10 Hot Software-Defined Cloud Data Center Companies: 2022 SDDC 50

CRN breaks down ten of the hottest software-defined cloud data center vendors in the world as part of its 2022 Software Defined Data Center 50 list.

10 Red-Hot Cloud Data Center Providers In 2022

Hyperscaler cloud behemoths are pushing the software-defined cloud data center envelope with robust new capabilities including breakthrough machine learning and AI capabilities.

Microsoft Azure is leading the pack with new previews for Azure OpenAI and new AI dashboards in Azure Machine Learning.

Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella recently pointed out that the Azure OpenAI service is helping CarMax turn customer reviews into customized content for shoppers looking to purchase a used car.

Nadella said Azure Machine Learning’s “number of monthly inference requests increased 86 percent year over year with companies like PepsiCo using the service to predict which products are most likely to sell.”

New multicloud and multivendor capabilities are also front and center.

IBM, which is aiming for hybrid cloud computing and AI leadership, recently unveiled a multiyear strategic collaboration agreement to offer IBM automation, AI, security and other offerings through the AWS Marketplace.

“You have technology, but you also have to work with an ecosystem,” said IBM Chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna. “No one company has all of the expertise, has all of the technologies that any of our clients need to be able to scale their businesses. So you must, must work on co-creating within a large ecosystem.”

As for AI, Krishna said that with 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being created every day, AI is the “only technology” that can be used to harness that amount of data. He said a recent IBM study revealed that 35 percent of companies are now acknowledging they are beginning to use AI.

“Why are they doing it?” he asked. “Because when you look at all the shifts that are going on—on labor, on demographics—AI offers the chance to really automate and begin to take complexity and cost out of enterprise processes.”

Amazon Web Services, meanwhile, continues its relentless innovation offensive with the general availability of AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) C7g instances powered by its Graviton3 processors. That is providing up to 25 percent better compute performance than current instances, according to the company.

“We hire builders who are always thinking about inventing on behalf of customers, looking for ways to simplify, and they do not accept the premise that we have to build things a certain way because this is how things are always done,” said Swami Sivasubramanian, vice president of data, analytics and machine learning services at AWS, during his recent AWS Summit keynote address.

That drive to invent on behalf of customers is ushering in a breakneck pace of software-defined innovation among hyperscaler cloud providers.

CRN breaks down the 10 software-defined cloud data center companies that are leading the way in 2022.

Alibaba Cloud

Top Executive: Jeff Zhang, President

Headquarters: Hangzhou, China

The largest public cloud provider in China continued its no-holds-barred software-defined data center buildout by recently opening its third data center in Germany. That gives the cloud behemoth a network of 84 availability zones in 27 regions across the globe.

Amazon Web Services

Top Executive: Adam Selipsky, CEO

Headquarters: Seattle

AWS is cranking up its software-defined cloud data center performance with the general availability of AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) C7g instances powered by its Graviton3 processors. Graviton3 delivers the need for speed with up to 25 percent better compute performance than current instances, according to the company.

Google Cloud

Top Executive: Thomas Kurian, CEO

Headquarters: Mountain View, Calif.

Google Cloud, which staked out the software-defined multicloud high ground years ago with Anthos, continues to break down cloud walls by open-sourcing some of its security code that it said has been tested and proven effective against cyberattacks.

Huawei Cloud

Top Executive: Zhang Ping’an, CEO

Headquarters: Shenzhen, China

Huawei Cloud, which serves 80 percent of China’s top 50 Internet companies. continues to invest in its Everything-as-a-Service buildout with Infrastructure as a Service, Technology as a Service and Expertise as a service. It is also focusing on building out its GrowCloud and GoCloud ecosystem.

IBM Cloud

Top Executive: Arvind Krishna, Chairman, CEO

Headquarters: Armonk, N.Y.

IBM, which has been on a hybrid cloud tear since its acquisition of Red Hat, is moving fast to showcase its multicloud software defined dominance. Its most recent proof point: a multiyear strategic collaboration agreement to offer IBM automation, AI, security, and other offerings through the AWS Marketplace.

Microsoft Azure

Top Executive: Satya Nadella, Chairman, CEO

Headquarters: Redmond, Wash.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella calls Azure “the world’s computer with 60-plus data center regions connected by over 175,000 miles of fiber over 190 points of presence.” The software giant recently previewed a new Azure OpenAI Service and AI dashboards in Azure Machine Learning.

Oracle Cloud

Top Executive: Safra Catz, CEO

Headquarters: Austin, Texas

Oracle is setting its software-defined cloud data center sights on the health-care market with its $28.3 billion acquisition of health-care digital information system provider Cerner. Oracle co-founder and CTO Larry Ellison said the deal provides the muscle to transform health care with a “new generation of health-care information systems.”

SAP Cloud

Top Executive: Christian Klein, CEO

Headquarters: Walldorf, Germany

SAP is upping its software-defined data center game with Rise with SAP, a package of software, tools and services built around the S/4HANA Cloud. More than 2,000 customers have accelerated their digital transformation with Rise with SAP. More than 60 percent of those are net-new customers for SAP.

Stack Infrastructure

Top Executive: Brian Cox, CEO

Headquarters: Denver

Stack Infrastructure, which provides build-to-suit software-defined hyperscale capabilities, recently said that it now operates its Americas portfolio on 100 percent renewable energy. Stack also has joined the Infrastructure iMasons Climate Accord as part of a move to drive carbon reduction efforts in digital infrastructure.

Tencent Cloud

Top Executive: Ma Huateng (Pony Ma), CEO

Headquarters: Shenzhen, China

The China-based cloud behemoth, which has 70 availability zones across 26 regions, has expanded its customer base with a focus on network endpoint and business operations security. To that end, the company is enhancing its zero-trust solution for remote workers.