Sun leads in Open Source Software: Open Your Mind Today

Sun has a number of great upcoming events surrounding the open source development model and benefits that customers, system integrators and end users can derive from open source products. 

Sun is the leading commercial provider of open source technology in the world today.  Unlike many of our competitors (Microsoft, HP, IBM and Apple come to mind) Sun has completely open sourced a wide variety of our most strategic technologies including:

As a Sun Federal employee who works closely with the US DoD, I can tell you that the DoD believes strongly in an open source development model.   In a paper written by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, they list three of their primary goals to be:

  1. Leverage open source infrastructure and technologies
  2. Apply open source collaborative technologies
  3. Change the default acquisitions and development behavior to default to technology services vs. products

They also make note of OpenSolaris and quote Scott McNealy as saying:

You learn to share in preschool. Later you learn that if you make the pie
bigger, everyone gets a little more. These lessons came together
when we started Sun. We didn't have the resources to do
everything ourselves, so we shared what we had to attract
customers and get their help in building the business. There are
now 4.5 million Java developers and about 950 companies
worldwide all collaborating on a technology Sun shared with the
community.

This is possible because sharing creates communities, which create
new markets. It's also changing business models: Companies can
no longer expect to lock in customers with proprietary standards.
They must now compete on the value of their business execution.
They monetize that value a little bit, spread over the entire
community. With 1 billion people on the network today, and several
million more joining every week, there's a lot of opportunity. So
while it may seem counterintuitive for a company to share, it's the
key to larger economic growth ― not only for Sun, but also for
everyone in the world.”

As an example, the US Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) has started a project based upon OpenOffice (the baseline for Sun's StarOffice product).   Using OpenOffice as a base, they are building a "Security Enhanced Office Automation suite."  Apparently they are unwilling or unable to do this using Microsoft's "Shared Source" agreement.

Some of JFCOM's stated benefits from using open source include: 

  • Increased Flexibility– If you don’t like what the vendor or community is doing with the product you can change it
  • Increased Security
    • Ability to inspect and change (if necessary) the source
    • Ability to verify that the executing version is the one actually derived from the source code.
  • Potentially reduced procurement and maintenance costs
  • Increased ability to reuse code
  • Increased ability to share technology with Coalition partners
  • Cost Sharing - Leverage the large open source community to help develop, test and improve your applications

My customer, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), is moving toward adopting Solaris 10 in their mission critical Command and Control applications as well as their data processing centers.  The fact that it is based upon the OpenSolaris project is viewed as postive by them.

If you would like to learn more about Sun's efforts in the open source communities, please visit OpenYourMindToday.com and sign up for the next two events:

Why should you care?

Using open source technologies can provide faster time to market, lower cost and reduced risk of vendor lock-in.  Sun's product portfolio is based largely on open sourced technologies.

 

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About

Jim Laurent is an Oracle Sales consultant based in Reston, Virginia. He supports US DoD customers as part of the North American Public Sector hardware organization. With over 17 years experience at Sun and Oracle, he specializes in Solaris and server technologies. Prior to Oracle, Jim worked 11 years for Gould Computer Systems (later known as Encore).

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