Sun’s chief executive dressed up as Tux the penguin at an analysts meeting to prove his love for the GNU/Linux operating system. CEO Scott McNealy: “Sun will create its own version of Linux“. Read the rest of the article at ZDNet UK.
Sun in Love with Linux
2002-02-09 Oracle and SUN 30 Comments
oh no… has this guy lost his mind? Why would they want to replace solaris? Hmm, I must be missing something.
Hmm, I must be missing something.
Yes, If you don’t do Linux, your competition will, and you’ll loose, simple ey? Sun is losing lots of sales to white box vendors and established names like Dell, all selling Linux servers.
Right cause we all know those who don’t follow the fads like all the other people and hop on the bandwagons always loose out in the end. Just because your compitition is going one way doesn’t mean you should cause if you don’t your missing out. I look at it as companies like Dell are selling linux because solaris isn’t their product. I don’t know if they could sell machines with solaris even if they wanted to. Sun might sell some machines with linux to sell to those who have been convinced linux is the way to go. But it would seam very stupid for them to get rid of solaris.
Also, When your chief executive is dressing up in penquin outfits and going to work you have much bigger problems then what OS you run. At least dress up as the BSD devil (chuck?) much more proper for upper management.
But is till doesn’t make sense! Why would people rather have Linux than Solars x86? From what i’ve heard Solaris is far better…
Then again, a lot of people ‘upgraded’ from windows 98se to windows me, so it’s quite obvious people do odd things.
It’s not a devil. it’s a daemon!
The key phrase in the text is “Sun will create its own version of Linux”. That implies that they will be doing their own version (whether this is just another distro or a version with actual changes I don’t know).
Is Linux a Fad then? Please! I mean, this is currently the fastest growing server OS! Even if Linux is just a fad, I would rather make the same mistake as everybody else than be too late. Linux for sun makes sense for a lot of reasons:
1. Linux can and will casily co-exist with Solaris. Sun NEVER said Solaris is dead.
2. IBM has sold lots of big machines in the last year just by putting linux on them. Sun can maybe sell a few more hardware by using Linux.
3. Solaris on x86 was a business failure for sun. With Linux on x86, they have a better chance in that market.
3. With Linux, Sun can take the competition to Intel on the harware side, and to Microsoft on the server side.
>.. has this guy lost his mind?
> Why would they want to replace
> solaris? Hmm, I must be
Yes indeed, you are missing a lot of things:
1. Sun is NOT replacing solaris. They are just expanding their OS line, and giving more choice to customers.
2. Solaris is now a niche market. And with IBM and Dell mounting a stiff comeback, it is not even a guaranteed niche for Sun. For Sun, sticking with Solaris alone is the surest way to decay and death. With Linux in the mix, they may just be invigorating their product line.
Right cause we all know those who don’t follow the fads..
Fad? BeOS was a fad, Linux is not. Unless of course you’re just a mindless Linux-hater for one reason or another. Linux is filling all sorts of niches and Solaris is definitely one of them. Solaris = Unix, which makes Linux a very easy drop-in replacement. And Sun is not getting rid of Solaris, you will still find Solaris dominating on their very excellent UltraSparc line.
Oh, upper management probably doesn’t even know what a Devil/Daemon is! And if you can’t see the fun part in Scott McNealy dressing up as a penguin, well.. unwind a little 🙂
The penguin will rule, wether you like it or not…
Why shouldn’t Sun support Linux? They are a hardware vendor. They make money off of hardware, not software. Sun is already giving Solaris away for free. Throwing their support behind Linux can only mean more hardware sails for them.
BTW, when Sun said they will create their own version of Linux, I seriously doubt they had the X86 platform in mind. They probably intend to create their own version for the Sparc (and maybe they will produce an X86 version fot the Cobalt line of server appliances). However, Sun doesn’t seem all that interested in OS support for X86 since they dropped Solaris for X86.
“The penguin will rule, wether you like it or not…”
I think this is yet to be determined. The Linux hype has dropped off a lot. And like it or not, Linux is still limitted mostly to internet services and has not really caught on in enterprise markets. Sun still has over 70% marketshare. And Sun is also still experiencing record growth levels.
Perhaps some of Sun’s growth is due to Linux. People actually have the opportunity to learn Unix without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars. But then when they want to transfer that knowledge to real enterprise applications, they are still opting for commericial Unix vedndors like Sun.
“Fad? BeOS was a fad, Linux is not. ”
I dissagree. BeOS was never popular enough to be a fad. And linux… well, linux as a desktop os is a fad, IMOP. Linux as a server os is probley not a fad.
In much the same way that the corporations almost wrecked the Internet in their greed, so they will ruin Linux. As far as I’m concerned Linux is becoming just another money making machine for the corporates. Saying it’s sold down the river is perhaps putting it too strongly, but we are not far off that IMHO. The corporates are laughing at the Linux hackers all the way to the bank. I know those guys (and the free BSD hackers) do it for the love of coding, but _very few_ of them are making a dime out of it. I think it’s at the point where the ‘Linux companies’ are taking the piss. Does anyone else here feel the same?
There are good reasons for pushing Linux:
1) Potential free software development, from one of the biggest developer communities.
2) The hype around Linux the last couple of years allows device manufacturers to gain more media exposure. (Microsoft vs Linux/ Closed monopolist platform vs Open community platform)
3) Unlike better kernels architectures, like for instance QSSL’s QNX Neutrino, Linux is completely free for them to use and modify.
Linux still isn`t very suitable for the average user as a desktop OS, however when ripping alot of bloated unwanted code out of Linux and optimising parts it is excellently suited for mass market identically hardware specced devices like the http://www.infosync.no/show.php?id=1292“>US/European . Note that this is not exactly the same “Linux” as you currently use on your desktop, however device manufacturers love the “Linux” name because of the marketing advantages (hype) it offers them.
You will soon see “Linux” used in alot more devices. Sun knows this and therefor wants to show the world that they will fully support these developments.
>In much the same way that the
>corporations almost wrecked the
>Internet in their greed, so
>they will ruin Linux.
How did the corporations almost ruin the internet,and how will they ruin Linux? The internet is very alive and well as far as I can see, so maybe you would care to substantiate this point?
Some people never seem to be happy unless they are whining about something. If some people don’t make money from linux, that’s a problem. If others make money from Linux, that’s another problem. If Linux remains as unsuccesul as BEOS, say, that’s a problem. If it starts looking like people would use it, that’s another problem. Am I missing something here?
Sun joining Linux can only be a good thing. They don’t loose anything, and they will almost certainly contribute some of the missing parts.
I am gald to see this… I doubt Sun will drop Solaris anytime soon though… or they will have alot of very angry customers. But they are going in the right direction and adding flexibility to their product. And though Sun isn’t very serious about the consumer market, this might open a door to people who want to buy a low end Sun machine with Linux installed. I think this will really open other avenues for them and I wish Sun Microsystems and Mr. McNealy the best of luck with their strategy because they do build great products!
Kevin, yeah my bad on the devil/daemon thing.
Far as my fad comment I think it’s valid. OS’s like BeOS like was said above never became a fad cause they never took off big and not much was heard about it. Linux very much can be a fad. A fad is anything that suddenly gets lots of hype and people start jumping on like mad. But in time things calm down as it returns to normal levels of hype or it even completely goes away. The macarania (sp?) was a fad and at the time people said it’s not going to go away but it did, though for sure some still do it. Linux_baby stated that linux is the fastest growing server OS, that is the trend of a fad. But on the flip side, how many things like linux handhelds ever mad it to market? how many people ended up switching to linux from windows or mac, AND CONTINUE TO USE IT.
Linux most likly won’t go away. But being open source and such does not make it death proof. Better things can come along and turn it into something people just don’t care to use. Linux for now is most definitly trying to show it’s not just a fad. But for now aside from servers it has only seamed to show it’s self as being able to get lots of press, but has taken off for desktops and handhelds not very well. I think there is a false sence of linux popularity and use in that if something that runs linux is anounced it makes lots of news on places such as slashdot. But many more devises run or make use of other OS’s for things much more than linux, but sinces it’s not linux does not make much noise. But if one dumb thing runs linux people make lots of noise and talk like it’s a big thing. I’m not trying to bash linux here, but the idea of linux being huge and everyone going to it, and it’s so great is getting old. People who read this site and similar sites know of linux and within them it’s big. But when you leave this world and enter the normal world most people haven’t heard of linux or just plain don’t care. Most will not by a PDA or anything else because it runs linux, they don’t even know what it runs, or even that it runs something, many many people don’t understand concept of an OS, it’s just a computer and you turn it on.
I don’t think IBM putting linux on servers was a cause of them selling servers. I think it was just the simple fact of IBM is the biggest or second biggest (can only imagine sun being bigger) server maker. People need to buy servers and look towards IBM, if you have a option of say linux vs AIX some will go for the new option. But even without out the option the buyer would still probly buy one only they would get one with AIX.
In the end linux may very well be the OS king/queen. But in my mind it has a way to go before it shows it’s not just hype by company heads trying to make big news. Companies like to show there on top of things and if everyone is thinking linux is they way to go they want to show that their not behind. But this doesn’t always mean they are going to go that way.
An interesting move by Sun.
sorry for that being a long post, I didn’t even relize till I just looked at it
The penguin will rule, wether you like it or not…
There are many penguins, and they are all running in different directions. They can’t even rule themselves yet.
Fad? BeOS was a fad…
Only in the eyes of Be, Inc. BeOS users thought differently (and still do).
“I am gald to see this… I doubt Sun will drop Solaris anytime soon though… or they will have alot of very angry customers.”
Sun won’t drop Solaris. And there are many more reasons they will not other than just angry customers. One reason is that Linux doesn’t scale very well for multiple processor boxes. For example, Sun’s Starcat server supports up to 128 processors. Linux simply isn’t there yet. It does ok on a 4 way Xeon, but Linux isn’t going to do 64 way processing for example.
This is also why IBM is not dropping AIX even though IBM is a very strong supporter of Linux. Linux simply can’t scale well enough to power their 64 way systems and such. For these systems, AIX and Solaris will be the OS of choice for some time yet.
IMHO, Sun Linux is a marketing decision. eg. For sake of arg., say Sun Solaris 50%, Others 50% marketshare… If Sun adds Linux , say Sun Linux gets 20% share, 10% form Solaris and 10% from others… eventhough Solaris marketshare decrease 10%, but overall Sun have 60% and others 40% of the market share… am I right or am I right… 8^)
Linux as an OS will rule for several reasons
1) It’s technology is/will be unmatched. Even though Linux has the best technology in many areas now, it will continue to improve. The Linux developers have no stock holders to answer to, they have no product deadlines to meet, and they have no feature checklists to fill. They can just concentrate on making the OS as great as possible.
2) It’s free. Closed source OSs are a thing of the past. While it is tolerable to have applications that are closed source or hardware that has closed specs, an OS is a long term commitment and its dumb to latch on to one that could be hosed at any time by its parent company (burned ex-BeOS’er, you bet!)
3) It’s popular. All the creative CS people will hack on it, just because of its popularity. Thus, most of the cool tech will be on Linux first.
4) It’s good business. Why should Sun spend all their time developing their own OS? Why not concentrate on their hardware/support business and let someone else do that work? They can give support for development of the OS (hardware support for SPARC, for example) and both sides can mutally benefit.
i may be wrong but i get the sense that a large proportion of linux people are begining to read there own propergander far to much these days. Sure linux does have a lot of fairly good technology, some of it my be cutting edge, but the majority of it is just rehasing of previous technologies and ideas that are just being tweaked and fine tuneded. Theres a lot of good technology out thats been avaliable for years, which has never made it into the mainstream. Sun in particular has technology which is years ahead of anything thats in linux, and just looking at Solaris you still wont find it. They had an object orientated operating system called spring, which was way ahead of its time, cant rember much about it, but it was described in an special issue of byte many years ago. and also a couple years ago there were stil technical papers on the sun sight about it.
Seemed to me it was some sort of hybrid between plan 9 solaris (altyhough unix was only run under emulation) and corba ( i seem to rember it had its own version of IDL). IF sun got this you can bet you bottom dollar that IBM will have as well, and probably microsoft. The only problem is they dont wont to support extra operating systems in the market, and when youve got enterprise grade systems it can take years to fully intregrate new features.
Also one more point about the business sense, these days sun is the exception when it comes to shipping hardware, it still makes a healthy profit it on, the biggest platform for x86 is the pc. how many major pc manufactures these days do you see recording record profits, most are outsourcing manufacture to other companies, not only of pc;s but now also on there low end commodity serveers,)
have to admit though i do like the idea of open source, but id prefer it to be more based on the BSD model, which is easier to commercialise, i.e have a base level implmentation with open source code then have a specialise enterprise edition you pay for which could supply the revenue for the developign company, just an idea.
Spring http://research.sun.com/features/tenyears/volcd/papers/mitchell.htm This is what I like about this site I learn so much stuff.
“Linux as an OS will rule for several reasons
1) It’s technology is/will be unmatched. Even though Linux has the best technology in many areas now, it will continue to improve. ”
Yes and no. Linux still has a long way to go in a lot of areas. For example, its process scheduler is inferior to the schedulers of a lot of other Unix versions. It also has some memory management problems that other versions of Unix do not have.
Also, as far as its technology being unmatched, others have already pointed out that Solaris has technology that is years ahead of Linux. One example that comes to mind is the dynamically patchable kernel. This will allow the entire OS to be upgraded with no down time because you can actually dynamically patch the kernel with no reboot. Linux doesn’t have anything like this yet.
“The Linux developers have no stock holders to answer to, they have no product deadlines to meet, and they have no feature checklists to fill. They can just concentrate on making the OS as great as possible. ”
This can work both ways. Don’t forget that this also means that they have no incentive to incorporate features that customers want. With Linux, the things that get incorporated are generally the things that a particular developer has an interest in for some reason. The fact that there are no stockholders, etc, also means that there is no direction. There is no one to say “This is where we need to be because this is what our customers need to do.” Linux is a bit like starting a cross-country journey without a map. Sure you can eventually get where you want to go by following road signs and stopping and asking for directions a lot, but it will take you a lot longer than if you had a plan before you started the journey.
thanks for the link Ungolaint, went looking for some info on the sun site about spring when i lost my hard copy printouts of the ones i had a couple years back
<blockquote>Sure linux does have a lot of fairly good technology, some of it my be cutting edge, but the majority of it is just rehasing of previous technologies and ideas that are just being tweaked and fine tuneded. Theres a lot of good technology out thats been avaliable for years,</blockquote>Most good ideas don’t get implemented. Whether or not Linux is innovative is debatable but they are implementing a lot of common knowledge that works and that hasn’t been implemented by others.
Innovation is mostly about wank value. It’s great and all but popularising something is a lot of hard work too.
(dear god, I sound like Microsoft)
This doesn’t suprise me at all. McNealy has got a *huge* chip on his shoulder about Microsoft. He knows that Microsoft considers Linux a threat, and he’s decided that a a political move it makes sense to add Linux support to SUN networks. Solaris on the desktop is all but dead (was it ever really alive, outside academia and SUN itself, I mean). Scott sees an inroad to a desktop client which he believes will cause Microsoft headaches, and he’s all over it.
In his speech on Thursday, McNealy also drubbed Microsoft for its effort to improve security.
“I didn’t have to write a memo to my team saying, ‘Hey, team, security is important.’ I’d be embarrassed,” McNealy said. “That’s built into Solaris.”
“Larry will do anything for a quote,” quipped McNealy. “He’s just trying to make a point”
He doesn’t even limit his bashing to his enemies! For Christ’s sake, Ellison drives sales for SUN. Why the *hell* would Scott want to flame him?
Another good one:
McNealy also boasted of Sun’s research and development. The company spent $2bn on it last year, he said. Over the decade, “We’re going to spend $20bn to $30bn minimum on R&D.”
MS spent $9B on R&D last year :p
If he really cared about Open Source and free software, he would have opened the core of Solaris, a’la Darwin.
> How did the corporations almost ruin the internet,and how > will they ruin Linux? The internet is very alive and well > as far as I can see, so maybe you would care to
> substantiate this point?
Essentially the corporations overly commercialised the Internet. They took the Internet by the scruff of the neck and said ‘how do we make money out of this?’ However, thankfully, the Dot com crash didn;t wipe out the Internet but many people are still feeling the aftershock – particularly if they (used) to work in software or for a web related company.
>Some people never seem to be happy unless they are whining >about something. If some people don’t make money from >linux, that’s a problem. If others make money from Linux, >that’s another problem. If Linux remains as unsuccesul as >BEOS, say, that’s a problem. If it starts looking like >people would use it, that’s another problem. Am I missing >something here?
The downside isn;t apparent at the moment. It will be felt two or three years from now. The corporates will tend to push Linux in a direction that suits them – this may or may not suit the ‘Linux hacker’ community. As people become disillusioned with a direction that linux gets taken in then people will stop submitting code and the model begins to crumble.
It really depends on what you ultimately want out of Linux -but I personally believe that original ‘hacker ethic’ of Linux will be compromised by big business.
I hope I am wrong,