Designing both sides of the coin!

At Sun' we've just returned to profitability with our third quarter of revenue growth in a row and as some very famous economist said, three data points are a trend. One of the insights underpinning our strategy is that Sun innovates and monetises intellectual property. We are also one of the last technology companies to own the design and engineering of both CPU and operating system.

Solaris/SPARC is and will remain a key driver of innovation and competitive advantage in the data centre, because we can design both sides of the coin! To us it is obvious...., but what do others think?

Sun sponsored IDC to write a White Paper, Sun's Solaris 10 for x86: A platform for Enterprise Applications, which is hosted on http://www.sun.com/solaris. This is a very good and short statement about the techical capabilities of Solaris and the attractions it has for applications developers and ISVs. In the summary panel, they state that applications enablement is key and that Solaris and Windows have the advantage over Linux; they both have more applications available.

Another IDC paper is hosted by Fujitsu, entitled Linux & Solaris : A marriage in the Data Centre states i.e. predicts that UNIX ( from which they exclude Linux) will consolidate and that Solaris will be a survivor. This paper is dated March 2003, but it also undertakes a functional comparison and comes to the conclusion that Solaris is functionally superior to Linux as a server operating system.

However, one of the best pro-Solaris endorsements occurred last month with the announcement of the Sun Intel alliance. The Intel Web Site has a series of resources, including a press release, in which Paul Otellini, president and CEO of Intel says

"We're thrilled to be working with Sun to make Solaris on Intel Xeon processors a great solution for our enterprise customers worldwide," said Paul Otellini, president and CEO, Intel. "Bringing together the best technologies from both Sun and Intel will result in innovative products for years to come."

While Paul is not an analyst, his views of the market's developments should be respected. Additioanlly Intel have endorsed Solaris as their mission critical operating system of choice and agreed to become a Solaris OEM. The ROI calculations for an organisation like Intel are not calculated over a 12 month period. However, we can hear more from Paul as Intel have posted Jonathan and Paul's press conference as a podcast [html page]. This is really interesting and  is just short of 40 minutes long, at about 11:15, Paul Otellini, states

"Solaris is evolving as a mainstream operating system."

He continues

[ is to be ] the mission critical UNIX for Xeon....feature sets people, buyers are focused on, availability, reliability, demand based switching and virtualisation .... can be [only] unleashed from the microprocesser through the operating system.

He also makes the point that Sun designs the OS and system and that this is of value to customers and to Intel.

Jonathan also makes the point that only if an operating system exposes the functionality of a CPU can it be utilised and its clear that for some of Intel's ideas of the future, they expect Solaris to do this best.

I'm curious that one of his last statements is that

"We'd love to have Solaris on Itanium"

I wonder if that'll happen? 

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