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Sun Microsystems used the CommunityOne East event in New York City this past March to unveil their Cloud Computing offering. I spoke with the company’s Juan Carlos Soto recently, to learn more.

Today, David Douglas (Senior VP, Cloud Computing) opened CommunityOne West in San Francisco discussing ‘Communities, Open Source Platforms, and Clouds.’ I joined the live webcast to see what he had to say.

Dave Douglas kicks off, talking to the importance of ‘community’. He stresses the underlying value of open – source code, protocols, formats, ideas.

“‘Open’ lowers barriers to adoption and innovation.”

A lot of the ideas he’s highlighting are similar to Tim O’Reilly’s call to ‘do stuff that matters;’ but oddly Dave doesn’t mention this.

Lew Tucker, Sun’s Cloud CTO, gets up on stage to talk about Sun’s Cloud Computing with Dave. Their opening gambit is around the on-demand nature of the Cloud, with its ability to pull up (and shut down) Cloud resources on demand, with a credit card. Lew argues that the Cloud doesn’t create lock-in, as it’s based upon open software such as Apache, Solaris and Linux.

Sun’s Storage Service, announced in March, is still on track to be available this summer… so no surprise unveiling from the stage today.

Lew shows some demonstrations of the Sun Compute and Storage Services, building upon those we saw in March to manage resources in the data centre via GUI.

Dave mentioned that ‘several thousand’ Sun staff currently use the Sun Cloud internally, every day, “in Open Office” and elsewhere. Is this ‘just’ Cloud-based file storage, or something more?

On an intriguing mix of laptops, other examples from Sun Partners include Vertica and webappVM. The examples definitely leaned towards the sysadmin and developer crowd, and I look forward to seeing some user-facing apps down the line. Dave cites ‘dozens and dozens’ of partners, as their logos flash up on screen behind him.

Lew suggests that the Cloud introduces a change from ‘Download -> Install -> Config’ to ‘Deploy,’ with the implication that this will always be easier.

Turning to Security, Lew points to a new ‘secure hardened VM for OpenSolaris,’ available on Amazon S3 today. The Center for Internet Security has assessed this new VM and verified it as secure.

Eric Baldeschwieler from Yahoo! gets up on stage, to talk about the ways in which Apache Hadoop is being used at Yahoo! – and their use of the Sun Cloud.

I look forward to hearing more, face to face, during June’s Semantic Technology and Cloud Computing tour around Silicon Valley; Menlo Park is already on my itinerary, along with sojourns to San Jose, San Francisco and Sunnyvale. Anyone else got things they want to show me, June 14-21?

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