back to article IBM 'in talks' to buy Sun Microsystems

IBM has opened acquisition talks with Sun Microsystems, raising the prospect of a massive consolidation of the software, server and storage markets. According to the Wall Street Journal IBM has mooted a price of $6.5bn. Sun is currently capitalised at $3.7bn ($4.97/share), but its share price has persistently fallen since the …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    StorageTek and regulators..

    Well,

    First thing is that is a surprising news... expected but still!

    Regarding the products that SUN got from StorageTek these will probably be the problem for this acquisition; regulators will probably force IBM to spin off StorageTek as a seperate company; I can thing of some clients that would never touch those products again if they go into IBM's hands.

    By the way, last time I checked most of the disk storage products than SUN and IBM sell are made by Engenio... so that's an easy situation to solve!

    In the end I don't know if this is going to be a good or bad thing for the overall IT industry....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Wow

    Wow, if this takes place, then I guess there are going to be a heck of a lot of SUN employees out of work. "You are not losing your job, it has just moved 2000 miles away. Do you want to commute or move?"

    AC, because I work for Big Blue and got a great bonus this year.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    So long MS

    Your old foe is coming to haunt you.

  4. ToddRundgren

    Isn't Storagetek and IBMs FCAL storage rebranded LSI?

    I thought LSI supplied both Storagetk and IBM with there mid-highend disc arrays, including snapshot and replication sw. If so there would be no intergration apart from chossing the colour of the paint.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Are you watching Fatty?

    Are you watching Mr Hurd. IBM are going to buy the manufacturer of some of the best large scale kit on the market. Better than your rubbish anyway. It will also make IBM bigger than HP again , whichever way you measure it.

    How many more times are you going to rob and rip EDS staff off to get your profits up again and boost your not inconsiderable ego/wallet after this one Fat Boy?

    Go IBM!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    M&A

    "Mergers and Asses"

    If the banks can't make money scamming mortgages anymore they may as well convince some idiotic, absurdly badly run IT companies to merge. Ker-ching!

  7. Duncan Robertson
    Unhappy

    Wow! This is massive!

    Then there were two - effectively...

    Whilst I have always been more of a Big Blue man rather than a fan of Sun kit, I have always admired Sun for their innovative (and different, but not in an Apple way) approach to the IT industry.

    Solaris is a good OS, albeit with a few quirks! I remember having to compile an IBM i/o library just so that PHP's mail function could work with that rather than Solaris's stdio. Took a while to find that solution I'll tell you. However, the reasons behind why Solaris wouldn't let PHP do what it wanted to do were sound when you took into account other factors such as the way iPlanet (SunONE) worked.

    All I can say on this article is that it was a sad day when DEC disappearred (especially since I longed for an Alpha), it was a sad day when Compaq went HP and it will indeed be a sad day when the Sun sets too.

  8. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Sharp Tools and Surgical Strategic Strikes

    .... .... Skilled Craftsmen @ Finessing Fine Prior Arts Work.

    Ahha ... the David Sun has spooked the Goliath IBM with its Stealthy Prime Cloud Performance..... and now realise they have a Easily Targetted Achilles Heel in their International Business Machine....... and want to Control and Profit from the Intellectual Property Portfolio which can Render them Obsolete? Oh dear, what a Shame that Embrace, Extend and Extinguish is the Blue Pill they will themselves have to Swallow 42 Survive?

    Or maybe the Industry Giants are circling the Wagons as the Storm Clouds/Apache Renegades gather Force and Virtual Power that Controls Everything in AI Singularity, CyberIntelAIgently Protected in an Invisible and Intangible Cloak well out of the Reach and Influence of the Corrupt and Perverted Control of Decrepit Legacy Systems Levers...... Big Sticks and Blunt Instruments?

    Three Striking Questions in a Row...... Wow. And none of them Spin either.

  9. Francis Fish
    Happy

    IBM managed to make money from Java, and Sun never really did

    So, there's an irony here. IBM picked Java up, wrote better tools, more popular (although horrible to code against) J2EE server.

    It does make sense for everyone, the engineers married to the people who can actually sell things and still understand engineering.

    Fiorina destroyed the innovative base at HP and Hurd wouldn't know innovation if it bit his bits off.

    Here we have two competent innovators, a great sales team, a consultancy arm with a reasonable rep. I'd be scared if I were HP or Microsoft. very scared.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Sad day for Sun

    First Schwartz decimates the stock price though incompetence, now he wants to sell the company to the one competitor whose corporate culture is guaranteed to make all the top innovators at Sun walk straight out the door, just as the economy starts to recover and startups begin to appear again to welcome them. No doubt ponytail will get a nice payoff, of course.

    I wonder if he's considered a career in merchant banking, or British politics? He seems to have the required skillset.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    IBM and Sun?

    Now THAT is a partnership I'd buy shares in. Open Source, platform independant software and the technical (and financial) muscle to really kick ass?

    Give it 5 years. They'll either be dead in the water or utterly dominating the market.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Not a good thing at all.

    I can't see this being of benefit to anyone, apart from IBM, HP, Intel and Microsoft. To really set the cat amongst the pigeons Oracle of Cisco buying Sun might be more fun.

    A lot of todays processor technology was driven by competition, now we are moving from 3 main architectures to two, really bad for innovation and competition. Would Intel ever have come up with the T Series idea, OK IBM has the cell, but not really the same thing, and will they look to push this into Power/Intel space, i think not.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    @AC Wow

    I work for Sun, who headhunted me last year after 10 years as my own boss. No way I'd have moved to work at any Sun office I've seen, but no problem, I work from home, out in the sticks. So do many at Sun: for example, the entire MySQL "virtual organisation".

    If IBM (or AN Other) were to take over, I'd consider working for them on similar terms - if offered.

    Mind you, I'd have thought competition authorities would have something to say about a takeover in a case where there are only three players in the major core market of top-end servers. Quite apart from things someone already mentioned ...

  14. Francis Vaughan

    Sad day

    I would agree with AC above. I can't see the regulators allowing IBM to take the StorageTek business. Clearly the mostly likey suitor for that would be HP.

    If the merger kills Sparc products for the IBM acquired server product lines I can't see Fujitsu paying more than a dollar for Sun's current Sparc division. Sparc will be oficially dead, and Fujistu, rather than buying the division will more likely be closing their own. Which would be really sad, as yet another great architecture bites the dust under the remorseless steamroller of the second rate x86.

    However IBM will have a significant incentive to keep the high end Sparc servers rolling. IBM Global Services wing sells to and services a huge number of sites that are still Sparc/Solaris shops. There is more money in the services than the hardware. IBM GS was at one stage Sun's single biggest account. Protecting their stakeholding in these sites by keeping Sparc alive may be a very economical thing to do.

    Still, it will be a great shame to see Sun vanish. Somewhere in a back room we still have a Sun-1 with a serial number in the low 300's. Much affection for the company.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing to worry HP

    a) This is unlikely to go through. There's little synergy and IBM can't make money on (non-proprietary) hardware. The regulators may have something to say about it as well. If it does go through it will be a vanity purchase to return IBM (briefly) to pole position.

    b) IBM have a long record of FUBAR all their takeovers. The existing staff all get canned and replaced by clueless IBM droids. ISS is just the latest in a long line.

    Now if Cisco expressed an interest ...

  16. Bruno Girin

    Interesting times ahead

    OK so it's pure speculation but here's a few thoughts on what it could mean:

    Sparc/PowerPC: IBM could ditch Sparc in favour of PowerPC but I'm not sure that would be a good idea: there are a lot of good things in the Sparc T1 and T2 processors. In particular, the T1 and T2 are more power efficient than the PowerPC so it may be worth deploying them in a power efficient range of servers.

    Solaris/AIX: agree with you, it would make sense to merge the two and consolidate into one OS. The first hurdle would be to make Solaris run on PowerPC but it can surely be done.

    Java: no brainer here, IBM has been a strong contributor to Java for a long time.

    OpenOffice: no brainer either, OO.o is the basis of the latest version of IBM's Lotus Notes so that would give IBM the control of the whole stack, as well as a way to monetise it through Notes.

    NetBeans/Eclipse: there are good things in both IDEs so consolidating in this space would be great. IBM already monetize Eclipse through Rational Modeler and friends.

    Glassfish/WebSphere: there's some potential for consolidationg here too. Keep Glassfish as the open source app server, consolidate the Enterprise version with WebSphere and offer an easy upgrade path from one to the other.

    MySQL/DB2: same sort of scenario really, consolidate, make MySQL the entry level option with easy upgrade to DB2.

    Now that's my opinion and it may be complete dinkum but if there is one potential buyer that has a lot of synergies with Sun, it's IBM.

  17. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Keeping IT in the Family can be Incestuous

    "Activist investor Southeastern Asset Management became Sun's biggest shareholder recently and some of the recent restructuring efforts have been thought to be influenced by this. Schwartz has consistently said he wants to work with this investor to increase shareholder value."

    Would that activist investor be an Uncle ..... for, in these critical chaotic times, a United Network Command for Law Enforcement ...... might very well be a Spooky Clandestine Cover for a Nasty Dose of the Thrush, for the Mission Accomplished Diehard Head Case/Psychotic Village Idiot/Fool on the Hill Type ...... Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity.

    No wonder they didn't like the following message flashing up on their computers screens ..."US foreign policy is akin to government-sponsored terrorism these days... It was not a mistake that there was a huge security stand-down on September 11 last year... I am SOLO. I will continue to disrupt at the highest levels." ...... whenever it so clearly expresses the view shown on media and supported by foreign speculative expeditionary action on the ground and in fiction too.

    Haven't the Yanks got a Proper Script Writer yet? There is certainly no Apparent Evidence of them having Engaged with the Special Services of One of them and far too much Evidence of them NOT having a Writer for Maximum Utility..... Intelligence Community Directive Number 208, Effective 17th December 2008.

    For Goodness, Splash out some Flash Cash and do yourselves a Big Red, White and Blue Favour and Buy One in. How much Simpler can IT be? It is not as if IT is Rocket Science even though IT can take you to whatever Planet and Strange Worlds you would care to mention. QuITe whether it is Intelligent or just plain Stupid to go to some of them though, is quite another matter.

  18. Osvaldo
    Thumb Down

    Just fixing some FUD...

    "Sun makes proprietary Sparc RISC servers" - why proprietary? The CPU is an open standard (see sparc.org), the OS is open source. People consider Intel x86 hardware "open" because it's ubiquitous, but it's Intel that's just going to sue AMD's spinoff Globalfoundries for the right to manufacture x86-compatible CPUs...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    100% premium and what?

    Then they own two implementations of Java, two implementations of Unix, pretty much two of everything. What's the value in that?

    Oh, I know, they'll sack what's left of the Sun workforce and have eliminated the competition. And they'll have to carry that 100% premium as goodwill on their books until someday they decide they have to write that down.

  20. Avi
    Coat

    Finally! Ultrasparc Thinkpads!

    Mine's the one with the Psion Netbook in the pocket.

  21. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Up

    Hardly a surprise though is it?

    That pony-tailed plank had it coming for yonks, anyone could see that there would only be three options, IBM ( they have the money, but do they have the balls to take it on? ), MS ( unlikely they'd even get anywhere near it with the monopolies comm. on their back ) or a conglomerate of smaller tech firms trying to grab a ready made chunk of the server room market, but would most likely be too much in-fighting amongst anyone to make it work.

    Just pay that corp puppet off and put someone in charge with some sensible ideas and some chutzpah to actually make proper decisions. Sun made a big mistake not trying harder to push for a share of that very rich VM hosts market, imagine how many X86 VMs you could run on yer average pukka Sun box?

    Muppets, the lot of 'em! Quicker IBM get in, the better!

  22. Hayden Clark
    Unhappy

    Netbeans!

    Waaaaaa! No, Eclipse, No!

  23. Charlie Mason
    Paris Hilton

    Office anyone?

    OpenOffice and StarOffice come into the equation too... Making the IBM office offering pick up some speed again.

  24. TeeCee Gold badge

    Re: So long MS

    Old foe? My, how some people have such very short memories....

  25. Joseph McDonald
    Unhappy

    Not good news

    This is not good news for Solaris. I'm a stock holder in Sun and I would vote no on any merger that involves IBM or HP.

  26. DZ-Jay

    And so the giant lives on

    >> "Mainframe survivor IBM absorbing Sun is an apt confirmation of its status as the survivor of the IT age."

    Seems fitting, considering that IBM was around before them, for it to remain standing after they're gone. It also says something about the "small and agile" strategy and "new" business schools of thought.

    Unfortunately, it also means that the same can be applied to the Microsoft behemoth, within its limited industry: that it is large enough and stable enough for it to adapt to changing market pressures and still dominate, if at least by pure endurance.

    -dZ.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is no surprise here

    Those of us who've been watching Sun's downward spiral for some time now knew that Sun has been positioning itself for acquisition for about a year. Potential buyers have just been waiting for the right time to pick Sun up on the cheap. That time is now, but IBM is the only tier one vendor with the cash to do it.

    Ah, the folly that Schwartz wrought! No one has ever made any real money off of open source. And the margins on their x86 and Niagara gear are too thin. The beginning of the end for Sun was when they dumped SPARC V and put all their eggs into the Rock basket. I think it's pretty much a given now that we'll never see Rock.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    McNealy :

    You'll have no company any more. Get over it.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    aww

    Aww crap. That's all of Sun's software f****d up then. Seriously - look at IBMs current offerings - Clearcase, ClearQuest, Lotus Notes, etc - all software that seriously needs to be taken out the back and killed (ideally painfully, but speed is the most important) before it can make anyone else's life a misery.

    Oh, hang on, no, then I'd be out of a job converting people to real software....

  30. Mike
    Paris Hilton

    Sun will die soon

    IBM will buy the corpse before the autopsy, Storage is great, their servers are great, however the market has changed so much that E25s are underpowered, overwatted windtunnels, dynamic reconfiguration was a great idea, but is rarely reliable, virtulisation is king now, Zones are great, but why bother on E25s when you have nice domains? the X5nnn series are truely wonderful but only when they are used properly for the correct application (in many cases replacing obscenely expensive E25s).

    All of which leaves Sun in no mans land with great technology, fantasic OS but a limited hardware line-up (or a limited target), Sun *needs* IBM to have a market and the gloss that Sun brings could make IBM shine (ditch AIX, port Solaris please......)

    This will be a giggle.

  31. Jim

    Go Sun

    It's sad that a dynamic, innovative company like Sun may come under the dead hand of IBM. I don't think this would be good news for the industry as a whole. It's also sad that whoever is in charge of Sun has unearthed failure in (what was previously) a garden of success. On reflection, open sourcing Solaris was probably a bad idea, or was done too soon.

    I am reminded of HP buying Apollo in the early 90s. Another terrific innovator crushed into mediocrity.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    A sad day for customers

    This is sad for the computer industry. Not because Schwartz (aka pony tail boy or PTB) and his crew deserved any better, but because customers deserve a choice other than HP/Dell Win/Lintel or big blue. There is way too much overlap, and the result will be lots of good products and people getting the axe. IBM is a very well run company, no doubt, but further consolidation is not what the industry needs.

    A much better move would have been to get rid of PTB a year ago and bring in someone who actually knows how to run a company. Another move (although probably too late) that would be better for all would be to sell out to Fujitsu. A lot of great synergy there and the result would be most products and people still around, other than PTB.

    --AC because I still work in the biz and now a lot of people on all sides of the deal.

    --Paris because the great pony tailed one and Paris have more in common than they know

  33. Charlie Mason
    IT Angle

    Little Suntain

    Is it just me or does that bloke look a hell of a lot like David Walliams from up close?

  34. CC
    Black Helicopters

    There could be worse

    All in all, IBM is one company that continues to truly innovate and does make good sound sense for Sun to do this if they want to stay alive in the future.

  35. Oninoshiko
    Stop

    copyrights 101

    If IBM where to buy SUNW then IBM owns the copyrights to the solaris kernel. No open-sourcing of AIX would be required. Actually, under the terms of the CDDL, adding any component of Solaris to AIX would not be an issue even if IBM didn't buy SUNW.

    Repeat after me: "open source is not the GPL." There are a list of open-source and "libre software" licenses out there, many of which are not as restrictive as the preferred license of the stallmanites.

  36. Paul Johnston
    Unhappy

    Wonder

    Wonder what this means for Solaris and OpenSolaris in particular

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Re: 100% premium and what?

    "Then they own two implementations of Java, two implementations of Unix, pretty much two of everything. What's the value in that?"

    At last, a voice amongst the dimwits either claiming that "it'd be great" or pooh-poohing Sun as usual. Consider similar "un-synergies" (to repurpose the language of the M&A types):

    HP buys Compaq buys DEC: goodbye DEC Unix (perhaps not such a loss), Alpha (far superior to the competitors), and most of the innovators. Why bother buying a company only to kill off all the stuff that "isn't our own"?

    "Oh, I know, they'll sack what's left of the Sun workforce and have eliminated the competition. And they'll have to carry that 100% premium as goodwill on their books until someday they decide they have to write that down."

    Indeed. Naturally, a bunch of people don't consider Sun to be competition, so we'll have the armchair pundits fantasizing about the "real benefits" of such an acquisition: people who think combining organisations is like pooling together all the toys at the nursery.

  38. John Savard Silver badge

    Who they should have bought

    Back when Apple was still using PowerPC chips... they should have bought the Macintosh. That is, of course, on the assumption they could and would keep it alive, but perhaps Steve Jobs, without IBM's resources, is actually better suited to that.

  39. Steve

    @Bruno Girin

    > The first hurdle would be to make Solaris run on PowerPC but it can surely be done.

    Solaris 2.5.1 ran on PowerPC, I still have a CD somewhere, so yes it can be done.

  40. Henry Cobb
    Boffin

    Virtual servers

    If this mad scheme goes through, expect IBM to host both Solaris and Linux under AIX in virtual servers.

    Forklift the Sun kit out, replace it with a virtual image and recompile (over time) to native.

    It's a pity, but the SPARC has gone out of my relationship in Posixstan.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, the truth is the truth

    Schwartz has been an awful CEO. Why Scott McNeely didn't dump him is a mystery. I guess friendship trumps fiduciary responsibility, in some cases. Sun was once an innovator, but note the past tense. All it has done over the past few years is buy open source softwares and cobble theme together with spit and bailing wire. Then there's the Rock vaporgear and their attempt to convince everyone that their light threaded CMT gear is a suitible platform for all workloads. That's not the Sun many of us have worked with for 20 years.

    Sun is setting. Sad, yes, but inevitable.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    moot

    "According to the Wall Street Journal IBM has mooted a price of $6.5bn. "

    What has moot got to do with this I'm going to check on 4chan

  43. Sunil
    Unhappy

    What happens to Sun hardware?

    I work in Sun's hardware division. It looks like IBM will not be interested in Sun's hardware and servers... does that mean I'll be out of a job after this merger? I do believe that things are turning upwards in the hardware division... too bad we're all going to be benched. Nevermind, I'll just go somewhere else and innovate for someone else. :-)

  44. zvonr
    Paris Hilton

    Impact of a Sun + IBM merger.

    This deal will impact NetApp since IBM OEMs their products and will not make sense to do that anymore after the merger ....

    This deal will impact Redhat too, since IBM would make more money selling Solaris than Linux on X86...

    I see no major problems in AIX and Solaris integration, the future will be definitely be Solaris, and AIX customers need not to worry about migration since Solaris will have AIX Branded Zones to run their apps without any change... They could even brand the Power version as SolaiX :-)

    This is a good deal for IBM if it goes through... The price is quite low, 0.5 times revenue, however another bidder could show up... or the deal might fall, it's not like IBM did not tried to purchase sun before ...

  45. steven kraft Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Adios Sun....

    I agree with those who say that getting Cisco to buy Sun would shake up the IT industry more and be a much better corporate culture match, but I am not sure that Cisco wants to take on that workload on top of entering the virtualized server market.

    So I guess Sun is in play right now, and I don't think HP or Cisco will go after it--so IBM (or JUST maybe Fujitsu) wins by default. Farewell to what was once a terrific innovator in the server and software fields which never found a good business model to compete with the post-dotcom X86 Wintel/Lintel behemoth :(

  46. Mike

    How about Apple

    Rather than giving IBM two of everything, what if Apple bought their way into the enterprise? Little overlap there, but matching technologies -- high end hardware, excellent OS, well liked by engineers.

    Gives Apple a way to start selling to Enterprises - "Want a top of the line desktop and server, and all from the same company?"

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Careful when you knock teh competition - you may be selling their products tomorrow!!!

    I was in a meeting with IBM salespeople yesterday - and they were really laying the anti-Sun FUD on thick! Another meeting tomorrow - this is going to be so much FUN!!!

  48. Lou
    Dead Vulture

    Why??? Its the CUSTOMER base dummy!

    Inspite of all the thing you mention the main reason would be to buy Sun's customer base and remove IBM's main UNIX competitor from the market and as a bonus, get hold of all the services opportunities on Sun kit which Sun was not able to monetize. Except for that they will probably slash and burn whatever Sun has to offer while cherry picking a few bits (can't think of any??) and write it off the rest in the normal loss of goodwill tax scam.

    The Sun takeover of Storagetek was just that - for the customer base and teh tape technology - Storagetek had very little to offer except for rebadged stuff which Sun was selling anyway. And Sun bungled the customer base and as for the tape technology - well tape is so yesterday.

    Hp tried to merge its two Unix lines after their Compac takeover and failed miserable, it chucked the Dec Alpha chip on that trash heap and lost any Alpha IP Compaq had. It did well out of the Proliants though.

    IBM will probably do the same. It will be impossible to change direction on their P-series range chips, it would be stupid to create new competition by selling Sparc to Fujitsu. Solaris - they have AIX - which sucks but it is just an operating system and IBM is about the services - the technology is just a means to an end.

    if this is true

    - rest in peace Sun it will be boring when you are gone.

    - Jonathan - I think you should buy that gondola and act out your fantasies - the ponytail would go fab with a gondoliers uniform - maybe you can steer that boat! And Opensource that!!

    PS: Is it just me or does this once again proves that the share method of deciding a companies value pushes us further down aslippery slope - its all about the marketing, Stupid!!

  49. Nathan Meyer

    Eat A Bad Rat

    We lose a lot of raptors and wild carnivores around here because people put out poison for pigeons and rats. Sun was always a brilliant scam; much like MSFT. Ten years ago I knew a couple of dozen people who worked for Sun; I told them all to sell their stock in 1999; none of them did, and none of them have jobs there anymore. IBM should be careful what carrion it feeds on. Perhaps Vulture Central could kindly offerThe Armonk Monster some expert advice?

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    So much for eastern vision

    Sad to see Fujitsu completely missing the boat...

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How reliable is the Wall Street journals source?

    I wonder if the Wall Street Journal's 'source' has a large amount of stock they would like to offload at a higher price than it is currently worth?

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    competition

    AIX/Power6 is a better stack than Solaris on anything IMNSO, but each to their own.

    I think that OpenSolaris will survive for some years regardless of what happens to Sun.

    IBM may port ZFS into AIX and storage and drop the rest of Suns stack.

    maybe some OO activity as other posters commented.

    IBM will become a near monopoly will happen when HP become a MS shop only which has been its mostly unspoken sales droid goal for over a decade.

    HPUX has hardly changed in over 15 years. Now just corporate roadkill, like EDS.

    I better get a job with IBM again.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Silly Season on Wall St.

    Now that all the banks on Wall St are bankrupt, the Wall St Journal has taken to publishing fiction as fact.... No change there then.

    Wake up and smell the coffee, Sun isn't up for sale.

  54. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Happy

    Even the Sunshiners have to finally admit Sun is a Norweigean Blue.

    Well, except Zvonr - wake up, smell the Java! This is not a merger, this is not a meeting of like minds, this is Sun getting sliced 'n' diced by Big Blue. The Armonk lads will cut out the meat they want and throw the rest of the carcass to one side. Sun has failed, SPARC is going to be just another footnote in the Wikipeadia history of CPUs, and Ponytail is going to swan off with a fat golden handshake. Rock will never see the light of day, the Cloud will just drift on past, and MySQL will be dumped into the hands of the Penguinistas to keep the DB2 crowd happy. In five years IBM will have switched any installed Slowaris base to Linux, AIX or zOS. Time to take of the Sunshiner Blindfolds.

    /roflmao

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will it happen? Maybe...

    There is some sense in IBM taking over Solaris. Storage could be of value, but the two jewels in the crown will be Java, which IBM could then fully control -- and they may even properly open source it, and Solaris.

    Solaris in particular could be very attractive. This could be added to the set of systems that will run on their high end pSystem servers. They currently already run AIX and Linux. So adding Solaris to them would mean customers would get a choice of virtualised platforms.

    Of course I'd expect IBM to get rid of the hardware -- why would they need that if they could run Solaris on their Power platform? The customer base that would come over would be very attractive, and remember that customers buy solutions. Who really cares whether it is SPARC or Power5/6? As long as Solaris works then so much the better.

    But early days. It's been on the cards for years -- Scott McNealy wanted IBM to buy Sun back in 2000, but IBM is a pretty shrewd company. If Solaris is really that good, why is Sun performing so badly?

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What about the poison pill?

    Sun has outsourced most of its technology - what is left to buy?

    Paris - as she know show to monetize stuff

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Matt that light at the end of the tunnel is a TRAIN!

    Nice one Matty my mate - keep sucking that MS juice cause that is what HP will sell going forward - rebadged stuff running whatever MS regurgitates plus some software it gets by buying small startups (probably started by ex-Sun employees). EDS employees - good luck with your new bosses - they just got shown the services exit door.

    Guess how many of these HP had and managed to screw up? Sparc will join PA-RISC, the 3000 chips, Itanium and Alpha; and Solaris will join HP-UX , MVS and True64 as failed technologies.

    Closed Unix will be directed by two behemoths which has lost the skill to innovate which is exactly what the OpenSource community needs to complete its Unix takeover. We still had choice on the entry level - now it will be just an open source flavour of Linux running on a grey box from some unknown manufacturer or some cheap on demand cloud units from google or Linux farms based on Oracle's flavor of the month.

    Welcome to purgatory

  58. Cesar
    Go

    Huge Opportunity for MySQL

    I tend to believe that IBM will do a better job than Sun at keeping the MySQL community happy.

    I hope IBM can actually position MySQL not as the database for Web 2.0 apps but as an excellent db replacement for IBM competitors. There are thousands of applications that are paying very high database costs. That in this current economic crisis is completely unjustified. Analysts say that up to 80% of all applications worldwide are ready for a MySQL migration, so I would imagine that IBM might want to provide an alternative to Microsoft’s SQL Server and others.

    Cost and complexity of the application migration process has been a limiting factor but there are new migration technologies that really ease this process. To my knowledge ANTs Software (www.ants.com), my current employer, is the only company able to migrate from database A to database B without the painful/costly job of rewriting the business app.

    Go MySQL !

  59. Cesar
    Thumb Up

    Huge Opportunity for MySQL

    I tend to believe that IBM will do a better job than Sun at keeping the MySQL community happy.

    I hope IBM can actually position MySQL not as the database for Web 2.0 apps but as an excellent db replacement for IBM competitors. There are thousands of applications that are paying very high database costs. That in this current economic crisis is completely unjustified. Analysts say that up to 80% of all applications worldwide are ready for a MySQL migration, so I would imagine that IBM might want to provide an alternative to Microsoft’s SQL Server and others.

    Cost and complexity of the application migration process has been a limiting factor but there are new migration technologies that really ease this process. To my knowledge ANTs Software (www.ants.com), my current employer, is the only company able to migrate from database A to database B without the painful/costly job of rewriting the business app.

    Go MySQL !!!

  60. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Re: Even the Sunshiners have to finally admit Sun is a Norweigean Blue.

    Look at Matt. He's like an alley cat cleaning himself after eating the carcass of someone else's kill. Look at him preening. You must be so proud of yourself Matt... To gloat over such things really does say a lot about a persons value system.

    My bet is that you are not married. I cannot think of a woman that would put up with the lack of moral fortitude that it takes to be you. Get a mirror and reevaluate what you stand for Matt.

  61. Alan Hargreaves

    Proprietary Sparc???

    Why do journalists keep regurgitating the same old line that SPARC is proprietary? Does nobody do any research before publishing any more?

    SPARC is one of the very few architectures that actually is NOT proprietary.

    Just ask AMD how "open" x86 is.

  62. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Happy

    RE: Re: Even the Sunshiners have to finally admit Sun is a Norweigean Blue.

    "Look at Matt. He's like an alley cat cleaning himself after eating the carcass of someone else's kill....." Aw, the Sunshiners are getting a bit defensive and moralistic now the blindfolds are having to come off. Truth hurts, does it?

    "....To gloat over such things really does say a lot about a persons value system....." Very rich considering the venomous comments that have made here about anything that got in Sun's way - Linux, NetApp, IBM, hp, Intel, Microsoft. After years of you lot and your sanctimonious preaching about how only Sun had the answers, do you really expect anything else?

    ".....My bet is that you are not married....." HA! Is that the best you can come up with? You must be really hurting, that was bordering on pathetic. No, actually that actually was just pathetic. Grow up and take it like a man, you feeb.

    "....I cannot think of a woman that would put up with the lack of moral fortitude that it takes to be you...." So, simply championing Sun gives you great moral fortitude, does it? Well, hope it does seeing as you will probably be needing it soon when all those Slowaris jobs start drying up.

    "....Get a mirror and reevaluate what you stand for Matt." Get a mirror yourself. Try practicing this phrase in it with a big smile, you will need sooner than you think if you don't learn some AIX, hp-ux, Windows or Linux: "Would you like fries with that, sir?"

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @Mike, re How about Apple

    > Rather than giving IBM two of everything, what if Apple bought their way into the enterprise?

    > Little overlap there, but matchi Rather than giving IBM two of everything, what if Apple bought

    > their way into the enterprise? Little overlap there, but matching technologies -- high end

    > hardware, excellent OS, well liked by engineers.

    >

    > Gives Apple a way to start selling to Enterprises - "Want a top of the line desktop and server,

    > and all from the same company?"

    One word: XServe.

    Apple already has what it needs. It doesn't need a $6b boat anchor.

    I own IBM stock. I own Apple stock. If I wanted to own Sun, I would. This isn't what I had in mind.

    Paris has what she wants too.

  64. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
    Coat

    @avi re Sparc Thinkpad

    Sorry. In case you hadn't noticed, IBM no longer own the Thinkpad brand, and the Lenovo/IBM joint marketing is in the wind-down phase, so no chance of a Sparc Thinkpad. I'm sure that there were Sparc laptops before (Tadpole? Solbourne?)

    Not sure it would be work, any way. IBM had PowerThinkpad (830 and 850 models) with PowerPC 603e processors running AIX 4.1.3 (and, I believe WinNT on Power and even a Power OS/2 port) about 15 years ago, and decided there was no market for them. Mind you, they were real paving slabs (they were bigger than bricks) and very heavy.

    Considering how much nostalgia gets written in these comments, isn't it about time there was a rose-tinted-glasses icon? That's what is in the top pocket of my coat, where I can find them easily.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    IBM Wins

    If IBM buys Sun then they Win the Unix and RISC wars. Itanium is already a joke and before it HPUX is 10 years behind AIX/Solaris... HP couldn't compete against IBM on the high-end anymore, so they will just slowly let HPUX die and push everyone to Linux or Windows. IBM will continue to sell Solaris for a while, but will most likely kill off SPARC. If Solaris continues to grow on X64 then they will let it live longer. If Solaris actually starts to look competitive then they may even throw some marketing at it... Solaris could be what they meant OS/2 to be... Of course, the real loser here is HPUX and Itanium...

  66. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Re: RE: Re: Even the Sunshiners have to finally admit Sun is a Norweigean Blue.

    "HA! Is that the best you can come up with? You must be really hurting, that was bordering on pathetic." No. I have more than that. I just thought it was the most obvious. You spend so much time attacking others and so much time defending HP that you appear to have a hole where a good woman should be (that's not a literal hole, mind you).

    I could make other guesses too... Such as you are under 40. You are not a team lead. You have not spoken to the "executives' at your company, no matter how much you say that you have, on anything more important than "can you please pass the cream"... That last one was a bit of a stretch... I could be wrong there, but my guess is that the "Execs" took less from the discussion than you did. Let me think then - Your "mates", that you talk about all the time, indulge your ranting, but deep down they wish you would go away. You have attempted to "hang out" with your "mates" at the local pub, but when you get there the discussion quickly dies while you shout down anyone that has an opinion different than yours. Arguing is a fine past time at the pub, but that loud guy with all the opinions gets real boring fast.

    The part about the pub may actually be backwards. I am stuck between you going to the pub and no one will talk to you, and what I wrote above.

    Any of this sound familiar Matt? Maybe it's not all true, but this is the picture that you've painted. I have some other views on your withering life if you would like to hear them. What a lovely life you live.

  67. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Happy

    RE: IBM Wins

    "If IBM buys Sun then they Win the Unix and RISC wars...." Nice idea in Sunshine logic, but as usual an argument devoid of any facts. It was already a two-horse race - hp-ux vs AIX. Slowaris on SPARC hasn't been anywhere near competitive for years.

    "....Itanium is already a joke and before it HPUX is 10 years behind AIX/Solaris...." See, it's that Sunshiner memory hole, bit like a goldfish. Didn't I post several times to the last few Slowaris articles reminding you that hp Integrity with hp-ux has the leading market share in the high-end? And didn't I explain to you lot more than once that the high-end is where the money is, with the fatter margins, more services and support revenue? Maybe you guys should print this out and stick it to your monitor so you'll see it the next time that memory bug of yours strikes.

    "....HP couldn't compete against IBM on the high-end anymore,...." Erm, hp-ux is winning in the high-end. Let's put it another way - AIX and Slowaris don't make as much money as hp-ux does in the high-end. So hp is winning, it is Sun and IBM that can't compete.

    "....IBM will continue to sell Solaris for a while, but will most likely kill off SPARC....." WOW!!! A tiny bit of reality forced it's way through the wool!

    ".....Of course, the real loser here is HPUX and Itanium..." Nope, the reality has gone again, and it's back to the usual fact-less tirade. How can it be to hp's disadvantage that SPARC and Slowaris are both about to die? You have obviusly forgotten that EDS is Sun's largest partner, and now hp own all that business, and they are going to be very busy converting all those ex-Sun houses off SPARC onto Integrity and ProLiant. The real losers are just Sunshiners like yourself.

    And I'm sure hp will take advantage of the morass IBM has just dropped itself into, cleaning out those EDS accounts whilst IBM is still trying to sift the few grains of wheat from the mass of chaff at Sun. And if hp ever gets bored it can throw a little monopolies and mergers suit at IBM to make the whole process even more painful. It will be interesting, and nothing is sure yet. Oh, apart from the fact that Sun is now a zombie.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    SUN is dead

    Regardless of how you cut it. SUN is now dead. No one who holds budget will ever take them seriously again as a long term viable vendor.

    Hopefully the wool has now been lifted from the zeaolts eyes and they can see SUN for what they truly are, a burned out shadow of its former self that has lacked a sensible go to market strategy for a long while. It reminds me of the 5 stages death. First denial (just read any of the comments on here!), then anger (again, read the comments) all you have left are bargaining, depression and then acceptance ................ good luck!

    Oh and as for the anti HPUX/Itanium comments particularly the 10 years behind one. Last major release of Solaris 2005, last major release of HPUX 2007, nuff said! Oh and dont bring any features arguments into this, because I can assure you HPUX and AIX have plenty of equivalent features to Solaris, its just they dont feel the need to crow about it as much. Also of all of the common UNIX's there have only been two that have been able to cut it in the high end space for the past few years (hint: neither of them is Solaris), and before you argue, people who play in the high end value stability above all else and companies that deliver on their promises.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    HP-UX release in 2007 DOH!!

    AC - "Oh and dont bring any features arguments into this, because I can assure you HPUX and AIX have plenty of equivalent features to Solaris, its just they dont feel the need to crow about it as much" - this is in THE vendor space - and if they do not talk aboput it, they do not have it!! AIX is at least adding some functionality - even if it just to make sure they can use the newswest extension to their new chips - HP-UX - no new chips, no new featyures ....

    Recompiling for a new OS and then releasing it does not a new release make. So lets hypothetically release the AIX and HP-UX source into the OpenSource market. You think anybody wil bother will downloading it? Didn't think so.

    --- Alien as I am sure you are from another planet.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Re: SUN is dead

    Why AC Matt? Your style (or lack of it) is too obvious for you to comment AC. Perhaps you cllicked the "Post anonymous?" button on accident... Oh well... Your opinion, Matt, is appropriately ignored.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Re: SUN is dead

    "Nice idea in Sunshine logic, but as usual an argument devoid of any facts. It was already a two-horse race - hp-ux vs AIX."

    OK, so how about the fact that Gartner considers Solaris a better and more important OS than HP-UX? Is that enough fact for you? You've used Gartner as an argument in the past, so I assume that you find this important.

    You always escape to the High-End argument Matt. With HP-UX ONLY in the high-end ISV's have dully ignored it. HP-UX has half the applications of AIX and half again that of Solaris. The only thing that Integrity does have (please note Integrity, not HP-UX alone) is all the EOL pa-risc, vms, etc being forced to migrate. IDC and Gartner both, in their analysis of the numbers, confirm that HP's increase in sales on Itanium are directly related to their many EOL'd platforms. That artificial jump in sales will end soon and then Itanium will slowly, but surely die.

    Itanium is slower than Power and SPARC systems by a long shot. Just look at all of the benchmarks. SPARC scales bigger on the high-end and scales way bigger on the low-end, and at a fraction of the cost. You've seen the benchmarks Matt, so I won't show them to you again, you just choose to ignore anything that does not fit your reality. You'll now probably bring up that you run benchmarks in house and that HP-UX always wins and Solaris always loses. That's always your argument against the benchmark figures that you had claimed did not exist. While I agree that for hardware choice doing a bakeoff is the way to go, but you have not published these results so no one else is seeing this... Believe it or not Matt, your word does not hold much sway here.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Re: Re: SUN is dead

    I can safely assure you that Im not MB. I read these comments and not one of you have addressed the real fundemental point.

    SUN has finally shown its true colours. I dont care if they do have better technology, that is an debate for another day.

    What I was trying to point out is that if you hold budget and you have to choose a technology vendor for a project that invariably has a lifespan of around 5 years, are you going to choose a company that has rumours (that they have yet to deny) around it of it being aquired by 1 of the only 2 true multi product vendors left or are you going to play it safe, especially in this current economic climate!

    Im going to admit that I have read these comments sections for a while now and I find it very hypecritical. You accuse comments that dont quite fit with your ideal world of SUN of being nothing more than stirring with a lack of evidence. Yet all of your comments have been angry tirades that have yet to take into account the realities of the market and post sensible counter arguments with evidence.

    I find it highly amusing that you accuse me of being MB, I sense that you are just lashing out because you find that easier than facing up to reality. As I stated in the second sentence, this is not about technology, it is about financials, and Im afraid to say that SUN have never been strong in this area and it has finally brought them down.

  73. Macka
    Happy

    Re: HP-UX release in 2007 DOH!!

    "...Recompiling for a new OS and then releasing it does not a new release make...". Actually there was considerably more than just a recompilation that went into 11i v3. The list of new features and new hardware support is quite long, and has been expanded on again in March 2008. You can find it all in the release notes for 11i v3 in docs.hp.com if you're really bothered (I suspect not though). Admittedly some of the features in the initial v3 release were playing catch up: like native multipathing and a unified file cache, but over all 11i v3 is quite a modern Unix implementation now. I quite like it, though given the choice I still prefer Linux ;-)

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Re: Re: SUN is dead

    OK... Matt... Whatever you say...

  75. David Halko
    Go

    SUN has not been purchased yet...

    Anon says, "it is about financials, and Im afraid to say that SUN have never been strong in this area and it has finally brought them down."

    SUN was very strong in in revenue, for awhile, but they have never really recovered from the dot-com crash.

    They have not been brought down, yet... no announcement has been made by either company and the U.S. Government did not approve it.

  76. Alan M. Feldstein

    SPARC has merit

    "It's possible that the Sparc chip business will be offloaded to Sun partner Fujitsu, with the Sparc customer base being transitioned to [Power ISA]..."

    That is speculation. It is also possible that IBM will embrace SPARC because of the strength of its RISC technology, for the preservation of Sun's SPARC customer base and to take advantage of the large set of applications that run on SPARC.

    The Power ISA (it's not called PowerPC anymore) has never really been a RISC architecture. PowerPC was derived from POWER, which stood for "Performance Optimization With Enhanced RISC". This "Enhanced RISC" sought to reduce execution time by reducing the product: cycles/instruction x instructions. In other words, it's OK to have complex instructions that hurt cycles per instruction (CPI) as long as the existence of the complex instructions significantly reduces the number of instructions in a program. As a result, there is a fair amount of complexity in Power ISA.

    The SPARC Architecture Version 9 (SPARC-V9) is a relatively clean RISC architecture and lends itself to elegant and powerful designs. For example, Fujitsu's quad core SPARC64 VII achieved a result of 25 on SPECfp2006. That was good enough for first place as recently as last August. Sun has some powerful SPARC-V9 designs on its roadmap as well. The SPARC Architecture belongs not to Sun, but to SPARC International.

    I hope Chris Mellor is wrong, but he could be right about Sun's SPARC chip business. Either way, I'll be OK. I'm learning Japanese.

    Alan M. Feldstein

    Cosmic Horizon

  77. Adam

    Re: SUN has not been purchased yet...

    You seem to be confusing revenues with profit. It is true that SUN had a good time in the dot com era.

    Unfortunately when I refer to financials I am referring to the ability to constantly ensure a good flow of high margin turnover, something HP and IBM do very well. This also means adapting and changing your business to the market conditions. SUN were very well setup (and still are) for cashing in on web type applications that require high thread throughput and excellent efficiency in running web code (think Java et al). Unfortunatley theur prodcut has not shown the same ability in running other more general applications with the same levels of efficency/availability and more importantly TCO (having a well established services arm helps you keep these low). Unfortunately their business model of "open" has not shown any ROI as of yet and Im afriad time is running out. They have negative cash flow and the bucket is starting to run out (not that it was that big a bucket in the first place, just look at HP and IBM's buckets!!)

    I also commented that it doesnt matter what happens now, SUN has a tarnished reputation. I have spoken to 3 customers in the past few days who have expressed various levels of dismay/disappoinment at this announcement. However one thing thay all have in common is they no longer see SUN as a viable vendor for their long term large strategic products, its nothing to do wiht product and everything to do with risk.

    Oh and to the AC who keeps confusing me with MB can you stop embarassing yourself.

    Thanks,

    Adam

  78. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Re: Re: SUN has not been purchased yet...

    "...who keeps confusing me with MB..."

    Adam, if you are not Matt, then stop using his same misspellings and arguments. Either you are doing a poor job of copying Matt's tirades, or you are Matt. Either way, I will continue to call you for what you are, Matt.

    It's funny that you were an AC up to the point that you were called out for who you are and then you found your courage to show your name...

    Keep trying Matt. I, for one, am not buying it.

  79. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Happy

    RE: Re: RE: Re: Even the Sunshiners have to finally admit Sun is a Norweigean Blue.

    Hey, I'm sorry, AC, I missed your little tantrum, probably due to the tears from laughing so hard at you Sunshiners.

    "....No. I have more than that. I just thought it was the most obvious...." Hmmm. Looks like you should brush up on your witty repartee whilst you're updating your CV.

    "....I could make other guesses too..." OK, I'm guessing more personal attacks, some vague accusations of geekiness, etc, etc. No chance of a reasoned argument as to why you think IBM buying Sun is a good thing.

    "....Such as you are under 40....." Close, but no cigar. Not sure if that is some type of insult in Sunshiner Land - "You're so under 40, dude!" Can't quite see it catching on myself. So, still a big fat zero score for the Sunshiner.

    "....You are not a team lead...." Still zero!

    "....You have not spoken to the "executives' at your company, no matter how much you say that you have, on anything more important than "can you please pass the cream"... " Actually, I don't take cream in my coffee. And I talk to members of our board at last once a quarter. Can you even name your board members? Doubt it.

    "....That last one was a bit of a stretch...." To be honest, all your posts fall in the stretch category!

    "....I could be wrong there...." Are we talking about your ramblings regarding Slowaris or just your fantasising about my job?

    ".....but my guess is that the "Execs" took less from the discussion than you did...." Well, usually they take a lot of advice, they happen to expect it, it's what they pay me for.

    "....Let me think then -...." Ooh, this should be a novelty for you - thinking! Try not to over reach here, I wouldn't want you to strain yourself.

    "....Your "mates", that you talk about all the time, indulge your ranting, but deep down they wish you would go away. You have attempted to "hang out" with your "mates" at the local pub, but when you get there the discussion quickly dies while you shout down anyone that has an opinion different than yours. Arguing is a fine past time at the pub, but that loud guy with all the opinions gets real boring fast...." Still waiting for the thinking bit, dude. Try again, only try a lot harder. Has the Sunshine bleached all the originality out of you?

    "....The part about the pub may actually be backwards. I am stuck between you going to the pub and no one will talk to you, and what I wrote above....." Blah, blah, blah. Are you sure you have the time and mental capacity to spare for these posts? I'm kinda concerned you won't be left with enough of either to write out your new CV, for when you go looking for your next McJob.

    "....Any of this sound familiar Matt?...." Well, there were these two little kids screaming at each other in the local playground the other day, and their insults did sound very much like your stumbling thoughts. Are you going to call me "boogerface" next?

    "....Maybe it's not all true, but this is the picture that you've painted. I have some other views on your withering life if you would like to hear them. What a lovely life you live." <Yawn> Have you finished yet? Sorry, I nearly fell asleep durig the last bit, it was just so boring. Instead of sulkily trying to insult me, I think you should really be more concerned about how your life is going to change now the Sun is so finally setting. Instead of venting all this bitterness, you should be looking for ways to move forward, build new opportunites. Just for you, 'cos I care, I'll post it again....

    https://www.redhat.com/training/

    /still pointing, still laughing!

  80. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Happy

    RE: Re: Re: SUN has not been purchased yet...

    This is just more evidence of the old Sunshiner blindness - they never were any good at taking any form of criticism, even from customers. I suppose it's just easier for the Sunshiners to imagine anyone posting anything even slightly anti-Sun is all the work of one person at a rival vendor, it feeds there little paranoid conspiracy theories. So much easier than facing up to the reality of Sun's imminent demise, or that the root of the problem has always been Sun's poor product offering and poor strategies. For all the Sunshiners know, Adam could be from one of the legion of ex-Sun partners.

    Anyway, that's very insulting to accuse poor Adam of either spelling ot typing as bad as mine! Even worse than calling him "boogerface!"

  81. David Halko
    Happy

    Re: SUN has not been purchased yet...

    Anon says, "it is about financials, and Im afraid to say that SUN have never been strong in this area and it has finally brought them down."

    Dave says, "SUN was very strong in in revenue, for awhile, but they have never really recovered from the dot-com crash."

    Adam says, "You seem to be confusing revenues with profit. It is true that SUN had a good time in the dot com era."

    Nope. I was talking about Revenue. That is at the root of SUN's financial problem.

    To make profit, if revenue was strong, all they would have to do is lay some people off once, which has already been done, and be finished with it. With declining revenue, it means multiple lay-offs need to occur. This has been the case since the dot-com crash.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: SUN has not been purchased yet...

    Sales Execution, Market Positioning, Leadership and Business & Financial Cost Management

    Agree with you David that its been revenue growth and generation thats at the root of Sun's problems for so long and then cost and profit management. In other words, its entirely been sales execution thats really been the problem.

    Too technology led at the expense of being more sales led and the balance between the two.

    Another example, sales folk within Sun compensated primarily on revenue rather than profit metrics means they're not as focussed on harder profit considerations.

    Sun seemed to be doing fine up until Y2000 when they benefitted from a massive boost with Y2000 purchases and some typical large accounts buying more than double their usual run rate.

    This however was mistaken for continued success and sales growth and not a one off once in a millennium factor.

    It appeared to breed serious complacency in a fat perhaps overly rewarded sales force in general terms.

    This appeared to breed a significant degree of arrogance, enterprise Solaris being almost a Sun monopoly, customers were faced with regular 7% quarterly and annual price hikes - just for the hell of it.

    That was until a sales campaign brilliantly led on an international account that started in London and quickly spread to the US with Fujitsu Siemens used the new Fujitsu PRIMEPOWER Solaris servers to create a dual ticket and much needed credible alternate Solaris supplier than eventually led to Fujitsu SPARC64 being embraced by Sun in the M series Fujitsu high end machines.

    Since 2000 Sun really have struggled and become an unfortunate shadow of their former selves even though right now, more than ever, the product and service offerings are their best ever.

    Perhaps I'm alone in thinking the StorageTek acquisition was a good one. Although they massively overpaid, it brought them great storage expertese especially in tape and a new focus and fresh start in storage that has been going very well since.

    It was market positioning, hubris and sales focus and execution, coupled with bloated costs and less than optimal leadership and management structures that have gradually and relentlessly led Sun to their current predicament in my view.

    I am hopeful however that through and inspired and well executed merger, especially if jobs can be managed upward at this critical time, Sun as a division or important part of another IT player and why not IBM, will shine again as they so very much deserve.

    Sun have some truly first class bright, innovative, smart and unique IT solution sets that are of tremendous benefit to the IT industry and customers.

    Sun just forgot to to really put customers ahead of technology and sound business and cost management.

    Now its shareholders and not just Sun management's decision and those of an acquiring company that come to the fore.

    I wish Sun every success and hope that their great people and terrific ideas perpetuate.

    Ray

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