Sun closes "network.com" grid computing service to new customers
Sun acquired the memorable domain name "network.com" with its purchase of StorageTek and for a year the page has been the portal to Sun's internet-based grid computing service. Now, though, the site has been reduced to a holding page, pending a possible relaunch. Although Sun's senior VP of the Cloud Computing Business Unit, Dave Douglas, says "we still have a lot of customers using it," he admits that "it's not an active development focus for us."
Cloud computing is one of the most popular buzzwords at the moment, but the most successful efforts are services like Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), which offers generic Linux and Windows server VMs running on commodity hardware. Some reports claim that as few as 13 customers were using the service, which will continue for existing clients.
The company is currently investigating ways to change the service to make it more popular, including providing hosted services, such as database servers, and applications, such as Sun's inexpensive StarOffice productivity suite. It is also planning to move into hosted storage, and the company's enterprise-level messaging platform, the Java Communications Suite, is far more popular than its low profile would suggest, with large customers such as US telco Verizon.