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article imageSun to Offer Public Cloud Computing, an IBM Strategy?

By Michael Krebs     Mar 21, 2009 in Technology
Following on Amazon's offering, Sun Microsystems announced plans to offer free cloud computing services to the public. With a potential IBM acquisition of the company in the works, is this an IBM strategy?
Sun Microsystems announced its intention to offer free cloud computing services to the general public, a move that mirrors Amazon's virtual storage service. The decision by Sun is the ultimate in open computing - available as it is to both large-scale enterprise corporations and home-business entrepreneurs.
The company announced the offering on Wednesday, responding to what they see as a growing public interest in cloud computing - industry terminology for the distribution of computing services over the Internet.
Sun sees cloud computing as just one element of their strategy, according to an Associated Press report.
"Lew Tucker, chief technology officer for Sun's cloud computing group, said Sun believes there are bigger profits in selling the technology to companies that want to provide cloud services themselves, or to large corporations that want cloud services for its employees but refuse to surrender their most sensitive, proprietary data," reported AP.
But it is considerably more complicated than that, as IBM is in talks to acquire Sun Microsystems for $6.5 billion in cash. Red Herring reports that the deal's size could reach $8 billion.
“IBM will probably be the best fit for Sun. It offers some very intriguing possibilities for IBM giving it a sizable lead in the UNIX space,” said Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT Research, Red Herring reported.
But the Sun cloud computing announcement also coincides with IBM's virtual desktop strategy that they brought to market late in 2008, bundling Lotus and other services to effectively strike at Microsoft. The IBM strategy, as reported in eWeek, would not only threaten Microsoft's desktop software, but delivers what many in the hardware manufacturing space have feared - cloud computing for the corporate enterprise IT market.
The Sun cloud computing service dovetails nicely with IBM's large-scale plans, and the acquisition brings IBM another front in the future of virtual computing.
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