Sun Microsystems' Open Cloud Platform Is a Challenge to Microsoft, Google

Microsoft, Google and other companies have a new cloud competitor in Sun Microsystems, which announced its upcoming Sun Open Cloud Platform, a set of core technologies, APIs and protocols that Sun intends to proliferate through as many private and public clouds as possible in the coming years. Sun, which made the announcement during the CommunityOne conference, also discussed the Sun Cloud, a public cloud for the enterprise, students and developers that is already in development.

NEW YORK-Sun Microsystems used the March 18 opening of the CommunityOne open developer conference to announce its upcoming Sun Open Cloud Platform, a set of core technologies, APIs and protocols that the company intends to proliferate throughout private and public clouds in the coming years.

In addition, Sun also announced the Sun Cloud, its first public cloud, intended for use by the enterprise, students, developers and others. It is already being used by Sun internally.

While Sun planned to make some noise this week with its cloud computing offering, the announcement has been overwhelmed by reports that IBM has begun negotiating to buy Sun for nearly $7 billion. What impact that will have on Sun's future cloud strategy is hard to tell at this point.
eWEEK previewed the Sun cloud strategy back in December. Click here to read that story.
The move will position Sun in a competitive environment with Microsoft, Google, Amazon and other companies that have been busily moving into the cloud-computing space. Microsoft Windows Azure, an enterprise-capable cloud platform that experienced a 22-hour outage over the weekend, will be generally available by November.

Sun executives see an extremely cloud-filled future.

"In Sun's view, we think there's going to be many clouds: There's going to be public and private clouds, clouds set up for different applications, clouds behind firewalls, and clouds done geographically for political and legal reasons," David Douglas, senior vice president of cloud computing and developer platforms for Sun, said during the opening keynote address.

Sun, he added, was positioned to potentially play a substantial role in this future.

"We have a lot of pieces that allow this to happen: products and technologies such as VirtualBox and Sun xVM," Douglas added.