Move over, Amazon. The leading provider of cloud services is about to get some serious competition from Sun Microsystems, which made its entrance into cloud computing Wednesday with 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 Cloud will 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 Center (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 Center 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 that the cloud scene will feature many clouds, both public and private, that are interoperable and driven by different application types. Applications eyed 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.
"What we're introducing in New York here is we're talking about our public cloud," for developers, Tucker said. Sun has seen a lot of interest in cloud computing from enterprises, he said. "It’s getting very rapid uptake at least in the large enterprises today," said Tucker.
Using AWS (Amazon Web Services) and WebDAV protocols, developers can have file access over the Internet. Through prepackaged Virtual Machine Images (VMIs) of Sun's open source software, developers can immediately deploy applications to Sun Cloud.
Developers building public and private clouds can access Sun API technology and design for compatibility with Sun Cloud, the company said. Sun's cloud API allows programmatic access to such resources as virtual machines, networks, and virtual storage. The API set is REST-based and features Sun Cloud Storage API, Sun Cloud Storage WebDAV API, and Sun Cloud Storage Object API. They are offered under a Creative Commons license. Developers can use the Java, Ruby, and Python languages with these APIs.
Amazon compatibility is featured as well. "We are providing compatibility with Amazon's S3 storage," so anybody who developed Amazon applications can access Sun's storage or vice versa, said Tucker.