Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ranking Cloud Computing Vendors 2009

With the close of 2009 coming soon, I expect to see a number of “2009 - Cloud Computing in Review” type posts. Let me get a jump on everyone and release mine a few weeks early. Though I am a developer, my Cloud posts have all been analytical in nature and this one is no different. For this post I chose a single data source for stack ranking the Cloud Computing vendors – Google search results. Not terribly scientific, but an approach that produced interesting results.

Google as an Analysis Tool

I have created a number of editions of my Cloud Taxonomy over the last 18 months. The goal of that project was to help newcomers to the market understand what types of solutions are available and who the players are. My hope was that people would find it useful as a launching off point on their journey into the Cloud.

Tonight, on a whim, I decided to see what would happen if a person used Google instead as the start of their exploration of Cloud Computing. It was predictable that a high percentage of results are focused on “intro” or “definition” type pages. A lot of blog posts, tweets, and conference sessions have been devoted to defining what exactly is Cloud Computing. Let’s link to the NIST definition, and speak no more of that here.

What I found interesting was the relative ordering of vendors in the results list – it wasn’t what I expected at all. Given that Google Page Rank arguably orders results according to mind share, I expected certain vendors (e.g. Google, Cisco, GoGrid) to appear high above others. Looking at the results below, that didn’t happen.

To head off the flames, I recognize why this analysis isn’t scientific:

  • It is based off of a single data source – Google Page Rank
  • It is based off of a single search phrase – cloud computing
  • It assumes Page Rank == mind share

But its interesting to me nonetheless, so here we go.

Ranking the Cloud Vendors in 2009 on Mind Share

The table below shows the results. To collect this data, I did the following:

  • Cleared all browser cookies
  • Ensured I was logged out of Google (to avoid personalized results)
  • Navigated to the search page
  • Typed “cloud computing” in the search box

And, here are the results. I first scrubbed anything that wasn’t a vendor or open source product. Then I noted the first time their domain ( appeared, even if that listing was not their primary cloud page (sometimes the blog comes first). Google itself is the exception on this – hits on Google Groups/Blogger/etc did not count.


Result Page Rank Vendor URL


1 Rackspace
  2 Sun
  3 Salesforce


4 Amazon
  5 VMware
  6 IBM
  7 Canonical/


8 Dell


9 Oracle
  10 RedHat
  11 Rightscale
  12 Microsoft


13 3tera


14 HP
  15 Yahoo
  16 Objectivity


17 Cisco
  18 Enomaly


19 CA


20 F5


21 Appirio
  23 Akamai


24 Accenture


25 GoGrid


26 Novell


27 Citrix


28 Joyent
  29 Parallels


30 eyeos
  31 Eucalyptus


32 Appistry


33 Infosys


34 Virtualmin
  35 Nimbus


Congrats goes to Rackspace, as they topped the list.

These things surprised me:

  • Google? Where are you?
  • Amazon was not listed as the top result, and Rackspace was
  • Canonical/Ubuntu faired extremely well, given how new their enterprise cloud solution is
  • Cisco listed lower than expected at page 8, given how active they are in the blogging community

CloudFutures 2009 (Dec 7-8, San Jose)

In closing, this is a short plug for the CloudFutures conference coming up on Monday. I will be speaking on “The Real Cloud Players”. See you there!


Peter Laird said...

And this wasn't even original. Kevin Jackson did this last year (I know I must have looked at it then, but totally forgot).

So take a look at Kevin's work for comparison:

Kevin Jackson blog post

Anonymous said...

Peter, thanks

Anonymous said...
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Biz Geek said...

Hi Peter, We recently launched to foster further understanding and adoption of cloud based solutions. Please check it out. You can also find more information on my blog post