Sun sees its new cloud as both 'infrastructure' and 'platform'
In a session this evening at the developers conference where the cloud initiative was unveiled, Sun's CTO for cloud computing said that Sun is likely to offer the Sun Open Cloud Platform as both an "infrastructure" and a "platform."
Known for short as "Sun Cloud," the new offering "is a way for us to give every developer on the planet their own virtual data center in the cloud," said the cloud executive, Lew Tucker, during a panel presentation at the CommunityOne East Developers Conference in New York City.
Under questioning, though, Tucker maintained that Sun Cloud looks likely to combine both the "infrastructure" approach used by competitor Amazon.com's EC2 and the "platform" approach offered by cloud services from companies such as Google and Salesforce.com.
While a "cloud platform" spares outside developers from concern about the underlying infrastructure, enabling them to focus on writing code for the higher layers of an application, an "infrastructure platform" affords more customizability and flexibility at the database level, for example, he suggested.
"We think [Sun Cloud] will have all the layers," according to Tucker. Sun already has "platform-oriented" projects under way -- such as Project Caroline and Grid Engine -- which could dovetail well with Sun Cloud as an infrastructure service, he indicated.
But the ultimate delivery of Sun Cloud as a platform and/or infrastructure will be shaped by factors such as the business opportunities that present themselves, Tucker noted.
In the rollout today, officials also said that Sun Cloud will support both "private" and "public" clouds, and that the first two services based on the initiative -- Sun Cloud Storage Service and Sun Cloud Compute Service -- will be available this summer.
Sun also released a core set of Open APIs to developers. The Storage Service will support WebDAV protocols for easy file access as well as Object Store APIs aimed at compatibility with Amazon's S3 APIs. The Compute Service will use Virtual Data Center (VDC) capabilities obtained through Sun's buyout of Q-layer in January.