Sun Ray Server Software

By Sean Gallagher  |  Posted 2004-11-16 Print this article Print

3.0"> The same goes for the anticipated release of Sun Ray Server Software 3.0, which Sun showed off at LinuxWorld this summer. Schwartz dragged Sun CIO Bill Vass up on stage to demo Suns internal Sun Ray implementation with Solaris 10—upgrading 30,000 users in just three days. And that was a pretty slick-looking Sun Ray he did the demo on ... but they didnt mention it. Hmmm. Read more here about Sun Ray Server Software 3.0.
The quick mention of Suns next-generation UltraSPARC processor, code-named Niagara, during the event signals some of where Sun is going with all of this.
The chip can run 32 "hardware threads" simultaneously—acting as 32 virtual UltraSPARCs—on only 56 watts of power. Add to that the partitioning capabilities of Solaris 10—which include the ability to run virtual Linux partitions—along with the performance boosts and better processor utilization that Sun claims Solaris 10 and the application switch it announced Monday can deliver. Add it up, and it becomes obvious where Sun sees its next big opportunity: data-center consolidation. Now, tag on the Sun Ray strategy to that consolidation. What if you could serve 30,000 desktops without having to do actual desktop management? What if you could replace, say, 80 percent of your desktop computers with thin clients that look, act and feel close to the desktops they replace—without the patches, security risks or short life cycle? With all of that extra room in your data center, you could throw a few racks of Sun Ray servers in (or at least Sun hopes you will) and do just that. Then theres the theme that seemed to dominate the event, being carried over from Schwartzs Wall Street presentation last month—the conversion of Sun into a service-based company. Solaris user licenses are free, and Sun will "monetize" Solaris through support. Sun wants to sell customers CPU cycles on eBay (or through some other channel) for a dollar a CPU hour, storage for 80 cents a gigabyte-month, and Sun Rays on a monthly subscription, Schwartz said. Imagine a world where somebody else runs all of your compute cycles and takes care of all of your storage, and you set up computer desktops in the same way you plug in office phones. Thats what Sun is imagining, and it wants to be the one sending you your monthly bills. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Sean Gallagher is editor of Ziff Davis Internet's enterprise verticals group. Previously, Gallagher was technology editor for Baseline, before joining Ziff Davis, he was editorial director of Fawcette Technical Publications' enterprise developer publications group, and the Labs managing editor of CMP's InformationWeek. A former naval officer and former systems integrator, Gallagher lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland.

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