Sky-high megablog names top 50 'cloud innovators'

A guide to the heavens above

GigaOM – the San Francisco-based megablog that so closely chronicled the rise of what the world now calls cloud computing – has released its list of the industry's top 50 "cloud innovators".

The list is meant to promote GigaOM's annual Structure conference, which will once again bring together some of the biggest names in sky-high computing, but the inaugural Structure 50 is nonetheless a welcome overview of this increasingly influential field.

The list includes many of the names you'd expect – such as Amazon, Google, Dell, and Microsoft – but also many players still operating below the proverbial radar, including virtual networking outfit Nicira and network monitoring company Boundary Networks.

Facebook makes the list on the strength of its recent decision to "open source" the hardware designs for its new Prineville, Oregon data center, and Apple is there too, because it's, well, Apple.

"Apple doesn’t sell enterprise cloud software, hardware or services, but its consumer products are having a profound impact on those that do," the megablog says. "The ease with which consumers can shoot high-quality photos and video, as well as download and stream music files, has sparked innovation in fields such as cloud-based video encoding, network performance and scale-out file storage."

Apple has built a $1bn data center in North Carolina that will apparently back a MobileMe successor known as iCloud. But we can confidently say that no piece of the data center's infrastructure will be open sourced.

This year's structure conference is set for June 22 and 23 in San Francisco. Speakers include Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, VMware CEO Paul Maritz, and Jonathan Heiliger, vice president of technical operations at Facebook. The Reg will be there. ®

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