Cloud no longer a single vendor game. For years cloud computing has been synonymous with Amazon whose Amazon Web Services really created and defined the space. In the past year other providers have matured and in some areas even surpassing Amazon.

In a conversation with Scott White, the VP of Sales from Rackspace, he related to me their approach on the cloud and how customers are utilizing their cloud offering. Their current growth rate is pretty staggering. It’s a magnitude higher than their managed hosting offering. Rackspace somewhat trepidatiously entered the cloud market. It did so with Mosso, a subsidy of Rackspace that operated for two years under a separate brand, seemingly to distance the initiative from the Rackspace name in the event it was a failure. It succeeded and has been rebranded as the Rackspace Cloud. What is interesting about this offering is, in part thanks to their background and existing infrastructure, they provide hybrid computing offerings. Where all on the same subnet you can have some nodes utilizing their traditional managed hosting offering where other nodes are in the cloud elastically growing to meet demand.

The lack of cloud computing standards has lead to a vendor-lock. Every cloud vendor has proprietary cloud. OpenServer is the bold initiative by Rackspace to change that. Rackspace has always been about service as their competitive advantage. Figuring they (and everyone else) couldn’t compete with the lead amazon has, they turned the tables by open sourcing their technology and defining standards along with a group of other cloud providers to form OpenServer.

Also entering the field are many of the tech giants including HP, who has really invested in their cloud offering with their Instant On service. VMware bringing their decades of virtualization experience to their offering. IBM is all in, competing on the Paas, SaaS and IaaS fronts. Rounding out the compelling offerings are GoGrid, and Joyent.

While not Cloud in the Amazon sense, Microsoft and Google are both providing cloud like services. Microsoft is in the ring with Azure, their Windows Platform as a service offering. Google offers Google Apps and AppEngine as offerings in the SaaS and PaaS markets.

Words and Ideas are my own.
This post is sponsored by Enterprise CIO Forum and HP