4 Rising Cloud and Data Center Companies to Watch

Mike Allen
June 20, 2014

"The sheer size of the market for data centers and cloud computing can be overwhelming, with vendors competing for space in both the broad and niche provisioning arenas. While there are many data center companies with established footprints and a track record of sterling service, there's always room for upstarts - startups with an innovative twist on a legacy paradigm or a way to bring an emerging technology into sharper focus. The focus placed on continuous enhancement and progress in the data center industry helps fuel cloud, data center and big data providers on the rise, showing both the industry and customers the new heights to which this sector can scale.

Here are four cloud and data center companies that have recently been making waves:

Maxta: The Same Servers, Better
What the industry's saying: Maxta has been making waves because it provides a link between old data center technology and emerging innovations, instead of totally redefining the status quo. The aim of this Sunnyvale, California-based company is to convert low-performance, legacy servers into a powerful, software-defined data center. Its storage platform, MxSP, uses a virtual machine-based storage platform to increase computing convergence and eliminate the need for organizations to invest in pricey storage hardware. Business Insider stated that while Maxta's service is not unique among startups, it scores high points for the previous success of Yoram Novick, its chief executive officer. Only launched in 2013, it had a busy May, receiving a $25 million investment co-led by Intel and being named to the Red Herring Top 100.

In its own words: ""Maxta is redefining enterprise storage by delivering an innovative Software-Defined Storage platform to dramatically simplify IT and significantly reduce costs while delivering all enterprise-class data services,"" according to the company's website.

Mesosphere: Pushing Data Centers Forward
What the industry's saying: When it comes to industry innovation, most people's minds quickly go to data center companies like Google,Facebook and Twitter - the really heavy hitters, with the resources and IT personnel to build and operate their own custom data centers. However, the San Francisco-based provider aims to broaden the horizons of data center innovation and fix the problems of scale. Its software is increasingly popular as a foundational tool for next-gen data center developments, and Peter Levine, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, said that the shift engineered by Mesosphere ""will be as transformational as virtualization has been,"" according to Top Tech News. The company, which is run by former Twitter and AirBnB engineers, received $10.5 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz and others to make its free software platform into a large-scale orchestration tool, according to Forbes.

In its own words: ""The most efficient path to cloud computing is to run on top of Mesos, and Mesosphere is unlocking that opportunity and making it more applicable for mainstream enterprise developer and ops teams,"" said co-founder and CEO Florian Leibert, according to Top Tech News.

CloudPhysics: SaaS With a Twist
What the industry's saying: In a crowded cloud services space, CloudPhysics is making a name for itself as a provider of intelligent virtualization and software-as-a-service solutions, which uses analytics to improve the functionality and performance of virtual data centers. As owners and operators of these facilities become more concerned with optimizing performance-related elements like energy efficiency and system reliability, CloudPhysics' solutions can offer empirical evidence of facility functionality and drive more nuanced decision-making. The company, originally founded in 2011, has received several accolades of late, making a variety of top lists by sites like TechTarget, Network World and Business Insider. Network World contributor Jeff Vance praised the company for combining big data and virtualization to continue enhancing data center performance management.
In its own words: ""Our really Big Idea is to analyze the world's IT data knowledge, and use the learnings to transform computing, driving out machine and human cost in ways never before possible,"" according to the company's website.

DigitalOcean: A Cloud for the Community
What the industry's saying: Coming out of the TechStars accelerator program in 2011, anticipation for DigitalOcean was not exactly high, but the New York City-based company has so far delivered on its promise. The company provides public infrastructure-as-a-service solutions based in third-party data centers, and its objective is to offer the simplest cloud on the market, according to Network World. With experience in managed hosting provision, IaaS and virtual machines, the firm aims to deliver low-cost, low-overhead solutions to developers, starting with a virtual machine image that costs less than one cent to use and SSD cloud servers that can be set up in less than a minute. DigitalOcean is also at the forefront of the niche cloud services market trend, recognizing that it doesn't need to compete with the cloud titans to offer a service that a select swath of the population is looking for.
In its own words: ""Before we came along, there was really no one else that occupied that space and was focused on the experience that a user would get,"" said founder Ben Uretsky, according to The New York Times."



    Mike Allen

    "The sheer size of the market for data centers and cloud computing can be overwhelming, with vendors competing for space in both the broad and niche provisioning arenas. While there are many data center companies with established footprints and a track record of sterling service, there's always room for upstarts ...

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