Sun and Cloud Computing

For more than a decade, Sun has been advancing the state of the art of large-scale computing infrastructure that has formed the foundation of cloud computing. Beginning in the 1990s, Sun has been a leader in helping service providers implement their large-scale networks so that they can serve up to millions of customers. Large numbers of Sun servers are employed by financial institutions and stock exchanges to handle tasks ranging from handling transactions to realtime fraud detection. Sun has been a leader in high-performance computing by developing rack-at-a-time deployment models, automatic provisioning from the bare metal to the application, and large scale virtual networking with one petabit per second throughput. Indeed, Sun pioneered the cloud’s predecessor, grid computing, by selling physical server time by the hour and helping customers implement internal grids to support their own operations. Just as much as these large-scale computing capabilities help Sun develop cloud computing solutions, they are done in the context of advancing the systemic qualities that these solutions require: scalability, availability, reliability, manageability, and security.

Innovations from the Sun community
Sun has developed foundational technologies for cloud computing and has been a central player in the community development processes they have promoted. While Sun has long maintained the Solaris Operating System’s industry leadership, it has also spawned a corresponding open source movement around the OpenSolaris Operating System. The MySQL database is the Web application database of choice, and the Java programming language powers Web sites and enterprise datacenters worldwide. The community-based, open source GlassFish application server provides a Java software execution container that has been extended to support Ruby applications and the Drupal content management system. OpenSolaris Project Crossbow has helped to expand the multi-tenancy support in Sun xVM hypervisor.

Beneath the rich, community-supported Software that Sun helps to foster comes the powerful server, storage, and networking products that make them perform — including standard, scalable x86-architecture servers, Sun’s UltraSPARC® processorpowered server product line, and servers that incorporate Sun’s energy-efficient, chip multithreaded (CMT) UltraSPARC T1, T2, and T2 Plus processors. Sun’s CMT processors process high-throughput workloads so efficiently that they are harnessed in content load balancing and application delivery products such as the Zeus Extensible Traffic Manager. Sun’s Open Storage products combine open source software with industry-standard hardware to help reduce reliance on high-priced, purpose-built systems. Indeed, Sun’s ground-breaking Sun Fire X4500 Server helped the industry see the benefits of combining server and storage technology in the same system. Sun delivers virtual networking for large-scale computing through InfiniBand to massive-scale compute grids with the Sun Datacenter Switch 3456, scaling up to 13,834 nodes.

Community and open standards
Working with a community breeds open standards-based products and helps to provide investment protection. In an emerging and rapidly changing market such as cloud computing, it’s easy to create applications that are locked in to one vendor’s cloud because of the use of proprietary APIs and formats. Using open standards and open source software is the best insurance that the applications you create today will still be useful tomorrow and will give you the needed flexibility to change cloud providers.

The open source communities with which Sun is involved develop to open standards where they exist, and establish new open standards as new products are developed. Open source, open standards, and open APIs lead to applications that have more portability and longevity. Sun’s credentials in the open source community are impeccable, with projects including the: OpenSolaris OS, Linux OS, StarOffice™ software, NetBeans™ platform application framework, OpenSPARC™ technology, Java programming language, Sun xVM hypervisor, Sun xVM VirtualBox, Sun Open Storage Solutions, MySQL database management system, and the Solaris ZFS™ File System.

The importance of choice
Sun’s hardware and software product line is synonymous with choice. Sun offers the choice of servers based on the x86 architecture, that are powered by powerful SPARC® and UltraSPARC processors, and those with CoolThreads™ technology. Sun offers all of these choices in form factors including rack-mount and blade systems, allowing customers a range of densities and I/O capacities to choose from. Sun offers virtualization solutions for every one of its server products, including support on its x86-architecture servers for Sun xVM hypervisor, VMware vSphere, and Microsoft Hyper-V. And of course your choice of operating system, including the Solaris OS, Linux, and Microsoft Windows.

Choosing a cloud computing provider
Sun innovations are the foundational technologies for cloud computing environments that are open, standards-based, and are the fruit of a community effort. Joining the Sun cloud computing community means having the choice of server, storage, and networking technologies that work at maximum scale. It means using software stacks, APIs, and standards that aren’t owned by a cloud provider, they’re owned by the companies that build their cloud applications to have lasting value. Sun offers choice —not just in using the right hardware and software components to get the job done —but in leveraging cloud computing for the greatest benefit.

Those joining the Sun community for cloud computing have a range of options. Sun can help organizations build their own private, local clouds as a way to transition enterprise datacenters toward this new computing model while retaining the utmost control over business-critical data. Sun can help companies build their own private, non-local clouds as a way to leverage the low cost of new large, energyefficient colocation facilities such as Switch Communications’ SuperNAP facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sun can help those wishing to become cloud providers with the hardware, software, and management capabilities that are required. And, starting now, organizations everywhere can augment their private clouds with Sun’s public cloud offering —either by collocating with Sun at the SuperNAP site and enjoying the benefits of high-speed, local infrastructure, or by using Sun’s services over the Internet. Whether you are looking to cloud computing for development and testing, experimenting with hosting applications in the cloud, offloading specific functions, or using the cloud for surge computing, Sun is in a unique position to help enterprises build and use cloud computing.

Source of Information : Introduction to Cloud Computing architecture White Paper 1st Edition, June 2009


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