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Sun Sees Fragmented Cloud Market

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Dave Douglas, SVP Cloud Computing
Dave Douglas, SVP Cloud Computing

In a call today outlining Sun Microsystem’s cloud computing efforts, David Douglas, SVP of Sun’s cloud computing business  and Lew Tucker, Sun’s CTO, said the server and software vendor believes that there will be multiple clouds tailored to specific industries, and that more than one or two vendors will provide the underlying cloud computing infrastructure. Executives dodged questions as to whether Sun would open its own public cloud, telling listeners to stay tuned for further announcements.

Sun (s JAVA) sees different hardware underlying clouds for high-performance computing, video streaming, medical and financial computing — a position at odds with other large cloud providers and even those running large scale web applications who envision clouds comprised of commodity servers running specialized software such as those offered by Amazon. Douglas also anticipates hybrid public and private efforts, where enterprises build private clouds to their own specifications and perhaps use public clouds as backups.

However, even with fragmentation, and in keeping with its open software ethos, Sun envisions the framework for clouds as being open and standard. The goal is to make it easy for cloud customers to take their data from one cloud and replicate it in another cloud, whether it’s public, private or in a different country where legal standards around data storage might be different. This is about more than just moving data; it’s also about making sure applications developed on one cloud can run on another–something that prompted hot debate at our Structure 08 conference.

6 Responses to “Sun Sees Fragmented Cloud Market”

  1. Camelia Malinova

    Hi to everybody,

    Can you help me? I need some information about the topic “Analysis of Cloud Market Characteristics” – very urgent. If you have something, please send me it by mail: [email protected] Thank you in advence !

  2. Stacey Higginbotham

    Frank, I tend to agree with you, both about the need to tightly define what we’re actually talking about and that there will be a need to specialized clouds for certain high-end applications.

    Niraj, interesting post, not sure I agree with the thesis. It would be like a utility trying to buy GE. Plus not sure Amazon would want to take on the server and software business Sun has. Web services was an outgrowth of hardware and software Amazon already built up. It’s now capitalizing on that. Not sure it needs to buy Sun to keep up when Sun is a willing partner. Plus it might eliminate Amazon neutrality when it comes to offering various software configurations.

  3. I don’t think that Amazon is the market leader for cloud broadly.
    The problem is the many different things that cloud means or is used to describe.
    Sun is correct that there will be many different “clouds” by which I think they meant providers of infrastructure or platform as a service. It’s even more true if, as some do, you include software as a service in cloud as well.
    For the next 5 years, at least, there seems to be enough diversity of work load types, both existing (legacy) and new (web or cloud-style), that there will be hardware diversity and service provider diversity.
    If you define tigher scope, then it’s easier to have this conversation.