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 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.