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By eweek  |  Posted 2003-02-20 Print this article Print

: Suns Schwartz Speaks Out"> eWEEK: Are you suggesting Dell is more like Wal-Mart? Will Dell be hurt if Wal-Mart ever gets its act together and starts selling servers and desktops? Schwartz: Dell is already being hurt by Wal-Mart, but only in undifferentiated consumer PCs. When it comes to file/print servers, Wal-Mart cant manage the basic support without an enterprise software partner. So stay tuned.
eWEEK: Has Solaris plateaued, and should Sun ramp up investment in Linux and get it running on SPARC as soon as possible?
Schwartz: No. AIX and HP/UX have plateaued, given IBMs and HPs inability to ship them on x86, so Solaris is consolidating Unix in the RISC arena, and Solaris on x86 is now the only data-center Unix on x86, as well. One million new copies [were deployed] in the past year. Its really down to Windows and Linux otherwise—and we ship two out of the three. On middleware, Sun leads on messaging, directory, calendaring, identity and clustering for Unix. Where dont we lead? App servers, but weve got great momentum with our [Sun ONE Application Server] 7.0 product, as customers figure out its one-tenth the price of its competitors. And, of course, we lack a database. We believe we win by getting the complexity out in delivering this as a systems stack. And by driving the price way, way down. eWEEK: Should or will Sun ever disclose what it releases to the open-source community? It may be a way for Sun to show how open the company is and show how it not only benefits from the technology, but also puts as much back in. Schwartz: Look at GNOME, StarOffice, Mozilla or all the accessibility/localization technology out there. Thats us. Weve contributed more than 8 million lines of code, way beyond anyone else. And its having an impact—check out the growth rate of Linux on desktops. Thats driving a lot of infrastructure on the server, and on the desktop, at Microsofts expense. Were beginning to see the effects of our efforts: Check out Microsofts last public filings. eWEEK: Why does Sun feel theres momentum behind Linux? And is it at the expense of Solaris? Schwartz: Our customers told us two things in their zeal for Linux: that its single biggest feature was that it ran on 32-bit Intel; and where they wanted us to deliver Solaris. We were late, well admit. But were back in force. eWEEK: Is there a value for open source in the enterprise? Schwartz: Open source? Havent heard customers value that, at all. Most CIOs I talk to want less source code, not more, contrary to what IBM says. But again, theyre selling service hours, so they want the customer to have as much complexity as possible. eWEEK: What are customers telling you? Schwartz: Customers told us they were looking for ways to save money, and extending what theyd built on Solaris/SPARC, with an identical solution on Solaris/Intel, was going to be a big win, rather than trying to figure out an expensive port to Linux. eWEEK: What applications have customers ported to Linux from Unix? Schwartz: It depends. Mostly highly replicated systems, like Web farms of render plants. Not many distributed systems. eWEEK: What about distributed systems? Schwartz: Distributed enterprise apps havent moved, and if/when they do, well have a far more complete, integrated, and lower-cost solution—with Solaris/x86 and Solaris/SPARC—than anyone else trying to hand-assemble an OS plus middleware. So Solaris on x86 is a win for customers, and us. And our ISVs. eWEEK: How much of a commitment do you have in Linux? Schwartz: We have a massive commitment focused on the desktop. There are 2 million Linux desktops in the world—just none on Wall Street. The movements unstoppable among consumers, home users, and price-sensitive or security-sensitive customers. On the server? Our commitments more in the form of standards and interoperability—well run Linux apps unmodified, and to the extent the Linux players support those standards, we think its good for the Internet. But our feeling is that customers are more focused on Java than on Linux, so thats where were focused. Unlike our competitors, who are abandoning their Unixes [HP with HP/UX and IBM with AIX], were focusing on what customers want: low-cost performance. Not whats necessitated by our inability to invest in our own OS [like HP], or a desire to bury the world with porting and integration services [like IBM].


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