Sun Microsystems, 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 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.