Sun will discuss on Thursday a research and development project intended to provide a hosting platform for delivering Internet-based services.

Called Project Caroline, the technology is on the agenda of a Sun Labs Open House taking place at Sun offices in Menlo Park, California. The platform comprises a programmatically configurable pool of virtualised compute, storage, and networking resources, according to Sun.

The Project Caroline website states that the project is designed to serve an emerging market of small and medium-sized SaaS providers.

"Anticipating needs driven by new SaaS business models and processes, Project Caroline helps SaaS providers develop services rapidly using high-level programming languages like the Java programming language, Ruby, Python, and Perl to update in-production services frequently and to automatically flex their use of platform resources to match changing runtime demands," the Web page states.

Services can programmatically allocate, monitor, and control virtualised compute, storage, and networking resources via Project Caroline. Interfaces are featured for managing platform resources.

Developers can build services that update and flex platform resources usage. Project Caroline resources are exposed via high-level abstractions, including virtual machines, networks, and network-accessible file systems and databases. A horizontally scaled pool of distributed resources is presented as a single system to provide developers with a unified platform for allocating and controlling resources.

Also on the Open House agenda are OMS, pertaining to a royalty-free media system; Project Live, approaching software distribution and configuration by combining the firmware model with customisation; and the Lively Kernel project for Web programming.

Other agenda items include: Project Wonderland, an open-source toolkit for building 3D virtual worlds for business and education collaboration; Project Darkstar, which is a gaming server; and Project MiRTLE (Mixed Reality Teaching and Learning Environment).