First Cloud Venture Wasnt a Big Hit

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-12-10 Print this article Print

Ironically, Sun's first prime-time venture into the genre (Sun Grid, which opened to the public in February 2005) didn't take the sharp upward trajectory the company had hoped.

On Feb. 1, 2005, Sun announced that it was offering grid computing capacity to all takers-hosted in several global data centers-at a flat fee of $1 per CPU per hour and providing a gigabyte of storage capacity for $1 per month. There were a number of paying customers, but not enough to send the initiative on a skyrocket to popularity.

The company had plenty of practice, too. For about three years prior to that day, Sun had offered grid computing resources on an individually tailored pricing basis.

"The Sun Grid is still out there; we have a number of big customers who are avid users of it. It was an early attempt at the cloud space, and we kind of got some of the features right and some of them not quite right," Tucker told me.

"We're continuing to support users there, looking at how we provide that model with tweaks going forward," Tucker said. "We turned off taking new customers a couple of weeks ago; as part of redoing some data center stuff, it didn't make sense to take any new ones at the moment."

Sun doesn't plan on turning away any customers who knock on the door to talk about cloud computing, however. The company is clearly in need of a hit, since it's been slogging through most of the first decade of the century in the red.

Can cloud computing restore the Lustre to Sun? 2009 should provide a major part of that answer.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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