Sun, utility computing for HPC, and changes

About a year ago, we were exploring working with Sun to resell CPU cycles with application frontend units. We were going to run Linux on their machines.

Seems Sun no longer is doing this. A customer asked us to provide dedicated cycles to them, for their app. Sun doesn’t seem to enable this anymore. Moreover, their entire “utility computing” model is based upon non-dedicated Solaris 10.

This is unfortunately a non-starter. Cannot get dedicated time which renders it mostly useless. Cannot get the needed OS (we were told anything not-Solaris 10 will not be supported) seals it.

Someone postulated recently that there would be N large computers (N ~ 4-5). With the large computers being Google, Microsoft, IBM, Sun, and possibly Amazon. In all but one of these cases, users will have a choice of an OS that is likely to be supported by their app. In one case, they have a porting/verification job to do as well.

I am not convinced this was a good idea on their part. We are shopping for a cycle provider elsewhere. One that can run the OS we need. Solaris isn’t it.

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