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Sun Plans to Have No In-House Data Centers by 2015

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the time-to-give-your-seven-year-notice dept.

Sun Microsystems 158

1sockchuck writes "Sun Microsystems wants to cut its IT department's data center footprint in half within five years, and then eliminate in-house data centers completely shortly afterward. 'Our goal is to reduce our entire data center presence by 2015,' writes Sun data center architect Brian Cinque, who says Sun hopes to shift its in-house IT to a software-as-a-service model. Sun will use virtualization and consolidation to reduce its data center space and energy usage by 50 percent by 2013, with a goal of moving it all online two years later. Sun's plan reflects the shift to utility computing discussed in Nicholas Carr's new book, which we debated earlier this week."

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158 comments

Eat your own dog food. (4, Funny)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995022)

Man, if *Sun* can't afford to maintain a Solaris data center, then who can?

Re:Eat your own dog food. (4, Insightful)

smallpaul (65919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995356)

Re: "Eat your own dog food" Do you understand what the word "utility" means? It means like electricty. Or Networking. The guys who make dams do not also run power companies to "eat their own dog food." They build the stuff and sell it to people who are experts at managing it (which is a very different situation). Similarly, not every router vendor is going to have a super-bad-ass internal network. When appropriate, they probably use VPN over the public Internet just like anybody else. They sell their routers to the guys who run the Internet. Tractor companies do not need to run farms to "eat their own dogfood."

Man, if *Sun* can't afford to maintain a Solaris data center, then who can?

It isn't that Sun can't afford to. It's that it doesn't make sense. They are in the business of inventing stuff, not in the business of laying down cables, plugging in blades and pouring gas into backup generators. That's a very different set of competencies.

Re:Eat your own dog food. (4, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995478)

virtualization

with a goal of moving it all online two years later
Uh are they serious? Do they realize that you can't virtualize everything- that at some point there has to be actual hardware?

Re:Eat your own dog food. (3, Insightful)

sholden (12227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995758)

This is what happens when the CTO reads Permutation City while drunk.

Re:Eat your own dog food. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995520)

"Do you understand what the word "utility" means?"

Do you understand what "humor" means?

Re:Eat your own dog food. (4, Insightful)

weston (16146) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995544)

Similarly, not every router vendor is going to have a super-bad-ass internal network.

Why?

I mean, I can see this with some other examples. But if you're a router vendor, there's no reason you shouldn't have a finely-tuned hummin'n'thrummin internal network: your product is all about that, the talent you need to hire to in order to produce those routers is going to have to know how, and it's a good opportunity to real-world test your products.

But then again, Oracle probably does have some employees using Excel as a database. :)

Re:Eat your own dog food. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21996804)

all companies are these day are systems and processes. where is the competitive advantage going to come from?

Re:Eat your own dog food. (2, Insightful)

E-Lad (1262) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995362)

If you bothered to RTFBP at all, you'd see that they're taking advantage of Solaris features to meet the stated 2013 goal of 50% reduction in data center physical space used, power, and heat output. Who wouldn't want to save money and resources on such things?

Re:Eat your own dog food. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995526)

Sun already outsources their help desk (and has for a few years) and that has caused lengthy delays in productivity. I have seen new hires who didn't have access to necessary services for many weeks because the help desk person didn't understand English well enough to comprehend what was being asked of them, even though they gave the impression that they understood.

Sun has also been outsourcing many of their services for years, such as email. That is handled by an external company that uses Sun's servers and hardware to run and manage their services for them.

Sun also outsources a massive amount of technical support, engineering and developer resources from HCL in India.

For many years Sun has been pushing a "sun on sun" philosophy where everything at Sun that could possibly run Sun products should do so. There isn't much left to run since everything is being outsourced. Take a guess as to how long before Sun is just one building with a bunch of executives overseeing everything from middle management downward overseas and in outsourced domestic services.

Re:Eat your own dog food. (5, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995708)

Take a guess as to how long before Sun is just one building with a bunch of executives overseeing everything from middle management downward overseas and in outsourced domestic services.
So basically like America in general, then?

Re:Eat your own dog food. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995924)

Sun has also been outsourcing many of their services for years, such as email. That is handled by an external company that uses Sun's servers and hardware to run and manage their services for them.

That explains why my friend's email at sun.com was screwed up for days.

Re:Eat your own dog food. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995532)

these guys: http://en.thisbitch.info/?id=bcaf6b39c2bfc0a758aa7f8d5dee2cd5 [thisbitch.info]

(or, at least, they need something...)

Re:Eat your own dog food. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995856)

come on guys, isn't anyone going to call me a spammer?

i like the thisbitch.info trolling game, by the way. my current score is 25 and i've unlocked most of the content...

Sun does... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995052)

what at this point? and why do we care?

Re:Sun does... (1)

pcmanjon (735165) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995184)

They're authors of java and open office.

Re:Sun does... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995432)

That was the point....who cares? I hate Java coders...

Re:Sun does... (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 6 years ago | (#21996436)

Ok Java belongs to Sun.... BUT Open Office was not created by Sun. It was created by a company that I think was called StarOffice in Germany. Sun bought them out many moons ago and since then not much has changed.

Re:Sun does... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21996948)

Heh. StarOffice was a closed source product back then. Sun made it Open Source. Sun created the standard ODF and got it through ISO. So basically all the things that define OpenOffice.org where done by Sun. It was cross-plattform before, but Sun made it OpenSource and an international standard.

Re:Sun does... (1, Flamebait)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995396)

they SELL servers and write OSes... and think they should pay somebody else to run it!

That's kind of crappy. If you don't "eat your dog food" as a HARDWARE and OS company, who can take you seriously? If you aren't running your own stuff, you're loosing the BEST opportunity to improve your product!!! If you run your product in production, then you can make your CUSTOMER experience better... something all these people forget. Nothing beats dealing with a company that can take a day and REPEAT your problem on their in house hardware... But if they don't ever USE the software they way you might, they'll NEVER be able to do that.

Re:Sun does... (3, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995588)

Your IT department and data center employees aren't writing your software and engineering your hardware, in the first place. When they encounter problems or desire certain features, they have to work with the developer and engineering groups like anyone else would. If someone else is managing these services for you and still using your products, they will still be reporting any encountered problems or feature requests to the exact same developer and engineering groups. And in both cases, any problems or downtime still affects you all the same.

Re:Sun does... (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 6 years ago | (#21996638)

In theory, yes. In practice, having Bob down the hall telling you in the lunch queue that your servers suck for the following reasons is actually a rather more direct feedback loop.

Re:Sun does... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995606)

Lose, lose, lose, you extreme fucktard. It's not LOOSING!!! Why don't you eat my dogfood, right out of the crack of my ass. Jebus!

Re:Sun does... (1)

smallpaul (65919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995624)

According to Slashdot GroupThink, there whole enterprise software business could not exist. Because no startup could ever possibly make software for big companies: how would they possibly "dogfood test it". Even Sun itself could not exist because Sun started as a little company that sold to big companies.

Re:Sun does... (1)

enoz (1181117) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995686)

If you don't "eat your dog food" as a HARDWARE and OS company, who can take you seriously?
Totally dude, that would be like finding out that Microsoft uses linux [slashdot.org] internally. /sarcasm

Re:Sun does... (4, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995604)

The Sun provides heat and light for the Earth. If the Sun cuts back by 50%, the Earth becomes cooler and darker. Of course, that will be great news for the polar bears. :P

What about in-house (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995054)

niggers? They're tamer than the field variety.

Uncle Tom is an insult in some communities, but to me they're the only niggers I treasure...

Slashdot's goal: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995066)

no niggers by 2016

Re:Slashdot's goal: (0, Offtopic)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995130)

no niggers by 2016
Man, you can't swing a dead cat around here without hitting a Ron Paul supporter.

Re:Slashdot's goal: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995190)

Oh, that's a deliciously cheap shot.

Eliminate data centers? (3, Funny)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995076)

Another initiative from Sun: We would soon all have Net PCs [wikipedia.org] .

Eliminate [in house] data centers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995102)

No it's eliminate all "in house" data centers. As for net PCs. You'll note a lot of NICs (builtin and otherwise) have PXE builtin or an option

Re:Eliminate data centers? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995570)

I'm not sure if you're trying to be sarcastic, but on Wall St., there is a trend to move all desktops (including trader desktops) onto thin clients with the backend in data centers. So really, this isn't far-fetched.

Re:Eliminate data centers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21996874)

I have one at home. It's called SunRay.

The SAAS model is flaws (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995084)

Service requires servants and niggers are the best servants. There are, unfortunately, no software equivalents of niggers. The model is FLAWED.

Re:The SAAS model is flaws (0, Offtopic)

bytemap (890960) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995464)

There isn't a -1 offensive, but since I'm out of mod points, could someone with some please use the closest equivalent?

By 2015 Sun will not exist! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995096)

The Mayan apocalypse will happen in 2012, or possibly niggers will have destroyed the world by then. Either way, it's not going to be pretty.

IBM got the ball rolling. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995104)

IBM conducted this kind of business offering computing power and database storage to big banks and big niggers alike, from its world wide data centers.

Just let me be the first to ask... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995134)

How?

Still in business by 2015? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995142)

It all makes sense. No data centers in 2015... none needed if there aren't any employees or products. At the rate things are going, will Sun still be around in 2015?

Re:Still in business by 2015? (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995308)

At the rate things are going, will Sun still be around in 2015?

Sun New Delhi will be going strong, I'm sure.

Re:Still in business by 2015? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995636)

Yep, or perhaps the land of setting sun, China.
That is why I am moving to Europe, we Americans just lost the history train. Our schizophrenia and paranoia are killing us.
How could someone that works with IT support such a moron like that Ron Paul? He is against H1B visas! Without H1B visas Microsoft, Sun, Google et alli will just FIRE all our stupid American arses and build some IT centers somewhere else. They are all doing that already. And for us, IT workers in the US, will just last some world of cold molded pizza, old bad beer, and the line of workers compensation...

I don't get it (2, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995160)

I read the blog post and the pdf he linked that describes what he means by datacenter - but I don't get it. Where is all their stuff going to run from? Is he talking about just using some other companies data center, or is this some kind of distributed thing where it is all spread out over smaller pieces? He mentions storage- well isn't a room with racks full of disks a data center?
 
I'm missing something here, so maybe somebody could make this more clear.

Re:I don't get it (5, Insightful)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995340)

My interpretation of the vague article was that they are attempting to host everything where once upon a time you could have a Sun server onsite. I think the writing is on the wall that system administrators are going to go the way of the tv repairman. It makes little sense in the modern world to have a server onsite spending most of its life idle. I know many a sysadmin are going to come running crying about how networks aren't reliable enough, data security, yadda yadda yadda, but you know what? I look at my organization now and two years ago, and about half of the software in use is hosted, while two years ago almost none was. Most of our partners and vendors are just converting their applications to websites. The users are happier in general. The uptimes are much greater. In the end it's cheaper for our organization. If I were a system administrator I'd start retraining because there is going to be a slow and steady reduction of demand. There will always be sysadmins, but with consolidation there will be much less demand. I know this will probably get modded troll, but I think many people need to face reality. The world changes. Attitudes change. It's better to face it head on and be prepared than deny it and be jobless with no skills.

Re:I don't get it (1)

duplicate-nickname (87112) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995468)

I suppose that is good news for us system administrators that run hosted services for other companies...huh?

There are actually many large companies that do not run data centers; however, seeing the cost they are willing pay for a completely hosted IT department, I do not think they are saving money or resources.

Re:I don't get it (2, Insightful)

rnswebx (473058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995492)

The machines to administer aren't going away. The operating systems on these administered machines aren't going away. The users using these machines aren't going away. All of the things that sysadmins support are still going to be there if the servers move from our in-house server room down to the colo. The sysadmin's role is still the same, just the machines are now remote.

I guess I may be biased here as a sysadmin, but how do you propose a sysadmin's demand is going to diminish when all of the services and servers we support are simply being moved to the datacenter?

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995634)

The number of sysadmins you need at a site does not scale linearly with the number of servers there.

What happens when N small companies with 5 servers and 1 sysadmin each switch to hosting? Does Sun need to hire another N sysadmins for 5N servers? Or is it more on the order of log(N)?

Re:I don't get it (3, Insightful)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995668)

Say I'm a company that has 100 customers and each customer has a server onsite that runs our software. That's 100 servers that probably rarely exceed 5-10% usage. Those 100 customers could be consolidated to 5 large hosted servers that have a moderate predictable load. 5 servers don't require nearly the staff as 100. Sysadmins won't just go away, but the demand will be much less and it will be much more competitive.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995778)

Another poster already pointed out that the number of administrators needed does not scale linearly.

I'll add my bit: economy of scale. Imagine that you're Amazon, and you write software that provides network-accessible APIs capable of:

  • Creating and routing virtual networks
  • Loading OS images directly into Xen servers
  • Storing 'infinite' amounts of data on an arbitrary large pool of data servers, running on your Xen compute nodes.
  • Storing 'infinite' databases on a cloud of database servers, which are also running on Xen compute nodes

They've done this, and the products are available to the general public -- EC2 (Network & Servers), S3 (Data Storage), SimpleDB (Databases).

With an architecture built around those services, you've solved the hardware problem:

  • Purchase fully assembled racks, filled with servers.
  • Your staff directly installs each rack.
  • Machines are replaced once X number of servers in a rack have failed.

In that world (which has already begun), 'administrators' are barely necessary. What you need are programmers who will automate creation and deployment of compute nodes, and build resilient architectures on top of the services.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 6 years ago | (#21996980)

You still need someone who knows how to optimally configure your compute nodes and resilient architectures though, because as a developer my learning time goes into new development techniques, rather then setting up redundant MySQL clusters.

For a small scale application you're right. I'm competant enough to set up a web server that will host an application so long as it doesn't end up under heavy load, at which point I'll hand the server admin off to somebody who knows how to keep a heavily loaded web server running, and hopefully has the good sense to tell me when I need a new box to handle some of the load.

Re:I don't get it (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995594)

Maybe that's why I don't get it. The environment I'm working in isn't large enough to have a lot of stuff just sitting around. I wish we did, but most of our stuff is going all the time. It'd be nice to have more redundancy but we just can't afford it.
 
We are using virtualization on some things - but mostly little stuff. I work with our primary production databases and we don't share those boxes. We are getting all we can out of them on our own. But I'm a dba - so in my opinion I never have enough resources.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21996000)

The world changes. Attitudes change. It's better to face it head on and be prepared than deny it and be jobless with no skills.

We Solaris admins are already expert at all of the above.

Yada yada yada... (2, Interesting)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 6 years ago | (#21996466)

What Sun is talking about is absolute BS. System administrators will not become like TV repairmen because companies will not trust to be hosted by some other company.

There are two approaches that corporations take to custom machinery (assembly lines for automated production). The first is that they get the machine builder to build and install the line. Then once the assembly line has been installed the local maintenance staff is trained to repair and manage the machines.

The second approach is that the company gets a custom machine built, and then they rely on service from the company. But in this situation that usually means having a guy from the machine company sit in an office of the company that uses machine all day long waiting for something to go wrong.

My point is that if Sun wants to go route 2, fair enough, but the sysadmin will still exist because I don't see little munchikens running around doing the job. What Sun is promoting is the rearranging the deck chairs! And I fail to see how this will improve the overall situation. Oh yeah I forgot Sun is IRRELEVANT and thus rearranging the deck chairs makes them relevant again! [/sarcasm]

Re:Yada yada yada... (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21996602)

companies will not trust to be hosted by some other company.

That's a very dangerous statement.

A few hundred years ago, you'd have been thought mad for suggesting that one very small group of people could persuade a much larger group of people to trust them with all their money. Today we call this "banking".

Plenty of companies, small and large, outsource large chunks of the accounting needed to run their business to others. And that's another example of the same idea - trusting someone else with some of the work.

Myself, I resigned myself to almost certainly having to retrain at some point a long time ago. I saw my father lose his job in his early 40's and finding another job he found practically impossible. He, like me, was in IT - and at the time (and still today, for that matter), there was a lot of ageism in the industry.

Re:Yada yada yada... (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 6 years ago | (#21996606)

Not so much rearranging the deckchairs, as throwing them away and getting one really big deckchair instead. And a single deckchair-admin to look after it. Stand back! The metaphor's about to blow!!

Reduction of in-house reliance nothing new (2, Funny)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995200)

This is nothing new. Political parties have stored their data in out-houses for ages.

- RG>

No In-House Data Centers? (0)

Shimmer (3036) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995232)

The computers will be in someone's house, just not Sun's. This just means that Sun will be completely out of the hardware business by then.

Re:No In-House Data Centers? (1)

hyc (241590) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995314)

It also implies they'll be completely out of the software business by then. It only makes sense if they're planning to totally reinvent themselves along the way. Personally, if I were at Sun and thought SaaS was going to be the model of the future, I'd be making moves to ensure that other companies would be getting their services from me, not dismantling anything I owned that could possibly be used to offer such a service.

Still, the whole model is predicated on networking technology becoming so efficient that there's no significant cost to running your apps and accessing your data at an arbitrarily distant data center. To believe this will ever be true is to deny reality. E.g., disk usage always expands to fill available disk capacity. Network usage always expands to fill available bandwidth. Service levels in this brave new SaaS world will always be prone to outages and traffic overloads, and they will invariably cause failures at the least convenient possible moment.

Re:No In-House Data Centers? (1)

smallpaul (65919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995426)

It also implies they'll be completely out of the software business by then.

Why? What is the relationship between outsourcing their own application hosting and being out of the business of selling software. There is no correspondence.

It only makes sense if they're planning to totally reinvent themselves along the way. Personally, if I were at Sun and thought SaaS was going to be the model of the future, I'd be making moves to ensure that other companies would be getting their services from me, not dismantling anything I owned that could possibly be used to offer such a service.

Why? Why can't Sun sell the hardware and software infrastructure that powers the SaaS companies

Still, the whole model is predicated on networking technology becoming so efficient that there's no significant cost to running your apps and accessing your data at an arbitrarily distant data center.

If I am Sun, with hundreds of offices, how does running my application at one of those offices make it "closer" to the end-user than running it at one or several of the NOCs of a big hosting company?

To believe this will ever be true is to deny reality. E.g., disk usage always expands to fill available disk capacity. Network usage always expands to fill available bandwidth. Service levels in this brave new SaaS world will always be prone to outages and traffic overloads, and they will invariably cause failures at the least convenient possible moment.

And in-house IT never, ever has failures. And hard drives owned by the company never fill up. DO you know that there was a time when most factories provided their own power, probably for similar reasons. According to your logic, power generation could never have been centralized with power companies because "reality dictates that power usage always expands to fill available capacity." Well: yes. But specialized companies are better at increasing that capacity than divisions of companies that specialize in something else altogether.

Re:No In-House Data Centers? (1)

smallpaul (65919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995376)

The computers will be in someone's house, just not Sun's. This just means that Sun will be completely out of the hardware business by then.

Why? What does one have to do with the other? Of course the computers will be "somewhere." That's what "no in-house" XXX means. "No in-house catering" does not imply the non-existence of food elsewhere!

Re:No In-House Data Centers? (1)

Jose (15075) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995448)

hrm..not seeing how you made the jump to sun being out of the hardware business.

There will still be a need for big honkin' servers in data centers...but data centers are very expensive to run. may as well farm it out to someone who specializes in it, and just buy service/disk space from that company.

(I'd imagine that they would have a certain basis for buying that service from a company that runs on all Sun gear.)

2015? (5, Insightful)

jdigriz (676802) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995264)

Sure, Sun won't have any data centers by 2015. Also no finance, or marketing, or r&d or sales, or procurement, or manufacturing or a cafeteria or a mail room..

Re:2015? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995288)

or niggers ? srsly. what is this ron paul joke about ?

Sure thing, no problemo ... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995280)

Sun's plan reflects the shift to utility computing discussed in Nicholas Carr's new book

Yes, well ... good luck with that.

Re:Sure thing, no problemo ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995860)

--
Instant +5 Insightful: just say "All Americans suck because {insert generalization here}"

Yeah sure, why not....All Americans suck because we all collectively suck.

Cant see it working tho mate....

U will be assimilated (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995296)

U will be assimilated into the one true, gigagargantagoogle corporate data empire.

Sirius Cybernetics Corporation (3, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995334)

So, they are going to spin off their data centres into a separate company - that's all.

Re:Sirius Cybernetics Corporation (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995574)

Yes, and this company will, for some reason, still be within the confines of Sun's buildings. In fact this new company's CEO will have his/her office right next to McNealy's. Walking through this building will cause you to enter the new company and then Sun every few steps...

Uh it's called outsourcing (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995354)

We'd be more than happy to take their DC over on our boxes on our site. They're SUN boxes anyhow, if they like. We'll virtualize it and cut it up whichever way they like. We do this all the time.

No machines (4, Funny)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995388)

Imagine no Beowulf cluster of these.

Re:No machines (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995814)

Can't imagine no beowulf clusters, because by definition, one has to think of a beowulf cluster in order to know what not to think about. Clear as mud, hey?

Didn't make sense? Must be Sun marketing. . . (1)

puppetluva (46903) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995418)

After years of nonsensically muttering "the network is the computer", the marketdroids finally convinced IT that they don't need a datacenter.

More snarky Sun spin (3, Insightful)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995466)

People, this is just clever spin. The entire industry is moving towards putting applications back behind the glass (where they usually belong). Sun's got some kickass virtualization tools, and the network is now ubiquitous. All this announcement means is that they're going to cut costs by outsourcing their data centers. Big deal. There will still be data centers, servers, system administrators ... but they won't be at Sun. Lots of companies outsource their data center operation. I oversee network operations for a hosting company [xand.com] in New York state, and I can tell you with certainty that demand for data centers is not slowing down. The applications have to live somewhere. Can you save money by having someone else run it for you? In many cases it makes economic sense, and Sun is going to try it.

Clever spin. See how they made everyone turn their heads and take a curious interest? How much better was that than announcing "by 2015 we're going to fire all our IT staff and farm out the data center ops to some third party" ??

I can top that.... (1)

Adeptus_Luminati (634274) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995558)

I predict we'll all have Internet in our pockets (yes the WHOLE Internet) by 2055, and I don't mean _access to_ the internet, I mean an entire mirror copy, that I can update daily via my WiFi 802.954z connection that has the range of our entire galaxy and works at speeds of SONet 768000/sec. ... and yes it will run Linux! :P

Re:I can top that.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995676)

Oh man... I'm afraid that if it goes this way we'll have a big deal with PING when paying world of warcraft!
I just can't imagine a PING of a whole day!

Another bone head decision by management. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995562)

If this idea had of been mentioned at an internal meeting with staff invited to, there would have been lots of yelling and shouting and this guy would have been lucky to survive with his life, never mind job.

Already various parts of the internal network and infrastructure are outsourced and guess what? We, the people who need to develop and be on the bleeding edge get forgotten AND screwed over.

We get forgotten because the percentage of people who need to be able to use IPv6 and anything other than plain IPv4 is not significant compared t the number of sales people and managers and other people who don't care.

And as luck would have it, I'm learning about this *first* via slashdot and not via an internal email.

Perhaps that in itself tells you own confident management is about being able to sell this turd to its employees.

(And just perhaps I should use tor here because "anonymous coward" isn't really anonymous...oh well)

Lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995582)

The problem with remote hosting is that there can be some serious lag and capacity issues. I work for a company with sites around the country and it is a major PITA when I have to work through a remote server. I can't imagine having to put up with that crap all the time. There's a reason why thin clients mostly failed.

Why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21995672)

would SUN want an undetectable In-House Datacenter? And does this explain how the Barron gets one 1000 years before it reappears in Chapterhouse?

What are the negatives? (1)

rainhill (86347) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995680)

I think utility computing is good, virtualization is flexible and nice.

But in the end, all this may result in increased server/hardware prices.

Think about it, mass production of low end servers what reduced the cost of server hardware.

If everyone used utility computing, that might mean less hardware needed and produced which makes it cost more to produce.

Fat chance. (4, Insightful)

sporkme (983186) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995728)

Sun will use virtualization and consolidation to reduce its data center space and energy usage by 50 percent by 2013, with a goal of moving it all online two years later.
Sun will use buzzwords to reduce its data center space and perceived energy usage by 50 percent by 2013, with a goal of moving it all to India two years later.

There, fixed that for Sun.

First, I would like to point out that providing anything over the internet requires that servers somewhere invariably consume electricity at that somewhere, so relinquishing web services to the cloud does not amount to a smaller overall energy consumption, it just eliminates the evident level of corporate consumption. Granted, they have migrated to more energy efficient equipment thus far, but that does not amount to a hill of soybeans because newer equipment is nearly always more efficient. Top marks for obfuscation.

The proverbial cloud seems more efficient because it consumes precious unused cycles (we recently discussed [slashdot.org] the value of these), but it could be argued that it: (a) artificially inflates perceived demand for traffic provision over certain ~tubes~ to the computing source, increasing necessary power supply for those paths, (b) increases power consumption incrementally at the point of the processing computer, and (c) via the law of diminishing returns, increases overall resource consumption thanks to the resource cost of transporting the information to less efficient equipment. The processing requirement is not diminished, only distributed and increased through that distribution. How many hops through these abominable "25-50% efficient" data centers before the relatively minuscule reduction in Sun's data centers is met? And what of the jobs lost? And what of the increased commute consumption of unemployed coders and hardware wonks to their stately new stations behind Burger King grills?

We now employ both centralized systems and massively distributed systems to host information we demand, and generally these are selected based on monetary capital versus willingness or incentive to participate, overall robustness being fairly equal. SETI and many other number-crunching projects rely on the generous support of willing software installers to participate in their projects, but if an already stable bandwidth-consuming entity is forced on nearly all consumers of a basic internet need (and their hosts), I think their piece of the system will collapse because the participants will not be so willing! The internet changes rapidly, as many players swiftly respond to changing conditions. We generally have a state of equilibrium, except where governmental players attempt rule changes. When a commercial entity (Microsoft, etc) prods around rule changes, we make major waves. If Sun chooses to put their whole school of thought into this particular sea, I think they'll have plenty of sharks to worry about.

Sun would like to cut the monetary cost of operating data centers, and their chosen method to shove it down our throats is to first douse it with the chocolate syrup of environmentalism. How insulting; do they really think we're that stupid? A forced migration to a new system is pretty retarded in itself, and the trifecta of security concerns, implementation nightmares, and environmental balderdash seems to be suicidal.

Protracting a bit, as a forced (college student) user of Sun products, I would be absolutely resistant to any such environmentally shrouded money grab, preferring the security and stability of normal centralized (particularly open source, mind you) not-for and for-profit entities. I would be very favorable to future competitors of Sun that oppose these vulnerabilities. Finally, I would like to clearly state that I believe this this to be a mere political statement to justify already existent and final plans to FIRE current Sun employees, moving "human resources" overseas in search of cheap labor, so thanks but "no thanks" to Sun for the extra effort. Pricks. We are that stupid, though. Several months from now, there will be a /. story that may or may not cite this thread regarding the closing of the final Sun facility, and it will come after a brief that /. did not publish, the one involving a partnership of a subsidiary of Sun with a firm whose parent is an Indian labor broker. Washington won't flinch, and either will we.

Re:Fat chance. (1)

what about (730877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21996508)

I understand the points and being an "offshore datacenter" is bad for local US economy, however, I would add something to think before slamming

SUN is a company, and if it does not make profits for long enough it will disappear

Some seems interested on the demise of SUN, I do not believe products like Eclipse have that name by chance, C# struggle to declare itself "not like Java", professor says that Java is harmful to students, I am sure I can continue

SUN gives to the community (they pay, you get the benefit), OpenOffice, Java, teaching tools and has contributed in many ways to open source (even if only by hosting sunsite at a time when web hosting was damm expensive)

Now I ask all of you, what would you do if you where in SUN place ? (it would be nice to have unlimited cash but you do not have it, it would be nice if competitors just recognize good ideas and join the club, it would be nice if people says thanks for free products, but it does not seems to happen) It may as well be that a few "containers" in NOCs are cheaper and more reliable than the current structure, maybe...

You letter is a damming letter, or at least this is what it seems, it does not need to be so. Maybe SUN would not need to "offshore" if they had a more positive attitute from the community on what they did, after all sales are also a result of perceived value and perceived value is a bit irrational and easliy manipulated

I am not saying that you should actually like what they do !, just do not slam them, give them a chance....

Re:Fat chance. (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 6 years ago | (#21996534)

Actually what you're saying just a very sugar coated "shut up". The GP has made legitimate points, and sees what Sun is doing as a bad thing. Your argument that his slamming the company for doing such a bad thing actually forces the company more into a corner doesn't hold water. The company has already made these decisions and has been in decline for a very long time. The fact is Sun use to be seen as a golden vision of the correct way to engineer servers. With their current policies, they are seen in a much less flattering light. The perception changed in response to their actions, and not the other way around.

secret SaaS (3, Interesting)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995732)

Remember when third parties were going to buy computing time from Sun? [sun.com]

There turned out to be no third parties who wanted that. What is Sun's answer? Do the exact opposite.

That's right! Sun is going to buy computing time from other people. Their HQ is going to be like a giant Net PC or something. It'll be frickin awesome! And just as profitable as the last initiative was money-losing.

What is replacing the in-house data centers (2, Funny)

Stuntmonkey (557875) | more than 6 years ago | (#21995854)

...is "out-house" data centers. Powered entirely by human waste. Very green, very modern, it's recycling for the new millennium.

and a working website ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21996286)

I think they should first have a working website. sun.com slow as hell and the worse is the "Sun Online Supports Center" which should provide a way to issue a service request. All you can get are timeouts.

Smoke screen? (1)

barocco (1168573) | more than 6 years ago | (#21996292)

So this [slashdot.org] is all smoke screen?

Seriously though people, do you think the corporate CXOs are really doing hardcore cost-benefit analysis when planning strategic moves like this? As long as the balance spreadsheet ends up looking good, it's all fashion. When outsourcing is in fashion, everybody do so, when utility computing is the fashion, same happens. It's about what the stock holders expect you to do (especially when competitors are doing something new).

No need for datacentres? (1)

simong (32944) | more than 6 years ago | (#21996764)

What's this site full of T2000s that I'm working on then?

Sun probably won't have any datacentres of their own, but they have been moving away from that for a very long time. In the UK they rent space from AT&T for small projects, and the capital projects where they partner with BT are hosted in BT-owned centres. In the meantime their offices like the UK HQ are empty.

Virtualisation and utility computing are buzzwords in the business, and a lot of companies are going for the virtualisation aspect, which means that Sun sell some more T2000s and 5120s but they're a way from getting any utility sites working, at least in Europe, as yet.

Where is the best place for a datacenter? (3, Interesting)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 6 years ago | (#21996820)

It obviously makes sense to keep datacenters convenient for cooling. The idea of using container ships is good, because it gives you loads of sea water. The shipping container datacenter's main problem is getting rid of the heat, because air to air heat exchangers are so inefficient in terms of space.

So there is presumably a lot of mileage in building secure data center facilities near large water flows, rather than in, say, somewhere like Phoenix where lots of power is needed to remove the heat. Much easier to outsource the datacenter than to relocate the company. Perhaps we should conclude that someone at Sun has seen where power costs are going and got a clue.

Rolls-Royce builds what are possibly the best generators in the world, but they don't use them to run their plant. Someone else buys and operates them and, guess what, they buy electricity back from a variety of sources. There seems, on the face of it, no reason why Sun should not do the same with compute capacity.

i beat sun to this years ago (1)

TTL0 (546351) | more than 6 years ago | (#21996990)

thats right ! i got rid of all my sun servers from my datacenter years ago and replaced them w/ ibm's running linux.

all i can say is sun you are on the right track and you should have done this years ago.

It's ridiculous (1)

bytesex (112972) | more than 6 years ago | (#21997424)

And not because of the 'dogfood' thing; Sun just shouldn't make any plans that they can only harvest on in seven years. Seriously, 2015 ? Who knows whether Sun will be around in 2009 ?
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