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Emerging Cloud Service Providers

Emerging Cloud Service Providers

April 28, 2009
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Stuart recently sent me this brief one-liner:

What cloud services provider do you guys prefer/recommend?

Me:

It’s really going to depend on the platform and the type of
application, and if you are building from scratch or taking an
existing app to the cloud. Here’s some options:

  • Amazon EC2: Good if you are building an app from scratch or deploying one of the prebuilt AMIs. Very flexible (can host Windows, Linux, Solaris) but need to be aware that instance are not necessarily backed up so you must provide a good data storage solution (can use Amazon S3 or SimpleDB for example).
  • Morph: Built on top of the EC2/S3 cloud, provides transparent data persistence and support for Ruby, PHP, Java/Groovy. Aptana Cloud: Built on top of Joyent’s OpenSolaris cloud. Provides support for Ruby, PHP, Python. Java.
  • Microsoft Azure: Cloud platform based on .NET services. Still in beta but looks promising.
  • Google App Engine: Cloud platform based on Google’s services and APIs. Still in beta, supports Java and Python.
  • Salesforce.com: Based on Force.com and now Force.com Sites, built with VisualForce and the Apex multi-tenant Java like language. Good if you are already on the Force.com platform or want to take advantage of the AppExchange platform.

There’s more of course, but if you want to give me further details I can probably give you a better idea on what to look for.

He then pointed me towards Appnexus:

Good evening.  Many emerging players.  Here is another one, Appnexus:

  • Ex-CTO from Right Media (an ad exchange) owned by Yahoo.  It manages all the display advertising (banners) on Yahoo and lots of other sites.
  • They “Appnexus” are building out another ad exchange.  It’s all real-time.  Bid for a banner ad in milliseconds.

Looks like he’s building a really cool cloud-based ajax application with lots of business intelligence features, so I’m pretty excited for him and hope to see more of this as it grows. I haven’t really heard much about Appnexus before but they seem to be a pretty major playor, pumping billions of transactions each month through their infrastructure and it seems that they have some pretty decent SLAs. Do you have any experience with them (or other cloud provider)? I’d love to get feed back on your experience with them.

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