Tim Bray, one of the moving forces behind XML wrote a blog entry about his work on cloud computing at Sun. It has lots of interesting information in it:

  • Sun is working on an open specification for creating, administrating and controlling cloud resources
  • Sun is implementing Amazon S3 interfaces
  • Sun is morphing the Q-Layer software into something bigger
  • Sun is using REST interfaces
  • Sun is using Ruby (and Rack) - does this mean JRuby or no Java at all?
  • Sun is using JSON (and not XML)

From a business perspective this means that IBM and Sun (who are in acquisition talks) are both buying into cloud computing in a big way. Microsoft is buying into cloud computing. So we’re seeing a big push to move the clouds into company data centers and out of the general-purpose Amazon/Google clouds. It seems clear that Microsoft is has a licensing problem that they’re going to have to solve for this to work well. The other cloud server operating systems don’t make use of complex licensing and tracking. It also seems clear that traditionally licensed big-ticket software will have to adjust as well - I’m looking at you Oracle and SAP.

From a technical perspective this means that Sun has drunk the kool-aid of Web 2.0-type interfaces and moved away from over-engineered solutions like SOAP and XML-RPC. And that they’re continuing their love affair with Ruby.