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Sun Announces Public Cloud

Sun Microsystems to Offer Public Cloud Service

Taking a cue from Amazon.com, Sun Microsystems - according to an Associated Press report - plans to launch its own "public cloud" service, which will let everyone from big-time corporations to dorm-room entrepreneurs run their businesses on Sun's computers without buying hardware of their own.

According to the AP's Jordan Robertson, Sun plans to announce the offering today, in a move that reflects the growing interest cloud computing.

Robertson notes:

"Traditional data centers hog energy, and stocking them with cutting-edge servers and storage machines is expensive, which explains the appeal of cloud-based services. Some examples range from Web-based e-mail to customer-management programs from Salesforce.com Inc.

Amazon says more than 490,000 people and corporations have signed up for its cloud computing service since it launched in 2006, but some analysts have criticized it as a financial dud. Amazon doesn't break the division's financials, and won't say whether it is profitable.

Sun says its public cloud is just one element of its strategy."

The AP report also records the belief of Lew Tucker, CTO for Sun's cloud computing group, that there are bigger profits in selling the technology to companies that want to provide cloud services themselves, or to large corporations that want cloud services for its employees but refuse to surrender their most sensitive, proprietary data.

In Robertson's view, Sun "needs a new revenue channel, having seen it become harder and harder to sell new server hardware to corporate customers."

He notes that sales in Sun's server division dropped $191M last year to $6.26BN.

Sun is joining Amazon and IBM in the top industry keynote lineup for SYS-CON's 2nd International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo in New York, March 30-April 1, co-located with the 5th International Virtualization Conference & Expo. Sun's Sr. VP of Cloud Computing, David Douglas, will be joining Amazon's CTO Dr Werner Vogels and IBM's Cloud Computing CTO Kristof Kloeckner. Between them these three industry thought leaders represent extremely well the steadily growing importance of Cloud Computing in the world of Enterprise IT.

Douglas's keynote will be entitled "A World of Many Clouds."

Sun is committed to making cloud computing a pervasive reality. Sun's open source philosophy and Java principles form the core of a strategy to provide interoperability for large-scale computing resources through open and transparent cloud platforms that minimize lock-in.

Sun envisions a world of many clouds, delivered by different service providers, to meet a variety of business needs:

  • Public: A scalable, multi-tenant environment you can leverage with minimal upfront resources to deploy applications quickly
  • Private: A data center you that you own/operate, built to cloud standards, to service both internal and external customers, control costs, and smooth demand
  • Hybrid: You own some, retaining control over key parts of your infrastructure. And you use some, leveraging public resources to test applications, add additional capacity when needed, and offload non-critical resources.

In his keynote session, Douglas will investigate how enterprise IT operations can take advantage of this emerging world of many clouds to achieve the cost and flexibility advantages that cloud computing allows while maintaining control of their IT infrastructure.

Cloud computing, Sun reminds the industry on its corporate web site devoted to the subject, "is about managing petascale data" - and its server and storage systems are all designed "to radically improve the data-intensive computing emerging in the cloud." All without having to invest in new infrastructure, train new personnel, or license new software.

Douglas, who also serves as Sun's Chief Sustainability Officer,  will be speaking on April 1, 2009 at 8:30AM. Cloud Computing Conference & Expo 2009 East is a three-day event, and is being held at The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.

Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz recently expressed his vision for Java and stressed the new role that Cloud Computing is beginning to play in the company's technology roadmap. "At Sun, we're planning on maintaining Java's ubiquity as the number one runtime environment, backed by the world's most price performant datacenter infrastructure, all powered by Sun's cloud," he wrote.

SYS-CON's 1st International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo took place last November in San Jose, CA, with more than 1,200 delegates. See conference photo album here.

More Stories By Liz McMillan

News Desk compiles and publishes breaking news stories, press releases and latest news articles as they happen.

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