Friday Feb 08, 2008

My latest FOSS Presentation

Last Friday I was up in Dallas for a customer event.  We hosted 10 of our biggest customers and brought in Sun speakers from around the country to address specific topics that they were interested in. 

The event kicked off with an overall Sun strategy presentation, during which Sun's Free and Open Source Software strategy was covered as a key element. 

One of the customers, a humungous telco, had asked for a deeper dive into FOSS and Sun's activities in this area so I took them through this presentation.  

What I covered

In this latest pitch I spend the first half of the presentation talking, at a high-level about FOSS: where its come from, where its going, how it works and what it takes.  In the second half I focused on Sun in the post-bubble world and how FOSS and Frenemies have been what I consider two of the most important components of Sun's renaissance.  Given that I only had an hour, it actually was more of survey course than a deep dive but it seemed to go well and I ended with a minute to spare :)

And speaking of events, Im off later this afternoon to LA to attend SCALE.  I'm armed with my new mp3 recorder and am lookin' to snag me a few more interviews.  Zonker's already said he's game so thats at least one victim :)

Pau for now...

Thursday Aug 23, 2007

Bye Bye SUNW, Hello JAVA

A couple of hours ago I heard the news that Sun was changing its stock ticker symbol from SUNW to JAVA.  I gotta say Im in support of it. 

When I was starting up about 4 years ago I remember seeing research that stated that, on an international basis, "Java" had over 85% brand awareness.  Thats huge.  To put it in perspective, this put it at the same level as such well known tech brands as Intel, Nokia and Acrobat.  I dont remember where "Sun" was but Im only half joking when I say we were glad to make it to double digits (I think we made it to double digits).

Changing our ticker symbol is not the same as changing the company's name but it does link us to a highly recognizable asset (think of all those press releases and articles that list the symbol).   This association will give a tremendous boost to the global awareness of Sun.  As we leave the idea of the monolithic stack behind and look to partnerships and the ecosystem as the future, the importance of brand awareness grows significantly.

This was a bold move but one that positions us well for the future.

Pau for now...

Thursday Aug 16, 2007

Sun & IBM: Frienemies gettin' Friendlier

Two days ago I wrote about the brave new world of frienemies, a world born out of the desire and need for large companies to provide their customers with choice:  

"It is because of this that Sun resells Red Hat and Suse, works very closely with Canonical/Ubuntu and encourages sales of Solaris on systems from 'competitors' such as IBM, Dell and HP."

Well in the case of IBM, as of an hour ago, we now do more than simply encourage Solaris sales on IBM equipment.  The two companies just announced that rather than just providing Solaris for their blade servers, IBM will now provide Solaris 10 subscriptions on IBM x86 based blades and rack servers through IBM's standard routes to market. 

Very cool!

Call me a cock-eyed optimist but I like this new world of cooperation.  It gives Sun access to new markets, IBM access to new markets and most importantly, provides the customer with choice.   Whats not to like? :)

Pau for now...

Wednesday Jun 06, 2007

Omidyar Joins Punahou Board of Trustees

You may have missed it, but a couple of weeks ago eBay founder and chairman Pierre Omidyar was elected to Punahou School's board of directors.  I didnt know Pierre at school but it sounds like the 8th and 9th grade years he spent there made a big impression on him.   On the board he joins another high tech superstar Steve Case, also a former Punahou student (and who lived down the street from me on Hunakai when I was little; we also went to the same college -- I have obviously done more with my life than he has).

Punahou is actually a pretty special place.  It is a private, co-educational school that was founded in 1841 by Yale missionaries and goes from Kindergarten to 12th grade.  Its on a beautiful 76 acres right at the beginning of the lush Manoa valley and when you are in high school, you get to hang out between classes on the lawn under the palm trees.

Here is a list of some Punahou students you may have heard of:

  • Dr. Sun Yat Sen - Father of modern china
  • Kelly Preston - Actress
  • Barack (Barry) Obama - Senator from Illinois and candidate for president 
  • Steve Case - Former Chairman of AOL-Time-Warner
  • Pierre Omidyar - Founder and Chairman of eBay 
  • Michelle Wie - Professional golfer
  • Mosi Tatupu - NFL running back
  • Barton George - Author of this blog :)
And what blog about Punahou would be complete without another gratuitous yearbook  picture of Barack (Barry) Obama from 1973.  I have no idea why he appeared in two different pictures within the same classroom, you usually only got to be in one.  His future potential must have shown through even then.

Barack Obama in '73...Nothing quite says the 70's like placards with Zodiac signs.

Pau for now...

Thursday Apr 19, 2007

A Jolt of Caffeine for Ubuntu 7.04

As I mentioned in my last entry, back in November Sun and Canonical announced that GlassFish would be included in the next Ubuntu release.  Well today's the day.  Ubuntu 7.04 nee "Feisty Fawn" is out and not only is GlassFish v1 included in the Ubuntu Multiverse but so are NetBeans 5.5, JDK 6 and Java DB 10.2 -- the whole Java stack in one location.   A big plus for developers looking to harness Java with minimal hassles. (Check out the details)

Getting to Today:  The effort to package these puppys for inclusion turned out to be no small feat.  Sun is new to the packaging game and there is quite steep learning curve.   Thanks to a lot of  late nights and a few weekends Tom Marble and  Harpreet Singh, with a bunch of help and advice from the Canonical crew and Sun legal,  got it done.  (Ironically, Canonical will be coming out to Sun's Menlo Park campus in a couple of weeks to put on a technical workshop explaining, among other things, how to package for Ubuntu.)

Getting to Tomorrow:  In general the distro model with its modular packages is where Sun needs to get to.  We need this so that we can get more of our software into GNU/Linux distros and we need this for our own Solaris.  The monolithic-wad model that we've been employing works fine for our more traditional customer but isnt the right approach for the growth (or as Sun calls it "Red Shift") market.  The hyper growth market needs to be able to rapidly include and assemble components and functionality themselves.  This requires packaging and package management.  I know that Ian's been talking about this as has Greg P.  I would love to see us packaging more of our software for inclusion in Ubuntu as well as other distros.

But thats, a huge toast to the Ubuntu community for delivering another great release (right on time!) and to Tom, Harpreet and the Canonical crew for making sure that it was fully caffeinated!

P.S. In honor of this red-letter day we have created special commemorative mints and gum.


Pau for now...


Monday Mar 19, 2007

Ian's in the House!

Well the big news today is that Ian Murdock started this morning as Sun's Chief Operating Platforms Officer.  As the founder of Debian along with the work he has done as the CTO of the Linux Foundation and the head of the Linux Standard Base, he will bring a fresh perspective to our OS strategy. 

I had a great talk with him last week and am excited by his thinking, particularly around the area of Solaris and usability.   He mentioned that while he will be resigning as the CTO of the Linux Foundation, he plans to remain as the head of the Linux Standard Base, so that means Sun will be assured a representative there :-)  Im also glad to hear that in true FOSS fashion he wont be relocating.   The more Sun decentralizes geographically the better (says the recent Austin emigre).

Welcome Ian!


PS look for the answers to the Saints tomorrow.

Pau for now... 

Thursday Mar 15, 2007

While I was Unpacking...the Penguin marched on

Well while we've been moving the family to Austin -- driving across country, flying back across country, packing boxes, unpacking boxes, looking for local doctors, finding dry cleaners, dealing with the stomach virus (all 5 of us in succession, like dominoes) etc. -- the GNU/Linux world has churned on. 

Here are a few of the interesting events that have taken place while Ive been distracted:

Pau for now...         




I look after Sun's relationships with the various GNU/Linux communities as well as our relationship with the FSF. Last year, my family and I emigrated from Silicon Valley to Austin, TX.


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