Vote in the 2014 Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards
A comprehensive collection of articles, videos and more, hand-picked by our editors
The Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards recognize the top products, technologies and services in the essential areas of technology that Modern Infrastructure covers. The award-winning tools will be those helping to run enterprise businesses with efficiency and insight -- whether they’re used inside the data center or out. Judges have whittled down the list of submissions to the finalists below. Voting is open from Oct. 16 through Oct. 31, 2014. Winners will be announced in early January 2015 in a special issue of Modern Infrastructure.
Entrants in the Best Cloud Computing Service Provider category provide an infrastructure, software or platform as a service that enables an organization to move any part of its IT operations off-site.
The companies listed to the left are the finalists for the 2014 Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards, Best Cloud Computing Service Provider. Vote for your favorite below.
- Amazon Web Services
- Aryaka WAN Optimization-as-a-Service
- Google Cloud Platform
- Microsoft Azure
- Panzura Global File System
- Quorum onQ Hybrid Cloud Solution
- Rackspace Managed Cloud
- Sonian, Email Archiving Suite, version 3.0
- Virtela Cloud SDN Orchestration Platform
- Virtustream xStream
Amazon Web Services
Modern Infrastructure says: Amazon Web Services is by far the leader in public cloud computing. According to WhatIs.com, AWS is a comprehensive, evolving cloud computing platform provided by Amazon.com. The first AWS offerings were launched in 2006 to provide online services for websites and client-side applications. To minimize the impact of outages and ensure the robustness of the system, AWS is geographically diversified into regions. These regions have central hubs in the eastern U.S., western U.S. (two locations), Brazil, Ireland, Singapore, Japan and Australia. Each region includes multiple smaller geographic areas called availability zones. The growing AWS collection offers over three dozen diverse services.
Aryaka WAN Optimization-as-a-Service
Aryaka says: Aryaka's WAN Optimization as-a-Service is the world's only accelerated cloud network. It is provided on a SaaS-based, zero-Capex model, enabling businesses that lack the resources for traditional WAN optimization solutions to optimize their networks without costly investment in hardware. This disruptive offering runs in tandem with the paradigm shift in the enterprise WAN market from hardware-driven optimization to a preference for cloud-based offerings. Customers can now deploy in minutes (rather than months), as well as scale up or down as needed, with low latency and zero packet loss. On the business side, Aryaka's product has a presence of 3,000 sites across 48 countries on six continents, and is growing at an exponential rate year after year. With a 95% customer retention rate and 98% of the customers willing to recommend Aryaka to others, the solution has built a proven track record of customer satisfaction. The product has earned Aryaka the distinction of being the youngest "Visionary" in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization Controllers for two years running. It has received recognition for two consecutive years by the Tech Trailblazer Awards, and has received widespread industry recognition from publications such as Forbes and The Wall Street Journal.
Google Cloud Platform
Google says: Developers want to get their apps into the hands of users quickly, without having to worry about infrastructure. With Google Cloud Platform, developers can choose the speedy development of Google App Engine (PaaS) or the fine-grained control of Google Compute Engine (IaaS). Both are supported by flexible storage options, astonishingly fast cluster spin-up times, and Google's fast, reliable, global network -- all at an industry-leading price. We believe there is still an opportunity to enable developers to be more productive.
To continue developing the power of the cloud for developers, we've recently introduced:
- Cloud Trace and Cloud Debugger for analyzing and debugging code in production.
- Sustained-use Discounts, which drastically simplifies the planning and buying of compute resources and passes on the cost benefits of running sustained workloads to cloud users.
- HTTP Load Balancing to allow users to take advantage of load balancing across different regions.
- Managed VMs, which blend the high productivity of PaaS with the control and flexibility of IaaS.
- Kubernetes, which is an open source container scheduler from Google, backed by a variety of industry community members like Microsoft, Red Hat, IBM and Docker.
- Google Cloud Monitoring to provide deep insights into the health of developer applications.
Modern Infrastructure says: Microsoft's Azure has gained headway in the cloud market as it tries to catch up with Amazon. According to WhatIs.com, Windows Azure is an integrated operating system for cloud computing that facilitates the management of scalable Web applications over the Internet. The hosting and management environment is maintained at Microsoft data centers. Windows Azure is similar to but distinct from Windows Server, which is intended for on-site hosting and management.
Panzura Global File System
Panzura says: Panzura enables customers use cloud storage as the same single, collaborative, locking primary storage across all sites plus common DR, backup, and archiving across these sites. This enables both cross-site collaboration and infrastructure consolidation. Panzura's patented global file locking is the only way to solve the latency issues that occur with centralized storage but access across sites. For C&S Companies, file locking reduced the round trip latency from 86ms to 0.5ms. With over 16,000 file operations that traverse this latency, file open and save times dropped from 22 minutes to 8 seconds. Customers also benefit from the economics of cloud storage and eliminating storing redundant blocks in all tiers of storage at all offices. C&S Companies went from a total storage footprint of 114 terabytes across 16 offices to just 11 TB when they centralized in public cloud storage. GRAEF eliminated the need to spend $250,000 for primary and secondary storage in just two offices and is now spending $364 per month for cloud storage for all tiers of storage across all offices. Panzura is the only solution that uses cloud storage as a cross-office collaboration fabric so that users in distributed offices work as if they are in the same room.
Quorum onQ Hybrid Cloud Solution
Quorum says: Quorum's onQ Hybrid Cloud Solution, also known as DRaaS, provides businesses with a unique way to recover the most critical applications and data in the cloud after any storage, system or site failure occurs. Critical applications are always ready to run (or test) in the Quorum cloud by working in conjunction with the on-premises onQ high-availability, or HA, appliance. There is no need to ship new hardware or even to construct a machine from an image after a disaster. The recovery time for onQ is measured in minutes, not days.
Rackspace Managed Cloud
Rackspace says: In July 2014, Rackspace announced it was shifting gears to focus on Managed Cloud -- a new strategy to deliver public cloud services to the market based on Rackspace's core strength in exceptional customer service, known as Fanatical Support. Rackspace's managed cloud strategy focuses on businesses and developers looking for a strong partner to help design, manage and scale their cloud operations. The company debuted a developer+ Managed Cloud on-ramp program, as well as two new service levels, which provide a package of benefits for customers that far exceed equivalent services from any other cloud provider at lower total cost than companies would spend managing cloud operations on their own:
- developer+: provides an infrastructure credit for developers who want to focus on building their app instead of managing the back end
- Managed Infrastructure: features architecture advisors, security guidance, code development assist, launch assistance and 24/7 access to cloud engineers
- Managed Operations: includes Managed Infrastructure level, plus additional proactive features such as a dedicated account manager, 24/7 availability monitoring and response, and management of common operating systems and application stacks.
Rackspace was featured in the Leaders quadrant of Gartner, Inc.'s "Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting" in both North America and Europe. This approach is appealing to more and more companies, large and small, that want to focus on their core business. As the No. 1 Managed Cloud Company, Rackspace is paving the way as an alternative to the DIY commodity cloud market.
Sonian Email Archiving Suite, version 3.0
Sonian says: Sonian's pioneering cloud archiving solution debuted in 2007, with the advent of AWS public cloud availability. In those early days, Sonian developed tools and techniques to manage and monitor workloads before they were commonly available. This led to the invention of technologies like Sensu, which Sonian chose to open source and is now used by hundreds of companies including Instagram and Coca-Cola. With more than 16,000 customers in 40 countries, Sonian has moved several petabytes of unstructured data off of servers, out of data centers and into the public cloud. Sonian manages more than 20 billion objects across Amazon, Softlayer and Azure, and adds nearly 100 million human-generated documents and discussions each week. By moving application data to the cloud, Sonian's customers have cut their IT costs, enabled end users to recover lost files and minimized the backup burden by offloading infrequently accessed data from taxed servers. Despite the growing acceptance of cloud computing, the majority of archiving solutions are hosted services posing as cloud (cloudwashing). Sonian was built from the ground up for dynamic cloud architectures, and involves no hardware, no software and no setup costs. Sonian's predictable monthly pricing delivers unlimited storage and unlimited retention.
Virtela Cloud SDN Orchestration Platform
Virtela says: According to Inteva CIO Dennis Hodges, "Virtela's virtualized cloud network services have truly transformed our branch office networking -- giving our end users optimal access to whatever resource they need, wherever they need it, instantly from the cloud -- delivering higher value for our employees and business partners worldwide."
Virtela's Cloud SDN Orchestration Platform enables the industry's first cloud network services that can be instantly activated online and consumed via a pay-per-use model, eliminating industry limitations of long service delivery time frames and long-term contracts. The Cloud SDN platform activates and configures services within minutes via network functions virtualization, or NFV, including cloud security (e.g., firewall, IPS, URL filtering); application acceleration; IPsec VPNs; and SSL VPNs. Customers can leverage a self-service portal, rely on Virtela for end-to-end management or select a hybrid of both. Virtela is the first to develop an SDN platform to deliver globally distributed cloud networking services. The platform provides a complete cloud framework to drive the command and control of network resources, virtual machines and VM application-level network configuration. Recognizing the value of Virtela's cloud networking innovations, NTT Communications acquired Virtela in January 2014, creating a leader in enterprise IT transformation with advanced end-to-end cloud compute, storage, security, unified communications and networking services.
Virtustream says: The Virtustream xStream cloud management platform is an integrated solution that enables enterprise IT organizations and cloud service providers to deliver enterprise-class application services to their customers. Using a patented cloud resource management technology (µVM), xStream creates secure, multi-tenant cloud environments that deliver assured service-level agreement (SLA) levels for business-critical applications. XStream can be deployed in an enterprise environment to create a private cloud or by a service provider to create a public cloud, and enables secure federation to create hybrid clouds that span on-premises and off-premises environments. The latest release of its software, xStream 3.0, further removes the barriers to cloud adoption for enterprises by reducing the cost of cloud migration and management while increasing security and compliance. Virtustream is also one of the first enterprise-class cloud providers to extend high SLA support for OpenStack, the open source software for building private and public clouds. Virtustream customers can provision, run and manage VMware and OpenStack workloads within the same xStream user interface. XStream 3.0 also brings enterprise risk management capabilities to the cloud, providing advanced features such as chip level geo-fencing, continuous compliance and vulnerability monitoring, all powered by a big data engine to efficiently scale for high-volume, enterprise workloads.