Ranking the Top 10 Cloud Startups

The votes are in for favorite cloud startup. These are the companies shaping the cloud computing market. Here is the top 10 list of hot cloud startups to keep an eye on.

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6. HyTrust

HyTrust, cloud  startup

What they do: Develop virtualization security tools.

Why they're No. 6: Cloud security is a huge deal, and HyTrust is the lone cloud security representative on this list. (We could easily have had five or more, but that would have skewed this roundup.) They have a really good approach to virtualization/cloud security, and they already have an impressive list of customers.

Headquarters: Mountain View, CA

CEO: John De Santis serves as CEO. Eric Chiu co-founded the company and is its President. De Santis was formerly Chairman and CEO of TriCipher, a software security infrastructure company acquired by VMware in 2010. After the acquisition, he served as VP, Cloud Services for VMware. Chiu was previously VP of Sales and Business Development for Cemaphore Systems.

Founded: April, 2009

Funding: HyTrust has raised $16 million from Trident Capital, Granite Ventures and Epic Ventures, as well as strategic corporate investors such as Cisco and VMware.

Why they made this list in the first place: Virtualized and cloud infrastructures create new security, control, management and compliance challenges for IT staffs. Organizations take big risks when they move to the cloud or rely on virtualization when critical applications and sensitive information are not properly secured.

The HyTrust Appliance delivers access control, enforcement of policy across virtual infrastructures, hypervisor hardening, and audit-quality logging among other features. By addressing these requirements, HyTrust is able to provide organizations with the control and visibility required for them to virtualize Tier 1 applications, meet corporate governance requirements, and avoid costly downtime or other possibly more serious business disruption.

Customers include AIG, US Army, Northrop Grumman, Pepsi, McKesson, Home Shopping Network, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, UC Berkeley, State of New Mexico, and Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

Market landscape and competition: The cloud security market is incredibly crowded, but HyTrust has carved out a solid niche by focusing on hypervisor vulnerabilities. Competitors include Altor Networks (now Juniper) and Catbird.

7. dinCloud

dinCloud,  cloud startup

What they do: Help small- to mid-sized businesses migrate and provision desktops, servers, storage, networking and applications to a Virtual Private Data Center.

Why they're No. 7: dinCloud would probably move up the list if they had some name-brand customers on the record. Their PR rep says that they have some major customers in the works, but until those are actually on the record, they don't work in their favor in this roundup.

Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA

CEO: Kevin Schatzle. Prior to joining dinCloud, he was President of Allied Digital Services' U.S. subsidiary.

Founded: January 2011

Funding: The company has secured an undisclosed amount of Angel funding.

Why they made this list in the first place: Most enterprises know they should virtualize their infrastructures, but they struggle with where and how to start. According to dinCloud, virtualization and cloud computing aren't just about hosting servers alone, or giving customers virtual machines in the cloud. They are about business provisioning and helping businesses transform their physical environments to virtual ones.

dinCloud's software enables the rapid migration/provisioning of desktops, servers, storage, networking and applications to a Virtual Private Data Center. Customers can control as much of this infrastructure as they want through an online cloud orchestration and management platform, dinManage.

High-profile partner Microsoft says that it worked with dinCloud to help save a financial services customer 50 percent on IT spending. In this case, dinCloud hosts 250 virtual desktops, 30 virtual servers, and provides second site back up in the cloud.

Named customers include King's Hawaiian and National Asset Direct.

Market landscape and competition: Gartner predicts that the cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) spending will exceed $72 billion, (42 percent CAGR) by 2016. Competitors, although not exactly apples-to-apples ones, include AWS and Rackspace.

8. OnApp

OnApp, cloud  startup

What they do: Provide cloud services, including IaaS, CDN and storage services.

Why they're No. 8: This is the slot, or maybe the one above, where startups start to feel disappointed. Well, they shouldn't. The original list of companies considered had more than 150 contenders. Being in the top 10 is a big deal. OnApp has a solid management team, a good chunk of VC money and is positioned in a high-growth subsector of the cloud market.

Headquarters: London, UK

CEO: Ditlev Bredahl. Before founding OnApp, Ditlev led UK2 Group's hosting companies as Managing Director and CEO.

Founded: July 2010

Funding: To date, OnApp has raised $20 million in two rounds of funding. The latest B round of funding was led by UK private equity firm LDC.

Why they made this list in the first place: If you're a traditional hosting provider, you have either already transitioned to being a cloud provider or you are scrambling to do so.

OnApp's mission is to remove the entry barriers to the cloud for Web hosts, telcos, ISPs, MSPs and other traditional service providers. OnApp developed a turnkey system that enables service providers to create their own cloud services, using their existing servers or data centers, with no up-front software investment required.

The OnApp Cloud platform takes care of all core cloud management/orchestration functions, such as cloud deployment, VM management, failover and autoscaling. It also includes the capabilities lacking from most enterprise-focused private cloud platforms, but which service providers absolutely depend on, such as support for different utility and plan-based billing models; the ability to bill for every hardware resource in your cloud; and user management, limits and permissions.

The latest version of the OnApp Cloud platform includes a built-in SAN, a global CDN with video streaming support, DNS management, autoscaling, load balancing and a range of other features. Customers include PEER1 Hosting, GMO, UK2 Group, Dediserve and eApps.

Market landscape and competition: OnApp is targeting a public cloud IaaS market currently estimated at $6.2 billion, according to Garter, and a CDN market estimated at $2.5 billion, according to Markets and Markets.

Competitors include AWS and ScaleUp Technologies. With its recent service upgrade, OnApp now also competes with CDN providers.

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