Will one or more of the remaining five giant computers be Sun’s?

Will one or more of the remaining five giant computers be Sun's?

The Network Becomes the Computer: Sun’s Vision for the Future of Computing


Sun Microsystems has long been a pioneer in the world of technology, and now they have a bold theory about how the future of computing is unfolding. According to Sun’s Chief Technology Officer, Greg Papadopoulos, and Vice President of Redshift and Web, Peder Ulander, the world’s compute power is consolidating into the network. In other words, the network is becoming the computer.

Ulander explains in a captivating video interview that this transition, which Sun refers to as “redshift,” involves a shift from dedicated on-premises compute resources to network-based ones. Over time, these network-based resources themselves will consolidate into just a handful of systems. While Sun executives don’t believe that one or even a few systems will dominate, they do predict that there will be significantly fewer systems than there are today.

This idea is not entirely new for Sun. They previously coined the phrase “The Network is the Computer,” reflecting their belief that the power of the network would surpass that of individual machines. Now, with the evidence of companies like Salesforce.com, eBay, Google, and Amazon, this vision is becoming a reality. These companies have built massive server farms and cloud computing platforms that demonstrate how compute power can be consolidated into a single, scalable infrastructure.

As this trend continues, it presents a challenge for traditional hardware and solution providers like Sun, IBM, and HP. With fewer companies relying on their own servers and instead turning to cloud providers, the market for traditional hardware diminishes. For example, if a company uses Google Apps for email and web serving, they may no longer need to purchase servers from Sun or other providers.

Sun’s competitors are also feeling the pressure. As computer resources “redshift” from on-premises server rooms to the server farms of cloud providers like Google and Amazon, the remaining customers for IBM, HP, Sun, and EMC will eventually dwindle. The battle will shift to a final few utility providers, such as Google and Amazon, who have already established themselves as strong candidates.

In the video interview, Ulander expresses his determination to convince future compute utility providers to choose Sun’s gear over competitors. It’s clear that Sun is positioning itself to capitalize on the consolidation of compute power into the network.

Looking ahead, the future of computing seems to be heading towards a smaller number of powerful systems managed by utility providers. As the network becomes the computer, it will be interesting to see how companies like Sun navigate this evolving landscape. The key to success will be in offering solutions that align with the changing needs and preferences of customers.