McNealy, speaking at a technology conference sponsored by market research firm Gartner, attempted to explain Sun’s position of supporting both the open-source Linux operating system and its own Solaris Unix operating system. He said Sun may have erred by pushing customers to adopt complex Sun systems built on Solaris and a 64-bit architecture, when more slimmed-down systems would suffice.
Sun CEO: We’re “Good Enough”
2002-10-08 Oracle and SUN 5 Comments
Why buy stock hardware and software from Sun? There is no advantage over going to Sun vs buying a PC from Dell or building one yourself, and putting Linux on it.
Why would I want Sun’s proprietary software. Certainly, there are open source solutions that are “good enough.”
First Linux cannabalized Sun’s low end market.
It will cannabalize their high end “soon enough”
Will Solaris go the way of Irix and other proprietary operating systems in due time? ….probably….
Sun sees linux as a way to (re)introduce people to Sun equipment. Linux can’t and probably won’t ever scale properly without solid hardware engineering. That is what makes Sun equipment different. You can scale UltraSparc processors very easily.. look at the E15K. And it’s not just Sun that does this, there is Siemens and Fugitsu. Buying commodity equipment may make since for people who want to make cheap HPC systems and what not. However, Sun equipment is very reliable and has features you won’t find on wintel systems. For endusers and really small businesses, these things don’t matter a whole lot and that is where Linux and Mac OS X can play. However, when it comes to large databases and HA solutions that scale, Sun is the way to go. The UltraSparc is not the fastest processor, but it does scale a lot better than Intel or AMD chips. And that’s what counts when you have systems that can push 9.6GB per second on the centerplane, like the Sun Fire line. The other thing that is different about Sun, unlike SGI, is that Sun has long term partnerships with hundreds of thousands of ISV’s. Solaris is normally supported before any other versions of Unix when it comes to commercial products for a reason:)
SGI made the mistake of not keeping up with the other commercial Unix’s and not pushing forward on the technology. Sun on the other hand has done a great job at keeping up with things.
One aspect where US excels is I/O. These beasts have formidable bandwidth, and, as unixconsole mentioned, coupled with a fantastic backplane, you get the perfect workhorce for application and database servers.
Just think about this: why is the Sun fire V880 selling like hot cookies? It’s still the best low/midrange server that money can buy.
I’ve only ever run ‘low end’ server applications – web servers, mail servers, file servers. Even in these applications, Sun hardware has one _killer_ feature. You can do _everything_ (even reboot the machine) over a serial console. And Solaris _does_ provide features that don’t commonly exist in free OSs – hardware GLX support, working NFS locks, access control lists. FWIW, I’d caricature free OSs as being ‘about’ where Solaris was at V1.4.3 (The last release before Solaris 2?)… Solid, dependable, very good environments. But Solaris has grown up since then…
Why sun over linux? One mission: nfs server. Linux as an nfs server sucks. Solaris for intel is much better, and Solaris on sparc better again.