Industry's First Pay-for-Use Computing Grid

September 22, 2004

Sun Microsystems, Inc. today expanded its vision of "The Network is the Computer" and took its N1 Grid program to a new level by delivering a first-of-its-kind capability for customers to access grids of secure computing power as easily as buying utility services such as phone, power or water. Using a pay-for-use pricing model starting at $1/CPU, per hour, grid cycles can be purchased in packs of hours through Sun.

Sun intends to offer a diverse set of computing plans and will also work with partners on a wholesale basis to take this capability to various industries and geographic markets. This online computing grid gives customers the powerful combination of the Solaris(TM) Operating System (OS), with extraordinary security and virtualization capabilities, based on AMD Opteron and SPARC microprocessors. Powerful resources are now available to any customer seeking affordable, no-risk computing cycles on an on-demand basis without ownership or onerous outsourcing contracts.

"We are staking out new ground -- taking our intellectual property and turning it into pay-for-use network services. To date, the world has taken IT infrastructure and mapped it to customer workloads," said Jonathan Schwartz, president and COO at Sun. "This reverses that trend to give customers an opportunity to leverage dramatically lower shared services costs structure to which they will map their workloads. What does for sales force automation and eBay does for auctions, we are planning on doing for technology infrastructure."

Sun's new offering will initially target non-transactional workloads. For example, simulations, modeling, rendering -- in general, workloads optimized for grid deployments can simply and securely take advantage of Sun's new utility grid offering. Developers, enterprises and governments will now be able to easily use compute power on an hourly basis, delivering the first realistic, grid-based, on-demand computing utility ever introduced in the IT industry.

Another major area of interest will be software testing on standardized grids.Schwartz added, "We envisage a future in which customers will buy compute cycles from Sun much like they buy wireless calling plans today. Reflecting that market, Sun will offer wholesale compute cycles to service providers around the world, taking advantage of our unique and differentiated position as an owner of our intellectual property. We aren't just going to open the door to our customers to create wealth more efficiently -- we're going to open that door for all our partners around the world."

Compute Power at $1 Per Processor, Per HourThis utility grid solution can provide customers with the ability to gain secure and agile access to thousands of CPUs in Sun's compute-rich environment. These compute capabilities are aimed at customers and developers looking for fast, flexible access to resources needed to test, design and develop a wide range of applications or even conduct on-the-fly activities.Introductory pricing will be $1/CPU, per hour (U.S. list price). Also, for a limited time, developers can get one week's free access to Sun's latest hardware, software and solutions.

Explore further: How smart can the electricity grid be?

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