The Perfect Storm for Cloud

Today, I was reading a post by Paul Murphy on ZDNet and realized there is a perfect storm brewing in cloud computing, especially for Sun Microsystems.

First, Paul gives some advice to "…focus a lot more effort in the small to mid range market: the people
who desperately want stuff that “just works” and now think they have
nowhere to go.
These people are angry about IT, about something that looks so simple but costs them money and aggravation every single day of the week –and no one’s telling them that Sun has exactly what they need.
"  He’s right.  Sun’s product set — especially in software — is largely undiscovered and hasn’t reached its full potential in the marketplace, especially as it relates to brand recognition.  

Second, Sun has very publicly announced its investment in cloud computing by creating a separate business unit for it, led by Chief Sustainability Officer Dave Douglas.  Sun’s investment in the cloud isn’t a "me too" thing.  We’ve been in this space for years.  But, the open and specific investment in the future of cloud computing is not just exciting for me as a product manager, but should make potential customers and current shareholders tingle in their toes.  Don’t forget that cloud computing is largely a trust proposition.  The most trusted brands will do well in this space, and Sun has that in loads.

Third, the economy is on a downturn.  Jonathan recently blogged "Innovation Loves a Crisis".  He clarified this by stating, "You’re not going to hear from any of our customers, "let’s stop buying
technology and hire more people to do the work." They’re going to
default to the opposite – automating work, and finding answers and
opportunities with technology, not headcount. And in that process lies
an opportunity for Sun – to engage with customers in driving down cost,
driving up utilization, and driving the changes that yield immediate
and long term benefit.
"  The value of cloud computing to a business is in the reduction (potentially down to zero) of it’s IT infrastructure by utilizing a cloud computing infrastructure service provider and only paying for what they use.  This value model is too good to pass up.

So, the equation is this:

    Largely Untapped Software Brand

+ Investment in Cloud by a Trusted Brand with Amazing Intellectual Property

+ Economic Downturn

——————————

= PERFECT STORM for Cloud Computing

I feel like a storm chaser.  Makes me kind of breathless.

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Author: Ynema Mangum

Ynema Mangum is an experienced, data-driven principal product manager of mission-critical composable infrastructure at HP Enterprise. Constantly curious, her passions draw her to emerging technologies. She joined HP 6 years ago as a solutions architect for private IT cloud computing. She then served as owner of the enterprise social collaboration domain at HP, responsible for its future direction. Prior to her current position, she was a senior product manager for the massive HP ConvergedSystem 900 for SAP HANA. At SUN, she was a product line manager for cloud computing, responsible for the requirements for common subsystems of the Sun Cloud, as well as user personas, industry analysis, and competitive research. Her product experience also includes building web based database management systems at BMC Software targeted at Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Sybase, DB2 and DB2 UDB. Y provides an invaluable hybrid mix of strategist, architect, product manager and product marketer with an unbendable passion for the user experience. Her entrepreneurial experience allows her to understand business as a whole and drives her to make decisions and execute quickly. As an added bonus, she is certified in ITIL v3 best practices for IT and Pragmatic Product Management. Ynema is a change agent. She considers herself a determined influencer and a connector whose collaborative nature ensures success in introducing new concepts and services into the mainstream -- even in the most complex environments. She thrives on doing what seems to be impossible, and enjoys taking calculated risks in her personal life -- snowboarding, skiing, SCUBA diving or wake boarding when the season is right.

2 thoughts on “The Perfect Storm for Cloud”

  1. Google’s AppEngine, Microsoft’s Azure, Rackable’s Cloud, Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) and Salesforce’s force.com are all here today with compelling offerings (except Microsoft who are on the brink). When will Sun offer something similar? No, I don’t consider network.com to be similar because it requires code written for Sun’s Grid Engine, and is a batch job processor, not a persistent allocatable resource pool. Can I run a web server and MySQL database on network.com ? I don’t think so.
    I’ve been following Project Caroline for quite a while and nothing seems to have been resulted? Are you sure that having a "Chief Sustainability Office" in charge of such a technical enterprise is a good idea? Dave is up against people like Werner Vogels who I read "came to Amazon from Cornell University, where he was working on high-availability systems and the management of scalable enterprise systems. He maintains that research spirit at Amazon, which regularly must solve problems never before encountered" (from http://www.acmqueue.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=388 )
    I really hope Sun can deliver a great value proposition cloud with xVM Ops Center and xVM Server sometime in the next 12 months. Even just offering MySQL database hosting services would be a good start. Any later and it will probably be too late. Anything you could say in your blog about the state of Sun’s cloud service offerings would be very useful to investors.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Kevin, and for identifying yourself. I don’t publish anonymous comments, just as I don’t talk on the phone to people I don’t know.
    As for what you said, I think you’re getting IaaS cloud mixed up with AaaS cloud. To be clear, we’re looking squarely at the IaaS space. And, that focus is moving us toward the next generation of network.com. If you look at the network.com Web site right now, you’ll see we’re not up to just grid anymore. It’s a teaser, and I can’t reveal anything more at this time. But, when I can, it will be in this blog!
    As for Dave Douglas, he’s quite qualified for the job. See his executive bio here: http://www.sun.com/smi/Press/sunflash/2006-05/sunflash.20060510.1.xml. In addition, Sun has named Lew Tucker CTO of cloud computing at Sun. They, and many other capable individuals at Sun, are set to take on this market and contribute to it in a very open way.

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