Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Roger Strukhoff, Bernard Golden, Greg Ness, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java

Cloud Expo: 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
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: S...
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Ashar Baig, Research ...
StackIQ offers a comprehensive software suite that automates the deployment, provisioning, and management of Big Infrastructure. With StackIQ’s software, you can spin up fully configured big data clusters, quickly and consistently — from bare-metal up to the applications layer — and manage them efficiently. Our software’s modular architecture allows customers to integrate nearly any application with the StackIQ software stack.
In her General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing, at Verizon Enterprise, will focus on finding the right mix of renting vs. buying Oracle capacity to scale to meet business demands, and offer validated Oracle database TCO models for Oracle development and testing environments. Anne Plese is a marketing and technology enthusiast/realist with over 19+ years in high tech. At Verizon Enterprise, she focuses on driving growth for the Verizon Cloud pla...
As Platform as a Service (PaaS) matures as a category, developers should have the ability to use the programming language of their choice to build applications and have access to a wide array of services. Bluemix is IBM's open cloud development platform that enables users to easily build cloud-based, creative mobile and web applications without having to spend large amounts of time and resources on configuring infrastructure and multiple software licenses. In this track, you will learn about the...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: ...
Compute virtualization has been transformational, yet security policy implementation and enforcement has lagged behind in agility and automation. There are a number of key considerations when implementing policy in private and hybrid clouds. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Holland Barry, VP of Technology at Catbird, will discuss the impact of this new paradigm and what organizations can do today to safely move to software-defined network and compute architectures, including: How normal ope...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic • Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff hap...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accel...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customiz...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ElasticBox is holding a Hackathon at DevOps Summit, November 6 from 12 pm -4 pm at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. You can enter as an individual or team of up to 10 developers. A New Star Is Born Every Month! All completed ElasticBoxes will then be sent to a judging panel - 12 winners will be featured on the ElasticBox website in 2015. All entrants will receive five full enterprise licenses for one year + ElasticBox headphones + Elasti...
Once the decision has been made to move part or all of a workload to the cloud, a methodology for selecting that workload needs to be established. How do you move to the cloud? What does the discovery, assessment and planning look like? What workloads make sense? Which cloud model makes sense for each workload? What are the considerations for how to select the right cloud model? And how does that fit in with the overall IT tranformation? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, John Hatem, head of V...
Cloud services are the newest tool in the arsenal of IT products in the market today. These cloud services integrate process and tools. In order to use these products effectively, organizations must have a good understanding of themselves and their business requirements. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Brian Lewis, Principal Architect at Verizon Cloud, will outline key areas of organizational focus, and how to formalize an actionable plan when migrating applications and internal services to...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, will discuss how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP ...
Ixia develops amazing products so its customers can connect the world. Ixia helps its customers provide an always-on user experience through fast, secure delivery of dynamic connected technologies and services. Through actionable insights that accelerate and secure application and service delivery, Ixia's customers benefit from faster time to market, optimized application performance and higher-quality deployments.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calm.io has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of DevOps Summit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calm.io is a cloud orchestration platform for AWS, vCenter, OpenStack, or bare metal, that runs your CL tools puppet, Chef, shell, git, Jenkins, nagios, and will soon support New Relic and Docker. It can run hosted, or on premise and provides VM automation / expiry, self-service portals,...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue bu...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce t...
Blue Box has closed a $10 million Series B financing. The round was led by a strategic investor and included participation from prior investors including Voyager Capital and Founders Collective, as well as the Blue Box executive team. This round follows a $4.3 million Series A closed in December of 2012 and led by Voyager Capital. In May of this year, the company announced general availability of its private cloud as a service offering, Blue Box Cloud. Since that release, the company has dem...