Feeds

Sun breaks through the clouds

Presque vu all over again

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Next page: Down the Amber Road

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?