If the third quarter told us anything, it was that IT M&A activity is alive and well, particularly in the big data space. And we saw more evidence that selling the tools of tomorrow (Hadoop, NoSQL) puts startups in a good position if they follow the right strategy. In the realm of public clouds, Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, Joyent and RightScale rolled out a variety of new features to make their respective offerings as palatable as possible. The internal cloud market was defined by attempts to peddle turnkey solutions addressing users’ needs around multitenancy, provisioning and self-service. And with Amazon, Google, Facebook and Twitter all significantly upping their infrastructure investments, it will be interesting to see what they roll out next. Companies mentioned in this report include VMware, Amazon Web Services, Oracle, Google, Facebook, Rackspace, Puppet Labs, Dell, Intel and more. For a full list of companies and to read the full report, sign up for a free trial.