Can Sun Bring Back Its Lustre Through Cloud Computing?

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

Beleaguered Sun Microsystems appears confident going into 2009 that it can serve as Cloud Central for companies that want to venture into the vast Internet skies on their own. The company says that its new cloud computing office can coordinate software, hardware and services to put together enterprise cloud-computing infrastructures.

SAN FRANCISCO-It doesn't have anything called the Sun Cloud Computing platform to demonstrate to potential enterprise clients, but Sun Microsystems appears confident going into 2009 that it can still serve as Cloud Central for companies that want to venture into the vast Internet skies on their own.

The company told journalists and analysts Dec. 9 here that its new cloud computing office is open for business and that, based on 26 years of network computing expertise, it can coordinate software, hardware and services from various sections of the company to put together enterprise cloud computing infrastructures.

Sun fully intends to carve out for itself a good portion of the $42 billion worldwide market for cloud computing construction that is projected for 2012. At the moment, IDC reports, the cloud computing infrastructure market is at $16 billion and rising, and the competition for those dollars is ratcheting up.

Cloud computing-otherwise known as utility/grid/on-demand computing-serves up processing power, data storage or applications from one data center location over a grid to thousands or millions of users on a subscription basis. This general kind of cloud-for example, services provided online by Amazon EC2 (Elastic Cloud Compute), Google Apps and known as a "public" cloud because any business or individual can subscribe.

Private cloud computing is a different take on the mainstream version, in that smaller cloudlike IT systems within a firewall offer similar services, but to a closed internal network. This private, generally more controllable network may include corporate or division offices, other companies that are also business partners, raw-material suppliers, resellers, production-chain entities and other organizations intimately connected with a corporate mother ship.

Private cloud computing is taking shape. Read more here.

The services range from simple online document backup and file storage to heavy-duty, 24/7 social networking Web sites, corporate geo-positioning services, financial services transactions, and scientific and oil/gas exploration applications.

The key financial joy to this is that companies don't have to build their own capital-project data centers any longer. They can lease the computing power on a need-to-use basis, and pay on a subscription plan-daily, monthly or yearly.

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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