STRUCTURE 08: Sun's CTO Greg Papadopoulos


Sun’s CTO Greg Papadopoulos paints a picture of The Invisible Hand of Web Architecture — sounds spooky. Here are some notes:

Greg Papadopoulos, Sun MicrosystemsYou all “get” software-as-a-service so I don’t have to sell it to you. Here’s one conclusion — there is a danger of doing the proprietary systems thing all over again. That could hold back the market in a fundamental way.

The reason why I think software-as-a-service and cloud computing smokes the other one is not so much the economics but because of innovation. The service model out innovates “just bits” hands down. We’re struggling now to find what is the platform to scale.

Scale drives “brutal efficiency.” That doesn’t mean that computers themselves that are commodities, it’s computing that is.

The higher up in the stack the developer target, the more freedom to innovate below it. Project Darkstar is a little plug for a multiplayer we’re working on at Sun.

The Original Invisible Hand: Adam Smith, the Wealth of Nations. Market conditions work the best when there’s a freedom of information.

But how do you avoid ceding control to your service provider? Is it proprietary systems all over again? Our answer for this is: It’s all open.

Over time safest place to put your data will be in a cloud, just like the safest place to put your money, is in a bank. How much of computing will this represent? Web plus HPC plus SaaS will comprise the majority of system volume before 2010. It becomes computing by volume.

It might turn out from a regulator point of view that it’s safer to have your data to have a cloud than in your enterprise. At Sun, pieces that are growing:,, MySQL. They are all on modern infrastructure.

This is our mutual self interest, this is an Adam Smith moment.


Out of Cloud Chaos Comes Structure - GigaOM

[…] How can I change and move that data? The differing programming languages or operating systems accepted by various clouds are only part of the issue. The still undecided fight will be between proprietary formats such as BigTable and open standards that are truly standard, as in used by many, many developers. It’s a young effort, so there are no set standards yet, but until there are, transferring data kept in the cloud will never be as seamless as the bank analogy pushed by Sun CTO Greg Papadopoulos. […]

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