Infrastructure // PC & Servers
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3/20/2009
05:52 PM
David Berlind
David Berlind
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ReviewCam Of Sun's Innovative Drag, Drop, & Deploy Virtual Datacenter Designer

While at Sun's CommunityOne East Developer Conference where Sun announced a pretty compelling entry into the cloud computing market (called the Sun Cloud, see the details and listen to the podcast), I caught up with Sun Cloud Computing CTO Lew Tucker who sat down with me to demo a GUI-based virtual datacenter deployment tool (all in a Web browser). Perhaps Sun should call it 4D; Drag, Drop, Deploy, and (

While at Sun's CommunityOne East Developer Conference where Sun announced a pretty compelling entry into the cloud computing market (called the Sun Cloud, see the details and listen to the podcast), I caught up with Sun Cloud Computing CTO Lew Tucker who sat down with me to demo a GUI-based virtual datacenter deployment tool (all in a Web browser). Perhaps Sun should call it 4D; Drag, Drop, Deploy, and (voila!) Datacenter (in Sun's Cloud that is). I caught the entire thing on tape as one of our video ReviewCams (below).We didn't get to walk through the entire service front to back. But the ReviewCam below will give you some idea of how groundbreaking the Sun Cloud will be once it comes out of beta later this year (text continued below).

Based on Flash, the tool's left pane lists the different sorts of gear that you might put into your datacenter as drag-and-droppable objects. The objects can be Linux servers, Windows servers, Solaris servers, firewalls, Web servers, load balancers, caching servers, databases, networking switches and so on. Some are standard configurations that Sun will offer. Others, like the AMIs that exist for Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud, can come from other users of the Sun Cloud and you can copy them. On the right is a blank pane representing an empty cloud that's waiting for you to drop your personalized virtual datacenter into.

What happens next could not be simpler. You start picking up servers, switches, firewalls, etc., and you just drop them into the cloud. Then, you connect them. Certain objects like servers can be configured. For example, you can describe a server's processor attributes (GHz rating, core count, memory, etc.) and the resulting pay-as-you-go cost depends on that configuration. More cores, more memory, more GHz... more cost.

The ReviewCam does this GUI far more justice than does any text can do. So, give it a watch. It's less than 7 minutes long and Tucker walks me through everything he's doing one step at time so you won't miss a trick.

David Berlind is an editor-at-large with InformationWeek. David likes to write about emerging tech, new and social media, mobile tech, and things that go wrong. He can be reached at dberlind@techweb.com and you also can find him on Twitter and other social networks (see the list below). David doesn't own any tech stocks. But, if he did, he'd probably buy some Salesforce.com and Amazon, given his belief in the principles of cloud computing and his hope that the stock market can't get much worse. Also, if you're an out-of-work IT professional or someone involved in the business of compliance, he wants to hear from you.

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