Sun Microsystems yesterday introduced what it claims to be the industry's first pay-per-use pricing model for grid computing architectures.
With costs starting at $1 per CPU per hour, grid cycles can be purchased in packs of hours from the firm.
This model, Sun claimed, would make it as easy for customers to harness computing power as buying utilities such as telephone, power or water services.
Jonathan Schwartz, Sun president and chief operating officer, said: "We are staking out new ground; taking our intellectual property and turning it into pay-for-use network services.
"To date, the world has taken IT infrastructure and mapped it to customer workloads. This reverses that trend, to give customers an opportunity to leverage dramatically lower shared services costs structure to which they will map their workloads."
Schwartz said Sun envisaged a future where companies bought compute cycles from Sun in the same way they buy their mobile phone call plans today.
The company's new offering will initially target non-transactional workloads, such as simulations, modelling or rendering, for example.
Sun said it could be used to offload large financial computation tasks that might run two to four times a year, such as risk analysis. The service will be available from the [email protected] portal.
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