Sun still evolving N1

More than a year and a half after introducing its N1 strategy, Sun Microsystems is ramping up efforts to reach customers

More than a year and a half after introducing its N1 strategy, Sun Microsystems is ramping up efforts to reach customers.

During a keynote address entitled "The N1 platform — The OS for the Next Generation Datacentre", David Nelson-Gal, vice president of N1 and the availability products group at Sun, said the company has 60 customers to date. He said Sun believes the number will grow as it moves to the third phase of its strategy to decouple network, computer, and storage elements; and manage them from a single console.

"The ultimate goal (of N1) is to get to service level automation based on policy," said Nelson-Gal to the audience at the SunNetwork conference in San Francisco.

He also outlined how far along the company has come toward fulfilling its N1 strategy. Pointing to its August acquisition of CenterRun, Nelson-Gal explained how the new software combined with Sun's existing N1 Provisioning Server permits system administrators to provision servers, databases and applications in order to offer new services.

With the help of a CenterRun employee, Nelson-Gal ran through an example of how a new Web-based application could be deployed via the N1 Provisioning Server. Using drop-down menus on a Web interface, Nelson-Gal provisioned the servers, applications, and databases to support a purported Web-based bookstore application.

To further support his claim that "N1 is not a theory," Nelson-Gal brought Kevin Herrin, director of infrastructure architecture for Cingular Wireless, on stage to discuss how Cingular was using N1.

Herrin stated that Cingular prebuilds its infrastructure, and then deploys new applications and services into it. He said the company was looking to reduce the time to deployment from 12 weeks down to one week. This time frame is significantly shorter then the 20 weeks it took Cingular prior to suing N1.

He added the move has also allowed Cingular to defer the purchase of 920 servers.

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