back to article pulls plug on Sun's flagship Unix servers is chucking out the last of it Sun Microsystems' Sun Fire servers this week, ending one of Sun's most bragged about relationships. The software-as-a-service (SaaS) pioneer told The Reg that the last of its Sun Fire E25Ks are leaving two massive US-based global data centers, reflecting a shift to standardize on …


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  1. ben edwards
    Thumb Up

    I want

    Where can I get these retired machines?

  2. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    I'll take one, too

    Agreed. With how accounting depreciates the machines, unless leased, they're probably not worth anything and just being thrown out in the trash once wiped.

    They are being wiped, right?

    I want to see how the transition from Big Iron to commodity hardware like Dell works for large companies like Salesforce. Are there really benefits to dumping a few reliable and strong machines for a bunch of semi-reliable machines? Or does it break even and such moves are just symbolic? Although I would like to think that such moves have real reasoning behind them.

    Or maybe it's a transition in IT ideology. A shop I know had a change in IT staff and the new staff decided to dump all its Sun servers for a bunch of Linux machines which just couldn't handle the load. Great.

    Paris, because she wipes and can handle the load.

  3. SAAS Buyer

    Moving to SugarCRM

    Sun got fed up with's crappy service reliability - so they're moving to SugarCRM. And with Michael Dell on Salesforce's board, he decided to throw a tantrum. Grow up, Marc, you're losing customers because of your personality.

  4. Tomasz Oczapowski

    Moving where?

    Interesting comment from SAAS Buyer.

    I am very intrigued where you got "crappy service reliability" information from. Stats at do not support your claim. I wish I could find similar, or any, data on hosted SugarCRM.

    Talking about "losing customer", last quarter added 2,600 new customers. Compared with the year ago quarter, net paying customers have grown by approximately 11,300. And thats not licenses count(!).

  5. Jay

    retire reliable kit ...

    introduce cheap crap!

    WOW what a way to win customers! Dell is shit! I replace every Dell server I come across because of their utter lack of quality.

    721 Dell servers replaced with IBM or HP kit and more to go

  6. John Latham

    @Tomasz Oczapowski

    It would be handy if you put your job title on your signature, so we know where you're coming from without having to Google your name ;-)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @John Latham

    well spotted. Wonder if it's the same one ;-)

    More seriously I guess this is a case of "more kit" rather than "better kit"; a discussion I keep coming across with customers who just don't agree with the principle that paying 25% more for a 50% reliable box is a good deal - people make purchasing decisions based on headline numbers not on the basis of all facts.

  8. Richard
    Thumb Down

    what about's famed CSR?

    Replacing a couple of F25's with Hundreds of Dell servers? hum, lets think about the environmental impact of that for a moment!

    Still if the F25's go back to Sun more than 95% is recovered and less than 5% will enter the waste stream!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I might swap, but not for Dell

    Dell are overpriced too. If you're going that far down market you may as well build them yourselves and save even more money. I just saved several thousand euro by doing that.

    In my experience Sun are pretty reliable but struggle to compete with Linux on AMD, for example, in terms of performance.

    Mind you you'd have to be nuts to use Salesforce anyway....... Where do you think you're going sunny? You know we've got your data, we've got your code, we've got you!

  10. Adrian

    @Ben and @Alan

    Was : Ebay - Powered by Sun

    Now : Sun - sold on eBay :-)

  11. Kevin Hutchinson

    E25k is old kit

    Sun ships M9000 servers with Sparc64 VII processors as of yesterday. So the E25k's were kind of old anyhow. Shame Salesforce didn't try the Sun's Intel servers - e.g. the blades - see

  12. Jonathan Bourke


    I don't know what to think about this story... As a former / current / what ever you are having yourself Solaris Admin, there is a certain cachet to working on E10K's, 15K's (never made it too the 25K). Solaris is still a fantastic technology, and as has been mentioned in comments on other Sun related articles, their kit is built to last (was just checking ebay for some old Sun kit a few minutes go...).

    With that said, I managed the european infrastructure for an absolutely critical order management environment for a... hemm, large personal computer manafacturer headquartered in Texas... based on Dell PowerEdge 6650's, 6850's, etc. running linux. It was migrated from Sun E10K's and the cost savings were substansial (primarily the maintenance costs of the old kit...). I must admit it was very effective, very good performance, and critically we were able to easily prove the commodity server mantra of in place upgrades, addition of capacity.

    If I was doing it again... which way would I go... that's the tough one.


  13. Martin Hargreaves

    Hi Jonathan

    Sounds like some kind of falling out, with Benioff talking Dell up publicly, moving off E25's very shortly after getting them, and Sun having SugarCRM on its home page.

    I suspect the toys might be scattered around the pram somewhere...



  14. Mo

    @Tomasz Oczapowski

    Who said anything about *hosted* CRM? They can run it internally with zero hassle.

  15. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    "There is nothing better than Dell"

    Instant disqualification.

  16. Nomen Publicus

    What was the deal?

    With this kind of change, you have to know on what terms Dell sold them a solution. It's quite possible that Dell were prepared to sell at a price so low that Sun wasn't prepared to follow them into the pit.

    Whether salesforce have bought a long term solution is something we'll find out.

  17. Keith Wingate

    Tis a pity

    Back in the day when I managed a group of Solaris SysAdmins Sun gear was about five times as expensive as anything close to "comparable" Intel-based gear, but it was ten times faster, 20x more reliable, and immeasurably more scalable. Sun support was the best I've had in a career which goes back a couple of decades and then some. But this advantage has eroded. Sun gear now seems to be "only" about twice as expensive as the competition, but from my (limited) current experience with it is not that much more reliable than the competition and support has gotten terrible. Any performance advantage seems to be completely gone. So yes, I think it does makes sense to architect an environment around cheap, redundant hardware rather than very expensive hardware which doesn't quite live up to its reputation for reliability.

    As for Solaris, once you've gotten used to the relative user-friendliness of Linux it is really tough to go back to what might be, at the kernel level, a more solid, high-performance O/S, but one which is about five years behind the ease-of-use


    Frankly, I don't know how they stay in business, with their only remaining market-leader being something they are having to give away (Java); and even that may fall victim to the Microsoft marketing juggernaut.

    I for one, will miss them.

  18. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    RE: Jay - Dell are getting better.

    True, not too long ago it was easy to send the Dell sales rep packing, but I have to admit their servers have got better over the last few years. And there are few neat engineering touches appearing on them aswell, like the clever clamshell cage cable arms on the new PowerEdge servers, all nicely coated in black so they don't have any sharp edges to pinch cables or BOFH skin. I have a meeting coming up where one of our companies will review whether to stay with HP ProLiant or go Dell or IBM, and this year I expect Dell will be able to put forward a better case than they did three years ago when they were eliminated from consideration fairly early on.

    And Sun's switch to SugarCRM is probably more to do with their use of MySQL in the FastTrack bundle, which still isn't exactly an enterprise DB like Oracle.

  19. Phil
    Dead Vulture

    Will be interesting to see how long Salesforce runs on Dell

    It will be interesting to see in a few years time if is still running on Dell. May times, companies make these drastic changes for the wrong (political) reasons and after a few re-orgs and execs changing seats, architectural designs come around a full 360 degrees. Migrating off Solaris and big SunFire systems is not a cheap task regardless of which systems they move too. But the bigger question, is will these new boxes survive the onslaught of new compute demands? This just sounds like a bandaid approach waiting to be peeled off at the next slip.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EBay runs on Sun

    EBay decided to get rid of the "Powered by" logos a while ago... The fact is that EBay is powered by Sun.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    IT Sales feeding on the carnage

    This is pure sales politics at its best. The IT industry depends and thrives on situations like this - stealing customers away by convincing them they'll save money with [brand] hardware and making huge profits in the process. Trust me, Sun will do the exact same thing to Dell at some other account. However, based on Sun’s current market performance, they better hurry up and do it! ;)

    As for which server is better, I'll just plagiarize an old martial arts axiom, "There are no superior servers. There are only superior server admins."

  22. Bob Hartsman

    Sun is still installed at

    As a Unix consultant, and someone who has been in the valley 25 years, there is only a small bit of truth to this. For the most part the infrastructure is still Sun, there is a piece that went to Dell. Much of Salesforces IT management team is directly from eBay, (I know they use to hire me as a consultant) and they are still buying Sun at eBay and at Salesforce.

    The gamesmenship here is Mr. Benioff Michael Dell are neighbors in Kona ...

  23. Daniel B.

    So they're IDIOTS

    Gaaah! Substituting big oxen with 1024 chickens isn't "the way forward!" If my former boss were reading this article, he would be laughing his ass off the screen!!!

    As much as I like Linux, Solaris as an OS and Sun's hardware is pretty stable, secure, and not-another-Intel-based-crap-hardware. If I already have something as big as an E25k ... I'm not about to dump it in favor of Intel-based shite.

    Flames, as those who took this decision will BURN IN HELL!

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