@CloudExpo Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, John Mertic, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Janakiram MSV

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT

@CloudExpo: Article

Exclusive Q&A with Dave Douglas, SVP of Cloud Computing at Sun

Exclusive Q&A with Dave Douglas, Sr. Vice President of Cloud Computing, Sun Microsystems

"Sun's strategy is to become the leading provider of technology for both public and private clouds," declares Sun's Sr. Vice President of Cloud Computing, David Douglas, in this Exclusive Q&A with the Conference Chair of Cloud Computing Expo in New York, Jeremy Geelan. "We bring a wealth of technology and experience in systems, software, and datacenters," Douglas continues, "as well as the ability to reach the two major customer segments we address on a daily basis: our large community of developers and our enterprise customers."

Cloud Computing Expo: You’ve been known to claim that Sun has been “Anticipating Cloud Computing for 20 Years” – can you unpack that for us?

David Douglas: Cloud computing is the embodiment of Sun's vision: the Network is the Computer. The Sun Cloud builds upon more than 20 years of network computing innovation, more than 4,000 developers, and open source users that number in the hundreds of millions worldwide. The Sun Cloud leverages our extensive portfolio of technologies and is built on top of open source platforms ranging from ZFS and Java to MySQL and OpenSolaris.

Cloud Computing Expo:
The announcement of the Sun Open Cloud Platform created a great deal of interest: tell us what the overall vision is there?

David Douglas: Sun's strategy is to become the leading provider of technology for both public and private clouds. We bring a wealth of technology and experience in systems, software, and datacenters, as well our the ability to reach the two major customer segments we address on a daily basis: our large community of developers and our enterprise customers. We bring cloud computing to these two markets by building the Sun Cloud - a public cloud for developers, students, startups and divisions within larger companies - and the technology behind it, the Sun Open Cloud Platform, as a resource for enterprise customers who want to take advantage of the cost efficiencies of cloud computing but need to keep their data behind their firewall in the form of a “private cloud.” Sun in uniquely positioned with this two-pronged strategy - each part of which supports and extends the other.

Cloud Computing Expo: So interoperability and openness are the key characteristics of a successful Cloud ecosystem, as far as Sun is concerned

Douglas: As cloud adoption takes off, users will be looking to be able to move applications and data from a private to a public to a hybrid cloud and from one public cloud to another. The Sun Cloud is built on the Sun Open Cloud Platform, which leverages the best in world-class open source technologies like Java, MySQL, OpenSolaris and Open Storage to deliver breakthrough efficiencies in cost and scale, and easier and faster software development to help developers build their own open clouds. We envision a world of many clouds – public and private -- that are open and interoperable, which is why we also announced the release of a core set of Open APIs under the Creative Commons license -- which no one else has done. By opening the Sun APIs and other technologies as part of our ongoing commitment to drive open communities, the Sun Cloud will be at the center of an open ecosystem of developers and partners benefiting from these open clouds. We will be making the technologies and architectural blueprints developed for the Sun Cloud available to customers interested in building their own clouds -- enabling private clouds or non-Sun owned and operated public clouds to interoperate with each other.

Cloud Computing Expo: Backing up a moment, what are the main business drivers for this overall technology trend? Is it cost-driven, efficiency-driven, what are the top three drivers?

Douglas: Companies are looking to cloud computing for a number of reasons related to cost, agility and flexibility. Developers are drawn to the flexibility, the ability to self-provision and the speed at which they can acquire compute or storage capacity and get their applications up and running without involving IT. Both the startup and enterprise communities like the economies of cost and scale that clouds deliver. There is alot of underutilized compute and storage capacity out there, and under a cloud model, customers pay only for what they use.

Cloud Computing Expo: And how about from a specifically Sun perspective – how are you leveraging Sun’s breadth of Enterprise IT experience, for example what verticals are leading the adoption of the Cloud?

Douglas: We just announced our first cloud – the Sun Cloud – our public offering focused on the developer, startup, student communities and departmental level deployments within bigger companies. Sun's entire portfolio of open source technologies and systems are being leveraged as part of the Sun Cloud Storage Service and Sun Cloud Compute Service, including VirtualBox, OpenOffice, Open Storage, Java and MySQL. For example, Sun's Open Storage products enabled Sun to build a storage cloud at a lower cost and larger scale than those based on traditional, proprietary storage. And Sun's services and support bring expertise in building some of the largest data centers in the world – extremely valuable in designing and managing the Sun Cloud.

Looking specifically at verticals, we see different application domains driving differences in hardware and software architecture. To that end, we expect to see many clouds catering to different needs crop up along the lines of HPC, Intelligence, Financial Services, Analytics, etc.

Cloud Computing Expo: How big an issue is security for enterprises who wish to migrate toward this kind of an infrastructure wholly or in part?

Douglas: There has been a lot written about security and privacy related to the cloud. It's important to realize that clouds will have different levels of security and providers need to be honest and accurate about what that level of security is with their users. Data privacy is a cornerstone of Sun's approach to compliance with complex, demanding international data regulations, as well as escalating policy and process oriented requirements imposed globally. We've built our business on working with large enterprise customers to ensure the safety of their data. We also have the most secure operating system on the planet, OpenSolaris. Recently, Sun named Michelle Dennedy as the Chief Governance Officer for Cloud Computing. Formerly Sun's Chief Privacy Officer, she now works with Sun's business, technical and legal teams to develop and adhere to the best data governance policies and processes possible for cloud computing to build trust for cloud environments.

Cloud Computing Expo: How crucial is the distinction between Private Clouds and Private Clouds?

Douglas: There's a difference in the particular requirements from organization to organization, which is exactly why we believe in a world of many clouds. The Sun Cloud is ideal for those customers who are unencumbered by regulatory constraints and certain security requirements. For those customers who can't use a public cloud due to regulatory, security or other business constraints and need to keep their data behind their firewall, we'll help them build their own private clouds based on our Sun Open Cloud Platform.

Cloud Computing Expo: And how about management and deployment? Tell about the acquisition of Q-layer. What does this indicate about the future trajectory of Sun’s cloud offerings?

Douglas: The Virtual Data Center (VDC) capabilities enabled by Sun's Q-layer software provide drag-and-drop provisioning of resources, making the Sun Cloud incredibly easy to use. The VDC model significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to create virtual machine images and a virtual data center from hours to minutes. When customers sign up for Sun Cloud, they each are given their own “virtual data center”. The VDC serves much the same purpose as a regular data center but with much greater capabilities and at much lower cost. Using a simple browser or their own software, customers dynamically add virtual servers, networking components, and storage as they are needed, paying only for what they use. Designed for both individuals and teams, users can easily deploy pre-configured virtual applications or popular software stacks based on the operating systems of their choice (Linux, OpenSolaris, or Windows).

Cloud Computing Expo: What does Cloud Computing have to offer to SMBs?

Douglas: It's about economics, not technology. For startups and small departments, the kind of capital expenditures it takes to put a service online may be inconvenient or simply impossible. They don't have the resources to build a datacenter, hire an IT operator or invest in IT equipment. Cloud computing provides a quick on-ramp with low barriers to entry. Customers only pay for what they use. Additionally, choosing a public cloud from a vendor like Sun can deliver physical security, reliability and availability that exceeds what an SMB could cost-effectively provide on their own.

Cloud Computing Expo: You’re not only Sr. VP of Sun’s Cloud BU, you’re also Sun’s Chief Sustainability Officer – what’s the main connection between the Cloud and the trajectory of Greener IT right now?

Douglas: Energy efficiency and cloud computing are synergistic. The cloud enables higher levels of utilization, driving an overall increase in datacenter efficiency. That's good for business and good for the environment.

Cloud Computing Expo: 2009 is a year of obvious challenges, from both a CapEx and an OpEx perspective, for anyone involved with Enterprise IT. Finally, what’s your top tip, as a seasoned software executive, to those other CTOs and VPs of Technology out there right now – especially those working at embattled start-ups who may be looking for some magic bullet to ensure they’re alive (and well) as a company in 2010?

Douglas: Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz likes to say that “innovation loves a crisis.” If you look back at history, it’s evident that new ideas and new industries are formed during times of crisis. I like to flip that a bit and say “crisis loves an innovator.” It’s not just one person, rather it’s a community of people that come together to tackle problems. It speaks to the power of communities. My advice for companies big and small is to continue to look for opportunities to drive innovation. And, it's more important than ever to be clear about what problem you are solving for your customers. If you can find a cost-savings component that's great, but don't over-rotate on cost. The best companies are still looking for strategic advantage.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@CloudExpo Stories
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
Traditional on-premises data centers have long been the domain of modern data platforms like Apache Hadoop, meaning companies who build their business on public cloud were challenged to run Big Data processing and analytics at scale. But recent advancements in Hadoop performance, security, and most importantly cloud-native integrations, are giving organizations the ability to truly gain value from all their data. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, David Tishgart, Director of Product Marketing ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
The Quantified Economy represents the total global addressable market (TAM) for IoT that, according to a recent IDC report, will grow to an unprecedented $1.3 trillion by 2019. With this the third wave of the Internet-global proliferation of connected devices, appliances and sensors is poised to take off in 2016. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David McLauchlan, CEO and co-founder of Buddy Platform, discussed how the ability to access and analyze the massive volume of streaming data from millio...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Masters Technologies, a leader in Network Visibility and Uptime Solutions, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Masters Technologies is a leading vendor in the network monitoring and high speed networking markets. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, Interface Masters' expertise lies in Gigabit, 10 Gigabit and 40 Gigabit Eth...
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, will draw together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established ...
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
As software becomes more and more complex, we, as software developers, have been splitting up our code into smaller and smaller components. This is also true for the environment in which we run our code: going from bare metal, to VMs to the modern-day Cloud Native world of containers, schedulers and microservices. While we have figured out how to run containerized applications in the cloud using schedulers, we've yet to come up with a good solution to bridge the gap between getting your conta...
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Streamlyzer will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Streamlyzer is a powerful analytics for video streaming service that enables video streaming providers to monitor and analyze QoE (Quality-of-Experience) from end-user devices in real time.
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
Cloud based infrastructure deployment is becoming more and more appealing to customers, from Fortune 500 companies to SMEs due to its pay-as-you-go model. Enterprise storage vendors are able to reach out to these customers by integrating in cloud based deployments; this needs adaptability and interoperability of the products confirming to cloud standards such as OpenStack, CloudStack, or Azure. As compared to off the shelf commodity storage, enterprise storages by its reliability, high-availabil...
The IoT industry is now at a crossroads, between the fast-paced innovation of technologies and the pending mass adoption by global enterprises. The complexity of combining rapidly evolving technologies and the need to establish practices for market acceleration pose a strong challenge to global enterprises as well as IoT vendors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Smith, senior product manager for Numerex, will discuss how Numerex, as an experienced, established IoT provider, has embraced a ...
So you think you are a DevOps warrior, huh? Put your money (not really, it’s free) where your metrics are and prove it by taking The Ultimate DevOps Geek Quiz Challenge, sponsored by DevOps Summit. Battle through the set of tough questions created by industry thought leaders to earn your bragging rights and win some cool prizes.
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and ...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
“Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CloudBerry Backup is a leading cross-platform cloud backup and disaster recovery solution integrated with major public cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.