's Rohit Valia on On-Demand Batch Applications

Interviews from JavaOne 2007

by Frank Sommers and Bill Venners
May 23, 2007

Sun's grid computing utility,, has evolved in the past year into an on-demand hosting platform for batch-oriented applications. In this interview with Artima, product manager Rohit Valia describes the kinds of applications is suited to serve, and how developers can publish and rent out their applications to others through

Batch jobs are enjoying a renaissance, thanks to the increasing amounts of data available to enterprises. Sophisticated data analysis and data mining are often performed best by splitting a large dataset into smaller segments, executing an algorithm on each segment, and then combining the results into an answer.

Compute grids emerged as the primary architecture for such batch-oriented, highly parallel jobs. Due to the batch-oriented, occasional nature of such workloads, for many businesses an in-house grid would enjoy poor overall utilization, according to Sun's Rohit Valia, manager of, the company's on-demand network-based grid computing utility.

SunGrid, as was formally called, got off to a slow start a few years ago. Last year, Sun fine-tuned its business model for to appeal to ISVs with software packages that address highly parallel, batch-oriented computing problems, such as data analysis or 3D rendering. In addition to selling their software directly to end-users, an ISV can now publish an instance of its software on, and make that software available for on-demand use. Interested users can request a secure token that gives them usage rights to the software for a specific time period, and the ISV can bill the customer just for that use. Sun makes its money by renting out the CPUs the software runs on for $1 per CPU hour.

At JavaOne 2007, Valia sat down with Artima to speak about the kinds of applications suitable for distribution on, and how Sun is integrating with the NetBeans IDE.

Click to download audio Rohit Valia, product manager of, Sun's on-demand grid utility, describes how developers can publish and distribute their applications through (3:47 minutes)

What do you think of Sun's strategy of building a compute utility that ISVs and developers can use to rent out software for on-demand use?

Post your opinion in the discussion forum.

Talk back!

Have an opinion? Readers have already posted 1 comment about this article. Why not add yours?

About the authors

Bill Venners is president of Artima, Inc. He is author of the book, Inside the Java Virtual Machine, a programmer-oriented survey of the Java platform's architecture and internals. His popular columns in JavaWorld magazine covered Java internals, object-oriented design, and Jini. Bill has been active in the Jini Community since its inception. He led the Jini Community's ServiceUI project, whose ServiceUI API became the de facto standard way to associate user interfaces to Jini services. Bill also serves as an elected member of the Jini Community's initial Technical Oversight Committee (TOC), and in this role helped to define the governance process for the community.

Frank Sommers is Editor-in-Chief of Artima Developer. He also serves as chief editor of the IEEE Technical Committee on Scalable Computing's newsletter, and is an elected member of the Jini Community's Technical Advisory Committee. Prior to joining Artima, Frank wrote the Jiniology and Web services columns for JavaWorld.