9/23/2002 - Sun Microsystems unveiled the roadmap for N1, its vision for the next generation data center. Sun's N1 aggregates widely distributed computing resources (servers, storage, software and networking) and enables them to operate as a single, powerful entity. By automating away the complexity associated with managing technology, business and IT managers will be able to dramatically optimize the utilization, efficiency and agility of their data centers.
"Networks are now at roughly the same stage as the telephone industry was when it still had switchboards and operators who manually connected calls," said Scott McNealy, Chairman, President and CEO, Sun Microsystems. "If we don't develop a system that scales better than that – the equivalent of automatic switching – we'll have to train everyone under the age of 30 to work as a system administrator. The good news is we've seen this coming and with N1 we've created a dynamic system environment that will revolutionize the network."
N1 builds on over twenty years of Sun's knowledge and R&D in system architectures to deliver what will be the cornerstone of the next generation of Sun's systems strategy. Such network-centric computing innovations as NFS (Network File System), Dynamic System Domains, JavaTM technology, SolarisTM, and the Sun ONE Grid Engine software will help Sun to deliver the full benefits of the N1 architecture to customers.
"Customers are telling us that 70 percent of their IT budgets are spent on managing the complexity in their data center," said Steve MacKay, Vice President, N1, Sun Microsystems. "N1 is focused on reducing that number and allowing companies to use their resources on added value projects and doing more with less. N1 is an evolution of the system that will have a revolutionary effect on the data center. In the N1 world, customers can expand their IT resources to an unprecedented scale, increase utilization rates exponentially and deploy new services in hours without having to keep an army of systems administrators working on maintaining the network."
N1 will transform traditional IT infrastructures into a more efficient model of computing. The N1 architecture enables true utility computing where customers "pay as they grow" and brings a new level of maturity to the way businesses manage technology.
This is a long-term strategy and Sun will be rolling-out N1 products to the market in a phased approach, starting within this calendar year, according to the following roadmap:
Phase 1 – Virtualization (2002-On): This first phase provides the basic infrastructure for N1. Here, customers will begin transforming individual computers, network elements, and storage systems into an aggregated pool of resources. The system allocates, monitors, and meters the usage of these resources.
Phase 2 – Services Provisioning (2003-On): In Phase 2, administrators specify the business service definition for a service, such as eBanking, and N1 takes care of provisioning the resources required from the virtual computer created in Phase 1.
Phase 3 – Policy-Automation (2004-On): Finally, in Phase 3, application service level objectives are automatically maintained by N1. Policies that reflect business requirements and priorities are used to manage applications and their required network-wide resources. For example, the eBanking service set-up in Phase 2 can be set to give priority access to "VIP" clients.
N1 Relationships and Services
Sun Services will help customers create the system architecture required to realize the N1 vision and will provide the guidance to transition a customer successfully to an N1 environment from initial architecture design, through deployment and ongoing management, including knowledge-based, intelligent-technologies support.
Sun will also be delivering N1 to customers over time through complimentary strategic relationships with best-in-class ISVs and network infrastructure providers such as Cisco Systems, as well as through alliances with system integrators such as Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, EDS and Deloitte Consulting. Oracle, BEA Systems, BMC Software, Computer Associates and i2 support the N1 technology vision and look forward to exploring potential joint development activities.
Cap Gemini Ernst & Young
"Cap Gemini Ernst & Young has developed its adaptive enterprise vision of a business model around universal connectivity and shared services. A capability deliverable today, built on Adaptive IT as an enabler of change, not a barrier, acting to both reduce internal cost and produce new external value. A capability to continue to grow and develop in depth and breadth to provide ever increasing value. Sun's N1 vision is a perfect complement to our strategy, creating a new level of architecture that allows companies to manage their resources on a single unified system," said Andy Mulholland, chief technology officer of Cap Gemini Ernst & Young. "N1 reduces system complexity, automates resource management and provides virtually limitless scalability — it simplifies the business of business."
"There is a definite trend in the industry toward solutions that allow customers to more efficiently manage their businesses and make sense of their increasingly complex data centers," said Charlie Goldenberg, principal, Deloitte Consulting. "By working with Sun on its N1 vision and architecture, we look forward to offering businesses a greater level of efficiency than has typically been available."
EDS Enterprise Hosting
"Our clients are faced with a different business environment than years past. One thing that will never change is the need to maximize performance from complex, often disparate, architectures," said David Benners, director, EDS Enterprise Hosting. "By working with Sun to bring the N1 vision and architecture to clients, we help enterprises manage their systems as a whole and drive maximum efficiency and agility from their IT infrastructures."
About Sun Microsystems
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision — "The Network Is The ComputerTM" — has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 170 countries.
Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, SunNetwork, Java, Solaris and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.
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