Sun has acquired Q-Layer, a Belgian company that provides automation tools for cloud offerings. In the ongoing battle for control of the cloud API this brings Sun one step closer to creating a unique "Open Cloud" eco-system.
All current cloud offerings and API's (Google AppEngine, Amazon EC2/S3, Microsoft Azure...) are proprietary, vendor dependent offerings. Such closed cloud offerings would make the worst nightmares of the next computing monopoly come true if they prevail - not only lose control over the applications, but also where you run them and ultimately - your data.
Sun is in the unique position to create what I call an "Open Cloud" offering. With the technology Sun already owns, among them Java, MySQL, OpenSolaris, now Q-Layer - plus their servers and storage offerings - they would be hard to beat.
An "Open Cloud" would enable users to move their application on- and off and between "Open Cloud" based services - thus retaining their freedom but reaping the benefits of SaaS / Cloud offerings at the same time.
That's a killer - we at Open-Xchange will be on it in a nanosecond!