February 26, 2001, 2:27 PM — THE MODEL FOR peer-to-peer computing received a sizable boost this week as established companies such as Sun Microsystems worked side-by-side with startups to create an industry foothold for the emerging architecture.
Sun captured the spotlight at the O'Reilly Peer-to-Peer Conference in San Francisco with news that it is developing a software platform for p-to-p computing designed to provide a base for writing distributed applications. Dubbed Juxtapose, the platform will be an addition to Sun's family of Web-based programming languages, which includes Jini and Java.
Juxtapose provides an initial code layer that will allow other vendors to build p-to-p applications that interoperate, Bill Joy, Sun's chief scientist, said at the show.
According to one analyst, p-to-p may provide a means for garnering more power from Sun's hardware.
"Many people feel that peer-to-peer is the next big frontier for Sun," said Rob Enderle, vice president at Giga Information Group in Santa Clara, Calif. "Their machines have excess capability that isn't used for much of the time. If you can tap that, people believe you can get more out of the equipment. As a result, it looks like free money to a potential customer."