Leave Jonathan Schwartz alone!

Leave Jonathan Schwartz alone!

Summary: Sun has been down so long it looks like up. The company has completely reconfigured itself, as an open source advocate, in order to stay relevant. So give Jonathan his props. He's trying to do the right thing, while also delivering for his employees and shareholders.

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Chris CrockerSnark alert.

Amanda McPherson, marketing director at the Linux Foundation, has taken apart Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz' arguments for Open Solaris on her blog.

At his company's Global Summit, Schwartz defended Sun's open source strategy and said he will be targeting "Web 2.0" companies in his marketing efforts.

His pitch was that mySQL, Solaris, and the VirtualBox virtualization system make for a pretty compelling package.

McPherson calls that the bunk. "Hey Jonathan: The L in LAMP is Literal," is her headline.

On the merits she may be right. As I say here, your mileage may vary. I see Schwartz pitching Sun as a unique supplier of parts which glue the worlds of Windows and Linux, closed and open source, together. The essential intermediary.

For enterprises which must live in a mixed-source world, this may appear attractive. Scaled enterprises aren't just going to download a LAMP stack and roll with it, Schwartz argues. They're going to need help, especially when it comes time to build enterprise applications mixing Linux and Windows data formats.

But there's this other, snarkier bit, which I hint at through that picture of Chris Crocker at the top of the page.

It's better to pick on someone when they're up than when they're down. Facing a dragon is always more heroic than kicking a dog.

Sun has been down so long it looks like up. The company has completely reconfigured itself, as an open source advocate, in order to stay relevant.

So give Jonathan his props. He's trying to do the right thing, while also delivering for his employees and shareholders.

If that means letting him get in some digs at Linux, maybe we should turn the other cheek. I know Linus Torvalds has issues with Sun, but the company has changed. It's trying hard to become Anne Hathaway. Maybe it's just gotten to Lindsay Lohan.

For now, leave Jonathan Schwartz alone.

Topics: Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems, Oracle, Software, Windows

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4 comments
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  • Keep Kicking

    Here's the problem with not calling Sun on their BS. They aren't saying it jsut to validate their lives, they're saying it to sell their solution to businesses. Those of us in the IT side of those businesses don't want some upper management type to stick us with a bad solution because they liked the line the company's spouting.

    I loved Sun back in the day, but it's been a long time since they've done anything relevant, and that includes now (except for potentially screwing up mySQL, a fearful prospect). Staying silent about the holes in their strategy/argument means we, the IT workers, will get stuck with implementing suboptimal solutions. Is that really in anyone's best interest? We're supposed to "show charity" to Sun like they're our retarded stepbrother?
    mxyzplk
    • Re: Relevant?

      > I loved Sun back in the day, but it's been a long time since they've done anything relevant, and that includes now (except for potentially screwing up mySQL, a fearful prospect). Staying silent about the holes in their strategy/argument means we, the IT workers, will get stuck with implementing suboptimal solutions. Is that really in anyone's best interest? We're supposed to "show charity" to Sun like they're our retarded stepbrother?

      I got sick and tired of listening to blow-hard IT managers and to arrogant "reporters" years ago for their incessant drumbeat against Sun and all that they do. They are the single, largest
      contributor to open source. Period. Whether it's OpenOffice, Solaris, chip RTLs, NFS, ZFS, Java, Hypervisor, and a whole host of tools and APIs, they have given nearly everything away with the hope of engaging with smart developers, IT managers, and potential customers. Nobody comes close.

      The x86 product line is second to none in the industry. They are pumping out Xeon/AMD/SPARC blades and servers like there's no tomorrow, a whole pantheon of high quality x86-based storage solutions that are winning awards, and SPARC servers with SPECint rate metrics and I/O that blow away products from IBM and HP that are much more expensive.

      The Niagara line and future ROCK lines of processors are groundbreaking. By even conservative estimates, they are 5 years ahead of the competition.

      They aren't producing the strongest lineup of products in their history for the sake of being relevant. They are making these products to MAKE MONEY, something they are now consistently doing while good ol' Redhat is scraping by.

      Screwing up mySQL? What the hell are you talking about, dude? Solaris has a rock-solid reputation. There are Linux and Windows bugs posted often. With very, very few exceptions, Sun has a sterling reputation at the writing, debugging, and supporting of their entire software stack. They will help mySQL scale just fine, and there are plenty of people who agree with that assessment who don't get paychecks from Sun.

      The only retard here, dude, is an IT manager who sticks his head
      in the sand when confronted with facts that are at odds with
      his outdated knowledge and experience.

      Sun is posting a profit these days with huge gross margins.
      You don't get huge gross margins if you're just 'relevant'.
      You get huge gross margins when people want you.
      jpincus
      • Good company line, but...

        So our company buys lots of Sun hardware along with others. We're not "anti-Sun" per se. But they've been losing a lot of ground in the last four years.

        Hardware. We used to be an all-Sun shop, UNIX-wise. Then, last year, we switched all our application servers over to Dell/Linux and doubled our Web site performance (not to mention price/performance). We evaluated the T1000s and 4200s at the same time and they did not come out well. The T1000s, though highly scalable, were just flat slower for your normal Web Java app kind of workload. The 4200s were crashy and hard to get.

        This segues into the process problem that hobbles Sun. They're always happy to talk about their cool new technology. But then you try to actually get your hands on some. Well, it's not actually available yet. Or it's available, but only for some "large customers" but not you. Our sales rep brings in a team of Sun bigwigs frequently to talk about the cool things they have. Then we say "OK, get us 2 demo units so we can run a bakeoff with them." Excuses commence.

        Our UNIX admins still really like Sun hardware for its reliability. We still run our Oracle databases on Solaris - but Oracle is telling us "yeah, maybe you should be looking at RACed Dells instead."

        We're not prejudiced. We're replacing our ERP app servers and doing a bakeoff with Dell, Sun, IBM, etc. to find out what's best. I don't own stock in any of these guys. But let them stand on their real merits, not their "story." You can tell me about your SPECint, but if I load apps on your server and they are slow, I don't care.

        Software. So props for the open source efforts, but does that make me want to buy their products? Take Solaris x86, the OS on which no third party software runs. Real people in real companies by app servers, content maangement systems, enterprise search, etc. and guess how many people have Solaris x86 on ther certified list.

        Anyway, so I'm not "anti-Sun." But the gist of this article was "oh, don't poke hard uncaring facts into Sun's nice rosy propaganda story." Sorry. Deliver me products I can use and I'll buy them; otherwise keep the stories to yourself. Businesses aren't charities.
        mxyzplk
  • Well ...

    In you changed the acronym of LAMP to strip Linux and include Solaris/Web 2.0 you would just call it SWAMP, right? ;)
    MisterMiester