Wednesday Oct 21, 2009

☞ Community Voices

Wednesday Aug 05, 2009

☞ Two Games

Monday Nov 10, 2008

Phase 3 of the Sun Model

Liberty Staircase

I wrote recently about the Sun Model for open source business, my high-level overview of how Sun is working with open source.

To summarise:

  1. remove barriers to software adoption between download and deploy;
  2. encourage a large and cohesive community of software deployers;
  3. deliver, for a fee, the means to create value between deploy and scale, for those who need it.

I've had a number of comments and questions about that third phase. It can include all kinds of value-creation, depending on the product in question. Here are some examples of delivering value for people who have already deployed and are heading towards scale:

  • For Solaris and OpenSolaris, Sun offers subscriptions that include the updates, support and warrantly that allows deployers to get the maximum up-time and performance for the minimum cost. You can get the same results yourself by hiring experts to do the work for you, but the Sun subscriptions save money and time.
  • For MySQL,there is the same sort of deal with the addition of software features needed only by those between deploy and scale, such as MySQL Enterprise Monitor.
  • For Glassfish, again, there is a subscription offering that's perfect for those who have taken the decision to deploy and now want the greatest value with the least fuss.
  • ... and so on, across the portfolio.
Devlievering value can take many forms, and nothing is absolutely forbidden unless is creates a barrier between download and deployment in any way.

...and hardware too

But it would be a mistake to believe Sun's open source strategy is only about software. As has been frequently explained, Sun is a systems company, and the news last week and today underlines that fact by showing two new ways Sun is offering value for those between deploy and scale:

  • Systems for MySQL

    Recently, the first database servers optimised for MySQL were made available. For MySQL users who have moved beyond initial deployment and are now looking for high performance servers with rock solid support at great price points, these are excellent. They are optional, but I'd wager most people will save money and create more value by graduating to them for some applications.

  • Unified Storage

    Today's huge news is the release of the new Sun Storage 7000 Series. These new storage appliances create value by combining open source software with commodity hardware and very clever programming and hardware design to deliver low cost storage appliances with great performance. And the use of open source means the extra access protocols other storage vendors try to charge for are included free.

There's plenty more to say on this subject.  For Sun, open source is not a matter of warm statements of alignment while we carry on with the same old business or keep our core products proprietary. I hope it's becoming clear that the Sun Model is a directional matter.

Sunday Mar 02, 2008

IRC Meetings

Fora Romanii

I've been spending a little more time than usual on IRC because the OpenSolaris Annual Meeting is currently in session on Freenode. There was some excellent discussion on Thursday about constitutional amendments and I went on to submit two amendments for consideration by the membership (to article VI and to article IX). I plan to show up this week to discuss those amendments with anyone who has questions; I'll post the times once I know I have internet access in the places I am visiting!

On the subject of IRC meetings, there are also a series of them coming up this week to give the MySQL community the chance to chat with some Sun people. Kay Arnö has the details on his blog; I'll be joining #MySQL on Thursday at 2pm GMT (my nickname is "webmink", naturally!)

Tuesday Feb 26, 2008

MySQL Joins Sun Today

As you have no doubt noticed by now, the Sun acquisition of MySQL completed today and MySQL is now a part of Sun Microsystems - Jonathan has a welcome letter. I actually knew Mårten Mikos, and David Axmark already from our shared activities campaigning against the European patent directive a while back, but over the last two months I have been reacquainted with them as well as meeting a huge number of MySQL staff. They are a great company with a strong engineering and community culture and I think they will be a great fit in Sun.

There's still a whole lot more work to do though. One important task is to introduce everyone at MySQL - staff, community and customers - to everyone at Sun, and a key part of that is the World Tour that's getting started - Kaj Arnö has more. You can also hear Barton George from the Sun Open Source group interviewing Mårten and Zack Urlocker.

Tuesday Jan 15, 2008

Swimming With Dolphins

You may have noticed it's been a bit quiet on my blog for the last few weeks - just the tumbleweed rolling through lists of del.icio.us links. While part of that was due to the Christmas break, it's also because I've been working on a team at Sun on a very significant project that we've been keeping a close secret as a matter of legal necessity.

But today the covers are off and I can disclose the nature of that project. This morning at 8am EST, Sun announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire MySQL AB for a consideration approaching $1bn, subject to all the usual approvals. Jonathan has a long discussion of the news. In support of this move, Sun will be unveiling new global support offerings into the MySQL marketplace. We'll be investing in both the community, and the marketplace - to accelerate the industry's phase change away from proprietary technology to the new world of open web platforms.

I've been part of the due diligence team and having seen all the data, I think this move is a great step for Sun, MySQL and the FOSS communities. For Sun, because it means we now have the ability to offer support on a full web operating system - OpenSolaris, Glassfish, MySQL, NetBeans and much more. For MySQL, because it means the next phase of growth can ride the proven global organisation Sun provides to delver support and other value to customers.

For the global community of Free and open source communities because MySQL is in safe hands. Sun is committed to preserving all the strengths we've come to expect from MySQL - broad platform support, high quality engineering, frank and transparent community engagement - all under the GPL. This joining of strengths is additive, not subtractive. Just as with OpenOffice.org, Sun is aware that MySQL is a crucial FOSS community asset and we intend to be a good steward, balancing community and commercial considerations.

I already know plenty of the folk over there but I'm looking forward to welcoming the MySQL staff (who are just finding out about this now at their meeting in Orlando - Kaj has the news) as colleagues. The next wave of Free/open source is starting, and I've dolphins to swim with!

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Thoughts and pointers on digital freedoms and technology markets. With a few photos too.

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