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Sun Microsystems

Sun's Schwartz Speaks Out on Linux, SCO 448

An anonymous reader writes "In an interview with eWeek Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's executive vice president for software, states: "We do not believe that Linux plays a role on the server. Period. If you want to buy it, we will sell it to you, but we believe that Solaris is a better alternative, that is safer, more robust, higher quality and dramatically less expensive in purchase price.". Also: "IBM is being so hypocritical. If the issue is a non-issue, why don't they indemnify their customers?""
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Sun's Schwartz Speaks Out on Linux, SCO

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  • Duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Exiler ( 589908 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:21AM (#7017953)
    'We believe you should buy our product instead'

    This is news?
  • what do you expect (Score:5, Insightful)

    by b17bmbr ( 608864 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:22AM (#7017959)
    sun is getting killed by lintel. what else they gonna say. of course, it makes him look desperate and stupid.
    • by Paracelcus ( 151056 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:32AM (#7018028) Journal
      IMHO, Solaris is a great product, Solaris on Intel
      is, for all intents FREE, but it does NOT compete with Linux, it requires much more effort to set up correctly, has far fewer applications available and because it is the domain of a single monolithic corporation it does not have the rapid pace of development of either Linux or the BSD's.

      Personally I use Solaris, I also use Linux and FreeBSD, God help me I even use Wingoze, let's not speak ill of any *nix no matter how ridiculous the statements their corporate brass might issue.
      • by Bull999999 ( 652264 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @12:06PM (#7018267) Journal
        Solaris for Intel isn't really free. First, you'll have to pay to download it. Second, the "free" version has restrictions, as it is restricted to uniprocessor machines and you can't use it for commerical purposes.
      • by Wavicle ( 181176 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @12:08PM (#7018282)
        Solaris on Intel is, for all intents FREE

        How do you figure? Is $20 free [sun.com]? Is $95 free? Having paid $20, which is strictly the cost of the media (huh? downloading software is cost of media what??) can I give my copy of Solaris to a friend?

        My last version of RedHat cost me $0.12 in media thanks to a 200 pack of CD-Rs I got with a fat mail-in rebate came out to 4 cents a piece (I'm willing to pay 4 cents a CD to get copies of Knoppix into the hands of windows users). Oh, 12 cents plus whatever the electricity cost was (probably another 12 cents).

        From where I sit, a "free" version of Solaris is two orders of magnitude more expensive than the "free" versions of RedHat, Mandrake, Debian, Gentoo or several others I'm sure I could find.
    • by platypus ( 18156 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @12:02PM (#7018240) Homepage
      I'm thinking exactly the same. When I read that interview, I just though "Damn, sun must be worse off than I thought".

      While there's still quite some way to go, sun has taken a good step in the direction of very creative public relation management [welovethei...nister.com].

      Really, read the following quote if you don't believe me:

      I expect to take 10 percent of the market in the first year. Ten percent of a $30 billion a year desktop market is huge. So, is it going to be more than 10 percent? I hope so, but in the next year I'd like to get a million users. There's a hundred million computers sold every year, I want to be in front of a million of those and two-million the next year.


  • Purchase price.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SUB7IME ( 604466 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:23AM (#7017967)
    Can someone please explain to me how the purchase price of Solaris is less than that of Linux?

    Cost of ownership maybe cheaper, sure. And warranties/support options as well. But what is cheaper up-front than free?
    • by Nucleon500 ( 628631 ) <tcfelker@example.com> on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:27AM (#7017986) Homepage
      Remember, Linux isn't free, it's $699.
    • All the prices you see on the sun website are negatives... They're all just the amounts they're willing to pay you for using it.
    • They're probably comparing Solaris pricing to things like Red Hat Enterprise.
      • by metallicagoaltender ( 187235 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:36AM (#7018064) Homepage
        And when it comes to the high-end, corporate market, it's a pretty valid comparison.

        If you went into a VP's office with CD-Rs of Slackware (or your favorite distro) and tried to sell those as being better than Solaris, you probably wouldn't get very far based upon name recognition and perception of stability.

        However, if you went in there and compared Solaris against Red Hat Enterprise, you'd have a better shot at selling the Linux angle, because Red Hat has taken the Enterprise line and given it the perception of being superior to 'normal' Linux and packaged it with all the support.

        Perception is reality with management, so in most corporate environments, smaller Linux distros won't even enter the equation. Though I disagree somewhat with Schwartz's comments, I can't say I fault his logic or his analogy.
    • by smallpaul ( 65919 ) <paul@prescod. n e t> on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:34AM (#7018045)
      He's talking about a total package.

      "...dramatically less expensive in purchase price. How much is the nearest competitor's cheapest enterprise offering? And it doesn't come with a portal server, application server, Web server messaging, calendaring, clustering, high availability services and directory services provisioning. Give me a break."

      Of course he is probably discounting open source versions of all of those things. But if he does that, what is he going to say about Sun's database strategy? I can only assume that all of these things run (by default) on an open source database because I don't think that Sun has the right to re-license Oracle at $100.00/head. Any real enterprise is going to want to run these things on a commercial database which makes it hard for Sun to compete with Oracle's application suite.
      • "...dramatically less expensive in purchase price. How much is the nearest competitor's cheapest enterprise offering? And it doesn't come with a portal server, application server, Web server messaging, calendaring, clustering, high availability services and directory services provisioning."

        Proper response: Yeah, but at least it comes with a C compiler so when I download that stuff I can actually build it...

        • by dAzED1 ( 33635 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @12:19PM (#7018380) Homepage Journal
          obviously you've either never installed solaris, or you are just a troll.
          Beyond other compilers available post-initial-build, there is a CD that comes with the system called the "solaris software companion." On it is the gnu c compiler suites versions 2.95 and 3.2. Since you don't have any solaris administration experience obviously, I'll throw out a web site that anyone who has done a week of solaris administration would know. Then a few years from now, you'll know it when you need it.
          the main solaris freeware site [sun.com]
          Oh, I could toss out a few others, but really - that software companion CD comes with the solaris OS set anyway.
          A little pkgadd, and bam - you're there. No worries - you can gui the install too.
          • by Trailer Trash ( 60756 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @12:44PM (#7018566) Homepage
            Sorry to burst your little bubble, but I do admin a solaris box. It comes with a crippled C compiler that doesn't compile anything.

            I'm old enough to remember the hubbub when Sun originally announced that they weren't going to ship with a C compiler as part of the base package anymore. It was a big deal, but just part of McFeely's ongoing "this is an appliance" routine.

            I know all about the Sun "freeware" site, but giving me gcc is a really bad booby prize compared to their own compiler.

            Say what you want, Sun does not like Free software any better than Microsoft.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        He's including a full suite of server software: database, SMB fileservers, calendaring, messaging, etc.

        He forgets that Sun's calendar system is iplanet based, one of the less manageable webservers on the planet, you can't patch the source code to it, it's not well documented, and their SMB and messaging systems suffer from the same proprietary cores and lack of cross-compatibility.

        Hell, the NIS service that Sun *invented* is implemented *far* more securely, flexibly, and with better documentation and conf
        • by kindbud ( 90044 )
          And they *still* use a native compiler that is fast on Sun's, but is non-ANSI compliant,

          Just like gcc.

          can't deal with cross-platform compatible code,

          Meaning it can't deal with GCC-isms that no other compiler supports, including older versions of gcc.

          And they still use "compress" instead of "gzip",

          No, they use gzip now, and have been doing so for over four years. Guess that shows how little you've been paying attention to Solaris.

          And have you ever tried to *use* pkginfo to manage packages?

          Ye
  • Well,well (Score:5, Funny)

    by O2n ( 325189 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:23AM (#7017968) Homepage
    "we believe that Solaris is a better alternative, that is safer, more robust, higher quality and dramatically less expensive in purchase price."

    In other news, Ford recommends Ford cars, Dell have a high cosideration of Dell products and McD suggests we all eat a hamburger.

    What's wrong with people today?
    • You know it must be true when Sun says Solaris is better. Expect for the Intel version, since they admitted that it sucked. I always buy Sun branded underware, and nothing wipes your ass better can the Sun Solaris, Toilet Paper Edition(TM).
    • We do not believe that Linux plays a role on the server. Period. If you want to buy it, we will sell it to you

      So basically, we hold to our convictions unless we can make some dough!
  • by SpaceLifeForm ( 228190 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:24AM (#7017971)
    Obviously smoking the same stuff as SCO.
    • by cybrthng ( 22291 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @12:26PM (#7018441) Journal
      Sun sells to corporations. Sun doesn't really care about someone running solaris or linux on a home pc at this point.

      They want a corporate network with thousands of pc's networked off sun "big iron".

      To point out something. This month NEC released the first TRUELY "hot swappable" linux server. Its an OLD Quad P3 800mhz for nearly $26,000 that runs a hacked version of linux on a hacked kernel to support the features NEC needed.

      On the other hand i can get a Quad CPU Sun V880 with 8 gigs of memory, redundant everything and run solaris 8, solaris 9 and every solaris app off the shelf for about 6 grand more. Were talking a 900 to 1000mhz Ultra Sparc 64bit CPU with 8 megs e-cache vs a pentium 3. With solaris 9 i can swap out CPU boards on a live system, i have all the big apps i need and not locked into a particular vendor. Should i'm locked into SUN, but i'm not locked into only running sun software. If you buy an HA linux solution today you most likely have to work with that vendor to get the software certified.

      Do the math. For corporations that NEED mission critical use of UNIX servers, linux is NOT the cheapest solution when you figure in your total costs.

      I pay 99.00 for solaris, and thats just the media. i can download the sparc iso's for free, but i like have media locked in cabinets for boot disks if necessary.
      • I'm not sure what definition of "truely hot-swappable" you're using. But from either HP or IBM you can get fully-supported Itanium2 and Power4 machines respectively that run Linux and allow you to hot-swap PCI cards, disks, fans, power supplies, and IIRC even CPUs and memory. I don't know if they'll be any cheaper than Sun, but you're incorrect in saying you can't buy them.

        There have also been custom very-high-availability redundant i386 Linux boxes for a few years now.

        Hot-swap support [rustcorp.com.au] went into the st
  • Linux Cola (Score:2, Insightful)

    What a foolish statement. It's as if people were to start really wanting Pepsis so bad that Coke had to start selling them. Then Coke goes and says "We'll sell you Pepsi cause you want it and we love taking your money, but Coke is a better cola" This is also assuming Pepsi came out with a way to make the cola at home for free and let you alter the formula, then sell it as your own cola.
    • This is essentially what they did when they came out with "New Coke," but it was so ludicris, disgusting, and to throngs of people, an affront to American culture that they went back to "CocaCola Classic"
  • Yanno (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:32AM (#7018026)
    Scott McNealy used to always say gravity was on his side. I used to wonder how he figured that since you had IBM, and all the other big iron makers dropping in from above and back then it was microsoft and intel setting up a rockhard floor for him to be squished on.

    Sun is now in quite the pickle. Sparcstations arent a contender for the desktop. Their server sales are being trashed by Linux on Intel, and Linux on mainframe.

    Their latest play MadHatter looks nice but so does lindows,suse, and redhat. The latter 3 have one great thing going for them, they are one time licenses not perpetual service contracts like mad hatter.

    Its no wonder that they paid SCO a licenses fee and are now dissing Linux. Its also no wonder that Bill Joy left the company.
    • Re:Yanno (Score:2, Interesting)

      by questamor ( 653018 )
      Surely a sun workstation would be a very useful machine? I don't know much about their specs or how they compare, but aren't they pretty much equivalent to Apple in their workstation reputation?
    • Well, I suppose that if there will never be any more security threats then you'll never need an update, but I suspect that most organizations have thrown up their hands and accepted the fact that every so often, you gotta pay the man.

      This doesn't change whether it's Linux, Windows, or Solaris - only the METHOD changes and only you can decide whether you can live with the terms.

  • by OS24Ever ( 245667 ) * <trekkie@nomorestars.com> on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:32AM (#7018030) Homepage Journal
    When Sun released Mad Hatter and I posted this comment [slashdot.org] regarding why we as an open source community would support this I got lots of interesting responses about how 'they're not all that against' linux.

    Once again they show their true colors. They see linux as something stupid that the people want but they know better. They are out of their league. They keep harping on IBM not indemnifying their customers from the SCO debacle. Why should IBM a primarily hardware & services company indemnify their customers for using Linux? They don't do it with MS, they don't do it with zOS, AIX, or OS/400.

    MS got sued and LOST with the plugin thing, hell MS got sent up in front of the justice department. Should a hardware vendor such as IBM or Dell have to protect their customers from that? No, they don't.

    Sun is the dinosaur in this market. They make second rate hardware that is over priced and underperformed. Why else would they never want to run a TPC benchmark and keep ballyhooing 'real world' tests when they come in and try to convince you to buy their hardware? They stopped making benchmarks the day they stopped winning them and got behind. Ultrasparc 4 was to save the world yet we still haven't seen it. Now little Intel machines that cost less than the yearly maintenance of the 'inexpensive' Sun boxes can run circles around them on Linux.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      They make second rate hardware that is over priced and underperformed

      Anyone that has used Sun hardware would not say this. Tell us about your experience with Sun.

      Why else would they never want to run a TPC benchmark and keep ballyhooing 'real world' tests when they come in and try to convince you to buy their hardware.

      Because even the other vendors and TPC themselves admit it's outdated. Do you make your server purchasing decisions based on a single benchmark?

      Ultrasparc 4 was to save the world yet
    • Because they believe they have a better product than Linux, they're "against open source"?

      Er, ok. I would have thought the fact they're responsible for a sizable chunk of open source would prove the opposite. But, obviously, "Loving Linux" is the real test of whether you're against open source or not. I assume you'd go into meltdown if they said they hate Linux, think it's the worst operating system ever written, and BTW, they think FreeBSD is cool.

  • Yeah Right (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jak163 ( 666315 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:33AM (#7018035)
    Schwartz said: I expect to take 10 percent of the market in the first year. Ten percent of a $30 billion a year desktop market is huge. So, is it going to be more than 10 percent? I hope so, but in the next year I'd like to get a million users. There's a hundred million computers sold every year, I want to be in front of a million of those and two-million the next year.

    Ten percent in the first year? What is he kidding? I think reporters should really ask for some sort of substantiation for claims like this. 10 percent would be a seismic shift in the computing industry. This is not a realistic prediction.

    eWEEK: So, does the uncertainty around Linux benefit Sun and Solaris?

    Schwartz: We have an interesting migration opportunity now because we can go back with Unix that is familiar, we can deliver the Java Enterprise System pricing at $100 per employee, which allows them to run Solaris at infinite scale.

    His playbook is obviously to avoid mentioning "linux" and just substitute "Java Desktop System" at every opportunity. He is disguising the fact that they have in fact adopted a third-party linux distribution for desktops. This is the kind of corporate bs that gets slashdotters on Sun's case.

  • Bad PR (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nucleon500 ( 628631 ) <tcfelker@example.com> on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:33AM (#7018039) Homepage
    I think Sun is making a major mistake by not distancing themselves as much as possible from SCO. They're now drinking the SCO Kool-aid (see the "indemnification" comments), and generally taking advantage of the situation. Perhaps it looks good from where they're sitting, but I think it will backfire. Ignoring Linux, while not wise, is understandable. Repeating SCO's FUD, and possibly funding them, is a Very Bad Thing.
  • Suns Niche Market (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kevin_conaway ( 585204 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:36AM (#7018060) Homepage
    Possibly he was speaking of Suns niche market which caters to organizations that still need a big iron machine to do their work for them (or at least they think they do). This is where Sun shines. In regards to his statement about Linux not belonging on the server, well what do you expect him to say? Sun sells competing software for a server os. Just because they sell a desktop version of Linux doesnt mean they are going to throw away and disregard their crown jewel for it
  • by abe ferlman ( 205607 ) <(bgtrio) (at) (yahoo.com)> on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:36AM (#7018062) Homepage Journal
    I have licenses to all those issues that SCO is suing IBM for. If I didn't have them, I certainly wouldn't indemnify them.

    So do I buddy. It's right here [fsf.org].

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:40AM (#7018084)
    Doesn't this all seem far too familiar to a lot of you out there? Here we see another veteran UNIX company that has fallen on hard times, pretending to embrace Linux but speaking out of both sides of their mouth. Right now Sun is getting press through their Linux efforts, which they desperately need. At the same time, it's clear they don't really like Linux, and would rather not be promoting it. Linux beat them, and now they are begrudgingly pushing it, a little. If their financial situation gets dire, Linux will be the first enemy they'll look to even the score with. After all, it's all our fault what happened to them.
  • by linuxislandsucks ( 461335 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:40AM (#7018085) Homepage Journal
    How does a billion dollar company keep makign thse big goofs..

    First implying that they will indemify a cusotmer against frivouls lawsuits on copyright infringment..remeber users are never sued in a copyright matter becasue there is no legal basis to do so..

    Two, saying linxu on servers is a non issue when in fact Unix software OS dying such as Solaris is a reality..take a look at Sun's last quarter statement on rpofit and loss to see why..

  • Indemnity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brian Blessed ( 258910 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:41AM (#7018088)
    I really wish Sun would stop going on about indemnity. Scwartz says:

    We will also indemnify you for Solaris, and if IBM says you don't need it, then why do they have so many lawyers suing people over patent and copy violations.
    But he must know that users do not need indemnifying against such violations.
    Then:

    If you use Linux on the server, even if we sold the distribution to you, you are on your own.
    He continues on and on about it. Sun are obsessed with this at the moment because they think they can worry PHBs. However the danger for them is that people purchasing Linux servers (an increasing market) will avoid Sun because they are really only interested in selling Solaris.

    - Brian.
  • by Morgaine ( 4316 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:41AM (#7018089)
    I know why he says that Solaris is dramatically less expensive than Linux. It's because he works for Sun and therefore doesn't pay Sun's massive rates for service contracts. :-)

    Seriously, Sun's post-sales services are pretty good, but nobody ever said they were cheap. Or not too expensive. Or not even just very expensive. The only word that comes to mind for decent cover is exhorbitant.

    A top-end Sun service contract costs many many times the total cost of a Linux server system, including all its hardware, software, and permanent supply of Jolt cola, so clearly the man is engaged in baseless PR.
    • And it isn't corporate profits.

      The reason is that the levels of support are incomparable.

      Sun will debug down to the driver level and on to the hardware if needed in order to support their customers.

      The Intel based vendors will tell you to reboot and then that sorry, X isn't supported with Y.

      Of course, you needn't buy a top end support contract if you don't want it.

    • Did you ever had to deal with Sun Support?

      I have and I can tell you they are worth every penny.

      When our main DB Server died a couple of very very horrible deaths Sun flew one of their engineers in from the States and they took the thing apart, spare parts where there within the hour (try that in Toronto Rush hour traffic) and General the moment I opened a call I had someone on site without as much as a flinch.

      Was it "expensive"? Not if you consider the amount of money the company was loosing while the server was down (and yes, it should have been clustered, but they didn't see a need for it until it went away, now it's on a 6800 and clustered).

      M.
  • Fuzzy math (Score:4, Interesting)

    by smallpaul ( 65919 ) <paul@prescod. n e t> on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:42AM (#7018101)

    Am I misunderstanding something about his math?

    expect to take 10 percent of the market in the first year. Ten percent of a $30 billion a year desktop market is huge. So, is it going to be more than 10 percent? I hope so, but in the next year I'd like to get a million users. There's a hundred million computers sold every year, I want to be in front of a million of those and two-million the next year.

    How is 1 or 2 million out of 100 million "10 percent of the market?" Anyhow, 1% of the desktop market in one year is an aggressive goal. 10% is ludicrous. Enterprises are not going to switch desktop operating systems that quickly.

    • Well, it all computes if you understand two "facts":
      1. Of the 100 million computers sold each year, 10 million (10%) are for the desktop.
      2. The average price for each desktop OS is $3000. Sun intends (apparently) to price the same functionality at $100.

      See? It all makes perfect sense.

  • Not indemnified? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by countach ( 534280 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:42AM (#7018103)
    Sun is saying that they WON'T indemnify against Linux use on the server. But given that Sun has a valid UNIX licence, and they can distribute as many UNIX kernels as they wish, how could SCO argue that a Linux user who got their kernel from Sun is not a valid licencee? And how would Sun be able to stand up in court and say that they sold Linux to someone without a valid licence, yet they're not responsible?
  • I do not believe in Solaris on desktops. I am running Linux on my Sun Ultra 5. Period.
  • Rhetoric... (Score:2, Funny)

    by crizh ( 257304 )
    Anyone else care to explain what this actually means?

    "IBM is being so hypocritical. If the issue is a non-issue, why don't they indemnify their customers? And if you don't need to indemnity, why do you have the world's largest patent litigation team inside IBM suing the bejesus out of the entire industry, holding them up for ransom on IP that you claim is yours that they have purloined. Well, go look in the mirror guys. This will tear that company asunder."

    It would seem to be yet another example of a bunc
  • Crack La La Land (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dmaxwell ( 43234 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @11:55AM (#7018189)
    Let me get this straight. This guy is saying that Linux has a place on the desktop but not the server? I thought it was supposed to be the opposite. (I know. I know. Linux desktops are tastier than they used to be.)

    This guy is seriously reaching. He's also wrong about his customers. At one time, if truly necessary, I would have considered Solaris for high IO applications. Not now. He all but came right out and said that SCO is a business partner. I also would have considered purchasing StarOffice at work. Not now.

    Sun you're known by the company you keep. Publically distance yourself from them before you really hurt yourselves.
    • If all the "server" technology is claimed by SCO, then "desktop" linux is all that's left. Frankly, Linux's agnosticism on this issue used to be rather convenient. Installing a few more tarballs is far less of a barrier than installing a whole new "Advanced Enterprise Server Platinum Plus 2003" operating system.
  • Furthermore, we do not believe that the earth is round.

    Linux plays a role in the server market whether you want to "believe" in it or not. His elliptical method of writing is pure corporatese, and serves as a classic example of why Sun is in a pretty scary position right now. Rather than address reality, they're avoiding it with sneaky turns of phrase.

  • by harlows_monkeys ( 106428 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @12:04PM (#7018258) Homepage
    There seem to be five approaches by major (or wannabe major) companies to dealing with Linux:
    1. The Microsoft Approach. Treat it as any other competitor.

    2. The Apple Approach. Cooperate with it somewhat. Use it when you can (e.g., the html handling in Safari), make it easy for people to port Linux stuff to OS X. Specialize in those areas where it is harder for Linux to do well (e.g., user interface). Someday, Linux will be trouble for Apple, perhaps, but for now, they are in separate enough markets that it is not a problem.

    3. The IBM Approach. Embrace it. Become a Linux company. Figure out where the money is to be made in Open Source, and go there, rather than struggling to make Open Source fit in with previous ways to make money.

    4. The SCO Approach. Claim you own it.

    5. The Sun Approach. Even though it is killing you in your core market (servers), pretend that this isn't a problem. Instead, concentrate on the desktop, so you can, if you get very lucky, pick up the crumbs that fall from Apple while they eat Microsoft's table scraps. Meanwhile, continue to try to commoditize hardware by pushing Java, even though you are a hardware company and that's the last thing in the world you should want.
    • There are really only two approaches:

      1. Ignore.
      2. Embrace.

      And of course the SCO option (insanity).

      On the Ignore side: MS, Sun.

      On the Embrace side: IBM, Apple.

      Guess which companies will still be around in 5 years' time?
  • Why in the heck would anyone want to buy Linux from Sun, if their attitude is pretty much "Yeah, we'll sell it to you, but you're on your own"? Hell, if someone wants to give me money to give them a disc, with no obligation to support them, I'll run my CD-R burner into the ground to accomidate them. :)
  • Personal Opinion (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RichiP ( 18379 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @12:16PM (#7018347) Homepage
    My own take on this as a customer is that I DON'T want my service provider to provide me with indemnification. I've a brain and that's how I run my company. No, indemnification from my services provider isn't what I want. What I want is for them to sue any company that threatens me with unfounded claims.

    Fortunately, IBM is doing just that. We will do business with IBM. HP isn't.
  • Sun no longer plays a role on the desktop. (Remember Sun workstations?) Sun's role in servers is declining. Even Sun's role in Java is decreasing; IBM is now the major force in Java, and their stuff actually works.

    Hearing Scott McNealy is like hearing Steve Jobs or Ralph Nader. Your time is over; give it up.

  • by ljavelin ( 41345 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @12:20PM (#7018383)
    Sun is being so hypocritical.

    Why does Sun's license agreement explicitly state that Sun can not be held liable for loses caused by Sun software?

    It sounds like Sun doesn't have faith in their own product line. Should I use Sun products for mission-critical applications? Well, I know that Sun won't stand behind me if I do!
  • by digitalgimpus ( 468277 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @12:28PM (#7018454) Homepage
    I've seen Sun's play real world against Linux.

    Linux is cheap, robust, powerful.

    But when your talking about mission critical, high performance, no-limit systems... your talking about solaris.

    Solaris on one of Sun's boxes is really something. Combined with Netscape Enterprise, and Tomcat.. they are robust. These things really can take a ton of traffic, and not sweat it.

    Not to mention their stability, and security.

    For 90% of websites out there... Linux is the better alternative. They don't need the performance, power, stability of Solaris on Sun hardware. Will 5 minutes of downtime on Flashyourrack.com really kill you? Of course not.

    But when it's a mission critical website, that needs to run... it's Solaris.

    Solaris on Sun hardware hurts the wallet, but it's powerful. They can really take a beating and continue on.
    • But when it's a mission critical website, that needs to run... it's Solaris.

      Of course there are businesses who use their Servers for something else than hosting a website....

      I find the Linux comments always funny when it comes to Linux vs. Sun, it seems all people do here is run Websites, does anybody here actually handle a couple of TB worth of Databases?
      • does anybody here actually handle a couple of TB worth of Databases?


        Yes, on dual Xeons running RedHat. Works great, the only problems we've had have been physical drive failures.

  • by dAzED1 ( 33635 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @12:31PM (#7018487) Homepage Journal
    I have spent several years administrating both linux and solaris (as to be distinguished from the various rantings I've already seen on this thread from people who obviously have not). Now to some extent I disagree with him very much - linux does have a place on servers. Its a matter of which ones though, really.
    In my experience, if you have something that needs to be bulletproof - if you have something that, on the ultra-rare occassion there is a major problem that is beyond an admin's scope to fix, you can toss cores to a group and demand a quick response (if something dies with a linux box, there's really no one you can get lvl3+ support from) - then you put it on a solaris box. Solaris has a wide range of very useful functions and features that have yet to be mimiced in linux yet. It also has FAR better stability.
    On the other hand...if you want to be able to run obscure things, if you want a very versatile and powerful development platform, if you want a cheap but powerful system to do something an enterprise sun box doesn't make sense for, then linux is definately your way to go. If you want to do computational clustering, still linux (though sun's grid engine can still be used, if you want...).
    I've been a linux nut since 95. I have loved seeing it go from a hobby OS to something serious. Score a huge one for the underdog! On a high-end server though, it still has a long way to go to compare to solaris. For an easy dividing-line, I find anything from Sun that isn't a v880 or better to be pointless. Solaris for x86 sucks terribly, and once you're below the v880 line you should just be using an intel or amd (depending, again, on function) system, and running linux as its OS.
    At least, that's my opinion...as someone with actual experiencerunning both. :P
    • by iggymanz ( 596061 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @01:03PM (#7018709)
      I too have spent over 10+ years administering SunOS/Solaris and 5 years with RedHat's distribution of GNU/Linux. I would just add for rock solid stability on the *low* end approaching that of Solaris one should probably use FreeBSD or OpenBSD, not Linux.

      What is Linux as of today (2.4.x kernel, 2.6 isn't ready yet!) missing for higher end servers?
      • Hot plugging for SCSI devices that is reliable (adding and removing can be a mixed bag, it does't always work for all types of devices, especially in SAN situation)
      • Reliable open source volume manager that is rock solid
      • distributed lock management
      • size of single swap partition limited to 2GB
      • high performance filesystem that is also solid. All the journalled filesystems available on Linux can have inconsistency after crash at just the wrong time; also, too many journalling threads can bring system to its knees as during Oracle load. Let's just get a good FFS for Linux already!
  • CPUs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by deanj ( 519759 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @01:04PM (#7018721)
    So, I have to ask, because I don't really know.

    What's the most number of CPUs that you can run in one box under Solaris? Some question for Linux. Can someone answer that for me?

    One of the things that bugged me about Linux when I was paying closer attention to the kernel was that Linus seemed to be completely against finely-grained semaphores in the kernel and basically opted for huge chunks semaphored code instead. In order to be able to take advantage of a high number of CPUs in a system, the Linux kernel is going to have to go to that route, or you'll end up with a lot of CPUs spinning cycles while they wait for other CPUs to finish up whatever they're doing. (That's assuming of course that Linux allows multiple processes in kernel context at the same time, vs. the traditional Unix model).

    Unless Linux can solve this sort of problem, Solaris will have an advantage because they can throw more hardware into one box, and have the kernel take advantage of it.
    • Re:CPUs (Score:4, Interesting)

      by iggymanz ( 596061 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @01:53PM (#7019024)
      Sun says 128 CPUs in their PDF document "Datasheet: the Solaris 9 operating system".

      You can read about 2.4 and 2.6 SMP scalability here [ibm.com] Though Linux can run on 64-way, it is currently best on 8-way or less, with 16 and 32-way improvements still in the works

      Both FreeBSD and Linux started SMP with very coarse mutex methods because it's very HARD to write that stuff. They will get better over time. In Linux, IBM is helping to tune and improve that stuff (and SCO hates it and wants to claim it)
  • by theolein ( 316044 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @01:22PM (#7018832) Journal
    This is very bad PR. Anytime a senior exec starts negatively dissing successful competing products it becomes painfully obvious that the company is hurting. The saddest thing of all is that Sun's hardware is of very good quality and if they made the strategic decision to support Linux on their servers they could have provided good competition to IBM. As it is they will continue to lose customers as more and more companies switch to Linux, which isn't very well supported on Sun hardware. What Sun hasn't noticed is that almost no one is really worried about SCO anymore.
  • by cbreaker ( 561297 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @01:32PM (#7018902) Journal
    Let's face it: The reason Windows is even in the Server market is because of the long standing availability of Windows on the desktop.

    For many years, Windows is what most people have used on the desktop. Young programmers have it at home, and start tinkering around, developing for the platform that's sitting in front of them. Naturally, when you need an application on a server, you go with the platform that you're used to.

    This is where Linux will pull ahead of the likes of Sun. A lot of the new young developers are using Linux. It's highly available and free for download and modification, with no strings attached. You have access to a large variety of development tools. You get the chance to work on development teams, to make a difference in the community. You build your skill-set on this very attractive development platform that is Linux.

    So when the time comes for these new developers to help decide what platform to use in their companies, what will it be? Linux.
  • by dtrent ( 448055 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @01:33PM (#7018904)
    From the article:

    The only operating systems that have credibility on Intel are
    Microsoft Windows, Solaris and Linux. Which one of them does IBM
    do? They don't own their own operating system that runs on the
    volume platform. So they will continue supporting other people's
    platforms. So will HP. While they have done a superb job of telling
    the world that Linux is the future, but sadly it may be true for
    them because they don't own an OS


    It's sad that the former great Unix hardware companies (Sun, SGI,
    Next, Apollo) had to live through times where their product was
    commodotized to a point where they either had to compete with as a
    softare company or die. SGI and NeXT didn't make it, and sun is now
    having to sell their soul to make it as a software company.

    I think IBM (and to a lesser extent, HP) see the big picture here -
    the commoditization of software and re-emergence of premium hardware.
    And if you think about it, isn't that how it should be? You can't
    develop hardware in your basement, and if you could, you certainly
    couldn't afford to mass produce it. It's a good thing: great
    hardware running great open source software.

    P.S. I'm astonished to see the number of Sun apologists on Slashdot.
    They are on a slippery slope right now, the way they are conducting
    themselves. I think Bill Joy saw it and got the hell out. I can sympathize - my first Unix experience was on a Sun, but I'm not about to let nostalgia rule over common sense.
  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <moiraNO@SPAMmodparlor.com> on Sunday September 21, 2003 @02:19PM (#7019190)
    They should emphasis with the Hardware.
    Sun is all about hardware actually. Ranting about Linux this way is silly and unprofessional.
    Solaris may rock on Sun hardware and may be more consitent than Linux. But the case is that in a market that is - believe it or not - dominated by an OS called Windows it's pointless to haggle over details.
    It's x86 that sucks and if Sun would manage to get Sparc architecture more widely used, accepeted and payable they'd actually stand a chance. Sparc is to x86 what Linux is to Dos5/Win3.1. Honestly, think about *anything* that *really* is a pain on PC Linux and you'll find it to be an x86 problem.
    The way Sun plays now, it's going more and more comoditiy hardware as usuall. We'll 'compensate' for Linux' 'unreliability' by clustering with boxen off the shelf of Wallmart and loadbalancing with software that you can get for free of the 'net in 5 minutes flat. And AMD and Intel will just keep churning the Ghz crank - and even make good money while doing so too.
    And in the end we're gonna all rember those times when there once was an architecture that you could hotswap CPUs with but had a management so full of it they died even before all the rest.
    It's a shame, 'cause I really would like to give Sparc a try one time. And believe me, if it's mainly Gnome/Solaris/JBoss or KDE/Linux/Zope or any other way - I really don't give a damn, as long as it is 'nix and I can get the stuff I use compiled. Coming to think of it, Sun actually could open source Solaris... But I guess the moon will crash into the pacific before that happens.
  • by Jerry ( 6400 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @02:51PM (#7019375)
    SCO & McBride - playing the role of Mussolini, the cocky loudmouth tyrant who owes his life to Hitler.

    Sun & Schwartz - playing the role of the Emperor, egotistical and proud. (He was intially scheduled to play nilatS, Stalin in reverse, because Sun seemed allied with the forces of freedom in the beginning but now is working with Hitler. Besides, Stalin was never considered part of the Axis Powers.) Believing the Sun rises and sets on him and his empire, he makes alliances with Mussolini and knows full well that sooner or later he'll have to deal with Hitler. Like Hitler, he believes that "There can be only one."

    MS & Gates - playing Hitler and out to own the entire world, including those territories of Mussolini and the Emporer, no matter what laws are broken or who gets burned. His Panzer Cash units, having done their work in America, are burning trails of greed and deception throughout Europe, Asia and Down Under, but legions of resistance fighters around the world, under the symbol of the Penquin, are beginning to reverse the fortunes his Panzers have brought him. Will he be able to subvert all governments and politicians, using his DMCA and Patent Rockets, into making freedom illegal? His intial success with the DOJ, snatching Victory out of the Jaws of Defeat, seem to indicate so, but losses in China and some cities around the world indicate another outcome.


    Will Hitler succeed in emerging as the Lone World Dictator, errecting Iron Curtains around the Internet and PC hardware, with all access points guarded by DRM chips?


    It's a true Cliff-Hanger! Only time will tell.

  • Strange logic... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by badasscat ( 563442 ) <basscadet75@yahoo. c o m> on Sunday September 21, 2003 @03:31PM (#7019574)
    "If the issue is a non-issue, why don't they indemnify their customers?"

    Backwards. If the issue is a non-issue, why would IBM indemnify their customers? It's like asking IBM to indemnify a customer against tripping and falling because they fail to tie their shoe. It has nothing to do with IBM or the software/services the customer is being sold, so why would IBM indemnify their customers against it? IBM is not an insurance company.

    It's all just FUD by Sun, but it always amazes me how these guys around the industry can spew this nonsense that's not only wrong, but completely irrelevant and, well, nonsensical. There's just no logic behind it at all; you look at it and go "huh?" Really makes you wonder what it takes to succeed in business. Seems to be more luck than anything; it's obviously not brains. And luck only lasts so long.
  • They are scared... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by UltraWide ( 181644 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @04:07PM (#7019760)
    Sun is scared of the Linux progress on as well the server as the desktop systems.

    Where I work we are looking into using Linux on the Desktops with vmware installed to run different OS:es. Windows and Linux mostly. This is to Lower costs.

    The users running Unix cad-stations are also looking into replacing HP-UX/Solaris and AIX with .. you guessed right Linux.

    On the servers were looking into replacing our database machines that runs on AIX/Solaris and HP-UX with .. you guessed it Linux.

    Now, why? Because it is a customer demand/wish. I work with outsourcing and the customers are getting more and more cost-aware. What are they doing to lower the cost? They look at alternatives for example Linux. They ask us if we can set this up, what should we answer? Well .. if we want to keep them .. YES.

  • by The Revolutionary ( 694752 ) on Sunday September 21, 2003 @05:06PM (#7020053) Homepage Journal
    It's only a matter of time -- and not a very long time at all -- until free open source solutions will replace or strongly compete with proprietary solutions in all but the most peculiar of applications, and even there they had best worry.

    Does Sun really believe that they can, in so far as they may now, maintain any technical superiority at all? They can not, not with big money funding the development and deployment of free open source solutions.

    In a few short years, either Sun will change its tune, or Sun will join SCO in the gutter.

Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance? -- Charlie McCarthy

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