Video: Amazon Web Services vs Rackspace

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2012 - So Amazon is #1. And who’s next in cloud computing?

GigaOm has published the list of top 7 cloud providers besides Amazon. Why besides Amazon? Because Amazon Web Services for now is far ahead of competitors. AWS is an absolute cloud market leader in all reports of all analytical firms. According to various estimates, AWS runs on 450,000 servers and generates about $1 billion in revenue per year. And who's next? Here are the top 7 the cloud providers by GigaOM:

1. Rackspace

According to Gartner, Rackspace on the second place after the AWS by revenue. In 2011 it's revenue was slightly below $200 million. Rackspace - is the leader of the OpenStack, the alliance that develops the open cloud platform (ala Cloud Linux).

2. Google

By the number of servers, Google can surpass even Amazon. But Google can't extract revenue from its cloud infrastructure so effectively (search and advertising are not mentioned here). It's platform Google App Engine is not yet a serious option for business and SaaS providers.

3. Microsoft

Microsoft, perhaps, could be a leader in the cloud market thanks to its extensive partner network and customer base. But it's bound by the own desktop business. So while Windows Azure has a huge potential, it's still a niche platform.

4. IBM

IBM comes to the market from the big business side. It turns out, that IBM already provides its cloud platform SmartCloud to the large number of its big customers. However, apparently the company has no clear cloud strategy yet, because a week ago IBM decided to join the OpenStack alliance.

5. Hewlett-Packard

HP in general, builds private clouds (including those based on Windows Azure). But at the same time - it's building the own public cloud platform based on OpenStack. As a leading server manufacture, HP has a huge potential, but because of constant CEO change, it can't grow rapidly.

6. VMWare

VMWare - is the mother of virtualization (which is the core technology for all cloud platforms) and the daughter of EMC (the leading supplier of storage systems for cloud platforms). So VMWare has everything for cloud success. And VMWare prefers not to join alliances, but goes its own way - pushing the Cloud Foundry platform.

7. Facebook

Facebook was included in the list in advance. They say, Amazon also used to just sell books. And though Facebook doesn't provide its cloud to third party companies, but the size of this cloud - is WOW!

2010 - Rackspace launched a dating service for apps and their users. Amazon Web Services is in panic

After Amazon had entered the niche of low-cost cloud platforms (where previously Rackspace ruled), Rackspace has to look for the new ways to attract customers and provide value-added services for them. One of these services is AppMatcher - a marketplace, where SaaS-applications and their users can find each other. It's designed in a very original way - it imitates dating site. The potential customer enters basic information about his organization (industry, number of employees, the IT budget, department) and the service finds apps, that may be interesting for him. After  registration in the online account he can specify more parameters about his business and app criteria, to narrow the search results. He can also invite co-workers and discuss potentially useful applications with them in the online account. On the other hand, developers add their SaaS apps (for free), filling in the questionnaire list. And it's not necessary that the app was hosted on Rackspace.


Developer also has an online account where he can analyze interest in his product by different companies. Meanwhile Rackspace does not offer any paid options such as paid placement on top positions.

Note that Amazon also plans to launch its marketplace-service, though it won't be devoted for SaaS apps but for mobile Android-apps. So this app store won't be connected to Amazon Cloud Services platform.

2010 - Amazon EC2 makes Cloud Computing affordable for all. Takes on Rackspace

Amazon Web Services

Until now, the minimum virtual server (instance) on Amazon EC2 with configuration 1.7 GB RAM / 160 GB - cost 8.5 cents per hour (approximately $61 per month). This amount seemed quite large for most small businesses using web-apps and SaaS startups and kept them from switching from a traditional hosting (or own servers) to the cloud technologies. Some people used Rackspace, which provides the less powerful instances - from 11$ / month for the configuration 256 MB / 10 GB. But today even the most budget conscious small businesses and SaaS startups got the good reason to join the Cloud Computing era, and Rackspace got a new headache - Amazon Micro Instances.

Amazon micro-instances - are virtual Linux-servers with 613 MB RAM, which cost 2 cents per hour (approximately $15 per month). Windows-servers will cost you only 3 cents per hour ($ 22/month). Of course, you'll pay a few more dollars per month for disk space (Amazon EBS) and traffic, but still, this price is comparable (and even lower) than the traditional VPS hosting. And you get all the benefits of cloud platforms - improved reliability, the ability to turn off the server (and not pay) when it's not used and quickly increase the the server capacity in the case of load increase.