pioneers - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
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.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 11
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Slideshows
11 Things IT Professionals Wish They Knew Earlier in Their Careers
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/6/2021
News
Time to Shift Your Job Search Out of Neutral
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/31/2021
Commentary
Does Identity Hinder Hybrid-Cloud and Multi-Cloud Adoption?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  4/1/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Successful Strategies for Digital Transformation
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll