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Solaris on Intel Debate Rages On

The brouhaha between Sun Microsystems Inc. and the Solaris on Intel user community took another turn this week.

A half-page advertisement in Tuesday's San Jose Mercury News, titled "Shame on you, Scott," is the latest salvo in the battle to have Sun release its Solaris 9 operating environment for non-Sun hardware.

More: eWeek

Posted 2002-09-04, 17:21 GMT by Mariusz Zynel

Solaris x86 is back!

This is an email I have wanted to write for a long time. Tomorrow Sun will make some clear and decisive announcements concerning Solaris x86 and it's future. I have divided this into 2 parts: the first that summarises what is being announced; the second is a scorecard which covers what you, the community and your elected representatives have told me you want Sun to do, lets see how I score against it:

What is being announced?

Sun is announcing the LX50, the first in a new category of systems from Sun that will run both Solaris x86 and Linux. These systems will ship with Solaris 8 x86 in September and Solaris 9 x86 early in 2003. We plan to resync the updates for Solaris 9 between x86 and SPARC with the second update release in December 2002. That means Solaris 9 x86 will be fully up to date at that time. We are also building the development kernel (that eventually becomes Solaris 10) in both SPARC and x86 architectures.

Sun also announced that the Sun ONE stack and other Sun software products will be supported on both Solaris x86 and Linux. The full roadmap for the availability of these products is yet available. My personal expectation is that we will have completed the roadmap before 12 months are up.

Now for the part that will be controversial with this group: Solaris 9 x86 will only be licensed for use on systems shipped by Sun. However, a new program designed for the Solaris x86 community is planned for announcement in the near future. This means that we plan for you to be able to use future Solaris x86 releases beyond Solaris 8 as part of a new program. I'm planning to announce this to you all before the end of September.

Now for the score card.

1. Implement a profitable business model for Solaris x86 at Sun

The announcement that the LX50 from Sun runs Solaris x86 links the OS to a larger revenue stream than was the case before. The sales channels, both direct and indirect understands the business model and will be equipped to sell Solaris x86 in volume. We have completed the sales training, video/audio CDs, collateral websites, internal announcements etc.

2. Include Solaris x86 configurations of the BigBear server

Done, same configs, same price, same included software as Linux. The focus for included software parity is Solaris 9. The list of software will be indexed from the web page http://sun.com/intel (also http://sun.com/solaris/lx50) It's not clear to me yet if we will test all products on Solaris 8 x86 or not. We will be guided by business opportunities.

3. Include Solaris 9 x86 BigBear configurations

Done, early 2003 schedule.

4. Include support for all of Sun's modern software products on x86

Done. Roadmap will be available on Sun.com website. Some indications: Sun ONE Directory already in Solaris 9 x86, Applications Server is a key next target, as is the identity server. Though not a commitment, I would expect to see all of the Sun ONE portfolio that is appropriate to the LX50 to be completed within 12 months.

5. Sell Solaris x86 through bookstores (public and Edu)

No immediate plans to do this, given our renewed focus. However, we are reviewing with the Sun Education line-of-business group what an optimal program would look like. We will work with our customers to make the right decisions here.

6. Return downloads of Solaris Intel at reasonable cost

Done back in May 2002, $20 per successful download.

7. Continue to build Solaris x86 future releases (e.g. Solaris 10)

Announcement 8/11 includes information that we are building development kernels on both SPARC and x86 architectures.

8. Rename Solaris Intel Platform Edition back to Solaris x86

Name changed back to Solaris x86 effective immediately, will take a little time to work through all the web sites and documentation.

9. Scream from the rooftops when Solaris x86 returns

I have been engaged in industry analyst briefings these past 2 weeks and embargoed international press briefings more recently. We have called a full court press conference in San Francisco and have conducted call-downs to ensure a good turn out. I expect to see 80-100 press reporters tomorrow at the briefings. We are also placing advertisements and I believe we will include in Scott's keynote speech at Linux World

While I have addressed all of your issues above, there may be some aspects that you may still be disappointed with. You wanted firm decisions, you now have them. What is left is to work through the community and edu programs and announce/ship them asap. That's our next work task, one I look forward to.

Graham Lovell - Solaris Software Marketing

Posted 2002-08-13, 00:30 GMT by Mariusz Zynel

Graham Lovell's progress status

As you no doubt saw, Sun did indeed make a profit this past quarter. While the business environment that the computer industry finds itself in is still very tough going, incremental investments are still justifable where business plans clearly show a good ROI. I'm probably going out on a limb here, something you know I am cautious about, but I'm really encouraged by what I see is happening within Sun which are positive indicators for the future revisions of Solaris x86 and associated software.

As you would expect, your representatives, the secret six, have kept the pressure on Sun. Their advice and responsiveness has helped Sun to be focused on the key opportunities.

When I am able to, I will update you on more tangible progress.

Graham Lovell - Solaris Software Marketing

Posted 2002-07-22, 16:17 GMT by Mariusz Zynel

Sun Feels Heat Over x86

Disgruntled Solaris users are pushing Sun Microsystems Inc. to decide on the fate of the operating environment on Intel Corp. processors.

Sun officials in Palo Alto, Calif., have been going back and forth with the Solaris Intel user base since January, when the company said Version 9 for the x86 architecture was being "deferred" in favor of projects that were more profitable.

More: eWeek

Posted 2002-06-11, 18:40 GMT by Mariusz Zynel

Sun to reprieve Solaris 9 for Intel?

Solaris 9 for Intel could be poised to ship after all, Register spies at Sun suggest. The official line is currently that Sun is shipping Solaris 9 for Sparc, but that "Sun is deferring the productization and release of the Solaris 9 OE for Intel IA-32." In English this means that Sun has (probably) more or less finished it but is hesitating as to whether or not to ship it, while in ITspeak this sort of phrasing generally means that the product is headed for a lingering death in the netherworld.

More: The Register

Posted 2002-05-31, 13:43 GMT by Mariusz Zynel

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Last modified: 2002-02-25