Sun Microsystems will later today reveal a new online storage service charging users $1 per gigabyte per month as part of its utility computing programme.
The vendor will unveil a newly developed website where consumers and researchers can use credit cards to purchase computing power.
Sun has also introduced a $1 per CPU per hour service, which it compared to the introduction of large power generators that replaced those operated in the past by factories.
"This is a quintessential moment in the industry," Anil Gadre, vice president for software business management and marketing at Sun, told vnunet.com.
"This is the first offering of affordable metered usage, and it will get more rich over time in terms of what you can do with it."
Sun first launched its delivery of computing cycles business last September, but has yet to show any customers for the service.
Although the offering can be significant for some customers, senior Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff suggested that Sun is over-hyping the introduction.
"Sun has an innovative pricing model, but IBM and HP essentially sell outsourced computing cycles today," he told vnunet.com.
The compute cycle outsourcing business can currently only be applied to applications in high performance computing, according to the analyst.
"To become mainstream, this would have to be widely supported by SAP and Oracle," said Haff. "These are complex applications that do not lend themselves very well to outsourcing."
Today's addition of the online storage service, as well as the consumer website, to the utility offering are part of a quarterly roundup of product releases from Sun.
Other introductions include the unveiling of new software bundles for enterprise data centres.
In addition to the existing all-encompassing Java Enterprise Systems (JES) suite of middleware at a rate of $100 per employee per year, Sun will start selling specialised suites for identity management, clustering, email, messaging, web services and a web server at a reduced cost per user.
The move is a response to customers that prefer to adopt only pieces of JES rather implementing the full suite, according to Haff. "Some parts of middleware have a larger market demand than others, such as identity management," he said.
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