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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9. AppZero

AppZero, cloud  startup

What they do: Help companies migrate server applications to the cloud.

Why they're No. 9: AppZero has already raised a decent amount of funding, despite having only dipped their toes in for an Angel round. Migrating apps is going to be a huge deal in the near-term, and AppZero should be able to cash in as more and more apps are moved to the cloud.

Headquarters: Andover, MA

CEO: Greg O'Connor. He previously served as founder and president of Sonic Software, acquired in 2005 by Progress Software.

Founded: September 2010

Funding: $10 million in Angel funding from Covington Capital and private investors.

Why they made this list in the first place: Moving applications from traditional IT systems to the cloud isn't easy. AppZero encapsulates an application and its dependencies in a "virtual application appliance," without a virtual machine (VM). The result is an application that is flexible, "hypervisor-agnostic, cloud independent, and fast." Current customers include Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Market potential and competitive landscape: Gartner predicts that the cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) spending will exceed $72 billion, (42 percent CAGR) by 2016. AppZero isn't a strict IaaS company, but their technology will help organizations migrate to IaaS. Competitors include companies PlateSpin (which is now part of NetIQ).

10. Cedexis

Cedexis, cloud  startup

What they do: Develop tools that provide visibility into cloud and CDN performance, and then help users act on that information.

Why they're No. 10: Cedexis only recently entered the U.S. market, so that probably explains why they lagged a bit in the voting. That said, the spread from first to tenth was just over 1,000 votes, from fourth to tenth was only a few hundred. (And for those trying to guess who scripted the bots: no, it was not Cedexis.)

As anyone who relies on the public Internet knows, trusting its performance is a sucker's game. However, to improve performance, you need visibility into these networks. Cedexis' cloud-based, crowd-sourced approach to gaining cloud and CDN performance visibility is really smart, and is well-positioned in a growth sector.

Headquarters: Portland, OR

CEO: Marty Kagan, who previously served as VP of engineering for Jive Software.

Founded: Q4 2009

Funding: They landed a $7 million Series A round in mid-2011 from Madrona Ventures Group and Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV).

Why they made this list in the first place: Let's face it, the roadblock for many cutting-edge cloud services, especially those using rich media, is the poor performance and unpredictability of the public Internet. Cedexis' mission is to improve "the Web experience of billions of Website visitors each month by providing visibility into the performance of clouds and CDNs."

Cedexis Radar is a free community that crowd-sources visibility into cloud and CDN performance from the end user perspective. It has global reach and is updated over 1 billion times a day.

Cedexis Openmix is a paid Cloud SaaS offering that uses Radar, and other real-time data, to dynamically route Website and Web application traffic around outages and service degradations.

The newest product, Cedexis Fusion, is a Big Data tool that aggregates third-party data, including pre-built integrations for New Relic, AppDynamics, Akamai, Level3, Edgecast, ChinaCache, SoftLayer and many others, to further improve the availability and performance of customer Websites and Web applications.

Customers include Mozilla, Dior, Nissan, Volkswagon, LeMonde, France Television, Yves Roche, NBC News, Accor Hotels, EuroDisney, L'oreal, and Via Michelin.

Market landscape and competition: According to Gartner's 2012 Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring, the APM market should have hit $2.14 billion by the end of 2012 (a 9 percent increase over 2011). Meanwhile, Markets and Markets believes the CDN market will grow to from $2.1 billion in 2011 to $7.4 billion by 2017.

Competitors include CA (through its Nimsoft acquisition) and Zenoss.

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