Friday Jun 26, 2009

Sun solutions help German systems vendor deliver affordable cloud computing

Merkl IT was founded in 2007 as a traditional systems vendor offering IT services, hardware, software and support. The Munich-based systems vendor decided to pursue an idea for a cloud computing solution, which lead to the development of Virtual BackOffice, the company's core product.

Sun Customer Merkl IT
(Image courtesy: Merkl IT)
Virtual BackOffice provides businesses with access to a virtual IT infrastructure that is highly scalable, flexible, affordable, and available and gives them access to their data and applications from almost any location with very little required on-site hardware. To provide the scalability and fast response time needed to deploy Virtual BackOffice, Merkl IT needed new hardware and chose several Sun products for its solution.

For storage, Merkl IT uses Sun Storage Tek 2510 arrays with redundant iSCSI RAID controllers and 1 Gb/sec throughput. The SMI-S-compliant Sun StorageTek Common Array Manager software simplifies 2510 array storage management and allows Merkl IT to accelerate deployment and improve utilization. Citing Sun's “green IT” focus, Merkl IT chose Sun Blade 6000 servers with energy-saving features to virtualize and host Windows servers and desktops running Virtual BackOffice.

Merkl IT offers more than just hosting services, it also provides its customers with Sun Ray Thin Clients and software including Sun Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and Sun Secure Global Desktop software. Merkl IT stays one step ahead of the major cloud computing providers by integrating its customers' local servers and network infrastructure into Virtual BackOffice.

Julian Merkl, co-founder and managing director of Merkl IT notes “the Sun infrastructure allows us to operate the cloud-computing solution in an energy-efficient and stable manner, saving our customers money and helping the environment.”

Check out the complete details here.

Wednesday Mar 25, 2009

InformationWeek ReviewCam: Sun Cloud's Drag, Drop & Deploy Virtual Datacenter Designer

David Berlind of InformationWeek sat down with Sun's Cloud Computing CTO Lew Tucker at our CommunityOne East Developer Conference for a demonstration of Sun Cloud, specifically the Virtual Data Center (VDC) design and deployment tool.

David was impressed. He notes, "... You start picking up servers, switches, firewalls, etc., and you just drop them into the cloud... Perhaps Sun should call it 4D; Drag, Drop, Deploy, and (voila!) Datacenter (in Sun's Cloud that is)."

Check out David's 7 minute video of the Sun Cloud VDC for a full glimpse to the tool.
Sun Cloud

Wednesday Mar 18, 2009

Sun Cloud Announcement -- Juan Carlos Soto Interview

Today at CommunityOne East conference, we are announcing Sun Open Cloud Platform -- our open cloud computing infrastructure -- powered by OpenSolaris, MySQL, Open Storage and Java.

I sat down with Juan Carlos Soto, VP of Marketing, Cloud Computing Business Unit at Sun, to discuss the announcement. Listen to Juan giving you the nuggets of the announcement...

In addition to the overall strategy and roadmap, Juan talks about the open APIs for Sun's public cloud service, partner initiatives for Sun's public cloud service and how you can participate in the Sun Cloud technology preview programs.

Juan Carlos Soto
Juan Carlos Soto

Tuesday Jun 24, 2008

Bunny in the Cloud

BBC World News prepared a list of best cloud computing applications available today, and it featured Sun's and Blender 3D. The article noted how Sun's data centers are available for hire by the hour to power on-demand cloud services. The author mentioned that is used mainly for processing scientific data but the servers can also be used for rendering animations via the open source Blender software.

Check out this BBC video clip featuring Sun's cloud computing efforts as well as snippets from the "Big Buck Bunny" movie rendered on

In other news, InformationWeek highlighted Sun's and Project Caroline in their cloud computing feature story.
Movie rendering on the cloud

Sunday Jun 01, 2008

Movie Review: Big Buck Bunny (rendered on Sun's!)

For a change, let's move from product reviews to... movie reviews!!!

Big Buck Bunny is a comedy about a well-tempered rabbit "Big Buck," who finds his day spoiled by the rude actions of the forest bullies, three rodents. In the typical 1950s cartoon tradition, Big Buck then prepares for the rodents in a comical revenge.

What is great about the movie is that it is "open." What is an "open movie?" Well, "open movie" promotes open content creation in a community setting.

For "Big Buck Bunny," it is not only developed by an animator community using open source software Blender but also distributed under an open license that gives artists free access to the entire studio database of assets and files used to make the movie.

"The primary intent of the movie was to stimulate the development of open source 3D software, but the quality of Big Buck Bunny on an artistic level as well as on technical ingenuity is what you would expect from large animation studios," said Ton Roosendaal, producer and Blender Institute director.

The Blender team didn't have support of a big studio, yet they succeeded with the community support, an open source rendering software and an on-demand computing platform.

And the last part is where we came in. Blender team needed over fifty thousand CPU-hours of compute time, and our grid services provided them a very powerful platform where they could use hundreds of CPUs simultaneously to significantly speed up the movie rendering process without needing to own the compute infrastructure.

For all the geeks out there, here is how it happened -- technically speaking -- over the grid platform.

Shining example of... the power of community (and lowering barriers to entry for producing a computer-animated movie), if you ask me.

Enjoy the movie. :-)
"Big Buck Bunny" movie -- rendered on

Tuesday Feb 19, 2008

Sun expands grid offerings

Last week, we announced addition of 14 new applications in the Catalog, a collection of online grid-enabled applications that are available from's Sun Grid compute utility service on a pay-per-use basis. In addition, we announced a new partner program, "Sun Connection," for ISV to create and expand on-demand service offerings and also expanded's international availability.

With overviews of the history since it was first announced, IT Jungle commented, "... utility computing is still something that the company believes in as a long-term prospect for the IT industry." HPCWire highlighted the ISV support, and BetaNews liked's support of open source technology with applications like Blender, Zeus and GAP.

My favorite one came from InsideHPC, who wrote that Sun "sent a Valentine to potential customers" with the expanded catalog.

Yes, indeed! :-)




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