Is Sun setting the stage for others?

Filed under: Random Thoughts — barmijo — May 10, 2006 @ 12:00 am

Articles about the Sun grid are everywhere on the net lately, and their efforts are drawing attention to the fact
that grids haven’t been able to run transactional applications. Stephane Boisvert, Sun’s senior vice president of global client
solutions was quoted “delivering customized utility computing services to large numbers of users is a gargantuan effort, as it combines voluminous data, supercomputing power and business intelligence.”

Of course, this isn’t the real message Sun wanted to get accross, but for those of us working on this shortcoming, it’s a god send. Last year, when 3tera talked with VCs and analysts, the number of folks who understood this issue was exceptionally small. Today, people are beginning to understand the problem.
Timothy Prickett Morgan got it too at ITjungle:

“Unfortunately for Sun and the many potential customers for the Sun Grid and the alternative grids that Sun is desperately hoping its partners like EDS, and AT&T (build), remote transactional processing is not yet a possibility on grid utilities.”
(Timothy, if you find your way here, you’re working on old information.)

Sun’s efforts are helping people understand what we’re enabling. Admittedly, our company is small, but any of 3tera’s customers will attest to the fact transactional computing on grids is not only possibly, but in fact it’s VERY real.

I’m not Sun bashing here. They’ve got the right vision and they’re truly doing the industry an enormous service by promoting that vision. Unfortunately, I think their continued devotion to being in the hardware business has limited their ability to deliver on that vision. In my role of product manager over the years I’ve always drilled into peoples heads that the first law of product planning is “never sacrifice one product to save another.” Sun, unfortunately, has fallen victim to that very basic rule. In their quest to prove the concept of utility computing they’ve restrictred themselves by looking at the effort as a way to sell their hardware. At most, they have a year to correct that error. If not, in two years no one will remember the Sun grid.

So, whether Sun ever delivers on it’s utility computing vsion or not, it’s definitely helping to pave the way for that vision to be realized none the less.

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