Cloud platforms continue to proliferate- Carl Brooks,

Business history is littered with the husks of firms that saw an exciting new market and thought they had a shot. Cloud computing is no different. If anything, it's more scintillating; the whole idea behind cloud allows businesses to come and go that much faster. The lonely "office gear fire sale" after a company collapses has been lost; I'm sure the new tradition will be to default on one's Amazon Web Services (AWS) account and be placed in collections.

But that depressing thought won't stop people from trying to cash in. Indeed, new players are popping up all over the place. Midsized middleware firm WSO2 is doubling down on its Stratos cloud platform software; it just launched a cloud service based on its own product. WSO2 and Stratos are Web app development tools predicated on service-oriented architecture (SOA), so if that's your thing, go for it.

Another cloud platform, OS33, just came out of stealth in New York, but it hasn't gone far from home. It's a spin off from External IT, a managed service provider (MSP) with around 6,000 users. It's tough not to admire branding like that -- straight to the point. Presumably OS33 stands for something similarly obvious, or maybe it just looks like a sun on top of some clouds when you tilt your head.

OS33's cloud aims

External IT's chief (and now CEO of OS33) Jacob Kazakevich said his target was the small MSP and budding cloud providers. He said that his own company had developed OS33 and managed to make it work, and he saw more growth opportunity in selling the platform than landing new managed service users. He's not worried about the competition, as MSPs and Ye Olde Local IT Shoppe would probably lean on his data centers as well after finding server investments to be an additional headache.

OS33 will bridge to alternative hosting, including External IT, which Kazakevich calls a major competitive advantage; he's signed agreements and built a coalition with a number of hosting providers to deliver capacity. Kazakevich calls it the OS33 Data Center Alliance, a grandiose term for partnerships with the likes of Equinix, SunGard, CoreSite, iLand, and Amnet.

There's a nice opportunity here for OS33, and also a touch of irony. The aforementioned hosters would love to "be cloud" like AWS, but they're really not; they're managed hosting. However, pop OS33 on top and suddenly they look a lot more like a true cloud service, with capabilities those providers would have a lot of trouble offering. Is this the first sign of organized resistance to the AWS juggernaut?

Maybe. At any rate, when giants like Dell and IBM announce that they want to sell cloud platforms, along with approximately 20 other smaller competitors with startup cash and fancy pedigrees...well, at least Kazakevich will always have External IT as a fallback.,294698,sid201_gci1523545,00.html