Home > Rumors > The Real Sun versus Red Hat StoryThe Real Sun versus Red Hat Story Eugenia Loli 2004-10-08 Rumors 60 CommentsTom Adelstein seems to know a lot about Sun and sets out here to give the whole story behind Sun and Red Hat’s disagreements.About The Author Eugenia LoliEx-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 60 Comments 2004-10-08 4:21 pm Why is that? I’ve yet to read anything that makes RedHat an appealing company. Remember those raids they promised? Remember how one of their executives how costly it was to switch off of RedHat?Interesting read and a little too optimistic but I can only hope for the best. 2004-10-08 4:24 pm They seek to control what people believe by affecting those mechanisms of our perception. If you recognize the manipulation, you’re unplugged.I like that one. But I like this article for other reasons as well. The number of employees at Red Hat, Sun and IBM really for the first time put this in perspective for me. Where can you find this information? 2004-10-08 4:34 pm Both have contributed to Linux, but both remain greedy corporate pigs, nonetheless, with all the usual corporate politics. 2004-10-08 4:41 pm For an “unbiast” opinion this guys sure spent alot of time praising sun and bashing everyone else. Apparently Oracle, Red hat and Dell together are just a bunch of “ants” compared to great Sun. Check please! 2004-10-08 4:42 pm http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0596007523/103-185458…Picking up where the other co-author left yesterday. Is this supposed to be ‘Swift JDS Veterans for Truth’ or what? cheers,dalibor topic 2004-10-08 4:48 pm Good find.Sun Has 32,000 employees according to the article, I wonder how many of them are “independant writers”. I’m only half joking but there is alot of that going on. 2004-10-08 5:43 pm Redhat is going to have lots of trouble. It’s Linux doesn’t have the features to compete against complete operating environments like Solaris, Windows, and Novell’s upcoming Linux, and it is way too bloated to compete against customized, minimal by default operating systems like FreeBSD and Debian. (Note: I am not knocking FreeBSD or Debian, with their depositories, you can make them do anything. I am just saying by default, they don’t have 1 gig of waste installed like Redhat chooses to do.) I just don’t see where RedHat Linux will be a good choice to deploy. 2004-10-08 5:44 pm “Sun Has 32,000 employees according to the article, I wonder how many of them are “independant writers”.”Well, in that case, Sun must be doing something right. As the article pointed out, they listen to their customers. When folks wanted Solaris x86 back, they brought it back, etc.So yeah, if as you say, Sun has a bunch of “indepdnant writers”. They must be doing something right. Not many companies can inspire the brand name loyalty that Sun has has managed to inspire. 2004-10-08 5:46 pm Red hat is a company and is out there for the money. So what? What I care is that they are consistently open sourcing every little piece of software that they produce. If they manage to make money out of it, well great: they show better than anybody else that you can make a profit out of open source.As for the number of Red hat employee: they might be only 700 but that doesn’t count for the OSS community, that is greater than IBM, Novell, HP and Sun all together: Red Hat understands _these_ numbers.My 0.02echris 2004-10-08 6:11 pm So, let me get this. An independent writer for/from SUN gives us an unbiased analysis of the feud between SUN and Red Hat. Tom, you gat jokes! 2004-10-08 6:29 pm “Sun must be doing something right”Almost.I think they used to do things right, now apparently they flail their arms at everything.This is the way I see it right or wrong: Microsoft and Sun has talks, Sun gets paid, next week Sun attacks IBM and Red Hat the biggest traditional Linux players while making press releases about open sourcing solaris. They most certainly ARE attacking Linux they just know you can’t win cause you piss everyone off. So they attack the company’s who’s faces are on the Linux front page. (IBM, Red Hat).Red Hat will overtake Sun if they stand by and do nothing, everyone knows this. But if Sun was to attack OSS that will just speed up the process cause everyone will throw tomato’s. So they have to paint Red Hat as M$ and get the backing of some community members on their side. RH is a freakin start-up company next to sun, how they can paint RH as Microsoft and have idiots buy into it I have no idea. 2004-10-08 6:37 pm Many people hated RedHat long before Sun did. I think frankly Sun has a policy of only mud slinging one target at a time. It’s not like they ever were heaping praise on RH in the first place. 2004-10-08 6:48 pm Well, I agree with you. But Sun has tried to make it clear that they are only attacking Red Hat and not Linux in general. But the OSS community seems to equate an attack on Red Hat with an attack on Linux. They don’t make the distinction.Yes, Red Hat is a startup. And I would say that Sun’s future is realistically more secure than Red Hat’s. Sun has billions and billions of capital reserves to bail themselves out of a slump. Red Hat, on the other hand, is living on the edge. They don’t have enough capital reserve to bail themselves out of trouble if they get into it. So Red 2004-10-08 6:51 pm “Many people hated RedHat long before Sun did.”True. And in fact, this might be the only real place where Sun can compare Red Hat to Microsoft. There seems to be, almost a “hated but necessary” relationship between Red Hat and many Linux users. They are pretty much forced to run Red Hat rather than some other Linux version because many commercial vendors won’t support their application if the user is runnig it on some version of Linux other than Red Hat. 2004-10-08 7:23 pm It’s interesting how Sun turned around after the MS settlement and tried hard to alienate many of their business partners in the Unix/Linux world. The McNealy piece in the reg yesterday seems to show McNealy believing that MS would let Sun have a piece of the cake. Otoh, Gates is saying that in 10 years it just Linux vs. Windows. I’d trust Gates more on Microsoft’s plans than McNealy …I’d speculate that MS will happily cheer on Sun to fight Red Hat, IBM, HP, and others, and will later use shill companies (SCO, anyone), to get their $2B back when Sun is done alienating everyone else. When Sun runs out of corporate friends, they’ll be an easy, isolated target for future Scodaks to try to play the legal system at Sun’s expense. Divide and conquer, and MS could then proceed to move the next company out of the cattle and let it bleed out.McNealy said yesterday:“Why don’t they all step in and take the Java hit (with Kodak) )?”I guess that could have been arranged, if Sun hadn’t tried so hard to alienate everyone else ever since the MS settlement. A Sun/IBM/Bea/HP/Apple/RedHat/… aliance of Java vendors could have given Kodak a good run for the money with a countersuit or two. That opportunity was lost.The more interesting question, though, is why Microsoft, who already have a license on the Wang/Kodak patents, and is now Sun’s most valuable partner, didn’t step in and take the Java hit? MS is a Java vendor, too, and will remain one till 2007, at least. If they like Sun so much, they could have helped out, no?cheers,dalibor topic 2004-10-08 7:56 pm Sun really, really, really, really require urgent leadership from someone who understands the mass commodity market Sun have to compete in now. Someone needs to tell them that’s the way the world works.If Sun Microsystems intends to kill Linux, then why are they installing it internally?Because not even Sun has the confidence that Solaris will be the end-to-end OS that they want it to be. They also need a back-up plan if their plans fail, as they have so often with any new desktop strategy. Fills you with confidence, doesn’t it?The vetting seems to have no authority other than Colony, the CEO of Forrester. It did create quite a controversy in the ranks of the open source world. It sounded convincing.Since Sun is an extremely schizophrenic company these days, all people have is plausible speculation about what Sun will do:“I guess I did a miserably poor job of communicating with George Colony.”There’s an admission from Schwartz right there.That’s correct, Sun Microsystems is rolling out Linux internally. They are their own customer.They also rolled out Network Computers and Java Stations, and look how that turned out.Their experience adds to the Linux knowledge base everyday. So, if you think Sun wants to kill Linux tell it to the employees with dozens of different brands of laptops using WiFi cards and numerous pieces of Intel based hardware at Sun Microsystems.Because Solaris currently cannot do any of that as an OS on commodity hardware in the same way that Linux can, all Solaris is to Sun is an overhead they’ll have to carry the burden for themselves.Also, in case you haven’t heard, Sun hired system integrator EDS to perform the Sun internal rollout. Sun calls their rollout the “Sun on Sun” initiative. The desktop is the Linux Java Desktop System.Holy ****, I didn’t know that! Anyone who has had experience of EDS’ handywork, especially in the UK within public services, will know that this project is doomed to failure before it starts.If Sun cannot rollout their own software and product within their own organisation, what on Earth does that say? It says that Sun haven’t got the faintest idea what they’re doing with their own software. Do Novell need third-party providers? No. They’re rolling out based on the new open source experience they have and the established experience within the company.Those who have worked with Sun in the past recognize Sun’s professionalism.That’s a matter of opinion, especially those dumped with Cobalt.Sun looks at Red Hat and sees a company that needs mentoring. Instead of working with Sun, Red Hat thought they could knock off the 800 pound guerilla. So they tried.Based on Sun’s bottom line, they’re succeeding. Who is Sun to believe that they should be mentoring Red Hat (apart from the fact that they want to nullify the threat)?Do you think that any of the people charged with delivery care what executives say to the press?Yes. If they are lambasting the competition so much, you have to wonder what the competition is like.This is where Linux advocates need to get a grip. Linux loses business everyday because we lack the resources to deliver. When companies perform due diligence, they find unsatisfied customers.I think he needs to get a grip on where companies like Sun lose money to Linux. Sun is now a niche-player, going ever higher at the high-end. Linux companies can quite easily provide what is necessary at the low-end and in the middle. Worryingly for Sun, the high-end business they thought they had is being sucked up into the medium and low-end sectors. That’s the commodity market Sun are now a part of, as much as they like to pretend that they’re not. This is the single biggest reason why Sun are in trouble, and unless they realise and understand it they will sink on the spot where they’re currently just about treading water.Red Hat is a niche player and they need to find more niches.A very, very, very bad misunderstanding of the situation. If this is what Sun thinks, then they’re going to drown very quickly.It is Sun who are the niche players here, at the high-end of computing. Red Hat are able to provide low end and medium sized solutions without the incredible amount of overhead Sun thinks that it needs on a project. If Sun try to turn the low-end and medium sized business into the high-end revenue they’re used to, as they have always done, then they are a very dead company.They are vulnerable to Microsoft’s “Get the Facts” campaign because of the “Total Cost of Ownership” issue.Oh, the mythical Total Cost of Ownership issue. The Get the Facts campaign is obviously having a major effect. The Total Cost of Ownership doesn’t mean anything, and hasn’t worked for the past few years since it was brought up simply because no one understands it. People look at what they need more and pick the cheaper and more flexible option rather than the over-engineered and expensive stuff they’ve found they can live without. That’s exactly what businesses and enterprises understand.Red Hat’s book value and revenue streams do not justify the image Red Hat executives convey to themselves and the market.Throw your toys out of the pram if you want to. It doesn’t alter the current situation, and the reality is going to be that companies like Sun are going to have to accept the nature of the market and reduced revenue streams or die.Red Hat will discover that it takes more to compete with Novell and Sun than telling people to fax them a purchase order.I’m afraid that’s what businesses want. Rather than paying a huge amount of money and having ten dozen Sun engineers and hangers-on trudging around on their project for a ridiculously over-engineered solution, they can simply look at what they need and split a project into manageable chucks. They can then simply fax a purchase order (laughing out loud here) to Red Hat and get it done. That’s the way other industries in the world work today and that’s the mass commodity market. Either Sun understands it or it’s already a corpse. Crying about it isn’t going to make a difference, and when you look at how the consumer world and other service industries work today it is just incredible that they don’t understand that.Today, Red Hat has dubious allies in HP and Dell since those companies rely on Microsoft for their core competencies. If the people at Red Hat want out of the corner in which they have painted themselves, they need better friends.Oooh, let’s see if we can destabilise the relationships that Red Hat has with other companies and their partners and see if they buckle. Desperate stuff. 2004-10-08 8:02 pm Sun has billions and billions of capital reserves to bail themselves out of a slump. Red Hat, on the other hand, is living on the edge. They don’t have enough capital reserve to bail themselves out of trouble if they get into it. So RedBillions and billions? Aren’t you overreacting. That would be description of Microsoft or IBM, not some small fry like Sun. 2004-10-08 8:24 pm “…Where can you find this information?”Google. 2004-10-08 8:34 pm I have read a few of your posts over the last few days andthe one above is well up to your usual standard. You soundlike someone who got burned by Sun for dropping cobalt andhave a lot of bitterness. Why do you persist on referringto Sun as expensive, proprietary and over engineered? thisdoes not really represent the facts anymore. All Sun havesaid is “RedHat are a competitor and we are going to competewith them” – wtf is wrong with that? We genuinely believe wehave a rock solid product in Solaris, SPARC is not dead (farfrom it) why the hell shouldn’t we try and sell these things?Just because Sun doesn’t cave in and jump straight on thelinux hypewave and declares that they want to compete withRedHat doesn’t make Sun an enemy of OSS or linux.`To address some of your specific points:Sun absolutely does believe in Solaris. Linux absolutely isnot a backup plan. Solaris 10 runs just fine on my laptopby the way. In fact, most of the SCO warchest money wewere supposed to have given was actually for x86 driver IP.As for EDS, well it’s the first I have heard about. Themajority I know use Solaris anyway (on x86 and SPARC). Mosthome systems run JDS which, as you know, is Suse.As for revenue. Sun has a 130+billion install base, whatsRedhats?. Sun is battered by anti-hype because it fell thehardest after the dot.com bubble burst. The company has,admittedly, struggled to readjust to this as it was probablyhit the hardest out of any of the major technology vendors.However, if you look at growth over the last 10 years andedit out the dot.com blip it’s fairly steady growth.Can you please define how Sun is a niche player? it’s reallynot clear to me from where I am sitting. You talk as iflinux is all pervasive. Do you have numbers regarding linuxdeployments in order to make this statement?. I think youmay find that linux in production for anything other thatweb farms is not as widespread as what you may think.What do you mean by commoditized market? Some of the hardware market is commoditized. I don’t think the OS marketis commoditized nor is it looking like it will be. If youwant certified apps on linux which distro do you run?As for the rest of your comments, well I haven’t seen anyevidence of what you say (and you haven’t provided any orare you doing to do the normal Redhat zealot thing andpush the onus on to me to refute you?). From what I see,Redhat is a company out to make money. I don’t have aproblem with that at all. It’s little bit sad though toattack Sun’s business practices though when they say theyare going to do nothing more than compete with them.You do know that Solaris on x86 is cheaper than Redhat? 2004-10-08 8:35 pm Empty, but slick.Sun is losing and will continue to lose market share to Linux running on a variety of hardware platforms. 2004-10-08 8:44 pm it’s business versus business. NOT business versus open source. 2004-10-08 8:50 pm All Sun have said is “RedHat are a competitor and we are going to compete with them” – wtf is wrong with that?The way they said it maybe (reffering to blahblah that McNeally and Schwartz have made)? One doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to get this fact.From what I see, Redhat is a company out to make moneyAnd here is a perfect example of same kind of blahblah. Both Sun and McNeally tried to show RH as company like you said. Last time I checked Sun was a company out to make money too. Except that in all statements Sun is playing Jesus and not company.Where is Sun different than RH?Sun1.After all Schwartz and McNeally statements, I could cook some soup out of it, but Suns position would stay unclear2.(extend one)Suns position on OSS is unknown, or better changes from day to day3.Today we love-hate Linux has become boringRH1.Clean statements (except the one when they were droping desktops and few smaller ones), they cleaned that with releasing Fedora2.Position on OSS is clear as day3.They don’t change relationship to neither Linux (already mentioned desktops fiasco, didn’t I) or OSS from day to day 2004-10-08 9:05 pm “Billions and billions? Aren’t you overreacting. That would be description of Microsoft or IBM, not some small fry like Sun.”Sun’s net worth is a matter of public record.When it comes to Microsoft, we are talking tens of billions. Look at their quaterly earnings statements. They turn a bigger profit per dollar spent then just about any other company in the world. 2004-10-08 9:06 pm Unstable UNIX sounds like oxymoron. But that is exactly whatSUN produced not so long ago. Solaris releases from 2.1 until 2.5 were very unstable. But, nevertheless they asked a lot of money for them. Even Windows NT was more stable at that time.Until 2.5. they were cheating and stealing from people, selling them trash for a good money.I would rather shoot myself into head then trust SUN orMicrosoft.DG 2004-10-08 9:20 pm Sun’s net worth is a matter of public record.Net worth is NOT Sun has billions and billions of capital reserves you reffered too. Check the facts about NET worth. Sun is worth 14,5bn$ according to yahoo.which takes too:1.You can’t expect that reserves are larger than company.2.You can reffer to smaller numbers with fingers or at least accurate numbersbtw. Billions and billions would be translated to uncountable number of billions 2004-10-08 9:36 pm It’s true that RH can only handle a certain size of “Enterprise Solution”. In time thier ability to handle more needs will increase, the company is making profit. The thing that the author left out ofcourse, is that for larger contracts, companies use IBM and Oracle solutions in conjunction with a RH platform, so this relationship allows for these organizations to work together to meet the needs of the enterprise. 2004-10-08 9:53 pm Nobody wants another monopoly, so a company that tries to be everything, is trying to be a monopoly. The result of a monopoly is the slow but enevitable destruction of all of the people that give up control, read Orwell’s Animal Farm. 2004-10-08 10:11 pm “From what I see, Redhat is a company out to make moneyAnd here is a perfect example of same kind of blahblah. Both Sun and McNeally tried to show RH as company like you said. Last time I checked Sun was a company out to make money too. Except that in all statements Sun is playing Jesus and not company.Where is Sun different than RH?”Are you really that dumb? Thats the whole point. The factthat Sun is being pilloried for ‘daring’ to compete witha similiar profit making corporation is unbelieveable.Know one has said Sun is different to Redhat in it’s raisond’etre. Redhat seem to be able avoid being tarred with the‘profit making coporation’ brush by being seen as thechampion of the people. I bet they are laughing all theway to the bank. 2004-10-08 10:26 pm A lot of these comments are entirely unfounded.It’s interesting how Sun turned around after the MS settlement and tried hard to alienate many of their business partners in the Unix/Linux world. The McNealy piece in the reg yesterday seems to show McNealy believing that MS would let Sun have a piece of the cake. Otoh, Gates is saying that in 10 years it just Linux vs. Windows. I’d trust Gates more on Microsoft’s plans than McNealy …I’m not sure where you get the idea that Sun has been burning bridges with its business partners. One of Sun’s biggest initiatives right now is to re-enlist their existing partners and aggressively develop more, especially for x86 and x86-64.I’d speculate that MS will happily cheer on Sun to fight Red Hat, IBM, HP, and others, and will later use shill companies (SCO, anyone), to get their $2B back when Sun is done alienating everyone else. When Sun runs out of corporate friends, they’ll be an easy, isolated target for future Scodaks to try to play the legal system at Sun’s expense. Divide and conquer, and MS could then proceed to move the next company out of the cattle and let it bleed out.This is an entirely myopic and paranoid view of the situation. Sun is still competing with MSFT. Perhaps you haven’t been reading the articles that keep getting posted here, but Sun has continually stated that MSFT is still a major competitor and that they do not intend to give up business to MSFT. The perception that all of these companies: Microsoft, Sun, IBM, HP, RedHat, Novell, Oracle, Sybase, Veritas, etc are for or against each other is naively simplistic. Many of these companies have agreements with each other for IP rights, to develop projects on each others platforms, to run each others servers (Look at IBM Global Services…), and many other things. All of this is foused on meeting customer needs, acquiring each others customers, and ultimately making money as a result. Sun wants to capture customers and market share, just the same as all of the other companies. To suggest it’s part of some larger anti-Linux, pro-Microsoft strategy is rediculous. Sun’s parterning with Microsoft, just like the revival of Solaris x86, was the result of a lot of feedback from their customers. My suspicion is that a Sun and RedHat agreement doesn’t bring much value to Sun’s customers, whereas a Sun and Microsoft one does.Because not even Sun has the confidence that Solaris will be the end-to-end OS that they want it to be. They also need a back-up plan if their plans fail, as they have so often with any new desktop strategy. Fills you with confidence, doesn’t it?Your lack of knowledge fills me with, uhm, confidence. JDS is actually a platform neutral term. This refers to a set of desktop software components that can run on either Solaris or Linux. (Sun has/is making it available for both platforms). So, this is actually a bigger strategy of deploying Sun’s desktop software suite across both platforms (Solaris & Linux) throughout Sun. You may not be impressed, but IBM certainly isn’t eating their own proverbial dog-food to this degree. They don’t even have their own Linux desktop to roll-out internally. Gives you a lot of confidence in their AIX and Linux strategies, eh?I think he needs to get a grip on where companies like Sun lose money to Linux. Sun is now a niche-player, going ever higher at the high-end. Linux companies can quite easily provide what is necessary at the low-end and in the middle. Worryingly for Sun, the high-end business they thought they had is being sucked up into the medium and low-end sectors. That’s the commodity market Sun are now a part of, as much as they like to pretend that they’re not. This is the single biggest reason why Sun are in trouble, and unless they realise and understand it they will sink on the spot where they’re currently just about treading water.This was true 2 years ago, but it isn’t true today. All of the VPs and junior execs that espoused a high-end only strategy are noticably absent from the company today. Sun is delivering SPARC solutions from the high-end to the low-end, and has been introducing x86 and x86-64 solutions at the low to medium end. Rumors have it that high-end x86-64 solutions are in the works. Sun has attuned itself to the realities of the commodity market, and has been aggressive about getting feedback from their customers lately. The fact that Sun has aspects which differenitate it from Dell, HP, RedHat, Microsoft, etc allow them to play well in the commodity market. If everything is commoditized, only the players which can differenitate themselves from their competitors will be successful in an otherwise homogeneous market.Just because you have a chip on your shoulder doesn’t mean that Sun is dying. They outpaced all of their competitors in server shipments last quarter, not to mention their same quarter shipments from last year. They may not be turning a huge profit right now; however, if this is a commodity market as you contend, the volumes matter more. If they continue to outpace their competitors in volume growth, I think they’ll be doing pretty well.(The following is my own opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of my employer) 2004-10-08 10:31 pm ummm, billions and billions is equal to 4 billion and more. First billions refers to having 2 or more billion. Second billions refers to having 2 or more billion. The and refers to having one of each. So 2 or more and 2 or more = 4 or more. So technically Sun does have billions and billions. Noone said they have billions of billions or a billion billions. The statement merely just stated billions and billions. 2004-10-08 10:49 pm Am I that dumb?NO, that’s why I don’t trust Sun for his saying about being crucified by RH. The one who is dumb here are you Sun guys (I assume that by sun.com, otherwise I appologize), you can’t even tell one story and stick to it. Hell, you can’t even pick a side.For refference, the moment that Sun sided with Microsoft, Sun died for me, so it would be no use of explaining otherwise to me. 2004-10-08 10:53 pm Sun’s net worth is approximately 13.9 billion as I write this. Red Hat’s is about 2.4 billion. In addition, Red Hat stock is worth less than as much today as it was in Maym where has sun has seen about a 9% increase in their stock value since May. Overall, Sun is a healthier company then Red Hat.Furthermore, even if Sun had lost the entire 1.2 billion dollars to Kodak, it would not have killed them. A lawsuit like that would have had Red Hat filing for bankrupty.I would not be surprised to see Red Hat bought out in the future, possibly by a hostile takeover. Sun could definately afford to buy out Red Hat if they wanted to. In fact, perhaps that is part of the strategy. If Red Hat’s stock is devalued enough, it’s a more attractive buy for Sun.I don’t know if anyone is planning something like that at Sun. But a buyout would eliminate the major competition they seem to be concerned about. If they say they hate Red Hat, and not Linux, why not buy Red Hat? Sun can certainly afford to do so. 2004-10-08 10:59 pm I’m actually a big fan of Solaris on x86. The main thing that is holding it back right now though, is lack of drivers for much of the common x86 hardware that is out there. 2004-10-08 11:00 pm I don’t think, realistically, that Sun would ever buy out RedHat. What would be the point? All of RedHat’s IP that is build on top of GNU/Linux is required to remain open. Sun wouldn’t gain much by buying them out. Sun seems to be asserting that they can beat RedHat fair and square, and can offer their customers more. Any attempt to buy them out would blatantly contradict that message. Further, buying out companies for the purpose of eliminating competition vioaltes anti-trust statutes and is illegal.(Again, just my opinion, and my not represent the views of my employer) 2004-10-08 11:05 pm @slashhehe, Can you convert it to thousands for me please (in your numbering technique)@SimbaFirst: What would be the reason to buy out RH?Second: Unfortunatelly you don’t follow stocks enough. When or why do stocks rise and when do they fall. Should we continue this in 5 months? Just looking at one and other graph in yearly perspective trough history for both and that should give you a clue.Go look Suns decline from 87. Sun is now almost at their lowest point in history. When you reffer how healty one is check the otherSun Balance SheetTotal Cash (mrq): 3.60BTotal Cash Per Share (mrq): 1.08Total Debt (mrq)²: 1.43BTotal Debt/Equity (mrq): 0.222Current Ratio (mrq): 1.428Book Value Per Share (mrq): 1.93RH Balance SheetTotal Cash (mrq): 997.75MTotal Cash Per Share (mrq): 5.44Total Debt (mrq)²: 600.00MTotal Debt/Equity (mrq): 1.371Current Ratio (mrq): 8.695Book Value Per Share (mrq): 2.388 2004-10-08 11:16 pm David – you’ve hit the nail on the head. Jon, I see a nice Pro Sun user, perhaps you’re biaised? I always love it when Sun supporters jump up and down saying how good Sun is, but can’t take criticism. I personally can’t stand Sun, they’re a two faced, lying greedy company.Quote (Jon): “Sun is battered by anti-hype because it fell the hardest after the dot.com bubble burst. The company has, admittedly, struggled to readjust to this as it was probably hit the hardest out of any of the major technology vendors.”Why is that? Why didn’t Novell get so hard, or IBM, or Microsoft or Apple? Why? Please tell me why. I’ll tell you why if you can’t come up with an answer. Sparc is expensive. Solaris is expensive. A lot of people in business these days like to avoid legal shit, and let’s face it, fancy restricting EULAs from the likes of Sun & Microsoft aren’t palatable to everyones tastes. Hence Sun got dumped on. Their forward planning was atrocious, they put all of their cookies into Solaris/Sparc, it has nosedived and the rest of the company with it.I don’t give a damn about Suns “contributions” to the OSS community (OpenOffice). I stand by previous comments about Sun/OpenOffice that it’s just a nice trojan horse for their high paying Microsoft shills.From the article:“They put their customers first.” – yeah right. Ever looked at the EULA for looking glass and Staroffice? mmm? Not exactly what I call looking after your customer. You don’t screw your customers rights in EULAs and then say you’re looking after them. That’s not the way I perceive it anyways, and as time goes on, you’ll see more and more people getting rid of proprietary software purely because of these reasons.Quote: “They are performing the largest Linux desktop rollout in US history. That’s correct, Sun Microsystems is rolling out Linux internally. They are their own customer.”And so? IBM is already in the process of doing this WORLDWIDE. Your point is? I have friends in IBM (they don’t even currently use Linux or like it) who are telling me privately that courtesy of internal directives ALL IBM staff will be running on Linux workstations. Who has more employees in 1. The US, 2. globally. IBM or Sun. If you believe Sun you must believe in fairies guys…I stand by my comments earlier in other posts that Sun is nothing more than a Microsoft paid shill, because it knows it’s a dying business due to OSS/FSF/GNU products outcompeting it. This is a last stand for the big proprietary software buyers. The market is shifting and when it does they’ll no longer be the big boys with the big toys. They’re having their little hissy temper fit right now. Like a petulant 2 year old that doesn’t get the toy he/she wants. Sun is sitting on the fence and is two faced. A company that is best mates with Redhat a year ago and suddenly vehement that they want to put them out of business is not the sort of company that inspires a good sense of trust and morals. Sun will do what it needs to do to make money, and if that means screwing over anyone/anything that gets in its way (whether merited or not) so be it. That’s not the sort of ethics that I like to see, either from an individual or a business.Quote: “Today, Red Hat has dubious allies in HP and Dell since those companies rely on Microsoft for their core competencies”Really? And I thought that Redhats major allies were (up to recently), Sun. And IBM. IBM could eat Sun for breakfast if it really wanted to, god i’d love to see IBM do a hostile takeover of Sun and then get rid of the two big Sun bunnies with open mouths. That would be so nice.Oh and Microsoft has a new line:“get the fud, total cost of being screwed over by a crap EULA written by a monopolistic, anti-competitive political bribing gorilla”oops did I say that!Eugenia, can we stop beating this Sun crap to death? I don’t particularly want to hear about Suns crap. I’m really getting sick of hearing about “sun” this, “sun” that.Dave 2004-10-08 11:20 pm “I don’t think, realistically, that Sun would ever buy out RedHat. What would be the point? All of RedHat’s IP that is build on top of GNU/Linux is required to remain open.”The point would be that the income generated by Red Hat would now be Sun income. If Sun did buy Red Hat, I don’t think they would mess with things too much. They would probably leave it operating pretty much the way it does now, except it would have the Sun brand.“Further, buying out companies for the purpose of eliminating competition vioaltes anti-trust statutes and is illegal.”There is nothing illegal about this and it would not violate anti-trust statutes. The government could block the sale if the buyout would create a monopoly. But I don’t think a Sun / Red Hat merger would create a monopoly. 2004-10-08 11:27 pm “Why is that? Why didn’t Novell get so hard, or IBM, or Microsoft or Apple? Why? Please tell me why. I’ll tell you why if you can’t come up with an answer.”I will tell you why. Because Sun bet the company on the .COM boom. Remember their .COM commercials, etc.? Well, they bet wrong, and they lost. And it hurt them big time.Novell, Microsoft, or Apple did not bet on the .COM boom. Microsoft’s primary domain has always been the desktop. Novell has been corporate networking. And Apple has also been the desktop. So the .COM bust didn’t affect those companies as much as it did Sun.“And so? IBM is already in the process of doing this WORLDWIDE. Your point is?”Sun is doing this world wide as well. Or did you miss the story about the huge number of JDS systems that the Chinese government is buying?“”They put their customers first.” – yeah right. Ever looked at the EULA for looking glass and Staroffice? mmm?”Once again, I would say that yes, Sun does put their customers first. I am sure Sun is losing a ton of money on Solaris x86. That’s why they were going to drop it. But what happened? The customers said they wanted it back. and so Sun brought it back. Not many companies listen to their customers that way. Sun does. 2004-10-09 12:04 am can we stop beating this Sun crap to death? I don’t particularly want to hear about Suns crap. I’m really getting sick of hearing about “sun” this, “sun” that.If you don’t want to hear about it, you don’t have to read the articles. If you can’t resist reading the articles, have someone impound your computer. I don’t think all of the artciles OSNews publishes are great either, but I respect their right to publish freely. 2004-10-09 12:18 am The point would be that the income generated by Red Hat would now be Sun income. If Sun did buy Red Hat, I don’t think they would mess with things too much. They would probably leave it operating pretty much the way it does now, except it would have the Sun brand.I guess I don’t share your optimism. Given that RedHat’s IP would be open, what’s to keep any of RedHat’s former customers loyal to Sun should they be hypothetically bought out? Also, keep in mind that Sun would also inherit all of RedHat’s liabilities should such a merger [n]ever occur. I don’t really think that Sun needs to buy another company to get more customers. If you look at most of the aquisitions that Sun has completed over the past years you’ll notice two things: the purchases occur in spaces where Sun needs the technology because it’s something that they aren’t really doing. Second, they always mess with things. If you’ll look back at product lines that they acquired through aquisition, you’ll see very few of them actually arriving to market as they were designed by the original company. If Sun were to purchase RedHat, which I don’t think they would ever do, they would almost certainly not just let it remain as an adjunct and unmolested division or subsidiary of Sun.There is nothing illegal about this and it would not violate anti-trust statutes. The government could block the sale if the buyout would create a monopoly. But I don’t think a Sun / Red Hat merger would create a monopoly.Perhaps nothing inherently illegal. However, anti-trust law encompasses more than monopolies. It also involves price-fixing, and various other forms of corporate racketeering. The point, though, is that the government frowns upon anti-competitive behavior. If you’re talking about a completely hypothetical situation, it’s *possible* that such a merger could lead to future investegations. But this is all pretty far from the my original point: RedHat doesn’t bring anything fundamentally unique or valuable to Sun. If most of RedHat’s assets are leveraged through IP in the public domain, what’s the point of purchasing the company if the majority of their assets are effectively public? Sun doesn’t need RedHat’s trademarks. I just don’t see how this is practically justifiable. 2004-10-09 1:32 am *Every* piece of software that RedHat has ever written isavailable for download as a source code, under one of FSF andOSI licenses. Is it true for SUN ? I don’t think so.Could the same be said for SUN ? I don’t think so.Besides, there is Fedora, a preview of future RedHat distributions.RedHat *is* a true Open Source vendor, while SUN is latestMicrosoft ally. Microsoft seems to be very resourcefull infinding greedy and rotten people in UNIX and Linux community.DG 2004-10-09 1:47 am RedHat *is* a true Open Source vendor, while SUN is latest Microsoft ally. Microsoft seems to be very resourcefull in finding greedy and rotten people in UNIX and Linux community.Both RedHat and Sun contribute to open-source projects. Sun is open-sourcing Solaris, so both RedHat and Sun will be selling products that run on open operating systems. Trying to compare the “openness” is pretty pointless. What do you hope to prove anyway?Sun is not Microsoft’s ally. They settled their lawsuits and agreed to forego future litigation over any IP differences for the next 10 years. This doesn’t imply that Sun wants Microsoft to succeed, or that Microsoft wants Sun to succeed. If you’ve ever been sued, or initiated a lawsuit and then settled with the defendant, I’m sure you’ll find that this doesn’t mean that you’re allies. In fact, often times it’s quite the contrary. Viewing this as an anti-Linux conspiracy is paranoid. This article listed a number of different ways in which Sun does support Linux and open-software in general. 2004-10-09 4:07 am I guess I don’t share your optimism. Given that RedHat’s IP would be open, what’s to keep any of RedHat’s former customers loyal to Sun should they be hypothetically bought out?Um, but I thought Red Hat was proprietary. And that their customers were all locked in to using RH.Both RedHat and Sun contribute to open-source projects. Sun is open-sourcing Solaris,[…]Sun has said it would free Solaris at several points. I’ll believe it when I see it.[…]so both RedHat and Sun will be selling products that run on open operating systems. Trying to compare the “openness” is pretty pointless.Well, *all* of Red Hat’s software is open source. What about Java, JDS, Sun Ray? Lots of companies, including Microsoft, contribute to open-source projects and sell products that run on “open operating systems”. I do think comparing openness is pretty relevant. 2004-10-09 8:08 am Sun can begin talking about how Red Hat’s lawyers use trademarks the way Microsoft uses patents and copyrights. As some of us know, Red Hat has an aggressive legal department when it comes to copyrights and trademarks. Red Hat’s attitude hasn’t been that gracious to people looking for help in the open source community. Some of this may come back to haunt them.Just stupid. Those are forks from RHEL :http://www.whiteboxlinux.org/http://taolinux.org/http://www.centos.org/All are legal and well known by the _legal_ department of Red Hat and accepted/approval/recognized.There is also Fedora (free and free(dom)) :http://fedora.redhat.com/RHEL 4 will be based on FC3.Red Hat acquired Sistina (also known for his proprietory GFS) for 31 M$ :http://www.redhat.com/about/presscenter/2003/press_sistina.htmlAll the source is now GPL and available here :http://sources.redhat.com/cluster/Many distributor use code copyrighted by Red Hat (don’t worry, it’s (L)GPL). Is this a problem for the OSS community ?NO ! 2004-10-09 11:45 am To me SUN looks like dull adult badmouthing an intelligent kid in public, and trying to justify their actions by bribing another kid with candy to tell onlookers that first kid is just an insignificant kid.If RedHat is so insignificant, why is SUN so scared? Why is sun sending out people like this author and “simba” to badmouth RedHat?Its not only childish, it’s desperate.This is the reason:Just because SUN/MS has been part of the IT industry “yesterday”, they think they own it “today” so they vehemently attack anyone with a new modern business model.For a threat to push MS and SUN together, it must be great indeed. I say RedHat must be doing something right. 2004-10-09 1:01 pm @somebody“For refference, the moment that Sun sided with Microsoft, Sun died for me, so it would be no use of explaining otherwise to me”Well, I am glad we got that cleared up. It’s amazing howpeople who advocate openness can’t see past the end of theirnoses.@David“”Why is that? Why didn’t Novell get so hard, or IBM, or Microsoft or Apple? Why? Please tell me why. I’ll tell you why if you can’t come up with an answer.” ”If you look at the stock history you will see Sun rocketedout of proportion in the dot.com boom. When the bubbleburst Sun simply had more of a correction. Ihave never said the company did this particularly well.However, the company is not dead because of it.Also, I think you would find IBM couldn’t buy out Suneven if it wanted to.And about Redhat being free. Last time I looked it wasn’tfree at all unless you wanted to be a beta tester. Who,honestly, in their right mind would deploy this ina production environment. If you want to compare applesto apples then compare the enterprise pretender (RHEL) toSolaris and see which one costs less and has lower TCO(which DOES matter despite what certain ignoramuses wouldhave you believe). Redhat costs more to license andmaintain than Solaris on X86 hardware. And Drazen, opensource != open standards. Moving off Redhat is no easierthan moving off Solaris, you are just as locked in. Redhatknow this which is why the hooked people on the lost costthing and have no radically bumped up their licensingcosts. They are BUSINESS out to make as much MONEY as theycan (the same as Sun, IBM, HP MS etc.) – they are a publiccompany for gods sake. If they don’t make money they arefucked as well. Did anyone else read the articles aboutRedhat execs bragging about how hard it is to get offRedhat?http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/09/01/sun_dt_federated_deal/(link to wachovia audiocast at bottom) 2004-10-09 1:14 pm I think that GPL software, especially Linux has made it possible for a few vendors to enter the market and profit where otherwise they would be locked out. One of the questions to be answered is what will vendors build ontop of a level playing field established by GPL software.You will generally recieve a higher quality product when there is healthy competition driving the market forward. If a company gets too big than it moves up vertially and establishes itself in a new market. I think that sun is falling down, and as people in other articles have stated, they will try to drag other organizations down with them, much like the SCO. Anyway, none of this matters because they are all basically offering similar things, just different paths. This is not interesting, it’s not what people should look forward too. How does an individual empower themselves when software is such a huge enterprise, and the millions of lines of code needed to implement a system can’t be written by an individual. That’s what needs to change, a person, an individual needs to be able to write ten or twenty million lines of code. Whatever it takes, that’s the result that would open a new paradigm. 2004-10-09 1:32 pm And about Redhat being free. Last time I looked it wasn’tfree at all unless you wanted to be a beta tester.If you mean free as in costs nothing, just get Fedora or White Box. If you mean free as in Free Software, well all software that Red Hat makes is open source, and most of the software they distribute (they do distribute some proprietary third party software). Otherwise, things like White Box Linux wouldn’t be possible.Redhat costs more to license and maintain than Solaris on X86 hardware.Very possible. But that doesn’t make Red Hat evil. If Red Hat’s offerings are more expensive and/or inferior to Sun’s products, Sun and it’s fans have nothing to be afraid of.And Drazen, open source != open standardsIt of course depends on your definition of the word “standard”. If the software is open-source licensed, it’s always possible (both technically and legally) to reimplement any format or protocol that the software uses. Compare this to e.g. the protocol that Sun Rays uses. Why aren’t there any free implementations of that?Moving off Redhat is no easier than moving off Solaris, you are just as locked in.What exactly makes it so hard to migrate from Red Hat to e.g. SuSE or Debian or any other Linux-based distro? Or you could just run White Box and by your support/services from some other company. Do you have an actual study to base your claims on or are you just repeating the FUD spread by Schwartz/McNealy? What non-Sun operating system is as similar to Solaris as the various other distros are to RH? 2004-10-09 2:58 pm Drazen wrote“Moving off Redhat is no easier than moving offSolaris, you are just as locked in.”What exactly makes it so hard to migrate from Red Hatto e.g. SuSE or Debian or any other Linux-based distro?What makes the migration hard is that your employer refusesto pay for it.Forget all this “migration is easy” stuff — if you arerunning a business (which is what Sun and RedHat areboth doing), then you have financial constraints to adhereto. You seem to be (again) confusing the actualities ofrunning a business with the ideals of F,OSS. The two dosometimes coincide, but that is not a given.RedHat has apparently (see the Wachovia Securities linkearlier) gloated at just how much money it costsISVs to certify their app on a RedHat distribution. Thatis not, in my mind, a responsible public commentfrom a company which is easy to migrate from. 2004-10-09 3:51 pm Here I have some suggetions for Sun:– Public Relations: It’s amazing to see Mr. McNealy and Mr. Schwartz spend their (very expensive) time to debate with some annonymous < 16 aged kids about enterprise computing. But that’s not their job despite the fact that they do it very poorly. Hire a skilled web journalist, let her collect the responses from the community and prepare the answers for you. My first canditate is Mrs. Loli-Queru 😉– Solaris for X86: That’s the root of the problems. Drop it now! You can create a start up and donate solaris x86 to it. Embrace Linux and ensure that that beast works on every hardware provided by Sun.– Concentrate on Solaris for high end Sparc. Make the transition from low end Linux to high end solaris as smooth as possible. Java can clearly help here.– Alliance with Oracle, SAP and mybe Microsoft. The market is growing very slowly; in the same time, complexity exploded. Help customers to manage that situation.– And last but not least my very personal suggetions: could you please switch JDS from Suse to Debian? 😉 2004-10-09 3:54 pm You sound like someone who got burned by Sun for dropping cobalt and have a lot of bitterness.Not really – I just used something else. But I will never buy a cheap Sun server, especially based on Linux, again because I won’t know what Sun will do with it. Sun had cheap servers with Cobalt and other lines, and burned them. What on Earth makes you think Sun’s ex-customers will give them a second chance?We genuinely believe we have a rock solid product in Solaris, SPARC is not dead (far from it) why the hell shouldn’t we try and sell these things?No problem. Sell me Solaris from end-to-end then. If Solaris isn’t good enough to do this then improve it. If it isn’t drop it and use Linux. Muddying the waters, and almost certainly deliberately making Linux a second class citizen is a strategy that will backfire right in your face.Why do you persist on referring to Sun as expensive, proprietary and over engineered?Because that’s the well-formed perception. Sun have had cheap servers for years that did a good job, and they have insisted on simply using them as leverage to get you to buy SPARC, Solaris and over-engineering. This new cheap x86 strategy is absolutely nothing new.Can you please define how Sun is a niche player? it’s really not clear to me from where I am sitting. You talk as if linux is all pervasive.Sun is losing money and losing business in exactly the areas I’ve described. Will you be willing to bite the bullet and give customers an x86 solution when they have had SPARC before and give them the confidence they need to go forward with it? Sun have institutionally never been able to do this.Do you have numbers regarding linux deployments in order to make this statement?I don’t think anyone has, but we know it’s happening. What we do have is Sun’s bottom line, the fact that they have lost seven billion in revenue from three years ago and the desperate comments of those in charge. Two and two pretty much makes four.I don’t think the OS market is commoditized nor is it looking like it will be. If you want certified apps on linux which distro do you run?If it comes down to it, you’ll have to let go of Solaris. The OS market is being commoditized, and if you wonder what Linux distro you should run you should talk to people running Oracle on Red Hat or Suse. I would imagine that all of Novell’s stuff will be certified on their distro, as will Red Hat’s. If you want a firewall, or simply to run Samba in a dozen locations then you can get a smaller company to stick Debian or Mandrake around and support it where it makes sense. On the other hand you can get Novell and Red Hat to do it everywhere.You do know that Solaris on x86 is cheaper than Redhat?Possibly yes, but it depends on what you do with it in the future and what Sun decides to charge for over-engineering on the top. Solaris on x86 means competing and taking a massive revenue hit for the sake of survival. Sun just aren’t going to do that. 2004-10-09 3:54 pm Ha, what a bullshit! I work for non-profit organization and when in the beginning of this year we got some funds to expand our network and overall IT infrastructure I got quotes from SuSE, RedHat and Microsoft dealers here (in Russia) and, how do you think, what turned out to be cheaper? Yes, the evil greedy empire Microsoft.And not only it was cheaper, but, unlike “open source” ( I don’t give a shit about openness of the source anyway – although I learnt some c/c++ while at college, I still hardly can imagine myself checking out every line of the source code) – their offerings are consistent, very well integrated and include a LOT of WELL organized documentation – and that’s quite different with browsing forums in hope to find some info to fix something up.And that’s the reason we got HP servers and HP and Cisco network stuff – it’s dependant and well supported.I believe that Sun’s offerings are also backed up with solid warranties and so on. 2004-10-09 4:08 pm JDS is actually a platform neutral term.Given the fact that whether you run Linux or Solaris makes no difference, what is platform neutrality to a customer? If you’re selling people Solaris and it works, then sell Solaris. I warn you now that deliberately selling Linux as a second-class citizen is a strategy that will blow up in your face. You need to have a clear vision for using Linux. If it becomes a spare part in your selling, then it will not reflect well or give a cusomer confidence.You may not be impressed, but IBM certainly isn’t eating their own proverbial dog-food to this degree.Novell is, and they are looking long and hard at the technology which they think will succeed in the long-term.They don’t even have their own Linux desktop to roll-out internally. Gives you a lot of confidence in their AIX and Linux strategies, eh?No one is going to go to IBM for their desktops. They will probably use Novell software running on IBM hardware as they have always done. AIX is dead, and even IBM has largely accepted that with Linux running on their high-end stuff.Rumors have it that high-end x86-64 solutions are in the works. Sun has attuned itself to the realities of the commodity market, and has been aggressive about getting feedback from their customers lately….The fact that Sun has aspects which differenitate it from Dell, HP, RedHat, Microsoft, etc allow them to play well in the commodity market. If everything is commoditized, only the players which can differenitate themselves from their competitors will be successful in an otherwise homogeneous market.Would you be willing to halve your revenue and re-structure further in order to make this strategy work, and then build up from scratch? If you aren’t willing or able to do this then you will never survive in a commodity market.Just because you have a chip on your shoulder doesn’t mean that Sun is dying.A lot of Sun or ex-Sun customers have chips on their shoulders, because this strategy from Sun is nothing new. They have nothing against the company, as you seem to think so, but they just don’t particularly trust them. I see no reason that they would do so now, and Sun’s ex-customers are going to be nigh-on impossible to get back. If the TCO argument is all you have then it’s not a terribly convincing argument. 2004-10-09 10:50 pm Your article is misinformed and misleading on almost every single point. It is hard to choose where to start picking it apart.RedHat has an ongoing tradition of generous contributions to the Open Source community. *Every* software product that is owned and distributed by RedHat is GPL’d! This continues, they haven’t privatized anything. RedHat has developed or purchased many of these distributed products, such as anaconda, rpm, GFS, cygwin, eCos and the Netscape Directory Services. Those things wouldn’t exist without RedHat.RedHat has over the years paid the salaries of hundreds of devlopers and every line of code that those developers have distributed has been GPL’d. This continues, it hasn’t stopped. Alan Cox was employed by RedHat for years and allowed to work on the Linux Kernel and Havoc Pennington was (is?) also. You say that Redhat is a “pretender” in the Open Source world?But then you go on to say that people should use SUN software, none of which is ‘truly’ OpenSource, (in the spirit of the GPL) even when they do show you the some of the source code. Solaris is not free to modify and redistribute, port to other architectures, bind into my own applications. I am not freely licensed to use Solaris with anything other than the hardware I buy from SUN or the license grant (if I buy a Solaris License sans hardware).RedHat is not charging anyone for having, installing or using RedHat Enterprise Linux.(see http://www.redhat.com/advice/ask_shadowman_may02.h tml )Have you read the license that comes with RedHat enterprise Linux CD’s? (it is published on their website) The License says that the content of all the packages on the CD (and the CD compilations themselves) are GPL’d except for a few 3rd party packages (such as IBM’s JDK). These 3rd party packagas are not critical or even important to the system at all. Of course “RedHat” and the logos are trademarks. If you remove the trademarks there is nothing stoping you from creating your own distribution that is the same as RHEL and giving it away for free or using it as much as you want.See http://whiteboxlinux.org/This group is doing exactly as I have described.What RedHat charges for is ‘support & services’ such as their RHN network. They provide all the same packages (source RPMS) on their public FTP site for free, they just don’t provide free access to their enterprise system patch management system and phone/e-mail support. Their documentation, knowledge bases and such are all available for free on the web as well.RedHat has filled a necessary market niche. I agree with you that it may be misguided, but there are many IS/IT managements who won’t support installation of a OS/apps that aren’t backed by an expensive/pretentious/professional appearing organization. RedHat fills that niche. RedHat has a fixed release and support cycle for versions of their Enterprise Linux product. This allows 3rd party software vendors to gather around a stable platform and do development/documentation/QA on a stable platform target. Oracle, Veritas, BEA’s Weblogic, Remedy, Netcool, Lotus Notes, DB2, SAP etc… are large enterprise software suites that can be “certified” for a stable (non-moving) well documented OS platform.RedHat has provided their certification labs. And I can now get hardware/OS/software stack that is all certified by their respected vendors so that I know I have a supported platform.Then you compare one of the highest prices for RedHat Enterprise Linux with the cost of Microsoft licenses. You completely ignore the fact that on a Microsoft OS I will need to buy a volume manager/enterprise file system (if I have large storage requirements), I will have to buy a backup solution (like veritas netback or legato). I will have to buy a Virus Scanner license/subscription. I will likely need a firewall product as well. I may need client licenses for my Exchange mail service or IIS application service. I might need a Microsoft Office license or a photoshop license. If I need terminal services the license costs go up fast. SQL licenses…With Redhat Enterprise Linux I have all of these types of things either built in (one cost) or I don’t need them (such as the virus issue).Plus you pick $2,499/year as your cost to compare with. You can buy Redhat Edge Server Basic subscription for only $349 per year (and remember you don’t *have* to pay this to use, modify, redistribute the software as long as you want) you just can’t redistribute the content of the services/support. (i.e. redistribute or multiplex the RHN service or use one support contract for a whole data center of systems)The $2,499/year subscription cost is for PREMIUM ADVANCED SERVER which is for 24/7 phone support on hardware including IBM Power Architecture servers (up to 32 processors and 64GB RAM.)http://www-1.ibm.com/servers/eserver/iseries/hardware/medlarge/890/http://www.redhat.com/software/rhel/purchase/index.htmlI don’t think I have ever heard of a support contract for 24×7 phone support for an OS/firewall/web/application/DNS/directory/mail/news/file server with 32 processors for $2,499 from Microsoft or SUN? Am I wrong? Please show me! I have 8×5 support from SUN for a 4 CPU system at my office and it costs me more than that per year, and I am not entitled to see the source code, modify it, update it myself, incorporate it and build upon it into my own projects… My application stack and in-house developed/integrated system is locked into a product lifecycle that is driven by SUN and Oracle and Veritas.With the RedHat product I could choose to buy the Redhat support if I wanted to use their very nice web services to manage my software patches and server inventory.Or I could pay the basic rate for the minimum license necessary to support my hardware (as low as $179) and then not renew my subscription to support and RHN. I would still have unlimited access to the public ftp site where all the security/updates are released. I would just have to manage their building and installation myself. Or I could go really cheap and just use whitebox linux (or build it myself).These are all legal and open, RedHat couldn’t stop me even if they wanted too.I totally don’t understand your article. Your argument seems flat on every charge. 2004-10-10 2:02 am Given the fact that whether you run Linux or Solaris makes no difference, what is platform neutrality to a customer? If you’re selling people Solaris and it works, then sell Solaris. I warn you now that deliberately selling Linux as a second-class citizen is a strategy that will blow up in your face. You need to have a clear vision for using Linux. If it becomes a spare part in your selling, then it will not reflect well or give a cusomer confidence.Platform netutrality is arguably important to customers. It certainly implies that they’re not locked-into a particular platform. The point is that JDS is a set of desktop components that Sun is selling as an alternate desktop to Windows. You can run it on Linux, you can run it on Solaris, and if Sun was so inclined, you could probably run it on Cygwin on Windows.I guess I don’t understand your point here. Sun is selling Linux or Solaris, whatever the customer wants. Sun started selling Linux after customers started showing up and asking to buy their hardware with Linux on it.No one is going to go to IBM for their desktops. They will probably use Novell software running on IBM hardware as they have always done. AIX is dead, and even IBM has largely accepted that with Linux running on their high-end stuff.Yeah, obviously. However, you stated that Sun was rolling out JDS internally because they had no confidence that they had a worthwhile end-to-end Solaris solution. I pointed out that JDS works on Solaris and Linux, and that IBM isn’t doing anything with Linux on the desktop. The implication here, and perhaps I should’ve stated it instead, was that if IBM doesn’t even have a Linux deskop strategy, aren’t they even further away from having an end-to-end Linux strategy? (Hint: they’re missing one end…)Would you be willing to halve your revenue and re-structure further in order to make this strategy work, and then build up from scratch? If you aren’t willing or able to do this then you will never survive in a commodity market.I don’t generate enough revenue to sell anything in volume, and am not in a commodity market myself. However, as far as Sun goes, I assume that you’ve noticed what has happened to their revenue in the recent past. They had a huge sales boost last quarter, but the point is, yes. They’re continuing to restructure to sell servers in volume. They’ve got a bunch of incentives to give away servers when you buy software, software when you buy servers, and to sell systems from end-to-end instead of just components. Sun is restructuring its incentives for its Sales department to give them much more rewards for selling Solaris x86[-64], and x86[-64] hardware. They’re actively trying to combat the erosion of their sales at the low end, and re-attune the salesforce to the needs of these customers. 2004-10-10 2:22 am Um, but I thought Red Hat was proprietary. And that their customers were all locked in to using RH.Go back and re-read my comments. I never stated that RedHat was proprietary. As far as being locked-in goes, that’s pretty arguable. On one hand, most ISVs are only willing to certify on a small number of platforms. So, lock-in is dependent upon what software you need, and what you can run it on. But, since RedHat releases the source to all of its projects, you could theoretically obtain the source and make it work on whatever distro you happen to have moved to. Now, that assumes you can get everything to work like it did on RedHat before, and that you can run your other software without support from your ISV. (Who won’t support you if you’re not running on a certified platform). So, are you locked in? It sounds to me like neither alternative is optimal.Sun has said it would free Solaris at several points. I’ll believe it when I see it.*shrug* Don’t take my word for it then. It’s supposed to be released sometime this year. And when it is, go see it for yourself.Well, *all* of Red Hat’s software is open source. What about Java, JDS, Sun Ray? Lots of companies, including Microsoft, contribute to open-source projects and sell products that run on “open operating systems”. I do think comparing openness is pretty relevant.How is it relevant then? You’re claiming that RedHat is somehow a better company because all of their software is open? I don’t think that directly correlates to whether a company is good or not. If SCO open-sourced all of their software tomorrow, would you change your opinion of them and think that they’re a *great* company? Would you switch to using OpenUnixWare? 2004-10-10 11:04 am @zerblat“Very possible. But that doesn’t make Red Hat evil. If Red Hat’s offerings are more expensive and/or inferior to Sun’s products, Sun and it’s fans have nothing to be afraid of.”Who said Redhat were evil? Redhats products, currently, aremore expensive than Sun’s equivalent. Better or not? dependson what you want to do. I would say that the support isbetter from Sun.“It of course depends on your definition of the word “standard”. If the software is open-source licensed, it’s always possible (both technically and legally) to reimplement any format or protocol that the software uses. Compare this to e.g. the protocol that Sun Rays uses. Why aren’t there any free implementations of that?”Riiiighhht. I think the majority of enterprises wouldn’tfind this very interesting.“What exactly makes it so hard to migrate from Red Hat to e.g. SuSE or Debian or any other Linux-based distro? Or you could just run White Box and by your support/services from some other company. Do you have an actual study to base your claims on or are you just repeating the FUD spread by Schwartz/McNealy? What non-Sun operating system is as similar to Solaris as the various other distros are to RH?”You obviously didn’t follow the link I posted. The factthat you can run linux is irrelevent. Most people need torun apps. Most people run apps on systems that arecertified by their ISV. How many linux distros do you thinkOracle certify on? this is the whole fucking point of whatSun are saying. In the enterpise market where the majorityof customers require software support and ISV certificationthen Redhat == linux. This ALL Sun are actually saying andthat compared to Sun they do not have the infrastructure todo it as well. Redhat actually estimate it costs $4m to movedistro, most people haven’t got that to burn hence lock in.@David“Because that’s the well-formed perception.”Huh? You don’t care if the ‘perception’ is based on realityor not then?. This is what I alluded to earlier when Imentioned hype. Sun is still on a big roll of anti-hypeafter the dot.com boom.Sun is totally comitted to Solaris x86 now. Seriously. Ithas absolutely equal billing internally. However, x86platforms do not support the same levels of RAS andmanageability that SPARC platforms provide, Sun stillbelieve this is a key differentiator in a lot of markets.Performance is rarely a criticial aspect as long as it’sgood enough. Most of the criticism seems to stem from Sunsaudacity in saying that their products serve the customerbetter than Redhats and they are going to compete with them.Things techonolgy wise at Sun are great. Solaris 10 reallyis a leap ahead of anything else out there. USIV+ is onschedule. Niagara is on schedule. Honestly, you may hateSun but at least they ARE innovating still. 2004-10-10 5:57 pm Platform netutrality is arguably important to customers. It certainly implies that they’re not locked-into a particular platform.It’s the software that is platform neutral. Sun selling both Linux and Solaris just doesn’t make any sense as a strategy. Lock-in is more than just locking something to one platform. You can do that through weight of develoment or even support agreements.The implication here, and perhaps I should’ve stated it instead, was that if IBM doesn’t even have a Linux deskop strategy, aren’t they even further away from having an end-to-end Linux strategy? (Hint: they’re missing one end…)IBM are cleverly getting others to do that, with none of the risk on their part. If it works, then they’ll have a desktop strategy. 2004-10-10 5:59 pm Huh? You don’t care if the ‘perception’ is based on reality or not then?If that’s the perception that customers have, what else matters? You then have to ask yourself why. 2004-10-11 3:01 am A whole lot of reading on this subject. But let me tell you in my humble experience the past few releases of RedHat/Fedora, sucked big ones. I am in the process of swithching over to Debian, which looks much more promissing.(Could be the user)I can’t belive Solaris still exists after the crappy 2.5 on x86 platform. The only thing that I can’t seem to grasp is why on earth a unix platform like BSD is so robust and stable and on the other hand a Sun version of System V is nowhere close.