Friday Feb 01, 2008

Sun Growing in Asia

Sun Micro's Asia brightens amid U.S. gloom: Sun is growing -- and hiring -- in rapidly expanding markets in Asia.

Tuesday Oct 16, 2007

Smarter and Greener

Who Will Succeed Al Gore?: "You can't make a product greener without making it smarter and more in demand -- whether it is a refrigerator or a microchip. Just ask GE or Wal-Mart or Sun Microsystems." -- Thomas Friedman

Wednesday Oct 10, 2007

T5120 T5220 T6320

Allan Packer summarizes the engineering blogs covering the new UltraSPARC T2 systems -- CMT Comes of Age. This is very cool since these are "the engineers who have developed [the systems], tested them, and pushed them to their limits." It's great that we can read directly from the developers. Scary smart stuff. There's also lots of press out there, but I tripped over this quote right away: "Sun has struck a blow with two deceptively powerful servers that, of all things, pack all of their mutlthreaded into rack and blade options." That's from Tom Yager's Sun's T-2 (Niagara 2) servers launch to an enthusiastic reception. See the joint Sun and Fujitsu announcement as well.

Tuesday Oct 09, 2007

China's Global Growth

China Begins to Fulfill Its Potential for Big Profits: "This year, China for the first time will contribute more to global economic growth than any other country, including the U.S., according to estimates by the International Monetary Fund. With its economy expanding at a rate of more than 11% this year, China is on track to surpass Germany as the world's third-largest national economy by dollar value, although its annual output is still less than one-quarter of the U.S.'s at market exchange rates." -- Andrew Batson and Jason Dean, Wall Street Journal

The article mentions Caterpillar, Sun, Intel, and others as they all rapidly invest to expand in China.

Thursday Sep 27, 2007


Quote: It's time to pay attention to Sun's x86 server biz: "The fresh Xeon-based servers from Sun mark the company's most muscular play to date in the x86 realm." -- Ashlee Vance, The Register

I guess we've been working out and bulking up, eh? People are noticing. Very cool.

Sunday Sep 16, 2007

Mary's Little Kid

The first day of school and Open Work: "Today was the first day of school. And as you (regular) readers know, I am a happily married working mother of three school-age children. Today, I worked from home. Which meant when my kids walked in the door after their first day of school was done, I was here. I went into the living room to sit with them for a few mins and find out how their day went. My fourth grader had a really good day. She was so happy and excited and eager to tell me the story of how things went. She jumped from couch to couch to coffee table to couch and for 20 mins she talked non-stop, the whole time jumping from couch to couch and never touching the floor. These 20 minutes were the most precious part of my day today. The fear and anxiety my kid had in the morning melted into great joy, excitement and anticipation. I got to be part of that thanks to Open Work. What a gift. What an incredible and precious gift. I'm grateful for it." -- Mary Smaragdis


Thursday Aug 17, 2006

More IBM on OpenSolaris

So, today was IBM on OpenSolaris day. Well, last nite and today. I commented yesterday on this as well. Here are some links to stuff I found resulting from IBM's comments:

By the way, the conclusion expressed in the "Open Battle Royal" link up there is wrong. I never hit back at IBM on AIX. The press has been asking IBM about that, not Sun. I'm sure Sun has poked IBM about AIX being closed in the past, but it doesn't seem to be part of this round of press articles. Personally, I'm on record saying that it's just fine that AIX is closed and that's IBM's business, not mine. I also applaud IBM's contributions to various open source communities, most notably Linux, Apache, and Eclipse. It's fine for vendors to compete, but that doesn't take away IBM's contributions to the broader open source effort.

I'm quoted in the Cnet article, which seemed to contain the most hostile comments of the bunch. Which is unfortunate in general since we are working hard on this project to open up all this stuff and build a community, and we are trying to take advice from all who participate. And IBM is certainly welcome to participate in our community. I'm not sure they are offering advice here, though:

According to Dan Frye:
  • "Sun holds it all behind the firewall. The community sees nothing."
  • "It's a facade. There's lots of marketing, but no community to speak of."
  • "They would push their design discussions out into the forums, so people can see what's going on."
  • "They have done nothing to build a community," with only 16 non-Sun people contributing code to the project in its first 11 months ... Linux, in comparison, had 10 times that number in the same period after it was launched by Linus Torvalds in 1991-- and that was with no Internet and no advertisements.

All I can say that the opening of Solaris is still taking place. Don't you think it's unfair to judge it so harshly when we're only a year into it? I think we've been pretty open about telling people that this would take time. The opening of Solaris is itself a multi-step engineering and community development process, and the OpenSolaris community is very much part of that process. Anyway, I read through all of the articles and I came up with a few links that may help offer some information around IBM's assertions. I think I have them all covered to one extent or another, but people can argue with anything, I suppose. Here they are:

Now, do we have more to do? Yep. But are we well on our way? Absolutely. Does all that equal "a facade" as suggested? Absolutely not.

And finally, when Frye mischaracterizes our progress and then compares that to the Linux community you should know that we are not comparing ourselves to the Linux community. Heck, it's hard enough just keeping up with OpenSolaris let alone bringing in another system and community into the mix. I've said many times that the Linux community impresses me massively, and the OpenSolaris community can learn a great deal from them. Both technologies and both communities stand on their own.

Thursday May 25, 2006

Getting Back in the Game

I see we're getting back in the game here -- Gartner and IDC Show Sun Gaining Server Market Share. And here -- Sun stuns server market in Q1 with sales spike. And it's nice to start reading quotes like this -- "IDC analyst Steve Josselyn said Sun's UltraSparc T1-based multi-core machines and Opteron-based x64 Galaxy servers are "beginning to resonate with customers."


Wednesday Oct 05, 2005

McNealy on the Edge

Nice quote here from an analyst about Scott -- FAQ: The Sun-Google partnership:

"For many years, Scott McNealy...talked about the network replacing the PC as the platform. In hindsight, his pitch was much too early," Mark Mahaney, an analyst at Citigroup Research, wrote in a research note. "However, today's announcement indicates that perhaps the Internet can become the platform for applications delivery."

Sun, Google To Collaborate

Nice to see OpenSolaris in this mix today -- Sun, Google To Collaborate On Software Services Platform. Here's an OpenSolaris reference from this CRN article:

Schmidt, who worked for Scott McNealy for 14 years at Sun before becoming CEO at Novell and now Google, hinted that the two companies will collaborate closely on open-source development projects, including OpenSolaris and OpenOffice, which compete against Microsoft Windows and Office, respectively.

Tuesday Oct 04, 2005

One Sentence

Check this out -- First Google Earth, Now Google Sun? Here's the deck:

"Sun Microsystems made a one-sentence announcement today that has already produced giant vibrations on Wall Street and will likely produce fault-line like tremors throughout the tech world. The announcement: they're teaming up with Google for something to be announced tomorrow-one sentence that no doubt shook building foundations in Redmond."

Wow. That must have been quite a sentence, eh? I'm serious, actually. It's amazing what just a few words can do. People (and companies) of substance usually say very little at the most important times. This should be interesting ...

Monday Aug 08, 2005

Qld drops IBM for Sun Solaris

Here's some nice news today -- Qld resources drops IBM in $2m Unix migration. It would have been nice to see Sun or Solaris in the headline, but hey, I'll take it. I wonder, though, why we get the generic term "Unix migration" instead. Anyway, here are some clips from the piece:

In a sign that the Unix turf war of the 90s is still raging, Queensland's Department of Natural Resource and Mines has migrated its core transaction processing system from IBM to Sun.


"The migration was an 18-month project and involved porting ATS to Solaris as there is some variation between the Unix systems," [said Michael Droder, the department's titles automation manager], adding ATS is now running on a 12-way SunFire 6800 with 48GB of memory and a second system for disaster recovery.

The total project cost was $2 million including replacing the servers and migrating the application.

"We're already saving $200,000 a year through less management and lower hardware maintenance costs," Droder said. "We already had Sun servers so it was an easy transition; under Sequent we had needed specialized skills."

Tuesday Nov 23, 2004

Sun vs Linux: The Microsoft PR Factor

Tom Adelstein comes in today with a really fascinating story about Sun and Linux and Microsoft. Aptly titled considering the current media climate -- Sun versus Linux: The Real Story -- the article articulates an actual reason why some in the market see Sun as anti Linux. Whether you agree with Tom or not, at least he has a substantive argument ... unlike some of the articles we've seen recently carelessly positioning Sun as hating Linux with absolutely zero substantiation.

There's a lot of stuff in this piece. It's long. But it reads well. You won't be bored, I assure you. And seeds of Tom's take away message are contained right up top in the article's subtitle:

Does getting rid of UNIX favor Linux? Or Does it play right into Microsoft's hands?

There's that company again. Microsoft. And there's that notion of replacing Unix again. Tom goes into detail about a nifty power play he believes Microsoft played on Sun regarding Linux. Here's a small part of that bit:

Microsoft used a clever psychological trick to transfer the hatred of technologists from themselves to others. In the eyes of the media and others, Microsoft and Sun became sudden partners against Linux.

But how did this happen? Where was Sun during this time? Well, Tom places much of the blame on Sun PR and his critique is devastating:

I don't wish to disparage Sun, but their press relations need as much of an overhaul as their product line. Known internally as fascists, they could have served as campaign advisers to any flip-flopping politician one might choose. Here's Sun management opening themselves to the community with a blogsphere and yet no one inside the company can talk to the press, write an article or issue a press release without the guiding hand of the Sun media relations. What's the difference between that and saying I don't own a SUV but my family does? Or, saying I voted for the Bill before I voted against it?

Sun began work on its Linux Desktop in September 2002. It opened sourced its Cobalt software, provides the major support for Gnome, purchased StarOffice and gave the code to the community, supports Mozilla and pays a ridiculous sum for open-source projects at Now, people see them as the enemy. Let's just say that Sun's media relations team has done a wonderful job of confusing the public, making the company seem like an enemy of open-source, stressing proprietary software and embarrassing management. Way to go.


My only problem with this is laying the blame only on PR. Sure, we screwed up. No question. But as an entire company, not simply as one department. The criticism is simply too narrow. True, we contribute massively to open source yet the press, analysts, and many open source leaders trash us at will. That sucks. But to properly respond to this given our current situation, we need to respond as a company at every level. PR is not enough, even if you could fix PR. Where was marketing during this time? Where was engineering? Where were the senior execs and who were the senior execs at the time? There's more than enough blame to go around. However, I believe we are getting our house in order with the current executive line up, and the product line up is looking stronger and stronger every day.

So, if Microsoft was, indeed, successful in pulling this play ... in pitting the Linux community and Sun against each other in the hopes of weakening Sun, where does that leave Linux? Not necessarily stronger. Tom doesn't see a decline of Unix as helping Linux:

Left with the choice between only Microsoft and Linux, I cannot get comfortable. Microsoft looks like they may have gross revenues of $36 billion. Novell projects around $1 billion and Red Hat around $125 million. With Sun in the mix, you have an $11 billion player.

I don't see much complaining from the open-source community about IBM selling a mix of operating systems including OS400, which you need to run Linux on their iSeries (AS400) platform. They continue to sell AIX and no one complains.

HP and SGI, other major Linux OEM's, sell UNIX and Microsoft and you don't see any flames against them. Contrary to Jonathan's claims, HP denies they have discontinued their version of UNIX. Given the chance to sell HP-UX or IRIX, neither company will say no.

Another argument that favors keeping UNIX involves the installed base. UNIX has a massive base of users in health care, government, the military, education, manufacturing, telecommunications, and financial services. Linux cannot replace UNIX entirely.

Those are some of the interesting bits for me. Argues for a little cooperation, eh?


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