The cloud has become big news since Google, Apple et al have gotten in on the act, but the first ever FireStorm file-sharing conference in California proved that it’s still the independent companies that are leading the way, and the likes of Google are simply translating cloud computing to a mass audience.

The list of speakers at the first annual conference hosted by Egnyte reads like a who’s-who of the file-sharing world. Opened by Egnyte CEO Vineet Jain who outlined where he believes the future of cloud computing lies, the conference as a whole dealt with the ins and outs of where file-sharing is at today, and where it’s going tomorrow.

Many leading tech sites have declared that the cloud is the future, not just for home users, but for businesses as well, and the FireStorm conference aimed to address that. The future of the cloud itself was the first thing to be discussed, as what was termed the “Venture Panel” fired around questions about the way the cloud is headed. With those on the cutting edge of the industry; including Karim Faris of Google Ventures; Mike Maples of Floodgate Fund; Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers’ Matt Murphy; and GGV Capital’s Glenn Solomon; present among the panel, there was some real insight shed on the issues of the day.

The Industry Panel got into the real nuts and bolts of where the cloud is at right now in terms of business, and the businessmen and women on the panel were of the right calibre to teach even the hardened veterans of cloud computing in the audience a thing or two about the cloud’s importance in everyday life right now.

With Analysts and Journalists up later on, the FireStorm conference offered a variety of perspectives on the issues, and served as more than just a way for those companies investing in cloud computing to pat themselves on the back. Reporters from the Financial Times, Bloomberg and Fortune Magazine among the luminaries on the panels, nobody could argue that the line-up Egnyte presented are anything but the best of the best.

The best was yet to come however, as Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist Vinton Cerf presented the keynote speech; hearing one of the “founding fathers of the Internet” speak on the future of one of the most exciting uses it has been put to in recent years was simply a joy.