Sun to Launch Cloud Computing Service

SAN FRANCISCO — Sun Microsystems, in the midst of a reorganization to reverse
its recent losses, is inching toward the launch its own cloud computing service.

Lou Tucker, chief technology officer of Sun’s cloud computing business unit, made the
announcement with Sun’s CEO and President Jonathan Schwartz at the SugarCRM conference

“We think there will be lots of public and private clouds throughout the Internet,”
Tucker told the audience. “We’ll see generalized clouds like and specialized
clouds, for different vertical needs like high-performance computing, and we see Sun as
being a major player in the cloud.”

He declined to comment further. Schwartz said details will be disclosed at Sun’s
CommunityOne event taking place March 18th and 19th in New York.

Sun’s entry into the cloud
has been taking shape for months.
The vendor’s strategy is targeting three layers:
software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a

Earlier this month, Sun snapped up Q-layer, a provider of middleware for dynamically
provisioning cloud computing services. Sun was skimpy on financial details, but the
assets are expected to be rolled into its cloud computing business unit.

When it does get its cloud computing service into the market, Sun will face strong
competition, not only from and established players such as RackSpace and
3Tera, but also from Microsoft, which announced its
Windows Azure cloud service
at its Professional Developers Conference in October.
IBM, is also
picking up speed
with its cloud computing strategy.

Sun’s rush to the cloud is understandable. Research firm IDC said cloud computing will
be a growth area for the next 20 years in its predictions for 2009, and the pace of
adoption of the cloud will accelerate this year.

“It’s the compelling nature of the front end that makes the back end service and
platform so entertaining,” Sun’s Schwartz said in his keynote speech. “For years, we have
been distributing a tremendous amount of software. With the evolution of Sun’s cloud it
will become the front end.”

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