Sun Wins Another Pay-As-You-Go Pact

Sun Microsystems continued its spate of utility
computing technology pacts Tuesday when it agreed to rent its N1
architecture to CGI Group (CGI), which plans to craft a life sciences
solution to sell pay-as-you-go services to its customers.


The agreement, for which financial terms were not made public, is the third
such agreement between Santa Clara, Calif.’s Sun and an outsourcing
provider. Sun first inked such a deal with ACS
and later teamed with
SchlumbergerSema on similar terms.


Bill Mooz, senior director for Utility Computing at Sun, said CGI will pay
Sun for network computing resources based on usage, and in turn, CGI will
offer pay-for-use pricing to customers such as Genome Quebec, a genomics and
proteomics investment organization.


Mooz told internetnews.com CGI will provide on-demand computing
resources for its enterprise customers and operate and manage several
infrastructure platforms to help CGI’s customers to deploy a utility
computing model in-house or as a hosted service.


CGI intends to build on this Life Sciences utility computing offering with
more custom industry offerings, including one for telecommunications,
financial services, government, retail and manufacturing.


More broadly, the concept of utility computing has been all the rage for the
past year when IBM, HP, and Sun
Microsystems stepped up to announce their intentions to lower the
total-cost-of-ownership for companies by granting them a greater degree of
control over their IT resources. With most utility computing endeavors,
customers simply press a button to boost the power they need. A metered
billing system keeps track of it the way an electric company gauges power
use.


IBM’s e-business on-demand pledge extends cross-company, while HP’s Utility
Data Center is a keystone of the company’s Adaptive Enterprise strategy.
Sun’s utility computing model, at the heart of which lies the concern’s N1
management software, is different, Mooz noted.


“We have not seen any vendor engage in this kind of third-party, shared
risk-shared reward [approach],” Mooz said. “We use our N1 technology to help
style information in a more efficient fashion.”


Mooz said that with the exception of IBM, no other company offers utility
computing in as complete a fashion as Sun. “IBM has a solution that runs
soup to nuts, where they say ‘we will give you a complete solution that is
all coming from us,’ but I’ve yet to see IBM partnering with integrators so
other companies partnering with business process solutions can engage with
them. We believe we offer more choice.”


Mooz also lightly chided up and comers Computer Associates
and Veritas , both of whom announced their utility
computing plans later than IBM, HP and Sun, of copying Sun’s N1 approach of
data center management.


“What they’ve proposed is to help customers manage their data center like a
pool of shared resources, which seems like they are trying to replicate N1
technology,” Mooz said.


Mooz also said EDS and Opsware’s recent Data Center Markup Language was
interesting and has merit, “but that there a lot of questions that haven’t
been answered. They’re not quite far enough along.”


CGI will offer its utility computing solutions beginning immediately in
North America.

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