Friday, May 09, 2008

Sun Breaking Through The PaaS Cloud

It looks like Sun is putting together a cloud offering to compete with the likes of, Amazon EC2, Microsoft's Live Mesh and all the other folks to strive to provide a PaaS (Platform as a Service) stack in the cloud.

At their JavaOne conference they announced an imitative they've code-named "hydrazine" (a highly flammable rocket fuel!). Robert Brewin, Sun Chief Technology Officer and Distinguished Engineer, described Hydrazine as a combination of Amazon’s Elastic Cloud, Microsoft’s Live Mesh and Google Analytics all rolled into one.

They envision JavaFX to be the GUI glue that holds the stuff together. Which is interesting - given that it's not shipping Sun has already got the domain going - and has a pretty good description of it on their site.

The basic idea of hydrazine is that Sun is building a set of common services (discovery, personalization, deployment, location, content delivery and developer) that will allow developers to hook into when they are building Java applications (both J2EE and J2SE).

But the vision isn't to just stop there. There will be (according to Sun) another layer that contains services for advertising, a market place, developer hosting and repository services, and more.

It looks like Sun is trying to create a flexible PaaS repository that utilizes all of their assets (Java, Solaris, Sun hardware, MySQL, JavaFX).

My thoughts on all of this? Much like JavaFX - it will sure be interesting to see if they can pull it off. Because just like Microsoft's Live Mesh stuff - it's all just a slide show and YouTube video at this point.

So this whole PaaS movement is really getting some legs - and everyone seems to be wanting to make sure that their tools and stack is represented. Assuming it's all going work - and developers will actually use the stuff - it may mean the beginning of the end of the data center for SMB and SME customers.

It will certainly be fun to watch!

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