New wave profits
IT managers wouldnt view Suns grid service as unwelcome competition to their in-house computing resources any more than having access to multiple competing telephone services was unwelcome, Schwartz said. Corporate CIOs will embrace any new service that offers them new choices and options with the potential to save them money, he said. Sun officials said their service will be profitable at the proposed fees because the company already has access to an inventory of servers and storage devices along with the operating system, applications and accessories necessary to start up the system.To read more about McNealys vision for grid computing, click here. But he stressed that while Sun is convinced the service will be profitable, "we want to move carefully into this market" rather than spend huge amounts of money simply to achieve "first mover advantage" in a market that fails to meet expectations. That is how a lot of companies came to grief in the dot-com boom and bust of the late 1990s, he noted. Schwartz said Sun will also be counting on third-party partners, including system integrators, to help build the business. One of those potential partners who attended Tuesdays grid computing introduction is DeepNines Inc., a Cupertino, Calif., provider of network edge security systems for intrusion prevention and detection. DeepNines interest would be as a security technology provider for grid computing installations, said Shannon McElyea, the companys vice president of business development. Companies that want to use grid computing for sophisticated data analysis are going to want to ensure that they are secure from Internet intrusions, McElyea said. DeepNines also uses its technology for "forensic" intrusion analysis to learn how hackers penetrate systems, she said, adding that grid computing is potentially useful for such analysis. Suns grid service stands a good chance of winning favor with companies, she said, especially because Sun is offering the service on Solaris and Linux x86 platforms. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest utility computing news, reviews and analysis.
McNealy suggested that Suns grid will provide an automatic "burn-in" service for Sun servers and storage devices before they are shipped to customers.