Open Source Drives The New Sun
By webmink on Jan 28, 2009
The Register article reporting Ian Murdock's move to Sun's new cloud computing group seems to have irritated Ian and it does indeed seem to be an attempt to gather as many half-understood-half-facts as possible and sensationalize them.
Far from being a "shift in Sun's thinking from the open-source software mindset of two years back and into the nebulous cloud market", the restructure of Sun's business units (happened last November actually) demonstrates Sun moving to the next level with open source, since all three business units - that's the whole company, for those keeping count - are driven by the three viable open source business models:
- Payment at the point of value
- The Application Platforms group covers infrastructure software like JavaEE (Glassfish) and MySQL and its primary business model is the one I discussed a while back where Sun drives adoption of the software and then sells the means to sustain value as the customer scales deployment.
- Open Source Firmware
- The Systems group covers storage, servers and the software chiefly associated with them and sells high-value, low price-point systems where the open source software is the operating system or firmware. You could often make the same systems yourself if you wanted; Sun does it better, at lower cost and with full support. Take a look at Open Storage and its use of OpenSolaris, ZFS and DTrace to get the idea.
- Cloud Computing/SaaS
- The new Cloud Computing group that Ian has joined (leaving his job running developer marketing - he's not been at OpenSolaris for quite some time) plans to run its cloud on open source and sell a reliable, supported, scalable service over the network.
From this you'll see that, far from moving away from open source, Sun has put it at the heart of every business unit. Maybe that would have made for an even more sensational story if the journalist had asked?