In a major strategy shift, Sun will stop offering its own customized version of Linux and will instead turn to several other standard Linux distributions.
Sun Drops Its Linux Distribution
Submitted by J. Childrose & D. Pitt 2003-03-29 Oracle and SUN 12 Comments
Wow…Sun really needs to figure out what it wants to do. Every day, they change some portion of their business. They need to be proactive instead of reactive.
This is the best strategy.
They should continue to focus all OS efforts on Solaris. Is is already a great nix. If they want to they can make it even better.
When Linux 85-100% catches up they should have a plan devised from now, on how (if they need to) they will transition to Linux.
Of course they should revise their plan as that day approaches.
Why spend money developing your own version of linus when you could easily team up with a well known linux distribution such as Redhat or SuSE? It makes alot of sense what they’re doing.
I’m deeply in shock of this news… but I am also some what glad. I was hoping that Sun would make a great Linux dedicated to workstation machines that was fairly simple to use and fairly intergraded into the corporate complex. This didn’t happen… But I’m glad in a way to but I was hoping also they would have more focus on Solaris, and Solaris x86. I feel if they want to stick with Solaris x86 they need to have a focus on laptops for this. More and more people are moving over to the laptop world, and even UNIX geeks need there laptops, this is shown with the wide use of Mac OS X just for the UNIX parts. It would be great to have a nine laptop that Solaris actually worked well on, and with good tools to part with it, then turn around and go to the office and use your Sparc, and sync up. If you want to seperate Solaris Sparc from Solaris x86, customize what it is used for… Make Solaris x86 mostly a workstation model, and workstation tool without offering Server tools, even allow /home/user instead of /export/home/user for workstations that aren’t connected to NFS export with out big configuration. Windows NT had a Workstation and Server version, Sun can do the same. Call is Solaris Sparc Server, and Solaris Intel Workstation.
It makes sense for Sun just to use a Redhat distro, and not try and make one themselves. However, Sun needs a clear direction, a path. They need to decide how, as a hardware company, they are going to use JAVA (which makes hardware irrelevent (compile once, run anywhere)) and how to deal with Linux, while you have a solid Solaris operating system. They need to figure out how to deal with solaris on x86 and they need to decide on the future of such a port will be. They need to figure out how to be light on their feet, while making profit and advancing into new markets.
Does anyone else see Sun in trouble?
Solaris x86 first and fore most needs to be treated completely differently to Solaris for Sparc. People who buy x86 servers are a totally different clientel to those who run UltraSparc’s.
People who run *NIXs on x86’s also have different demands, and thus, those demands need to be addressed. The two pet hates of Solaris are these; the lack of hardware support and crap X server. As for the rest of the OS, it works quite nicely. What SUN should do is rip out their XServer, replace it with XFree86 4.3.0 and start encouraging vendors to write drivers for their operating system.
Sun is a little bit crazy these days. They should try some innovation and make some buzz. Their position gets weaker everyday.
Some good points were brought up as to why this is a good thing for Sun and i hope it is. Like gmlongo though, I find it difficult to keep up with their twists and turns.
Sun’s “major stategy move” just proves to me time and time again that it doesn’t have a real plan and a real future. I really hope they would realize who are their real competitors, and their real market. Cause they seem to be lost on that. And having Red Hat as a partner is a wise thing – Red Hat would do much of the work, be the recieving end of lawsuits and recieve all the lack of profitablity.
A co-worker told me about “brightsizing” — when a company starts going down the toilet and the brightest employess flee. My guess is that’s what’s happening at Sun.
Oh, and my armchair advice to Sun: Drop x86! You’ve already *got* a great hardware platform that you’ve heavily invested in. Then have 2 software units: Solaris on SPARC and GNU/Linux on SPARC. Hell, pit them against eachother in company football games if you want. Then when your customers want Linux, you can say “ok”, and when they say “no wait, I want Solaris” you can still say “ok” — same great hardware.
Sun seems to be doing a lot of thrashing back and forth, making changes and then countering them, all in reactionary behavior. This is what seemed to lead Be Inc. to their final demise. When a company shifts around this much, clients (developers, customers, etc) do not feel comfortable; they look for something else more “Stable.”
Sun drops Linux distro
Sun drops the ball
Sun drops revenue
Seems Sun drops everything…
Sun is being squeezed from the bottom by Intel and from the top by IBM. They are trying to get a bigger percentage of a shrinking market. Furthermore, they are no longer the flagship OS of Oracle, which is probably the top use of Solaris in data centers.
They will last for many years on legacy contracts, but the days of high demand for Sun/Solaris are probably never to be seen again.