Saturday, February 04, 2006

Sun isn't pushing for a Sun Grid future

Reading Scott McNeally at News.com, he is quoted as saying of the Sun Grid "Ultimately, our preferred answer is that we become a wholesaler. We don't want to be in the subscriber management business or constomer care business. We're not structured to answer the calls. We don't have big billing engines to do microbilling. We don't have a consumer brand." WRONG!


Sun's Grid needs to be exposed as a web service, just like the Google API. Only then can Sun proclaim "The network is the computer". Microbilling is not hard. Nor are customer services if you've got a good system up and running reliably. And it's not about being a consumer brand - it's about being a truly next-generation internet brand for the developer community so cherished by Jonathan Schwartz.


If, say, 20 or so large Sun partners used the Sun Grid as a web service to deliver their own services (e.g. medicine, groceries, banking), then Sun would effectively be a wholesaler, but via a secure network API. It seems crazy to force these customers to continue to buy the hardware, when they would rather buy the computing?


And since Greg Papadopoulos says "It's a lot harder than we thought" how can Sun expect service providers to achieve commodity grid computing provision to the masses? Selling kit to service providers isn't going to make a grid, but it would improve the company's profits: short term win, but a mid/long term loss.


Here's a 3 point project plan to take Sun to "network is the computer":


  1. Deliver your public grid (with user accounts and billing)
  2. Expose it as a web service (a la Google API, Amazon API, etc)
  3. Promote it via sales channels

The result would be that Sun would become the new Lego for every kind of internet development on the planet. Now there's a market opportunity!

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