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Sun Plans to Have No In-House Data Centers by 2015 158

Posted by Soulskill
from the time-to-give-your-seven-year-notice dept.
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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Sun Plans to Have No In-House Data Centers by 2015

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  • by Valdrax (32670) on Friday January 11, 2008 @12:08AM (#21995022)
    Man, if *Sun* can't afford to maintain a Solaris data center, then who can?
    • by smallpaul (65919)
      Joyent.
    • by smallpaul (65919) <paul AT prescod DOT net> on Friday January 11, 2008 @12:52AM (#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.

      • by Brian Gordon (987471) on Friday January 11, 2008 @01:09AM (#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?
        • by Crafack (16264) on Friday January 11, 2008 @01:33AM (#21995616)
          No. It's virtual servers all the way down.
        • by sholden (12227) on Friday January 11, 2008 @01:57AM (#21995758) Homepage
          This is what happens when the CTO reads Permutation City while drunk.

          • I keep reading all these comments about moving entire companies' worth of systems to a co-lo facility.

            And, setting aside the question of reliability of the uplink [yes, Virgina, backhoes - not to mention tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes - do take out fiber optic lines every now and then], and setting aside questions of privacy [do you really want God only knows whom to be able to sniff your company's email traffic?], then what about the fact that you're dealing with a single point of failure?

            What
            • by Qzukk (229616)
              what about the fact that you're dealing with a single point of failure?

              Then you're an idiot for not setting up a backup at an independent facility. You'd be in the same situation if you ran it yourself, the only difference being the concentration of value making a centralized location more of a target, but also better able to afford to reduce that risk itself.

              • better able to afford to reduce that risk itself

                Q: Tell me, in the six years since 9-11, and the twelve years since Oklahoma City, just what exactly has been done to prevent ol' Timothy Abdul Hussein McVeigh from driving an ammonia-fertilizer truck bomb to One "Bilshire Woulevard" and taking out the entire telecomm infrastructure for the southwestern United States?

                A: Not a damned thing.

                the concentration of value making a centralized location more of a target

                Exactly - CONCENTRATION MAKES FOR A HIGHE
                • by Qzukk (229616)
                  just what exactly has been done to prevent ol' Timothy Abdul Hussein McVeigh from driving an ammonia-fertilizer truck bomb to One "Bilshire Woulevard" and taking out the entire telecomm infrastructure for the southwestern United States?

                  So don't outsource your IT there. It's not like there's no competition for secure datacenters, and a number of places actually have increased their security. For people who are currently located in the southwestern US, you sound like an advertisement for outsourcing webserv
          • Maybe he hopes to reach a singularity point and have a Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect "Failure".
            http://www.kuro5hin.org/prime-intellect/ [kuro5hin.org]
      • by weston (16146) <westonsd.canncentral@org> on Friday January 11, 2008 @01:20AM (#21995544) Homepage
        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by E-Lad (1262)
      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?
      • by pimpimpim (811140) on Friday January 11, 2008 @09:10AM (#21997730)
        I didn't read it, but everybody knows that Sun is pressing ideas like this (netpc etc.) for years, so it makes real sense. I read Jonathan Schwartz's blogs every now and then, at one point he mentioned a NYC company that had trouble growing because there was no place left on the roof for air conditioning outlets. It is Sun's focus to change that with their software/hardware: just put a datacenter somewhere xx miles away in the fields, and you won't have cooling problems at your offices.

        In that way, they actually _are_ eating their own dog food. If they can use virtualization etc. etc. in their own company using their own hardware/software at some external datacenter, then they are an excellent showcase for their clients.

        I think the confusion is caused by a bad formulation of the plan, the fact that I am actually trying to explain it here shows enough! I have the impression that Sun has the right ideas and the right technology, but terribly fails in bringing a convincing way that they have a economically viable strategy. They open sourced almost all their software assets recently, they started to OEM Solaris to Dell (how will that sell Sun hardware?), and it goes on. Many comments on JS's blog are from confused small investors that wonder how they will ever get to see any money coming back from their stocks. I understand Sun's problem, hardware has a either a low profit marge (Dell) or you need convincing ways to sell the expensive hardware Sun or IBM sells. Sun is trying in many many ways to find a revolutionary way to do this, but they seem to forget that in the end all you need is a talented, convincing salesman to get the hardware to the costumer.

        Bottom line: your tech is ok, but get a PR and sales department that works, Sun!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2008 @01:18AM (#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.
      • by Kadin2048 (468275) * <slashdot.kadinNO@SPAMxoxy.net> on Friday January 11, 2008 @01:48AM (#21995708) Homepage Journal

        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?

      • 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.
        For the record, our help desk is only four floors down and entirely staffed by white men from the midwest, and I assure you, sir, that English comprehension is a problem here, as well.
      • Wow, Sun outsources their email? thats enough to tell me that you don't know what your talking about, they outsource many things but email isn't currently on that list.

        I smell Troll.

      • by fm6 (162816)
        You're right on most points (including the negative impact on productivity), but you're misinformed about help-desk outsourcing. These are still Sun employees, they're just located on Sun's campus in Bangalore.

        When people have problems with an inept help desk in India, they tend to blame the language gap. But that's just a symptom. English is a standard language in India, and anybody who has a serious education can speak it well enough to communicate easily with a westerner. So if your Indian help desk pers
  • Another initiative from Sun: We would soon all have Net PCs [wikipedia.org].
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      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.
    • by jez9999 (618189)
      Most Pointless Linking To A Wikipedia Article Ever.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    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?

  • I don't get it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Friday January 11, 2008 @12:22AM (#21995160) Homepage Journal
    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 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by porkThreeWays (895269) on Friday January 11, 2008 @12:50AM (#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.
      • 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.
        • No, probably not, but it does give them someone to sue if they don't get their five 9's. When you run your own data center, you have no one to blame but yourself.
          • by dekemoose (699264)
            Which is a lot like the rationale that if your vendor's software doesn't work you have someone to sue. This is the common justification for purchasing commercial software, but at the end of the day how many lawsuits do you see where someone sued their vendor for writing crap? Lawsuits are expensive and there is usually enough legalese in the contracts that a lawsuit is unlikely to net anything. You can point the finger, but a lawsuit is unlikely.
            • True. I guess "blame" is more accurate than "sue". Really, it's more like "pass the buck."

              Uh, yeah, boss... The vendor's working on that. I'll give 'em a call and see what's taking them so damn long....
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by rnswebx (473058)
        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 service
        • Re:I don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

          by porkThreeWays (895269) on Friday January 11, 2008 @01:41AM (#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.
      • 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 eno
      • Yada yada yada... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SerpentMage (13390)
        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 compa
        • by jimicus (737525)
          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 th
        • by Angostura (703910)
          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!!

      • I think the writing is on the wall that system administrators are going to go the way of the tv repairman.

        I agree with you that certain aspects of today's IT infrastructure could be commoditized.

        For instance, Hotmail, Yahoo!, and Google have long since proved that basic email functionality can be easily commoditized.

        And Exchange Server backend [with Outlook frontend synchronization], while maybe an order of magnitude more difficult than basic email, could, in many cases, probably be commoditized [ass
      • I know this will probably get modded troll

        Well, it'd be quite deserving of it, the way you're talking about change.

        but I think many people need to face reality.

        Maybe you're pushing something at the wrong pace, and perhaps in the wrong way. Don't be surprised if you get tons of resistance going the wrong way about it.

        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.

        Then adapt the change to fit the needs and desires of those who are facing it. That's how change is accomplished, not by playing God and not making the transition smooth. That means taking care of your own first, then moving as needed. It may be slower, but it certainly keeps p

      • by illumin8 (148082)

        I think the writing is on the wall that system administrators are going to go the way of the tv repairman.

        I call bullshit. I'm an experienced UNIX system administrator (worked on big Sun kit for over 12 years at large telcos and banks), and I have yet to hear of any UNIX administrator in India that knows how to work on large, enterprise servers like Sun Fire 25Ks. Sure, you can outsource the small help-desk and first-tier support, but try finding someone that knows how to properly architect multi-gigabit

    • They're going to have it all hosted on The Google.
      • and google keeps building giant data centers. i know you are joking - but this seems like just shuffling the deck.
  • This is nothing new. Political parties have stored their data in out-houses for ages.

    - RG>
  • 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.
    • by hyc (241590)
      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 th
      • by smallpaul (65919)

        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 dis

    • by smallpaul (65919)

      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!

      • by Shimmer (3036)
        Because of the principle of Eating one's own dog food [wikipedia.org].
        • by smallpaul (65919)
          So your claim is that a company cannot make hardware without running a datacenter. If Sun does not have a datacenter then it cannot sell hardware. Similarly, I suppose, Boeing cannot sell airplanes unless it runs a commercial airline.
          • by Shimmer (3036)
            So would you run your business on hardware made by a company that refuses to run their own business on the same hardware?
            • by smallpaul (65919)
              "So would you run your business on hardware made by a company that refuses to run their own business on the same hardware?" Yes. I would run my business from a company that runs their business on their own hardware which is managed by a third party. Like if I called up Lucent to order some hardware and asked them about their own use of it. I would not be at all worried if they said: "Sure we use Lucent hardware but we let AT&T (or whoever) manage most of it for us. In fact, we sell it to them and lease
              • by Shimmer (3036)
                I would run my business from a company that runs their business on their own hardware which is managed by a third party.

                OK, but I don't think that's what's happening with Sun. The whole premise of "software as a service" is that the customer (i.e. Sun) has no control over what hardware is used. It's the complete commoditization of hardware (i.e. just like sugar, oil, etc.). If Sun is acknowledging that hardware is a commodity, they're also acknowledging that no one is going to pay a premium to use their har
    • by Jose (15075)
      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? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jdigriz (676802) on Friday January 11, 2008 @12:37AM (#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..
  • Sun's plan reflects the shift to utility computing discussed in Nicholas Carr's new book

    Yes, well ... good luck with that.
  • U will be assimilated into the one true, gigagargantagoogle corporate data empire.
  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Friday January 11, 2008 @12:49AM (#21995334)
    So, they are going to spin off their data centres into a separate company - that's all.
    • 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...
    • by Rogerborg (306625)
      Not quite all. It's important to remember that SpinCorp pays about 15% less than ParentCorp, and that any length of service benefits don't transfer. Rinse and repeat whenever your peons get uppity.
  • 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 (Score:5, Funny)

    by SEWilco (27983) on Friday January 11, 2008 @12:58AM (#21995388) Journal
    Imagine no Beowulf cluster of these.
    • 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?
  • After years of nonsensically muttering "the network is the computer", the marketdroids finally convinced IT that they don't need a datacenter.
  • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Friday January 11, 2008 @01:08AM (#21995466) Homepage Journal
    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 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
  • by Anonymous Coward
    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 I
  • 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.
  • That's because they'll all be in the carpark in shipping containers. :)
  • Fat chance. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sporkme (983186) * on Friday January 11, 2008 @01:51AM (#21995728) Homepage

    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 a

    • 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 bene

      • by syousef (465911)
        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 muc
    • by Rogerborg (306625)

      Nicely reasoned, but please allow me to synopsise it a bit further.

      We can get it elsewhere more reliably, efficiently and for less money, because people in the cloud are:

      1. Smarter than our dumb employees.
      2. Harder working than our lazy employees.
      3. Too dumb or lazy to earn as much money as our greedy employees.

      It may not be phrased in quite that manner in the boardroom.

    • ...moving "human resources" overseas...

      Wouldn't it be the ultimate in outsourcing if HR functions were outsourced to an overseas company specializing in outsourcing other resources.

      Maybe I should set up an overseas HR shop.
  • secret SaaS (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hxnwix (652290) on Friday January 11, 2008 @01:52AM (#21995732) Journal
    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.
    • by jcnnghm (538570)
      I suspect the reason that the sun computing service hasn't taken off is because it doesn't have the ease of use of the Amazon services, which do roughly the same thing and have done pretty well. I can't speak for EC2, but I have used S3 enough to understand that it's dead easy, and I will be using EC2 in the future when I have the need.
  • by Stuntmonkey (557875) on Friday January 11, 2008 @02:19AM (#21995854)
    ...is "out-house" data centers. Powered entirely by human waste. Very green, very modern, it's recycling for the new millennium.
    • by TeknoHog (164938)

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

      Just beware of brownouts.

  • 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).
  • Sun is probably not going to be around in 2015 anymore anyway.
  • 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 m
  • by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Friday January 11, 2008 @05:57AM (#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.

  • 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 ?
    • by trongey (21550)

      ...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 ?

      If Sun were to disappear by 2009 then they would have succeeded in eliminating all of their in-house datacenters. In fact they will have finished 6 years ahead of schedule. How great will that look on their resumes?
  • And EDS, in turn, contracts out much of the support.

    EDS handles sun datacenters all over the world. Moving offshore is nothing new for Sun/EDS, they have been doing it for years. So the physical machines will be hosted somewhere else? Meh.
  • Sounds like a really lousy job, everyone else's data all the time.
    1. Make products for data centers (virtualization, operating systems, hardware).
    2. Sell products to data centers.
    3. Outsource your own data center.
    4. ???
    5. Profit!

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