Sun: We'll Still Have Data Centers in 2015

CEO Jonathan Schwartz: "We will have data centers at Sun for a long time into the future."

Sun Microsystems (JAVA) has backtracked from a blog post by a data center architect saying the company wanted to eliminate in-house data centers by 2015. On Jan. 10 Brian Cinque wrote that Sun intended "to eliminate all SunIT data centers" by 2015. "Did I just say 0 data centers? Yes! Our goal is to reduce our entire data center presence by 2015."

Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz has now amended that. "We will have data centers at Sun for a long time into the future," Schwartz told reporters today, saying Cinque was simply "envisioning a world with no data centers."

The original blog post caused confusion in some quarters, as it painted broad strokes but didn't detail how Sun would accomplish its goal. Data Center Knowledge wrote about Cinque's post, after which it was widely linked around the Internet. Prior to writing our story, we exchanged e-mails with Cinque to ensure that he really meant "zero data centers." His response was not "I was a envisioning a world with no data centers" but rather "we'll need detailed SLAs to make it work."

How do we harmonize Cinque's original blog post and Schwartz' subsequent revision? I think John West at InsideHPC has the right interpretation:

Both statements can be correct at the same time (Schroedinger's PR), and this actually makes sense from a business perspective for Sun. They eat their own dog food by moving internal data processing over to, so that SunIT has 0 datacenters, but as a company Sun continues to have massive datacenters.

In a follow-up, Cinque alluded to the attention generated by his previous post, and observed that "it's human nature to resist change." He writes:

In general, people eventually accept change and that acceptance is to start off slowly (crawl, walk, run approach) and progress from there. Yes, there are some fantastic examples of corporations going direct to the run phase but each corporation can be different from one another. That corporate personality is a factor with regards to the acceptance rate of the cloud model.