Mo’ Money: Life Is Good for Cloud Vendors

Put simply, life is good for cloud computing and big data vendors because there’s plenty of money to be made. Whether it’s from VCs, big IT suitors or (gasp) customers, someone wants to invest in your vision. The great part is that you don’t even have to be a startup; if you have a good product, you can get paid. Want evidence? As I describe in my GigaOM Pro column today, this week offered plenty.

Investors Reach into Their Pockets…

  • Washington, D.C.-based Virtustream closed a $40 million first round aimed at bridging the gap between corporate data centers and its own via its xStream cloud management platform.
  • (formerly VMOps) raised $11 million in a Series B round for its CloudStack solution, which helps providers and individual companies turn their existing virtualized data centers into private clouds.
  • Big data startup Clustrix proved the importance of cloudscale data management, presenting itself to the world on the heels of $18 million in initial funding. Open-source database projects like Cassandra and HBase are popular among web types, but this is the type of solution that could convince some of them to give up their DIY database cultures.

As Do Big Vendors…

  • IBM’s purchase of Cast Iron Systems has been covered to death, but the technical gist is that the Cast Iron platform will help customers integrate on-premise and cloud-based data, making SaaS migration more palatable (and letting IBM keep their business through this transition).
  • New VMware property SpringSource bought GemStone Systems to ensure customers’ data layers can scale alongside the CPU layer as application demand increases. GemStone works fine on-premise and will be integrated with several SpringSource products.

As Do Customers…

Need more proof that life is good in the cloud? How about Rackspace’s first-quarter earnings call, during which it touted considerable cloud growth? The Rackspace Cloud represents only a fraction of total revenues (although it’s still growing), but more than 80 percent of the company’s nearly 100,000 customers. Some believe cloud computing has dot-com-like bubble potential, but Rackspace’s customer count is no mirage, and I don’t believe vendors like IBM, CA and VMware would invest as heavily as they are into a model for which they don’t foresee high ROI. Some cloud startups will fail, no doubt, but unlike so many dot-coms, cloud companies have real products that will find their way into other vendors’ portfolios and make money for someone. Read the full article here.

Photo courtesy Flickr user Tim Patterson

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