ORLANDO, Fla.—Sun Microsystems Inc. Chairman and CEO Scott McNealy championed open-source software for the enterprise Tuesday morning and highlighted his companys commitment to including Linux products in its hardware.
“If you are paying for middleware, stop,” McNealy told an audience of industry professionals at Gartner Inc.s ITxpo in Orlando today. When enterprises can get an application server, directory and Star Office bundled for free with Suns Solaris 9 operating system, why pay for them, he asked. “You can run your entire corporation on Star Office,” he said.
When asked by Gartner analysts why Sun needs to support Linux, McNealy said the strategy will further differentiate its products. From a hardware perspective, Suns servers are not particularly different from Dells, he said, as the two sets of products share the same processing technology and are built by the same OEMs.
“They both are laundered through Intel and are coming from the same Asian manufacturers, and neither of us touches them,” McNealy said. Down the road, Suns hardware will come bundled with more open-source applications.
Sun is also building a Linux-based enterprise client, which will save enterprises on capital outlay, according to McNealy. “We can come in at half the cost of a [Microsoft Corp.] Windows enterprise client,” he said. “Thats a huge way to save cost.”
Asserting that Solaris is “close to free,” McNealy said that most of Suns software is available in both an open-source version and an enterprise-supported version.
Looking ahead, McNealy emphasized the growing complexity of network components and the increasing difficulty in managing large enterprise systems. Suns N1 business architecture is designed to simplify management by allowing an enterprise to build a system from components on the network, where the network itself is used as the system core. The strategy will include the virtualization of applications and of server architecture, and telemetry, which will enable automatic remote monitoring.
: Sun to Ramp Up Support for Linux”>
Questioning this strategy, Gartner analysts asked McNealy whether it would cause a loss of revenue through reduced hardware sales.
“If we dont cannibalize ourselves, somebody else will,” McNealy replied. By freeing up capital otherwise spent on applications, enterprises will have more money to invest in servers, he said.
Gartner analysts also questioned whether Sun would compromise Solaris if it turns Linux into an enterprise platform. McNealy answered that he sees a new opportunity in the enterprise desktop market, which is the fastest growing part of Linux.
As for Suns ability to serve customers without a complete services business, McNealy said that he is targeting “huge partnerships” with systems integrators. Value added resellers and integrators are enthused about partnering with Sun because they know it is “pure” with regard to technology biases, he said.
Sun plans to focus its research and development investments on the N1 infrastructure, the SunOne stack of products, SPARC architecture and other technologies on the edge, McNealy said. He touted the growth of smart cards and associated opportunities for the server industry; eventually, he said, everything is going to be connected to the Internet, which will only require more interconnected servers.
- Sun to Keep Linux Out of the High End
- Project Mad Hatters Premise isnt Far-fetched
- Suns McNealy Sees Bright Future
- Review: Sun Shines on Linux—For Now