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Sun Reaches for the Cloud

Unlike Google, the Sun Open Cloud Platform will support applications written in Java, Ruby and Python

Sun rolled out its latest cloud gambit Wednesday. Unlike Google, the Sun Open Cloud Platform will support applications written in Java, Ruby and Python. It’s got a storage administration API, a WebDAV API and a Storage Object API compatible with Amazon’s S3.

Sun - according to its SVP of Cloud Computing David Douglas (pictured below) - is planning to open two services this summer: the Sun Cloud Computer Service and the Sun Cloud Storage Service. Its initial ambitions are directed at developers, students and start-ups. Although it’s not ready to disclose its pricing structure, it anticipates having a credit card payment scheme.

What it’s bringing to the party is a core set of REST-based Open APIs whose specifications will be published under the Creative Commons license, which means anyone can twiddle them all they want.

It’s hoping to advance interoperability by dint of public review. In this, it appears to be of one mind with its potential new master, IBM (if the leak of the moment proves true) which wants to get all the cloud players in one room, deny them food and drink, and not let them leave until they interoperate.

It’s also bringing pre-packaged VMIs or virtual machine images so users don’t have to download, install and configure infrastructure software as well as the Virtual Data Center (VDC) deployment widgetry it got when it bought Q-Layer in January.

In Sun’s rehabilitated view of utility or grid computing it has expanded its thinking to embrace operating systems other than its own.

VDC provides a single management interface to stage applications running on OpenSolaris, Linux or Windows in its cloud. It features a drag-and-drop métier for creating software stacks and moving images into the cloud and a command-line interface accessible via any web browser.

Sun has stowed its cloud infrastructure – which it’s been testing for a while – at the SuperNAP data center run by Switch Communications in Las Vegas. It’s reportedly a mix of Sparc and x86 blade servers run in the large by Solaris 10 though that will be transparent to user VMs running Linux and Windows. Sun’s using its own virtualization tools and its Amber Road storage arrays.

One of the treasures Sun will eventually be throwing into the cloud is MySQL. Potentially it’s thinking a hosted version.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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