If the attendance at GigaOM’s Structure 2010 is any indication, interest in the cloud is exponential. While attendance was good last year, this year the Mission Bay Conference Center at USCF was so packed the fire marshal had to

get involved.

Like a lot of companies, GigOM needs to find a new hosting solution to its growing cloud conference – the first time it’s expanded to more than a day-long event. As great a location as the Mission Bay Conference Center is, it’s not scalable to Structure’s increasing bandwidth.

The cloud has arrived. Or, as Amazon CTO Werner Vogels says, the 'real cloud' has arrived.

“2009 marked the rise of the false cloud,” Vogels said at this morning's keynote.

Last year was for proofs of concept, Vogels said. But those proofs of concept are over, and companies are now “doing it.”

"The cloud has arrived," Vogels said.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff agrees, saying the his company is the benchmark for cloud success, as Salesforce was the first cloud software service to pass both $1 billion and $1.5 billion in revenue.

Benioff echoed Vogels’ sentiments on the false cloud, which he sees as a simplified notion that having servers somewhere off-site is all there is to cloud computing.

The real cloud, Benioff says, is based on affordability and democracy. In a weird take on the democratization of the cloud, Benioff described Microsoft protesters standing outside yesterday’s Saleforce event.

When asked about Oracle, whose CEO Larry Ellison is the cloud’s most notorious hater, Benioff said that to see the difference between the two companies, all one had to do is look at Oracle’s Iron Man 2 advertising.
“Oracle sells hardware, and it sells software to run on the hardware,” Benioff said. “We sell neither hardware not software.”

“Our job is to evangelize and promote cloud computing,” Benioff said.

Benioff also announced that he and his wife had just donated $100 million to the UCSF Children’s Hospital.

By Mark Alvarez