Sun breaks through the clouds
Presque vu all over again
Server maker Sun Microsystems will today launch its third assault into utility-style computing. And if you find yourself having a flashback of sorts, it isn't you and all that brown acid you took at Berkeley. It's just the way it is in the modern computer business.
Ask anyone in IT, except for maybe a few million CIOs and business owners who have their skeptical caps on, and they will tell you: Cloud computing is an idea whose time has come - again. And if at first you don't succeed, that doesn't mean it was a bad idea. It is just that someone else has done the idea better and you have to catch up so you can get some of the cash companies are going to be throwing around to build these computing and storage infrastructures called clouds. I think the old-fashioned term "utility" is better suited to what is really happening, but that is so 20th century, as is "grid," the term Sun preferred way back when the Sun Grid was launched in February 2005. Humans are so fickle. Don't blame Fate's finger.
Today, at the CommunityOne East developer conference Sun is hosting in New York, the company will announce the Sun Cloud, which Sun is billing as the "first public cloud service offering for developers, student, and startups," a cloud that will feature compute and storage services. I guess by first that means if you don't include Sun Grid or its kicker, Network.com, which was aimed at developers and startups as far as I can remember as well as corporations looking to offload some Solaris work to Linux or Solaris machines (that was the Sun Grid) and then only Solaris (that was Network.com).
Whatever. The point now, according to Juan Carlos Soto, vice president of cloud computing marketing at Sun, who has run its marketing program to chase startups as well as being chief technology officer for Sun's software business, is that Sun is going to operate a public cloud and will initially target developers and startups as the users for the platform. These are the kinds of customers who don't have big capital budgets and would no doubt prefer to rent compute and storage capacity than own gear and pay upfront for it.
This time around, according to Soto, Sun is building a public cloud that will support Linux, Windows, and Solaris - not just Solaris, which kind of limited its appeal - on a mix of Sparc and x64 iron. The cloud will be built using blade servers, which means Niagara processors on Sparc blades and both Xeon and Opteron processors on x64 blades. Because the initial targets are developers and startups, Solaris 10 is not going to be available out of the chute on the clouds, but the OpenSolaris development distro will be on both Sparc and x64 chips.
Several flavors of Linux and Windows will also be available on the x64 iron. To virtualize this server iron, Sun will be using its own xVM hypervisor tools, which of course includes Sun's implementation of the open source Xen hypervisor on x64 machines and logical domains (LDoms) on the Niagara iron. Both x64 and Sparc versions of the Solaris operating system can also support Solaris containers, which is Sun's riff on virtual private servers.
Next page: Down the Amber Road
Anon asks, "Seems that one needs the latest version of Open Office to "fully utilize" this new cloud."
No. The Storage Cloud is only one cloud, and it supports WebDav, which is supported by Adobe and Microsoft commercial products.
Anon asks, "Has anyone noticed that you can't backup ZFS yet?"
No, because people are all backing it up.
Anon asks, "How can someone come up with a robust file system and forget that it needs to get to tape with high error rates?"
Tape is robust, which is why it is used on space craft and works for retrieving data and storing data for decades in harsh environments. People verify tapes as part of a backup process. Tape has error correction, for odd situations.
AI Walking on the WWWild Side of Human Perception for IT Maintenance in Sanity*
Re: all that brown acid you took at Berkely, you forget to consider the Pusherman ... and TO Berkeley. ..... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-9iNVoeghI
* And the Enigma which Straddles the Line and Dabbles in Madness and Sanity for the Universal Control of Fate and Destiny is revealed in the few lyrics around the 07:30 mark in that video clip. ..... but it is Ancient Wisdom seldom MasterClassed. However ...... that was Then and There and this is Here and Now and the Tomorrow Built Yesterday is the Past in the Future which plays No Active Part in what IT Builds Every Day with Virgin Memory and HyperRadioProActive Imaginative Novel Sourcing.
Grid, Cloud and Before
I remember when AT&T long ago tried to sell application access as a service via servers(3B2 Unix Servers) co-located with telco equipment. It seemed like a good idea then too.
There are in fact very few new ideas in IT. But the "spin" can produce many versions of the same thing :)
Seems that one needs the latest version of Open Office to "fully utilize" this new cloud. Not that that would be a bad thing either. They could actually get usage statistics as opposed to copies downloaded.
Don't mean this to be a negative post. This is overall a good thing.