Vendors introduced hundreds of cloud-related products and services in 2012 that were aimed at helping organizations move to the cloud or designed to help them expand their cloud capabilities. Here’s a sampling of some of the more interesting product announcements:

Accellos, a provider of warehouse management systems and Acumatica, which offers cloud-based enterprise resource planning and financial software, announced an integration between their Acumatica Cloud ERP and AccellosOne Cloud WMS offerings. The integration is designed to give manufacturers, distributors and retailers a seamless workflow between ERP and WMS across orders, inventory, and fulfillment processes. The AccellosOne Integration for Acumatica Cloud ERP allows Acumatica ERP users to integrate supply chain execution technology with their existing ERP systems.

Amazon Web Services introduced new managed services for Windows developers with the worldwide launch of Amazon Relational Database Services (Amazon RDS) for Microsoft SQL Server and ASP.NET support for AWS Elastic Beanstalk. AWS says businesses can now take advantage of the managed database and application services to deploy, manage and scale SQL Server databases and ASP.NET applications using familiar Microsoft tools. AWS had been providing Amazon RDS for MySQL and Oracle databases, and with this launch brought the same benefits to SQL Server users.

Apple announced that OS X Mountain Lion, the ninth major release of the company’s desktop operating system. Mountain Lion introduced more than 200 new features, and had Apple’s iCloud built into the foundation of the operating system, making it easier for users to keep content up to date across all devices. Using an iCloud account, users can set up features such as Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Messages, Reminders and Notes, and the cloud service automatically keeps information up to date, Apple says.

CA Technologies unveiled new cloud management and governance capabilities developed on AWS within CA’s Automation Suite for Clouds. With the new capabilities, organizations can streamline and govern the provisioning of AWS services, allowing them to rapidly move workloads to the cloud. New features of CA Automation Suite for Clouds Powered by Amazon Web Services include pre-designed workflows and approvals for automated self-service delivery of infrastructure and application services within the AWS Cloud.

Cloud Technology Partners, a provider of services for planning, designing and building cloud environments, launched OpenStack RapidPlan, the first in a planned line of services designed to eliminate obstacles and accelerate enterprise adoption of the OpenStack development platform. The OpenStack RapidPlan offering is designed to allow organizations to create a scope, budget and business case for an OpenStack deployment, as part of an effort to roll out a private cloud, the company says.

CloudPassage, a cloud server security provider, unveiled Halo NetSec, a service that provides advanced network access control for servers running in public clouds. The company says Halo NetSec gives administrators perimeter controls that are specifically designed for cloud environments, addressing a top security concern related to cloud adoption. Halo NetSec combines centralized host–based firewall management that’s designed for cloud environments with two-factor authentication.

Google introduced Google Drive—a data storage service that allows users to create and share information, collaborate with others, and upload and access files such as videos, photos, Google Docs, PDFs and other content. Google Docs is built into Google Drive, so users can work with others in real time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Drive can be installed on a Mac or PC and downloaded onto an Android phone or tablet.

Hewlett-Packard announced it was expanding its Converged Cloud portfolio with joint HP and Microsoft offerings designed to simplify and enhance multiple aspects of private cloud deployments. The HP and Microsoft Joint Private Cloud initiative—the latest in an ongoing relationship between the companies—features “pre-integrated solutions” based on extensive joint technology development between the companies.

IBM announced offerings designed to help organizations create software applications faster and with higher-quality across multiple development environments including cloud and mobile infrastructures. One is a new version of IBM’s integrated software Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) product with extended design management capabilities. CLM is built on IBM’s open development platform, Jazz, and brings together the company’s Rational Requirements Composer, Rational Team Concert and Rational Quality Manager. IBM also announced Rational solution for CLM on IBM SmartCloud Enterprises, which provides a cloud computing infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) suited for development and test that’s designed to provide rapid access to secure, enterprise-class virtual server environments.

Microsoft introduced new cloud-based Windows Azure Media Services, which are designed to make creating, managing and delivering media to any device easier. The company also published a new Broadcast Reference Architecture that offers prescriptive guidance on how media companies can improve systems performance management as they move toward the cloud. Taking advantage of the worldwide Windows Azure cloud infrastructure, Windows Azure Media Services allow content providers and media partners to leverage the cloud to cost-effectively handle a huge volume of digital media and make it available in the format that customers want.

Other stories of interest:

Top 10 Cloud Stories Of 2012

5 Innovative Cloud Deployments