Sun Inks Utility Computing Deal

SchlumbergerSema partners with Sun to allow its customers to increase or decrease the amount of power they need and pay only for the resources they use.

Sun Microsystems Inc. is partnering with SchlumbergerSema to offer hosted utility computing capabilities to customers in the energy, finance, public sector and telecommunications industries.

Houston-based SchlumbergerSema, a business segment of Schlumberger Ltd., will give customers remote access to Sun computing resources. Enterprises will be able to increase or decrease the amount of power they need and pay only for the resources they use via Suns metering capabilities.

Also included in the Sun-SchlumbergerSema offering, which is being announced Wednesday, is federated security via Java Card identity badge and access to Sun support services.

SchlumbergerSema, which has five hosting centers around the world, has worked with Sun for almost 20 years, and the move to a utility computing model—where computing resources are sold like a utility, such as electricity, with billing based on usage—has evolved at the insistence of its customers, said Stephen Holmes, global marketing manager for data center outsourcing.

"Were being asked increasingly by customers, from an outsourcing perspective, to change the way we do business," Holmes said.

Businesses currently sign on with SchlumbergerSema and request a set amount of computing power each month, and pay for what is requested. If they need more power, they buy it in increments of four CPUs, he said.

However, now they are being more economical with their IT spending and are looking for ways to make expenses dovetail with business demands.

"We can have a much more granular approach with our customers, at a fraction of a CPU at a time … and we can scale up and scale down," Holmes said.

SchlumbergerSema has a couple of pilot programs under way and will roll out the service to new customers, or current customers as their present contracts expire.

Ashif Dhanani, director of marketing of utility computing for Sun, said what his company brings to the deal is its intellectual capital, such as its hardware systems and software offerings, including the N1 stack.

The SchlumbergerSema announcement follows a similar one made by Sun Sept. 10, when it partnered with Dallas-based ACS Inc. on an outsourcing deal aimed at Global 1000 companies.

Several other vendors, including IBM and Hewlett-Packard Co., are pushing similar initiatives. On Tuesday, IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., said it is expanding its Virtual Server Service—where customers can remotely access processing power, memory, storage and networking resources—beyond Linux and its mainframe to include its entire line of eServers.

/zimages/5/28571.gifFor more about IBMs announcement, click here.

As with the Sun offering, IBM customers can ramp up or dial down the amount of resources they need, depending on business demands, and pay only for what they use.

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