Home > Oracle and SUN > Sun to Simplify its Software Sun to Simplify its Software Eugenia Loli 2003-02-25 Oracle and SUN 27 Comments Sun Microsystems will build its entire collection of software into a single, gigantic version of its Solaris operating system and release updates once a quarter, Sun’s top software executive said Tuesday. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 27 Comments 2003-02-25 7:54 pm ….Immediate response is to wonder whether this is a parody of MS’ behaviour…. OK – so we’re all used to Multi-CD Linux installs but this goes above and beyond. Will it be a DVD-only distribution? 2003-02-25 7:57 pm Hm. I’m really loosing the overview. We need a good article on the current situation of SUN. All those bits everywhere … 2003-02-25 8:28 pm What’s the deal with the microsoft plug at the bottom of an ostensibly sun-oriented article? 2003-02-25 8:47 pm Although SGI probably doesn’t bundle in all their middleware too, like this. Or do they? 2003-02-25 8:48 pm My pants have a SUN ripoff logo on them. http://images2.nordstrom.com/images/store/boutique/columbia_sportsw… Hmm… but anyway, could this mean they are possibly introducing more security holes by bundling more and more software with it that might unsecure? 2003-02-25 8:53 pm Columbia’s logo looks like a merge of Sun’s logo and swastika. 2003-02-25 9:25 pm “We need a good article on the current situation of SUN.” Exactly, YES. (Please) 2003-02-25 9:28 pm “The project, called Orion, is Sun’s attempt to make its software simpler to install, run and pay for, said Jonathan Schwartz” Give me a break! Simpler to…pay for?!?! Don’t they mean: “Easier to force users to by software they don’t want/need just to something they do want/need.” ? They are like Toyota! If I want the rear spoiler from Toyota, I have to get the Deluxe Snob package, which also includes fuzzy dice and woodtrim. “But I don’t want fuzzy dice!”… 2003-02-25 9:44 pm Isn’t that why Sun said Microsoft needed to be broken up? That was just a browser and a media player. Good thing M$ didn’t throw in Office too. The hypocracy is endless. Mutiny 2003-02-25 9:58 pm Sun continues to ape Microsoft. That’s dumb. Unfortunately, there no one in management at Sun who can tell them the Microsoft model of updates ends up breaking tons of stuff. No one can keep up with quarterly updates. The mentality here will be that all bug fixes get rolled into this big-dick-release that happens every 3 months. The QA on this thing will be monstrous. So when the customer needs a bug fix in one product, they’ll end up getting the whole tar-baby-ball… and the customer will have to run the full gamut of their tests… which will have to encompass the entire Sun delivery… which will mean massive new testing systems for the customers. Sun is thinking about making their software easier to license. That’s smart. Licensing is non-sensical today and simply infuriates the customer. Tech companies have their heads up their asses when it comes to giving value to the customer. Sun is thinking easier licensing will bring in more revenue because everything is bundled. That’s dumb. Ever heard of Costco? Ever heard of Microsoft Office? People expect bundles to be far cheaper than piecemeal solutions. Sun is not addressing the volume server market. That’s dumb. All these great high-end features for SPARC big iron are great for the short term, but do little for the company long term. Linux is going to dominate Solaris in the volume server market. Blah blah blah. More chaos. The strategy du jour, brought you by Sun, because “the strategy is the computer”. –ms 2003-02-25 10:21 pm IMHO this is bloody great. They’ve finally taken on the idea I gave to the Solaris manager, that is, to give the customer value for money by bundling their server software with Solaris. btw, the issue wasn’t bundling per-se, it was the fact that one could not uninstall the respective software if they did not require it. This as a result explains why Nautilus does not provide a fully featured webbrowsing capability. If it did, then you would face the mess of things turing into spagetti code. 2003-02-25 10:23 pm The current – “non itegrated” solution spans 10 or so CDs. Can’t wait to see the new bahemoth! 2003-02-25 10:49 pm Okay, I’m a Sun customer today. I get this huge spitwad of Sun code every three months. App servers, directories, containers, OS, etc, etc. Now I uninstall a few things. Let’s say this even works. Was this configuration tested by Sun? Am I going to get “unsupported configuration” from Sun? Are my development tools going to work if I uninstall a few things? What tests should I run to validate this configuration? Will Sun provide these tests? Is there going to be some sort of security validation system that checks to see if my configuration is still secure? What if there are bugs? Do I have to wait 3 months to get a bug fix? I find it hard to believe that Sun will be capable of turning around the entire OS + servers + tools + all this other software in 3 months. If they pull it off, kudos to them. But I will believe it when I see it. Honestly, if Sun were really concerned about value, they’d simple cut prices. There’s no need to be making giant software spitballs. Or charging the rapacious prices that they do. Sun is such a lying company when it comes to value, it is simply astounding. Let’s say I order a $3M Sun Fire 15K from the Sun store. How much does it cost to get this machine running (in round numbers, everything rounded DOWN)??? ==> Web admin tool $6,000 hmmm… a $3M server that doesn’t come with a web admin tool… nice job, sun High availability packs for 3yr $800,000+ well, what does $3M get you? a low availability server? we’re talking over a 25% surcharge just to use the functionality Sun hypes so much Application readiness service $80,000 [i] Yep, your $3M computer doesn’t come ready to have software installed. You’ve got to fork over close to 100 biggies to have someone over and diddle your big machine with extensive foreplay… getting it ready to load some software… but make careful note… this $80K cold doesn’t include actually loading any software[i] We can keep going… there’s service after service. You don’t even get free Admin training ($3.5K) with your $3M server. Nor do you get a a free Sun class in how to use your $3M Sun server ($40K). All in all, your $3M server quickly becomes a $4M+ server if you actually want it to run. And Sun doesn’t tell you how much installing software will actually cost. As the $80G’s above didn’t cover it, one can only assume it will be a killer. So please tell me, Sun, what great value you are going to make my $3M server. You’re going to throw in a couple G’s worth of software that you are barely selling on the open market? Wow. You know, that’s so thoughtful. Of course, you won’t install this software for me, right? That’ll be $50K to install my free software? You simply cannot take a company like Sun at face value. They lie so much it is pitiful. You can see even when you decide to buy their top server, they still are there to extract every bit of flesh out of you. Value is antithetical to the Sun culture. Value is something that Sun talks about in the media so they don’t have to talk about real facts on how their company is doing. –ms 2003-02-25 11:37 pm i dont care what any of you say….. I want a mad-hatter linux desktop PC witha sparc processor… that would rock.. 2003-02-26 12:14 am If sun does mad hatter correctly, then there could possibly be a third option for people when it comes to complete desktop solutions. Hopefully Dell, IBM and HP will follow suit with pre-packaged Linux desktop systems of their own. 2003-02-26 12:25 am I couldn’t be happier about this. I’ve been wanting to try out much of the Sun ONE software, such as the Sun ONE Messaging Server. Unfortunately, the pricing is rather prohibitive (especially considering we’re doing just fine with qmail/UW IMAP): http://wwws.sun.com/software/products/messaging_srvr/home_messaging… That’s $20,000 for the minimum license ($20 * 1000 users) Now Sun will be bundling it with Solaris, perhaps with an unrestricted license. 2003-02-26 1:10 am Yes, it would be great. Imagine this, SUN improves x86 hardware support and starts selling Solaris loaded with all the SUN One software with an unrestricted license with a price tag of, say, $499 unlimited users (which would be around AUS$800). If SUN did this, all I can say is, “make sure you have enough CD’s for the 100,000’s of people who would buy it”. Imagine, a full blown UNIX set up with all the tools one would require for the low price of $499. Heck, and to make the offer even more tempting, throw in 6months of free telephone technical support. 2003-02-26 2:14 am Red Hat charges $799 for their Advanced Server. So if Sun charged $499 for a massively improved Solaris x86 and all the trimmings, that would be a good deal. But if they did that, who would ever buy a SPARC again? For the low and middle parts of the market Sun would have to come out with a line of x86 machines if they were planning on selling any hardware. However, $499 unlimited use Solaris x86 would do one thing very well… make it tougher for Microsoft in the enterprise. And that would be a good thing. –ms 2003-02-26 2:45 am Doesn’t sound that much different from what Sun currently offer – and, Michael, you can always discuss your support situation with your account manager. If you remove /bin/ls, your support contract went with it. Just because SunONE and SunScreen are bundled, what makes you think they’re required? If you’re spending a few $M on a SF15k, does it really matter that configuring that platform costs a little bit more? It is not an Ultra 5 – it takes expertise to configure these beasts into domains to fit *your requirements* and be supportable. I really hope you don’t just stroll out and by a SF15k – cost the entire platform, from hardware to database to end-user. If a SF15k is the answer for you, then – as I understand it – you can get one from Sun, Morse, ComputaCenter, with the configuration and support levels you choose. If you want it to work, I’d suggest you get it from Sun, go on the courses to *understand* this complex hardware you’ve bought (why spend $3m on something you don’t understand?) and get the platform up and running your software as per your requirements, rather than stand in your datacentre, looking proudly at a lump of metal you don’t know what to do with? 2003-02-26 2:52 am Now you want the same from a $1000 x86 as a $3m SF15k? And all for free? Solaris_x86 is okay – I have it on my laptop, but generally use Linux – it has better x86 support, and far more applications. AFAIK, neither MS or Sun have anything worth offering on a $500 PC – neither company cares much about such cheapskates. Use Linux – great x86 functionality, no expensive licenses. Solaris_x86 on a $500 PC sucks as much as MS Win2k or Linux on a $500 PC – that level of hardware is not going to run Oracle, however cheap it is. Horses for courses. If you want a 15k, buy one. If you want a $500 PC, buy one. If you want one to do the work of another, dream on. 2003-02-26 3:56 am Who said anything about: 1) SUN manufacturing x86 servers? 2) Solaris running on the workstation/desktop? Eventually they’re going to have to kill off the UltraSPARC or willing to give the chip a major overhaul and accept that Johnny cheap skate and his 20000year programme *just* might need to move into the 21st century. Just 4-6months ago there was quite an interesting paper comparing the various 64bit RISC processors. UltraSPARC did not come out too good. Thats not say that UltraSparc is completely doomed, however, it does mean they need to give it an overhaul. Also, I never mentioned about stopping selling UltraSPARC. SUN need to kick texas instruments out and get UMC and TSMC to produce their chips. I’ll promise you that if SUN approached them NOW, TSMC and UMC could *easily* undercut TI without any arm bending. 2003-02-26 4:25 am This as a result explains why Nautilus does not provide a fully featured webbrowsing capability. If it did, then you would face the mess of things turing into spagetti code. Apple doesn’t seem to think so. KHTML is part of konqueror but doesn’t seem to produce spaghetti code. 2003-02-26 4:36 am Please explain to me what possible advantage is there by ramming a webbrowser and filemanager together? 2003-02-26 5:04 am My point was that it does not have to do with spaghetti code. I don’t think the problem lies with Explorer and IE being the same app. I believe Konqueror uses a plugin architecture for providing services such as rendering web sites, downloads, contecting to CVS etc. To me the advantage is that you don’t need to recreate the wheel. There is a basic platform and the services are seperated out and added as needed. I may be wrong, you have more technical knowledge than I do but I can’t really see any disadvantages of doing it the way konqueror has, only advantages. I think the old Unix way was to have a seperate app for everything, but programming techniques have improved and now integration is done without the ‘spaghetti code’. Also, from what I understand MS buried the rendering engine deep inside the OS or whatever you prefer to call it. Anyway this is different to Konqueror. Corrections welcome 2003-02-26 7:07 am For all those people who claim Sparc is going to die I think they should read sun’s plans for Sparc. There is an article on this at http://www.news.com.com From what I can understand about chips they seem to have a very good road map and I would say in the coming years you will see better sparc ships than intel one’s. The simple reason for this is really that nothing beats experience. Intel has none when it comes to big server chips and sun seems to have both the experience and the technology to come out tops on the chip race. As far as bundling software is concerned: Sun is going to Bundle the complete sun software stack with Solaris. They are not forcing anyone to use it though. It is the value add. Now what they are saying is if you want to use them then you will have to pay for them. I guess a new licensing model should help. All in all I think Sun has the IP to wear this storm and actually come out stronger. May be a few years from now we will be looking at sun with better market share than what it has today in hardware where already for UNIX systems they have long been the largest seller but also in Software where it doesn’t really have the market share today. I think we will see a much improved comapany due to the tough times it is facing today. 2003-02-26 7:30 am Just had a look at the link you provided, all I can say is, WOW! it is good to see there is a forward looking road map, however, it is a little unfortunate that it took them so long to share it with the unwashed masses. I think it is about time that SUN dropped support for pre-ultrasparc in Solaris, and start being more open about future plans. Heck, even if those plans change, atleast the customer base see’s that the company has a forward looking stratergy. When you hear all this talk about x86 blades and little talk about about SPARC’s future, one can’t help getting the impression that maybe SUN has lost faith. Thank goodness they’ve opened up and given the market a sigh of relief knowing what is ahead. 2003-02-26 2:37 pm My point is largely one of culture and attitude. Sun can “papership” a whole bunch of stuff, but until it’s out there in the market, at a reasonable price, with reasonable support, it doesn’t matter. With Sun’s $3M computer, I am making a simple point. That Sun adds a lot of FAT onto the base price of the machine. Once you are up and running, you’ve spent over $1M on “services” not including software for the big machine. And we know what Oracle charges! This “add lots of fat at the expense of the customer” is endemic to Sun and their fat lifestyle. I used the expensive computer as an example as it shows no matter what your entry cost, Sun will heap on expensive adders and fat options that really should have come with the machine. Come on, a $3M server without a web admin tool included in the price? So it will be interesting to see what happens with the company. Their culture and attitude are working against them right now. Unless there are dramatic changes, Sun is fast becoming another SGI.