Golem and SONM are two cryptocurrency projects competing for the high performance distributed computing market. Golem is marketed as a supercomputer whereas SONM advertises itself as a FOG computing platform. The things that both have common are Blockchain technology, Decentralization and distributed computing. Lets compare the two projects and see what their strong points are. If you are interested about distributed computing, considering watching this video:
Golem is the first cryptocurrency project aiming for the computing market. It has a strong community and it is being developed by a legit and transparent team of developers. SONM also has a strong team dedicated to achieving the goals they mentioned in the SONM whitepaper.
Though both are creating products for distributed computing, the services they provide are a little different. Therefore, these two projects may coexist without one eating the other. Golem aims to make high performance distributed computing decentralized and available to the general public. It is cross platform and has a GUI that is user friendly.
SONM on the other hand, won't make its software available to everyone. SONM doesn't have any plan to make a Windows based version of their software. SONM runs on Linux or as an Operating System on dedicated hardware. What it means is that, average people won't be able to use it since most people use Windows computers.
SONM is targeting tech savvy superusers, system administrators and computer engineers as providers who generally have high performance rigs sitting idle. They can rent their rigs to make a little extra money. As consumers, small and large businesses will benefit from buying computing power from SONM. I expect that SONM team will try to develop features that will make it an attractive alternative to Golem for businesses.
Golem has a first mover advantage because it came before SONM. Golem also has more funds for development. The money Golem raised for development is kept in a public Ethereum address. At the time of writing, the address had tokens worth over 61 million dollars. That's considerably higher than what SONM has for development.
Though they are competitors, the distributed computing market is big enough for both to coexist by targeting different sectors. Initially, Golem will provide SaaS (Software as a Service) services to consumers whereas SONM will provide IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) services. Later, Golem will expand its services to PaaS and maybe other sectors as well. SONM on the other hand will continue to polish their software to make it more efficient. Considering how big these markets are, both of these projects can grow in the multiples of billions.
Don't take my word for it, see what SONM team has to say about what services they would provide:
> Greetings! Golem is a GRID platform, while we are doing a completely different thing. Not a GRID system. Not at all. We have mostly different hardware suppliers and COMPLETELY different customer market. We are not going to compete with other supercomputers-on-the-blockchain. We do different product for other customers. ...
> Our clients, people who would like to host things on IaaS, they will wait for us, because that is not possible on other projects. So we can co-exist fine. Stay tuned, SONM Community
The citation above is a response by SONM support to this reddit thread which asked about competition between Golem and SONM.
Both Golem and SONM are legit high potential cryptocurrency projects. There is a big misconception among general investors of these projects is that they are strong competitors of each other. That isn't the case and that probably won't be the case for the new 2 - 3 years. Because, in the next few years, Golem will concentrate on bug fixes, stability and efficiency. They won't have time to make another software for dedicated hardware.
SONM on the other hand will continue to improve their IaaS software. They are working on two different sectors of distributed computing at the moment. But in the future, they will most likely become competitors.