Sun Pledges to Appear Behind Every Cloud
Sun enters the cloud market with the Sun Open Cloud Platform (OCP), including virtual machine images for all its open source software. The main technologies powering Sun’s cloud are: Java, MySQL, OpenSolaris and Open Storage.
Sun intends to differentiate itself from current cloud vendors by delivering an open and inter-operable platform as an alternative to existing proprietary systems; addressing the "lock-in" concern. The OCP will change the game by “leveraging the best in world-class open source technologies, ... bringing together Java, MySQL, OpenSolaris and Open Storage”. Sun is targeting customers and developers who currently use open source technologies, even to the extent of opening its Cloud API for public review as part of project Kenai, under the Creative Commons license. This move is intended to help companies using Sun’s public cloud and building their own private clouds.
The OCP will also offer customers the ability to establish and manage their own Virtual Data Centers (VDC) using a drag-and-drop Web interface to provision compute, storage, and networking resources to stage applications. This capability comes via Sun’s acquisition of Q-layer in January of 2009.
Sun will initially offer two main services, available this summer, the Sun Cloud Storage Service and the Sun Cloud Compute Service. Other services are planned to follow. The Storage Service will be based on WebDAV protocols and a storing APIs compatible with Amazon's S3 APIs. The Compute Service will use the VDC and will allow users to deploy any operating system (Windows, Linux and, of course, OpenSolaris) in their cloud using Sun’s innate virtualization capabilities. Sun announced an Early Access program for those eager to explore this new offering.
The cloud itself will be located in the casino city, according to InfoWorld:
Sun's cloud will be deployed on Sun blade servers at the Switch Communications SuperNAP datacenter in Las Vegas. Both x86 and SPARC blades will be used, with OpenSolaris serving as the datacenter OS while users can run whatever OS they want by using OpenSolaris virtualization capabilities.
Sun’s current Network.com offering will continue to be supported:
Sun will continue to support its Network.com grid computing customers, the company said. While the newly announced public Sun Cloud is geared to developers, startups, and students, Network.com was designed for high-performance computing and research, according to Sun. Sun is no longer taking any new customers for Network.com.
The Sun announcement included mention of a Partner Ecosystem that includes Cloud Foundry, RightScale, and Zmanda as cloud application providers. This offering reinforces Sun’s commitment to open source and their oft repeated mantra, "The Network is the Computer!"