Greg Papadopoulos, the chief technology officer at Sun Microsystems Inc., discussed cloud computing and what it means for the future of data centers at the
"We've talked about [cloud computing]," said Baldemar Olivarez, a data center unit supervisor for CPS Energy, a municipal energy company owned by the city of San Antonio. "But the powers [that] be will have to decide whether it will be feasible."
Papadopoulos discussed why developers often turn to external cloud computing vendors such as Amazon. He also encouraged companies to follow the model of Amazon, Google and others to build an internal cloud to satisfy the needs of users and developers.
He outlined three branches of cloud computing: Software as a Service, or, SaaS, an example of which is Salesforce.com; Platform as a Service, or PaaS, such as Google App Engine; and Infrastructure as a Service, or IaaS, such as Amazon Web Services.
An internal cloud would also consist of all three: the hardware and data center as the infrastructure; Oracle, SAP and other middleware as the platform; and a company's own software as the software.
Of course, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun has a horse in this race. Earlier this year, the company said it would buy Q-layer, a Belgium-based company that builds internal, private clouds for customers. But internal clouds are far from common. An October 2008 survey by the 451 Group, a consulting firm, revealed that 84% of its IT clients have no plans to deploy internal cloud computing.
Papadopoulos said companies typically react to a sour economy by spending less on innovative technology, and often those companies fall behind when the recovery begins.
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