A cloud ecosystem is a complex system of interdependent components that all work together to enable cloud services. In nature, an ecosystem is composed of living and nonliving things that are connected and work together. In cloud computing, the ecosystem consists of hardware and software as well as cloud customers, [cloud engineers consultants, integrators and partners.
Werner Vogels, CTO at Amazon, first compared the cloud to an ecosystem in a keynote address at the Cloud Connect 2011 conference. At the time, enterprise cloud computing was usually thought of in terms of three broad service areas – infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS). Vogels proposed that the cloud was really more complex and its description also needed to include the array of service providers that companies rely on to operate in the cloud.
The center of a cloud ecosystem is a public cloud provider. It might be an IaaS provider such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or a SaaS vendor such as Salesforce. Radiating out from the center of the cloud are software companies that use the provider’s anchor platform, as well as consultants and companies that have formed strategic alliances with the anchor provider.