back to article Sun hails rise of self-scaling software

Lew Tucker envisions a world in which web applications can scale up their own hardware resources. Apps will not only run in the proverbial cloud, he says, they'll have the power to grab more cloudiness whenever they need it. "As we look into the future, we're going to see that applications are going to be increasingly …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Nathan Meyer

    Infinite Supplies of Hardware In The Sky

    Everybody who runs a real business has a real hardware budget, and that budget is not infinite. Every sysadmin who configures an online system needs to configure it for a peak capacity; and throttle requests over that capacity or it won't make money. The big lie of online service bureaus (yes kiddies, that's the 1970's term for Clouded Computing; same concept new clothes) is that two customers can cover peak demand at the same time by occupying the same hardware at the same time. Guess what: that doesn't work. The only way shared resources work is if you can predict demand; the only reliable way to predict demand is if you run only batch or throttle traffic at peak. When I did system performance and configuration, I spent a lot of time making sure that resource hogs didn't knock down other apps. What this does is make it easy for one dumb piece of code to lock up everybody else. One clown can wreck the whole circus......

  2. Anonymous Coward

    finally a reason for cloud

    A company i recently dealt with told me of their Slash-dotting experience (the effect not the site).

    Reasonable traffic site running on one server, gets featured on the BBC and bang;- slash dot effect.

    (Current) Cloud services cope with this no better than any other method = cloud is without real benefit that cannot be achieved through other more reliable and cheaper means.

    However, if you host in a cloud that can auto provision bandwidth and hardware to match demand, then it is finally not just the latest carpet baggers way of parting fools with cash.

    Honestly, why anyone thinks that cloud services at the moment are any different from just renting a server is bonkers... it forces a certain api (which is likely foreign to your purpose) leaves you without any real control of your data and it can still fall over... so why is everyone plus dog so cloud happy?

    As for Skynet... if you think that is the net result of auto provisioning then you should get a job with in anti-terror where movie plots are taken more seriously than science.

  3. Stephen Channell

    Good to dream, but the sun's set on sun

    Good to dream, but the sun's set on sun

    I love the way Sun employs academics to think profound thoughts.. invent new ideas & paradigms and then lament how great it could be, if only the corporate folk would follow thought. How entertaining when they talk of bots & viruses taking over computers, in blissful ignorance of the millions of management agents boringly working away.

    The truth is a little more prosaic, as Nathan rightly points out, with few exceptions (you can scale-out the NFL, the Olympics, FIFA world cup & Wimbledon on the same kit – a niche), but for the real world CA Unicenter, IBM Tivoli & others have been working in this space for decades.. and the most difficult issues are all economic.

    “self-scaling software” is a dumb, dumb, dumb idea – what is needed is

    1) scalable software

    2) instrumentation in the software

    3) management frameworks & agents (Tivoli et al)

    4) policies & SLAs

    5) … oh yes, and provisioning systems.. like… oh yes Tivoli et al.

    6) … oh yes, and standard servers.

    The really, really difficult bit is stopping a spin-locking app from grabbing all the resources.. which brings us to Oracle. No way is Oracle going to cut Sun academics the slack they expect.. forget blue-ski.. scorched earth is red.

  4. David Halko

    If you can do it...

    If you can do it with Solaris Zones, Oracle RDBMS, and Apache threads, why not do it with clouds???

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please Hire Me

    All this article is about is Tucker trying to find someone to hire him as Sun is dead.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it

    Pity the Sun Cloud Computing CTO apparently didn't pay any attention to the Project Caroline Cloud Computing demos from the SunLabs Open house 2008. He probably could have saved himself some time and resources and could changed the future tense to past. Of course, elastic compute resources isn't such a new idea anyway...

  7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Virtually for Real is the Present State of NEUKlearer Semantic Technology and Quantum Communication

    "But he assured this audience that in the end, limited IT budgets will prevent self-scaling apps from destroying humankind. "Yes, this means there is no one human in the loop - possibly a scary scenario, if you think of the Terminator series and Skynet - but we have an economic weapon against this: it costs something." ... Mr Tucker.

    There is always some one being in the loop, Mr Tucker, who isn't limited by budgets ..... ergo self-scaling apps can destroy humankind, if one can be bothered or if one allows it.

    Although giving all the dumb animals a Really Good Time would be much more Fun, don't you Think? Can you Imagine Global Gratitude?

  8. David Halko

    Datacenters, Cloud Computing, and A New Orbit for Sun

    Stephen Channell Posted Thursday 13th August 2009 22:17 GMT, "Good to dream, but the sun's set on sun"

    Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 14th August 2009 00:42 GMT, "All this article is about is Tucker trying to find someone to hire him as Sun is dead."

    Once again, Sun is being acquired, it is not filing Chapter 7.

    Considering that Oracle stopped construction of a new data center, one would expect that Tucker, their data centers, and Sun cloud technology are poised in a position for growth, at the expense of other competition.

    "Oracle apparently halted construction around the time it offered to acquire Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion. The deal presents a “buy vs. build” choice for Oracle, as Sun operates dozens of data centers. It’s possible that Sun’s On Demand business could be accommodated by Sun’s high-efficiency Broomfield, Colorado data center or Sun’s high-density installation at the SuperNAP in Las Vegas."

    A the global economy rebounds, there may be very good reason to pick up that datacenter deal again, for Oracle, it would make sense to allow Sun's products and staffing to drive implementation, since Oracle is a software company, and it paying themselves revenue is far superior to paying a possible competitor revenue.

  9. Peter Mc Aulay


    "There may be points where the application realizes that it can do with less and saves its company money"

    Yeah, right. I have yet to meet the application developer who codes like this. The classical approach of assuming infinite resources in an auto-scaling cloud will lead to no good, mark my words.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like