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Sun Wants a Qube in Your House

Techstination feature for Friday, June 28, 2002

Is your home ready for an Internet server? Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin. It's an idea whose time has never come. The Internet appliance. Just about every big name in the computer industry has tried to create one... Compaq, Gateway, Sony, 3Com... and others. Sun is still pushing the idea with a twist. A server appliance. Daniel Freeman is the senior product manager for the Sun Cobalt Qube 3 ...

"The Sun Cobalt Qube appliance is a complete Internet and Intranet server in a box."

It is a small blue box that plugs into a high speed Internet connection... either through a cable or DSL modem... .and sets itself up automatically to share the connection ... and its built in storage capacity throughout a home or small office network...

"It provides a Web hosting, email hosting, cross platform file sharing, security features like firewall and VPN, in addition to basic network features like DNS and DHCP."

Uh oh... it's geek speak. The thing is... if you're like most people and you don't know that DNS and DHCP stuff is all about... you probably don't want or need to buy this kind of device. It is a lot easier to rely on your Internet service provider for things like email hosting and Web hosting. And there are easier ways to set up a home network. And while Sun says it sees an expanding market for the Qube...

"In the future, we see a more expansive business model of customer premise equipment for products like the Qube."

I'm still not convinced. For small businesses... the solution could make sense... but only if there's someone on board that likes to tinker with this stuff. The Sun Cobalt Qube 3 devices start at about a thousand dollars. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.