Friday, April 18, 2008

Java Cloud: Has SUN dropped the ball?

With Amazon Web Services gaining a lot of attention and the recent announcement of Google’s AppEngine it begs the question “What is SUN doing?”.

SUN has all the right ingredients to make a PaaS (Platform as a Service) play;

  • They know hardware

  • they have a great operating system, Solaris

  • they have the Java platform and mindshare

  • They even have a great database offering, MySQL

Given all this plus the potential reach SUN has into Java communities and commercial organisations, they should be leading the PaaS movement.
Oh wait, SUN do have an offering. It’s called and not many people have heard of it.

SUN may have a lot under its belt but one thing they lack is the marketing engine to get their message out. This might be because for the last 8 years SUN’s messaging has been all over the map. I like SUN (did you know they are the worlds largest Open Source company? Me neither) but they need help. Apart from their hardware business I don’t think many people know what SUN does or what their business model is.

I’d love to see SUN dust off and create a PaaS offering. They should base it on Solaris, Java and MySQL, outsource their PR and marketing for this project and dive head-first into the PaaS game.


gumi said...

You mean, like this?

Ross Mason said...

gumi, Thanks for the link. The language in this release is terrible and seems to have flown under the radar. If you look at AWS and AppEngine, they target the developer to get interested in the "idea" of what they are offering. It looks like SUN may be going for the CIO but it's vital that you also get buy-in from the community. This is why I suggest SUN outsource the marketing for this one since I don't think they are capable dressing up their software in a compelling way.

I should point out that I am also underwhelmed by AppEngine, but that's a different story.

gumi said...

I'm asking for clarification of this very issue here:

It's so frustrating to read Jonathan Schwartz's blog posts about opening Sun up and seeing great, even unique successes like and Glassfish, and then being confronted with this kind of a reality in a market segment that really has the potential of creating huge streams out of individual small budget developers.

Ross Mason said...

gumi, congrats on the recent release. If SUN marketing were smarter this would be positioned as a cloud application platform for Java developers. They would have also put together a compelling story that that a community could grow around. Right now as per your comments it just looks like a research project, but could be much more.

gumi said...

I don't know what you're congratulating me for, there must have been a misunderstanding. I'm just a enthusiastic user of these kinds of products, I'm not a Sun (or Amazon, or Google) employee.

Ross Mason said...

gumi, I confused you for Richard Zippel. Re-reading makes more sense now :)

friarminor said...

Hey, Ross!

Maybe this one is flying under the radar, too.

Anyway, let us welcome Java into the PaaS fold courtesy of and Webtide. Morph Appspace for Java


Can said...

Have a look at Works like a true JAVA cloud. Has an JAVA API.

Can said...

Have a look at SciDesktopA true JAVA cloud. They call it Network Application Platform instead. Free for scientific or technological use...

pbsl said...

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