Goodbye Sun Microsystems…

So Oracle is in the final stages of buying Sun Microsystems Inc, a company I adored for years. It’s too bad to see Sun go, and with all other Oracle buyouts I’m sure not much will be left of the original idea of Sun. It’s sad to see, but after seeing Sun as the premier UNIX envorinment in the late 90’s go through it’s demise in early 2000’s the writing was on the wall.

I remember distinctly being at a good friends house discussing a plan we had to get in the car, drive to Merlo Park CA, and tell the then CEO exactly how to get back on track:

  • Start advertising was a big one. Sunrays – Awesome. Who knew they were awesome outside of Sun? No one. I was at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games supporting the Timing computers, which were Sun (again who knew?) and it was retarded that Sun didn’t want to be seen as a sponsor of the games. Dumb. On top of that, I got to see how daily random blackouts were wreaking havoc on Windows NT machines that the press were using, only to think, “If they only knew how easy support would have been if Sunray’s were here.”
  • Quality needs to be #1 again – Patches need to be solid again. Stop pushing code out the door to satisfy delivery plans. Make it right the first time.
  • Understand product support should be where opportunity is seen for improvement and customer satisfaction, and not simple as a operational cost. There was so much red tape internally at Sun it all but guaranteed unhappy customers.

Sun deserves their fate. I hope Solaris is nurtured into a bigger and better product, with fewer bugs, and ZFS can deliver on the promises it made 5 years ago and has yet to achieve it’s greatness. Xen virtualization is nice, but lacks the nice migration and recovery options VMWare has. Project Blackbox I’m sure will morph into a “Database in a Box” concept.

Oracle hopefully will take the CoolThreads sun4v technology to the next level.  The old powerhouse SPARC sun4u procs should rest in peace like the Z80’s and 68k series procs. Great procs, but power hungry and without the market share it’s too costly to keep up.

Best of luck Oracle. I wish you the best. Be gentle with one’s you buy.

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