Sun Takes A Shine To Utility Model

Jonathan Schwartz, president and COO of the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company, said that customers using the Sun Grid, pay $1 per CPU-hour for processing resources and $1 per Gbyte-month of storage capacity needed to perform IT tasks.

Schwartz demonstrated that model by logging on to the Sun Grid, purchasing $100 worth of computing time with his credit card and modeling a protein molecule, costing him $13.

Some tasks, such as modeling, simulations and movie rendering, are ideal for the Grid, Schwartz said, while other applications, such as SAP or payroll, are not.

Channel partners will be able to participate in the Sun Grid by finding areas to add value, said Robert Youngjohns, executive vice president of strategic development and Sun financing. For instance, they can help customers integrate their libraries of information as a layer on the Grid, or they can become an alternative provider of the infrastructure to share the load of the Grid.

Sponsored post

Sun Chairman and CEO Scott McNealy said channel partners can also bring in the network necessary to connect to the Sun Grid and can help connect customers' disparate legacy infrastructures to the Grid. Mark Teter, CTO of Denver-based Advanced Systems Group, said—at the very least—Sun's grid strategy helps solution providers show customers it is at the forefront in technology.

"I can go to customers and say, 'You see? Sun is planning to run computing like electricity,' " he said. "It allows me to wave the Sun banner and show customers what Sun can do for them."

Keith Trotte, account manager at Metuchen, N.J.-based SSI hubcity, said his company's experience in Oracle and other applications should help it find many opportunities to wrap new services and solution sets around the Sun Grid. "Sun needs a channel—one that understands not only the Grid, but [also] how to wrap customer solutions around it," Trotte said.