Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sun, Amazon, and cloud computing

Wow - I see that Sun's stock price is up 58% this morning because of an announcement that they are going to compete with Amazon in the cloud computing business. I have used Amazon's EC2 service on a customer project, I am creating a custom AMI (Amazon Machine Image) with all of the examples for my book project for APress, and I have a future business idea that I expect to use Amazon's cloud services to implement.

Anyway, I have always appreciated Sun (especially when they sent me a free black leather jacket with the Java logo embossed on the back after the publication of one of my early Java books) and as a company I wish them well. That said, Amazon's cloud services come close to perfection, so Sun has real implementation and business challenges. Sun does have a plan for security (compliance to data safe guard requirements, etc.) which is one area the the cloud providers need to get right if more companies can (legally) use cloud services. I expect that this is an area that Amazon is also working on.

Update: I just heard that IBM is considering buying Sun, so that is likely the reason for their stock price bump, and not their cloud services initiatives.

5 comments:

K said...

Or maybe the stock price increase was a result of this?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/technology/companies/19sun.html?_r=1&hp

"I.B.M. is in talks to buy Sun Microsystems in a proposed deal valued at nearly $7 billion, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said on Wednesday."

K

Mark Watson, author and consultant said...

Hello K,

Yes, I made a mistake on that one. When I looked at my Yahoo finance personalized web page this morning, Sun's huge bump and 4 articles on their cloud initiative led to to the wrong conclusion.

tbourdon said...

Hi Mark, I enjoy the blog.

I've had this nagging feeling for the last year or so that the whole model of the web in its current form is broken. This push for "the cloud" is just another centralization grab.

I want to see these centralized servers go away and client apps (like P2P) gain more control. I want to easily publish data from my own box, without running a web server. I want to easily subscribe to data that was easily published by mom, pop, buddy and sis. And I don't want Facebook, Google, Amazon or Sun to be in the middle.

This attempt to monetize the masses content is for the birds. If it means I have to pay my ISP for more upload bandwidth then so be it, at least I'm in control of my data again.

Forgive the rant, its not an attack on your post. I'm just getting depressed and the direction the web is going.

Mark Watson, author and consultant said...

Hello Troy,

I hope that the evolution of the web includes both decentralization and cloud computing.

I used to run my own servers from home, but switched to the convenience of leasing two VPS servers. I also have a business idea that I would like to try, and Amazon's pay as you go services will let me experiment without a huge up front investment,

For what you want to do, perhaps starting with an open source program like Limewire would help you get something up and running relatively quickly.

Best regards,
Mark

tbourdon said...

Mark -

Sorry to read about your hiking incedent but I'm glad you're OK.

I've researched various P2P clients and with the ability to set up "Darknets" it's definately a step in the right direction. However, I'm thinking of something much more ubiquotous. Something more along the lines of Galernter's Lifestreams where individuals can share information without middle men shoving advertisments in our faces or charging for services that should be easily attainable on our own machines.

Hosting services are fine but you still have to store your data elsewhere and you're constrained by the type of servers you can run, at least with shared solutions. And VPSs are much more expensive than shared hosts.