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Larry Ellison about the ex-Sun management

Sun

In this Reuters.com article, Larry Ellison openhearted speaks about his view on the ex-Sun management decisions of the last years. It's quite a critical view :

"Their management made some very bad decisions that damaged their business and allowed us to buy them for a bargain price"

"The underlying engineering teams are so good, but the direction they got was so astonishingly bad that even they couldn't succeed"

Ellison shut down one of Schwartz's pet projects -- development of the "Rock" microprocessor for Sun's high-end SPARC server line, a semiconductor that had struggled in development for five years as engineers sought to overcome a string of technical problems. "This processor had two incredible virtues: It was incredibly slow and it consumed vast amounts of energy."

Ellison says he learned that Sun's pony-tailed chief executive, Jonathan Schwartz, ignored problems as they escalated, made poor strategic decisions and spent too much time working on his blog, which Sun translated into 11 languages.

At least you can't accuse Ellison of not being clear. Much is off course corporate chatter; IBMs Power7 chip runs pretty hot, and is equipped with impressive heat sinks too. The article continues to say that investment is boosting again in Sparc and OpenSolaris, but I'm afraid this will not be enough to restore faith in Solaris for many customers.

Sunset

Sun
 $ wget http://www.sun.com
--2010-02-07 19:06:09--  http://www.sun.com/
Resolving www.sun.com... 72.5.124.61
Connecting to www.sun.com|72.5.124.61|:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 301 Moved Permanently
Location: http://www.oracle.com [following]

After the official news of the approval by the EU, things changed fast. Since then, the sun.com website officially points to oracle.com. Lights out for Sun, the same for Solaris ?

Sun power calculators

Sun

Green datacenters are hot (pun intended). In every RFP we send out, we must add an entry about power consumption and heat dissipation. Sun has put up a page with different power calculators per system, giving you the Watts and BTUs your datacenter crew needs.

Sun for sale

Sun

It's not the first time that the web is buzzing with rumours, but when it's about IBM shopping around to buy Sun, then I'm all ears. I still have a hard time believing this; both companies offer almost the same hardware product line :

  • Servers : in the high-end range, Sun has almost killed its Sparc line with their Fujitsu mockup. In the low-end, Sun is pushing customers towards their AMD Solaris-x86 line. IBM has competing products with both Power and x86.
  • OS : Sun has its Solaris Unix version, still worthy of 30% of the Unix market. Solaris-x86 is a strong competitor for Linux on Intel and AMD hardware.
  • Tape : With the STK tape libraries, Sun owns the largest competitor in this branche.
  • Storage : Sun offers mostly low-end to midrange (The Toro line looks *very* interesting) storage, so this could be an addition towards IBM storage line.
  • Software : Sun owns Java (including GlassFish and Netbeans), so this is interesting for IBM, which has a good selling WebSphere product. MySQL might be interesting too.

As you can see, Sun and IBM have many products that are up to par, and are direct rivals. Buying Sun would only be interesting if IBM is planning to kill Suns product line. I don't know the height of the pile of money IBM is sitting on, but 6.5 billion dollar is a lot of money just to gain some more foot in the Unix market, which IBM is virtually reigning already.

Would this move be good for Linux ? I think so, the demise of Solaris on x86 could drive lots of people towards Linux. On the other hand, Scott McNealy declares that he rather would sell Sun to Microsoft than to see it fall under the feet of IBM...

Open Storage at Sun

Sun

Mike Shapiro explains Sun Open Storage. I suspect 'Open' like in Open Systems rather than Open Source. Still interesting, though, a look at the upcoming SAS2 disks, and a hint like ZFS would go the cluster way.

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