Sun's 5,000 layoffs and 5 million OpenSolaris downloads

Sun's 5,000 layoffs and 5 million OpenSolaris downloads

Summary: Tom Foremski has the scoop on Sun's forthcoming layoffs. The axe is scheduled to fall on Thursday, which is the same day that Jonathan Schwartz will be giving a speech at the Supernova 2006 conference in San Francisco (I'll be there).


Tom Foremski has the scoop on Sun's forthcoming layoffs. The axe is scheduled to fall on Thursday, which is the same day that Jonathan Schwartz will be giving a speech at the Supernova 2006 conference in San Francisco (I'll be there). Tom and I both attended a dinner last night Sun hosted to mark the first year of OpenSolaris. Stephen Harpster, director of OpenSolaris at Sun, told me that Sun is not trying to take away share from Linux. "We are going for Solaris developers," he said. "People who download OpenSolaris know it has features beyond Linux." Targeting Solaris developers is the natural first step, but why not go after Linux and the lower hanging HP-UX, which Schwartz said in an open letter to HP CEO Mark Hurd should be converged with Solaris 10. 

He noted that government and universities who abandoned Solaris and now coming back to the fold with OpenSolaris. Sun has even hired student evangelists, mostly in India and China, Harpster said.

opensolarislogo.jpgWith 5 million licenses in the first years, Tom Goguen, vice president of system software at Sun, said OpenSolaris adoption exceeded expectation, calling it "wildly successful."  Most of the Fortune 500 have downloaded OpenSolaris to at least check it out, he said. The big, custom Linux shop Google has downloaded Open Solaris, but Goguen wouldn't say if the company was a paying customer. In fact, he was unable to quantify the OpenSolaris revenue contributions to Sun, as Tom points out in his post. Apparently, Sun hasn't broken out those numbers before, which are probably a bit fuzzy given nobody 'buys' an OpenSolaris license, and the finance and legal nixed the disclosure.

According to Goguen, among the registered licenses, two-thirds were for x86 systems, with 31 percent Dell, 25 percent on Dell and 24 percent IBM. The rest were on Sun hardware and a few other vendors. In total OpenSolaris is supported on 735 systems, which is more than Red Hat Enteprise Linux 4, Goguen said. Five separate distributions of OpenSolaris have also been launched, some addressing markets Sun hasn't focused on. Some other numbers:

14,000 registered community members (12,500+ non-Sun, 1,500+ are Sun employees)
39,300 postings to OpenSolaris discussion groups
33,000+ recorded downloads of OpenSolaris source code (actual is probably higher) 
30 registered OpenSolaris user groups 
440 bugs reported by the community
147 fixed / closed / in progress bugs reported by the community
170 community code contributions offered to OpenSolaris
100 community code contributions integrated into OpenSolaris (putbacks)

Goguen said that one of the biggest challenges is managing the put-backs, dealing with code management processes as the community contributes to the code base, especially with Nevada, the next version of Solaris 10.

See also: Michael Kanellos' interview with John Fowler, executive vice president of systems at Sun

Topic: Operating Systems

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  • We are doing great, except for 5000 of us.

    But hey, the thousands we hired off shore think laying off those Amercian workers was a wonderful thing. Now, if only Congress would allow more H1-B's....
    • When the layoffs start at MS, it will be more than 5,000 at a time.

      But, Sun must reduce the head count to align with realities. And, who knows, maybe they will be able to generate more revenue with fewer people and less beaurocracy.
  • 5,000 Layoff's

    Talk about a GLUT of engineers in the job market.

    Neal Saferstein
    Neal Saferstein
    • glut of engineers?

      Where on earth did you get the idea that the 5000 was going to be taken exclusively fro the ranks of engineers?

    • Proably not ...

      ... Sun needs it's engineers.
      M Wagner
  • Arm yourselves against Layoffs!

    Living close to Sun's campus in Broomfield, my community feels the effect of this massive layoff wave. At the same time, the media paints a nice 'happy' picture of the economy, yet this 5000 people who have lost (or are losing) their jobs would disagree with cnn.

    As we move into the future, we as a country must arm ourselves as employees and do all that we can to protect ourselves from layoffs. We must be prepared to compete with competition overseas as well as the 'chop-shop' outsourcing that takes place within our borders.

    Having wrestled with the looming threat of layoffs in 2001, I have dedicated the last five years of my life to researching and figuring out how to help people protect themselves from layoffs. In fact, I have placed hundred of hours of time and energy into the subject of how to avoid layoffs. There was no book on how to avoid layoffs when I began my battle. Now there is. Let me direct you to an awesome resource.