Google, Microsoft head for cloud battle with Amazon

The 2 tech giants plan to pitch their cloud infrastructure platforms in direct competition to the e-tailer.

Amazon  is the leader in the cloud-computing space, thanks to the immense popularity of Amazon Web Services. The cloud-based infrastructure platform enables developers to create scalable Web-based software powered by the company's massive infrastructure.

Amazon competes primarily with Microsoft's Azure, Google's App Engine, offerings such as Heroku and, and Rackspace.

However, Microsoft and Google offer cloud platform-as-a-servic​e offerings, which enable developers to run their apps on their servers, compared to Amazon's cloud infrastructure-as-a-​service offering that gives greater control of the entire virtual environment to developers. (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)

Google and Microsoft are apparently planning to go up against Amazon by launching their cloud infrastructure platforms, which will compete more directly with Amazon's Elastic Computing Cloud. Amazon generates a significant portion of its revenue from Amazon Web Services, and is on track to generate roughly $2 billion from this business in 2012.

We expect Google's and Microsoft's focus on cloud offerings and their efforts to directly compete against Amazon will lead to a decline in Amazon's market share in the space. You can check out the impact of a slowdown in Amazon's revenue from cloud and other Web services on its value using this chart:

Amazon Cloud and Other Web Services Revenues
Cloud and other Web services account for around 3% of Amazon's total value. We currently have a $222 Trefis price estimate for Amazon, which stands near its market price.

NASA Drops Development for OpenStack Cloud Computing Software

Space agency NASA is withdrawing its participation with OpenStack Space agency NASA is withdrawing its participation with OpenStack
Space agency NASA is withdrawing its participation with OpenStack, the open source cloud organization it co-founded with web hosting company Rackspace, according to a report by DatacenterDynamics.

Since launching two years ago
, the OpenStack community of developers and cloud computing technologists have continued to improve on the open standard cloud computing software.
In more recent months, the open-source platform has seen a growing level of commercial adoption, drawing support from Dell, IBM, Cisco, HP, Yahoo!, and Red Hat.
In a presentation at Uptime Institute’s symposium on Tuesday, Karen Petraska, service executive for computing services at NASA’s CIO office, said the agency will scale back its development of the open-source platform now that it has started to see commercial adoption.
Petraska added that NASA is not interested in competing with commercial cloud companies, and would rather be a “smart consumer” of commercial cloud services.
In addition to reducing its work with OpenStack, NASA also said it will cease its developmental involvement with cloud infrastructure solution Nebula.
NASA’s move comes just a few weeks after its fellow OpenStack co-founder Rackspace revealed it will continue to build on its cloud investments like OpenStack to ramp up future revenues following a slightly disappointing first quarter.
Meanwhile, OpenStack continues to flourish in development, releasing its fifth version, Essex last month. The new platform is the culmination of contributions from  200 developers, and boasts 150 new features.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory website was breached last November, which resulted in hackers being able to install malware, delete or steal private information, and take control of user accounts to access privilege sections of the network