Sun Will Soon Sell Its Own Cloud Services

24 Comments

Sun Microsystems (s java), as has been widely expected in the technology world, has finally announced its own cloud computing platform. Sun will offer raw compute power as well as storage through its Sun Cloud Storage Service and Sun Cloud Compute Service. The services, while being announced today, will not be generally available until this summer.

Juan Carlos Soto, Sun’s V-P of cloud computing marketing, says Sun has built the cloud itself but will host it with Switch Communications in its Las Vegas data center. He declined to talk price until the cloud officially launches, but says it will be competitive with offerings from Amazon (s AMZN) and other vendors.

Sun appears to be differentiating its cloud by touting its openness and interoperability with current enterprise IT systems and with other clouds. Sun has been a proponent of developing standards and governance ideals for the cloud world so data moves freely from one service provider to another. The openness and the ability to tie an enterprise computing system to Sun’s cloud will be welcomed by enterprises.

Sun intends to capitalize on this ability to move data from cloud to cloud with its Virtual Data Center management software. The software allows for an IT manager to provision the cloud by building up a virtual data center in a dashboard. Essentially it translates the cloud into units with which an enterprise IT person is already familiar, rather than having them focus on command line APIs. Much of the intellectual property and ideas behind the Virtual Data Center software and Sun’s multicloud management efforts come from its purchase of Q-Layer earlier this year.

“This is something that may have been controversial six months ago,” says Soto. “But combining public and enterprise clouds is an opportunity that is really coming into focus now and Sun is in a position to capture that with our data center expertise and open-source software.”

On the storage side, Sun’s cloud will have both object-oriented storage and file systems storage.

24 Comments

Steve

See link below of what other leaders had to say about the cloud – we polled 15 incumbents/innovators who are driving the cloud – Sun was not one of them.
Amazon, Cisco, IBM, VMWare, RedHat, Citrix, Microsoft, Parallels, Cast Iron, GoGrid, Rightscale, Appistry, Joyent among others all weighed in.

http://www.laurel-group.com/individual_pdf/LaurelGroupThoughtLeaders_Print.pdf

I also attended a recent event that included Sun along with Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Facebook, Yahoo and others – Sun’s cloud story is still developing and was light compared to the others. They have some catching up to do if they’re going to make an impact here.

Andy

I hope our CloudBerry Explorer for Amazon S3 will work with SUN cloud storage with minimal or no modifications. I am glad there are more players in the cloud market and it would be an expected move from a company like SUN

virtual web symphony

It was expected. But all clouds providers have to maintain very good standards. Or else, people would lose faith. All majors should join hands and synergise their operations for credibility and interoperatbility.

Jeffrey McManus

Well, if Sun really thinks that cloud computing is nothing new, it’s proof that they don’t get it (again).

Cloud computing may be nothing new from a technical perspective. But it’s a disruptive business model, one that attacks the core of what they do (i.e., sell big chunks of hardware to companies who then fail to utilize 100% of the capacity they’ve paid dearly for).

sathyashankara bhat

I really could not make out Sun’s strategies here. Some time back Sun joined hands with Amazon to roll out Open Solaris Amazon Machine Images with support etc. IBM is moving to Amazon Cloud. Microsoft Windows Servers are available on Amazon cloud too.
It will be interesting to see, what are the operating systems that would get supported by Sun’s cloud computing.

However, its good to see multiple clouds from for many good reasons.I think its time to define a protocol or Uniform API layers to manage these clouds in future.

Alex

This is amazing. Back in ’05 we were buying racks of Servers from Sun and other companies. I clearly remember being in a meeting with our CTO and other execs from Sun, where they had no inclination of moving to cloud services. Just another example of a 600 lb gorilla not seeing the future.
I love that they are making the move, but I’m afraid it may be to late. Amazon has the bull by the horns for new start ups and is already supporting many large enterprises.

Walter Adamson

I went to a forum yesterday re this and the SUN Australia CTO spoke at length. He repeatedly said:

1. cloud is nothing new its just a new name for stuff you didn’t recognize as such.
2. That skype and ebay stores were examples of cloud and this is why you didn’t know that is was old hat and here already because you didn’t know they were cloud.

These were the repeated themes of his talk, which all boiled down to the fact that SUN wants to sell infrastructure to enterprise for enterprise “cloud” so they dumb things down for their market to the point where they surely make a mockery of themselves.

I went along to learn something, and out of strong interest. Came away shaking my head.

@adamson

Jeffrey McManus

How’s this different than their previous attempt at cloud hosting?

Does “interoperability with other clouds” mean that they are providing an API for spinning up machine instances that’s call-compatible with Amazon’s? Or are they touting standards compliance as a way of establishing their own standard that nobody else’s stuff actually works with?

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