9:50 AM -- Sun made a big song and dance yesterday about the fact that its Grid Compute Utility is now available over the Internet to the public. (See Sun Unveils Grid Portal.) Well, that's great. But how else did Sun expect users to gain access to its $1-per-CPU-hour offering?
That said, it will be interesting to see just how much traction Sun gets for its new on-demand service. Last year the hardware giant added storage to its grid strategy, charging users $1 per gigabyte per month in a clear shot across the bows of its utility computing rivals HP and IBM. (See Sun Grid Goes Live, IBM Intros Grid Offering, and HP Delivers Storage Grid Solution.)
Users seem quite keen on Sun's clearly defined pricing models, which are designed to ensure that firms only pay for the resources they are using. (See Sun Grid Gets Thumbs Up.)
Sun name-checked a handful of its early adopters in the press release accompanying this week's announcement. These included Princeton University, Applied BioSystems, Virtual Compute Corp., and London-based financial firm CDO2. (See Sun Scores Grid Customer, Sun Awards Princeton Grant, and CDO2 Uses Sun Grid.) The financial sector, in particular, was cited by Sun as the sweet spot for its grid offerings.
So it is interesting that the vendor named only one new financial customer and just a teeny sampling of others. Awhile back, Sun suggested it was talking grid with all the major trading firms, both in the U.S. and the U.K., so it seems strange that we have not heard more news on big customer wins. Maybe they are just waiting for Joe public to stress-test it for them.