Sun challenges Amazon for cloud dominance

Sun Microsystems is to challenge Amazon’s dominant position in the provision of cloud services.

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Sun Microsystems is to challenge Amazon’s dominant position in the provision of cloud services.

Sun Microsystems enters cloud services marketThe company will announce that it plans to offer compute and storage services built on Sun technologies, including OpenSolaris and MySQL.

Developers building for the public cloud platform, called Sun Cloud, will be able to leverage Sun's cloud APIs to interoperate with other clouds and cloud-based applications.

Sun Cloud is being launched at the CommunityOne developer event in New York City. Sun said the offering would accelerate delivery of new applications, reduce risk, and scale computing capacity to meet demand, Sun said.

The first two services, Sun Cloud Compute and Sun Cloud Storage, will be available this summer. Featured in Sun Cloud are Virtual Data Centre (VDC) capabilities acquired through the purchase of Q-layer in January.

VDC offers developers a single management interface for staging an application running on OpenSolaris, Linux, and Windows. A drag-and-drop method is used for provisioning compute, storage, and networking resources via a Web browser.

"[Q-layer] brings this construct, which is that of allowing us to give a developer or a team of developers the ability to create their own Virtual Data Centre in the cloud," said Lew Tucker, CTO of the Sun Cloud Business Unit. The VDC interface, for dragging and dropping virtual machine images, will be demonstrated at Wednesday's event.

Sun anticipates the development of many clouds, both public and private, that are interoperable and driven by different application types.

Applications considered likely for deployment on Sun Cloud include Web 2.0 applications, social networking systems, gaming applications, and anything that needs the scale of the Web, said Tucker. Departmental applications are envisioned as well.

"In New York we're talking about our public cloud," for developers, Tucker said. Sun has seen a lot of interest in cloud computing from enterprises, he added. "It's getting very rapid uptake at least in the large enterprises today," said Tucker.

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