Last quarter we highlighted the fast maturation of the Platform-as-a-Service and big data spaces. Those two trends only picked up speed during the third quarter of 2011. Joining them on the cusp of IT greatness, though, are the OpenStack project and flash storage. The former gathered serious validation from big-name companies, while the latter saw less funding than last quarter but a significant number of product launches. Of course, the third quarter wasn’t all lollipops and rose petals. We saw new computing technologies and delivery models such as tablets wreak havoc on both HP and Cisco, and there are concerns (aren’t there always?) about how the Internet will handle our increased use of streaming video and cloud computing. Unfortunately for HP and Cisco, the latter problem might be an easier fix than the strategic woes facing them. Additional companies mentioned in this report include CloudBees, Rackspace, Engine Yard and Joyent. For a full list of companies, and to read the full report, sign up for a free trial.