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Cloud People: A Who's Who of Cloud Computing

Behind every cloud or cloud-based solution, there are real people. Six more cloudsters will be added here every week!

Behind every cloud service or cloud-based solution, there are real people...

A robust ecosystem of solutions providers has emerged around cloud computing. But who are the CEOs & CTOs behind those providers, who are the internal and external entrepreneurs driving companies involved in the Cloud, who are the leading engineers, developers, analysts, researchers, marketing professionals, authors...who, in short, are the people
behind the cloud?

This list will be updated weekly between now and November 4-7, 2013, when 13th Cloud Expo | Cloud Expo Silicon Valley opens its doors in the Santa Clara Convention Center, in the heart of California's Silicon Valley. Here are some highly prominent "Cloud People" to kick off with...

RANDY BIAS | @randybias

"Randy Bias is visionary. He sees things others don't." [Emphasis added.] That is how puts it, as succinctly as ever. One of the things Randy saw, long before others, was the Cloud itself. He founded Cloudscaling as long ago 2006, with himself as as Co-Founder, CTO and Chairman. While it wasn't till 2011 that the company got a Series A investment of $4M, the plain fact is that Cloudscaling, and most especially Cloudscaling's founder, was leading the charge toward infrastructure elasticity almost earlier than anyone else.

A vocal open systems advocate for more than two decades, before Cloudscaling Randy was the technical visionary at GoGrid and at CloudScale Networks. He led the open-licensing of GoGrid's APIs, which inspired Sun Microsystems, Rackspace Cloud, VMware and others to follow.

He was also an early and vocal supporter of the OpenStack project, and led the teams that deployed the first public OpenStack storage cloud (Swift) outside of Rackspace, and the first public OpenStack compute cloud (Nova). He is a founding Board Member of the OpenStack Foundation. He also popularized the cloud server "pets vs. cattle" meme.


Jonathan Bryce is Executive Director of the OpenStack Foundation. (OpenStack is 3 years old now.) He has spent his entire career building the cloud and gave the opening keynote at 11th Cloud Expo | Cloud Expo Silicon Valley, held at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, November 5-8, 2012.

The OpenStack Foundation promotes the development, distribution and adoption of the OpenStack cloud operating system. As the independent home for OpenStack, the Foundation has already attracted more than 7,000 individual members from 100 countries and 850 different organizations, secured more than $10 million in funding and is ready to fulfill the OpenStack mission of becoming the ubiquitous cloud computing platform.

Previously Jonathan was a founder of The Rackspace Cloud. He started his career working as a web developer for Rackspace, and during his tenure, he and co-worker Todd Morey had a vision to build a sophisticated web hosting environment where users and businesses alike could turn to design, develop and deploy their ideal web site – all without being responsible for procuring the technology, installing it or making sure it is built to be always available. This vision became The Rackspace Cloud. Since then he has been a major driver of OpenStack, the open source cloud software initiative.


Reuven Cohen is (still) young, yet Reuven Cohen has been part of the Cloud Computing vanguard from the very beginning.

Pictured below talking to me on SYS-CON.TV at the first ever Cloud Expo, in November 2008, Ruv founded Enomaly in Canada in 2004, to exploit the same concept - "elastic computing" that Amazon so famously exploited when it launched EC2 (its Elastic Compute Cloud) in August 2006. Enomaly was among the first to develop a self-service infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform circa 2005, as well as SpotCloud (2011), the first commodity style cloud computing Spot Market. In December 2011 Enomaly was acquired by Virtustream, where Ruv acted as Sr. Vice President of Community Clouds until August 2013, when he was appointed by Citrix to the newly created role of Chief Cloud Advocate.

He writes "The Digital Provocateur column for Forbes Magazine, is the co-founder with DAVE NIELSEN of CloudCamp (300+ Cities around the Globe), an unconference where early adopters of Cloud Computing technologies exchange ideas and is the largest of the ‘barcamp’ style of events. He is also the co-host of the DigitalNibbles Podcast sponsored by Intel. He has served as a board member to the Information Technology Association of Canada as well as a strategic adviser to Sun Microsystems, Amazon, York University, The Government of Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs & International Trade (DFAIT).

Ruv is currently very active in International trade as a liaison with various governments helping define IT policy, definitions (NIST) and agendas. Some of his recent participation include the governments of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Brasil, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, and China

BERNARD GOLDEN | @bernardgolden

Bernard is VP of Enterprise Solutions at Enstratius. At Enstratius, he works with enterprises throughout the world to help them achieve greater agility and improved IT economics. His work with enterprises includes opportunity evaluation, best practices recommendations, economic analysis, and process streamlining.  Bernard was previously CEO of HyperStratus, a Silicon Valley cloud consulting firm helping its clients plan, design, and implement cloud initiatives. HyperStratus clients included the KT (Korea Telecom), Chunghwa Telecom, Trend Micro, and Pepsi.

He is the author or co-author of three books on virtualization and cloud computing, including Virtualization for Dummies, the most popular book on the subject ever published.

MÅRTEN MICKOS | @martenmickos

Describing himself succinctly on his Twitter account as a "Finn in Silicon Valley", Mårten Mickos is CEO of Eucalyptus Systems. According to no less an authority than BusinessWeek, he "has a track record of building global disruptive businesses."

No surprise then to find Mårten right at the heart of the Cloud. He joined Eucalyptus, purveyor of private AWS-compatible clouds, as CEO in March 2010, having from 2001-8 been CEO of open source database maker MySQL AB, which was famously bought by Sun in 2008 for $1 billion. In September 2009 he become Entrepreneur in Residence at Benchmark Capital, and anyone who understands how VC works in the Valley should have noted that, when he left Benchmark to take up the chief executive office at a Cloud company...that confirmed that Cloud Computing was certain to become huge.

Mårten Mickos spoke at 9th Cloud Expo / Cloud Expo Silicon Valley (November 2011)

DAVE NIELSEN |  @davenielsen

One of five cloudsters who put on the first ever CloudCamp - the other four being Sam Charrington, Jesse Silver, Sara Dornsife and REUVEN COHEN -  Dave Nielsen has done for "unconferences" what Wordsworth did for daffodils: put them on the map.

Several of the five had experience with the Open Space unconference format which had been around since the early 80s and it seemed to them like a good fit for the then still emergent phenomenon known as Cloud Computing. The first CloudCamp, accordingly, was held June 2008 in San Francisco. The aim then as now was to provide a common ground for the introduction and advancement of cloud computing. The agenda at a CloudCamp is never completely set until the attendees arrive and set it.

Since a participant-driven unconference like this can not only run on its own but also within a larger conference, Cloud Expo invited Dave to run a CloudCamp @ Cloud Expo for the first time in 2009 and there has been one held at every Cloud Expo since.

MARK SKILTON | @mskilton

Mark Skilton is a Global Director, Strategy Office, Capgemini Infrastructure Services. He is the Technical Leader for the Group Government Cloud Portfolio and is the author of the "Cloud Computing Education" and "Infrastructure Strategy" Courses at the Capgemini University. He is also Co-Chair of the Cloud Computing Work Group at The Open Group, an International Standards Body. SMark has spoken and published internationally on the subject of Cloud Computing, and spoke at 11th Cloud Expo | Cloud Expo Silicon Valley on the subject of "Maximizing Business Value in a Cloud Enabled Ecosystem."

SEBASTIAN STADIL | @sebastianstadil

Founder of the Silicon Valley Cloud Computing Group (SVCCG) and of Scalr. The SVCCG was founded Sep 11, 2007, by Chief Organizer Stadil and Assistant Organizer Ferhat Hatay. As of this writing it has 8,697 members and counting, and has held 104 meetups.

Sebastian has been a Cloud developer since 2004, starting with web services for e-commerce and then for computational resources. He founded Scalr, a software-project-turned-startup that scales website infrastructure automagically. Scalr's CTO is Igor Savchenko and Marat Komarov its Director of Engineering. Ever thoughtful and prescient, his Master's Thesis at the Ecole supérieure de Commerce de Lille in France was on "Signal Oriented Marketing: establishing trust among mutually distrustful parties using insights from Evolutionary Biology and Game Theory."

| @werner

Vice-President & CTO at Amazon
, Werner Vogels - who keynoted the very first Cloud Expo and indeed the second one too - is responsible at Amazon for driving the company’s technology vision, which is to continuously enhance the innovation on behalf of Amazon’s customers at a global scale.

Prior to joining Amazon, Werner worked as a researcher at the Computer Science Department at Cornell University where he was a principal investigator in several research projects that target the scalability and robustness of mission-critical enterprise computing systems. He holds a Ph.D. from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and has authored many articles for journals and conferences, most of them on distributed systems technologies for enterprise computing.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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Most Recent Comments
japersonal 07/21/13 12:55:00 PM EDT

Would be interesting to see here people from medium-size cloud hosting companies.

Thank you!


Marty Alchin 12/08/07 07:32:19 AM EST

What they've done so far is open up part of their API to the public, while keeping more of it for themselves. I expect it's only a matter of time before they start opening up the rest to paying customers, who will get their own secret key, linked to a site's domain, which can be retrieved through the HTTP Referer header.

The signature would act much like an API key does today, except that by combining a secret with a product of the chart's arguments, the signature will vary for each individual chart, and Google can trust that the person who generated it is a genuine customer, and that it hasn't been modified along the way. It would no longer be possible to simply copy an API key and fake an IP and Referrer value, it would still require something extra, which only Google and its customer would know.

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