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The Next Twitter Will Be a Cloud Services Broker


NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Cloud is the computing story of this decade.

Excitement over cloud keeps moving back and forth between technologies that improve it to services and software built on it.

Rackspace (RAX), RedHat (RHT) and VMware (VMW) are examples of the first. Facebook (FB), LinkedIn (LNKD) and now Twitter (TWTR) are examples of the second.

Both sides keep pushing one another forward. New possibilities are not only seized by the services, but new requirements are imposed. The requirements drive the creation of new solutions, which, in turn, create new possibilities.

The new possibility being created today goes by the name "hybrid cloud." The idea was you would have public clouds, at dirt-cheap prices, connected to private clouds where you kept the corporate jewels.

But hybrid cloud hasn't worked out the way its sponsors, including IBM (IBM) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), hoped it would. Instead, customers want the prices they get from (AMZN), along with more reliability, flexibility, capacity, and just plain more.

The result is a new type of cloud company, the Cloud Services Broker, or CSB. Through software, infrastructure, consulting and arbitrage, a CSB promises customers the best pricing for all their cloud computing needs.

Think of CSBs as a cloud sales channel, like the ones that grew up in the wake of the PC 30 years ago. Stores grew into superstores, or Value Added Resellers, or distributors, depending on what customers they were targeting and what those customers needed.

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