Terraspring Virtual Control Center / Sun N1 Provisioning Server


Terraspring (Milpitas, CA) and Sun Microsystems (Santa Clara, CA)


I joined Terraspring in mid-2002, to help them develop their virtual control center software, which permitted datacenter hardware to be automatically rewired into any configuration, rather than relying on admins to physically reconnect machines. This was often likened to the transformation of telephone networks no longer requiring physicial operators to connect calls. I worked with the team to develop a web interface that would allow users to drag generic compute resources onto a canvas, connect them together in whatever fashion made sense, and then deploy the patterned "farm" out to a real data center where physical computers would be provisioned and switches would be automatically configured to reflect the network design. Terraspring was bought by Sun Microsystems in 2003, and the software was renamed as part of Sun's N1 venture to N1 Provisioning Server. (even though provisioning wasn't the core feature of the software) Developmental improvements continued at Sun, including work that led to my first patent, until the product was deemphasized in 2004.


  • A drag-and-drop web interface for managing the network layout of resources
  • A dynamic realtime interface to reflect both physical and virtual network interface points on each compute resource
  • Display and management of complex data center equipment including HA pairs, software firewalls, and multi-tier storage
  • Awarded patent for Interactive Drag and Snap Tool for device networking