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Sun's CEO On FOSS and the Cloud

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the don't-clouds-block-the-sun dept.

Sun Microsystems 74

ruphus13 writes "Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz continues to promote the use of Open Source, and says the downturn in the economy will only boost the momentum behind FOSS. From his post, 'Free and open source software is sweeping across the vast majority of the Fortune 500. When you see the world's most conservative companies starting to deploy open source, you know momentum is on your side. That's creating massive opportunity for those of us who have pioneered the market, to drive commercial opportunities... We announced just last week that we're building the Sun Cloud, atop open source platforms — from ZFS and Crossbow, to MySQL and Glassfish. By building on open source, we're able to avoid proprietary storage and networking products, alongside proprietary software.'" In related news, the Sun-IBM deal proposed last week has been called "anti-competitive" by a tech industry group, while others are speculating on how it could affect Linux and Java.

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74 comments

Still the Cloud? (4, Insightful)

Idiot with a gun (1081749) | about 5 years ago | (#27312453)

All this cloud nonsense is silly. Most end-users and businesses have invested way too much money in powerful workstations, desktops, and laptops, to justify scrapping them in favor of ultralights depending on cloud computing. It's just a marketing pipe dream.

Even a watered down version of the cloud, say for storage has inherent security issues. How do you control what data goes where, who accesses it, how do you secure it, etc. If I'm counting on some server to hold all of my data outside of my computer, then god save me if I lose my network connection, or if their servers are compromised. At least if I lose my own data, I know whom to blame.

Re:Still the Cloud? (1, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 years ago | (#27312505)

All this cloud nonsense is silly. Most end-users and businesses have invested way too much money in powerful workstations, desktops, and laptops, to justify scrapping them in favor of ultralights depending on cloud computing.

All that shit will be obsolete in two years or less, so this is a non-objection.

It's just a marketing pipe dream.

This part is still true. It's true, however, because mobile always-on internet access is still unreliable and expensive. (You can get it pretty cheap, but it's very bad.)

Re:Still the Cloud? (1)

benjamindees (441808) | about 5 years ago | (#27312567)

All that shit will be obsolete in two years or less, so this is a non-objection.

Exactly. Instead of putting old computers into the wastebin, put them into the cloud as (smart) dumb terminals.

Re:Still the Cloud? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 years ago | (#27338141)

Exactly. Instead of putting old computers into the wastebin, put them into the cloud as (smart) dumb terminals.

I only wish I could make a comment a reply to multiple comments (it would be the most abused feature ever, though.) In any case, you don't do this because the old machines become a support nightmare and they draw more power than the new machines. I just bought one of those 45W solar panel systems from Harbor Freight to fiddle around with. In any case, it wouldn't run my lady's old P4 laptop long, but if I don't use too much CPU it ought to run my Core 2 Duo system at least as long as the sun shines, if not more. It would run maybe two or three Geode-based systems. It would run a whole clusterfuck of iPhones.

Re:Still the Cloud? (1)

benjamindees (441808) | about 5 years ago | (#27339277)

In any case, you don't do this because the old machines become a support nightmare and they draw more power than the new machines.

Hardly. A modern $500 desktop computer would have to consume on average 190 Watts [google.com] less than the computer it replaces, 24 hours a day for at least three years, in order to justify it's purchase based on power savings alone. So there's not really any chance in hell of that happening, even if you're including monitors, which we're not since they can be upgraded separately. (I realize this is a simplistic assessment but I'd be happy to do a more thorough one if you don't believe me.)

As for support, well that's the reason I said "put them into the cloud as (smart) dumb terminals". Even complete hardware failure wouldn't cause anything more than a temporary inconvenience until a replacement could be provided.

Re:Still the Cloud? (1)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#27313211)

Obsolete in what sense? Something not worth repairing can still be worth using (and this tends to get more true as price drops and performance increases...).

Re:Still the Cloud? (2, Insightful)

rackserverdeals (1503561) | about 5 years ago | (#27314517)

In large companies, you don't run equipment without a service contract.

Typical service contracts run for 3 years. You can continue to pay for support, but at some point you're paying more than it would cost to buy new.

Re:Still the Cloud? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 5 years ago | (#27314897)

Our organization is not huge, but not tiny either (a little over 1000 employees), and though it's not all that common, we will typically run hardware without a service contract. Prior to this I worked at a large state university that did the same. The simple fact is that with in-house IT staff (who are already on the clock and paid for), the odd hard drive crash or CDROM dieing is trivial to repair (when necessary - the majority of systems will go far longer than 3 years without any hardware issues).

Now, for large software packages we certainly don't run without paid support, but that's another matter entirely.

Besides, saying that we're going to adopt dumb terminals again while in the same breath stating that all our equipment will be obsolete in 2 years doesn't make sense. Most of the "cloud" applications are a huge step back in interface, speed, and the clients to them (when true thin clients are used) are far less powerful than their "obsolete" cousins. It's a hell of a lot of sacrifices to be made, and the few benefits provided aren't always going to tip the scales.

Re:Still the Cloud? (1)

rackserverdeals (1503561) | about 5 years ago | (#27315191)

Now, for large software packages we certainly don't run without paid support, but that's another matter entirely.

No, it's not another matter entirely. It's exactly what the Sun Cloud is about. Don't know what you and all the other people talking about utility computing and thin clients have to do with this discussion.

Service Contracts... (1)

benjamindees (441808) | about 5 years ago | (#27315013)

Something tells me that Google doesn't pay for service contracts. Or were you referring to companies larger than Google?

Re:Service Contracts... (1)

rackserverdeals (1503561) | about 5 years ago | (#27315855)

Who says Google doesn't pay for service contracts?

Google is open in many ways but very secretive in others. Especially about their infrastructure.

Their main search platform, probably not, but not everything seems to run on the main search platform.

A few years ago it was easy to find links to McNealy talking about how sun servers were used to power adwords/adsense or something along those lines. Hard to find those links now. All I can seem to find is this story where mcnealy mentions he can't give specifics about Sun/Google business [zdnet.com]

I don't know what the current state of things are but neither do you. If you did know, you wouldn't be allowed to say anything.

Re:Service Contracts... (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | about 5 years ago | (#27316111)

he was refering to companies that are not IT shops. IT companies like google, MS, Sun, etc. have in-house expertise to deal with whatever happens, not to mentions that most of what they run is developed in-house too.

now, google, IBM, MS, HP, etc. are not the only mega-companies in the world, you know ? there are people like GM, Ford, Daimler, GE, Honda, Toyota, Shell, Vale, etc. none of them are IT shops. the later ones like a lot to have service contracts in place to deal with stuff that's not part of their core business.

Re:Still the Cloud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27326691)

In large companies, you don't run equipment without a service contract.

I work in a large company (IT consultancy, one rung below the big names) and our PCs and laptops are supported (hardware wise) in-house, mainly by component swapping etc. They typically last about 6 years; old equipment gets cascaded down to people with less demanding requirements - for example, I work in the mainframe area so I don't need a powerful PC or laptop, just connectivity to the mainframes, office suite, email, browser etc.
My PC dates from about 2002, reimaged and passed to me in 2005. I think my laptop's even older.

I can't understand why any large company would want expensive hardware service contracts for commodity PCs when it can just swap components and entire PCs in and out for relatively little money.

Re:Still the Cloud? (4, Interesting)

noundi (1044080) | about 5 years ago | (#27312613)

First of all it's not something you migrate to in a heartbeat. It takes time and careful consideration. And you're right, not all benefit from it but why should they? Or more importantly, why is it bad unless the majority benefits from it? There are many businesses that would find this to be a good solution. And what goes for central storage, most larger networks often use a similair solution. I have my data on my hard drive, but trust me, if I lose my network connection my data is rendered more or less useless anyway. But the point is you don't build a cloud system and leave space for network outage. If you're very depended on it you make sure there are plan B's and C's and D's.

Re:Still the Cloud? (5, Insightful)

Jawn98685 (687784) | about 5 years ago | (#27312625)

Yes, still the cloud.
My guess is that you don't have much experience in supporting large numbers of "...powerful workstations, desktops, and laptops..." If you did, you wouldn't make such stupid presumptions like thinking that the amount of money "invested" in that hardware is the significant cost associated with operating that hardware and the systems that depend on it.

There are many potential reasons why cloud computing may not be a good fit, but the "waste" of jettisoning legacy hardware is hardly one of them.

Re:Still the Cloud? (2, Informative)

pilgrim23 (716938) | about 5 years ago | (#27313855)

One interesting example of "the cloud" would be the way IBM and other hardware engineers (CEs to the older among us) report basic hardware issues on trouble tickets from customer sites. I say IBM because the ubiquitous "IBM Brick" was the communication device every CE carried in the 70s and 80s. Now everyone from Ikon Office to NCR has a version of it on a Cell network. The Engineer updates the ticket, orders parts, pages people, gets customer authorization and even supply billing , heck he can even chat from his hand-held. The cloud is old and has been with us for longer then you realize.

Re:Still the Cloud? (1, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | about 5 years ago | (#27312991)

Even a watered down version of the cloud, say for storage has inherent security issues. How do you control what data goes where, who accesses it, how do you secure it, etc.

Some of that can be helped with proper implementation of encryption, if anyone actually got around to dealing with this problem in a thorough manner.

If I'm counting on some server to hold all of my data outside of my computer, then god save me if I lose my network connection

That wouldn't be so frequent if people took data infrastructure seriously, but also it can be helped by proper use of caching/syncing.

or if their servers are compromised.

That's what backups are for.

I'm not really dismissing your points, but rather trying to point out that none of these things are insurmountable. It's just that people have done a poor job of addressing your concerns up to this point.

Re:Still the Cloud? (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 5 years ago | (#27313795)

Preventing vendor lock in. Ensuring privacy of sensitive data. Neither of these is possible with any cloud computing product available. The cloud is great if you want to have 10,000 boxes gathering data, then ask 10,000 boxes for their opinion, and return a summary of the opinion of those boxes that returned in a timely enough fashion. For problems that are best solved in this way, clouds are great. Great for Google spitting out a list of links with no hard requirement that they be anything but crap, great for Amazon spitting out a list of products that you might like with no hard requirement that you actually do. Not so practical for your traditional web app though...

Re:Still the Cloud? (3, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | about 5 years ago | (#27313943)

Preventing vendor lock in. Ensuring privacy of sensitive data. Neither of these is possible with any cloud computing product available.

I'm decidedly not saying that any "cloud" service currently available is perfect. I'm saying many of the problems are not inherent, but rather could be solved. For example, having fast and reliable ubiquitous Internet access isn't something that Amazon or Google could simply fix. It's an infrastructure problem, and that infrastructure can be improved greatly from its current state.

Re:Still the Cloud? (1)

garaged (579941) | about 5 years ago | (#27333221)

I don't see google accepting to store my info encrypted.

I don't know about amazon's service, or any other, but I think the only way to achieve security is to actually rent servers or at least VPS.

This cloud thing is a synonim for cluster and that has lived for long years

Re:Still the Cloud? (4, Insightful)

rackserverdeals (1503561) | about 5 years ago | (#27313253)

All this cloud nonsense is silly. Most end-users and businesses have invested way too much money in powerful workstations, desktops, and laptops, to justify scrapping them in favor of ultralights depending on cloud computing. It's just a marketing pipe dream.

The version of the cloud they are releasing is similar to the Amazon EC2 platform. It is not currently aimed at "workstatinos, desktops and laptops" as you said. The primary focus seems to be for startups and other companies that need an easy way to grow their infrastructure without having to make a big investment in hardware.

One example is a merchant that does 90% of their business around Christmas. Instead of having a rack full of expensive computers in a colo facility sitting 90% idle most of the year, they can expand their capacity just when they need it and save a lot of money.

Sun put up some videos from a recent conference where they annouced the Sun Cloud [sun.com].

It's very cool. Think about all the times you've developed your dream infrastructure and maybe drew it out in Visio or Dia, except when you're adding shapes into your network diagram, actual virtual servers are being deployed.

At least that's what the demonstration shows.

Now lets say you're having a problem with your appllcation and you don't know where it is but you have to do some stress testing to figure it out. You can't do that to your live system.

You can essentially copy and paste your whole production configuration as a test environment, run your tests, profiling, fix your application, then delete the whole setup and never have to pay for it again. You can't do that with real hardware.

You could do the same with a development environment. And it seems you only pay while it's running, so you launch it from 9-5 (ok 11:30ish to 4:19pm) and turn it off the rest of the time to save money. Should be much cheaper than buying twice as many real servers.

Re:Still the Cloud? (1)

khanyisa (595216) | about 5 years ago | (#27330205)

So what do the people running the cloud do at Christmas if most of the people they're supporting need 10 times the load? Clearly there could be an advantage in other situations, but it doesn't solve everything...

Re:Still the Cloud? (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | about 5 years ago | (#27494929)

So what do the people running the cloud do at Christmas if most of the people they're supporting need 10 times the load?

The cloud provider is going to have a heterogeneous set of customers.

Perhaps your e-commerce company needs to scale up for Christmas, while my monthly payment processor needs to scale up on the first day of every month, and some other customer has to scale up on Mondays to deal with processing that queued up over the weekend, and some other customer scales up at night for nightly processing, and some other customer needs to scale up during business hours, and...

In other words, demand gets smoothed out a bit for the cloud provider by having a diversity of different customers with a diversity of different requirements.

Re:Still the Cloud? (4, Informative)

Tranzistors (1180307) | about 5 years ago | (#27313501)

Even a watered down version of the cloud, say for storage has inherent security issues. How do you control what data goes where, who accesses it, how do you secure it, etc.
If I got it correctly, SUN will provide cloud under roof â" cloud is owned and controlled by the company using it.
From http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan/entry/unified_computing [sun.com]

Third, unlike our peers, we also announced our cloud will be available for deployment behind corporate firewalls - that we'll commercialize our public cloud by instantiating it in private datacenters for those customers who can't, due to regulation, security or business constraints, use a public cloud. We recognize that workloads subject to fiduciary duty or regulatory scrutiny won't move to public clouds - if you can't move to the cloud, we'll move the cloud to you.

Re:Still the Cloud? (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | about 5 years ago | (#27313849)

My wife an I both have iPhones. I'd guess that somewhere in neighborhood of 30%-40% of the people I know have some version of smart phone, and those numbers are growing. Netbooks are one of the fastest growing segments of the computer industry. You're both right and wrong. I don't see a lot of people giving up their powerful home systems for when they are sitting at their base of operations and "working", but lots of advantages can be seen for the rest of the time.

I think what we'll see on the personal side is a hybrid approach, hopefully using open standards. How cool would it be to have a powerful machine at home where you can create and edit content (documents, spreadsheets, pictures, videos, whatever) put them in a open globally recognized format and mirror them to some service on the "cloud", so that when you're at a client's site or a coffee shop, or the library you can pull them up and display or edit them as needed on your phone, your ultra-portable computer, or even the library or Internet Cafe workstation. When you save the "cloud" copy on whatever device you use to edit it, the document mirrors back to your home system. You backup (or not, it's your stuff, not mine) your home system, and you've got "real" copies of the editing/creation software you use there so there's no real risk of losing data in the event that your "cloud" service fails, and since the standards are open you can just get a new cloud service to use your old data. If you have something private that you don't want getting out, you just don't put it in your "mirror" folder. I could totally see something like this taking off.

On the corporate side I see a different approach. Locally hosted clouds. Basically the corporate intranet has it's own local "Google Gears" server, where everyone connects and runs the shared apps. This would save companies a fair amount of money and ensure that anyone who can get to the Intranet (say through a VPN) is able to get to the tools they need to do almost everything from where ever they are. This seems a little chancier than the personal version. Computing power in workstations is getting so cheap that I question how quick companies will be to hop on this kind of bandwagon. Getting a low power workstation to run a Gears instance for $100 vs a more powerful one that can run everything locally for $250 isn't much money in the grand scheme. On the other hand it would allow them to control things more tightly, and it is saving some money on hardware costs (whether the scheme itself has enough overhead to eat that savings is another question), so it might fly. Remember that most companies replace all of their computers every 3-4 years, often on a rotational basis, so as soon as they made a decision to implement something like this it would have an affect.

Re:Still the Cloud? (1)

eudaemon (320983) | about 5 years ago | (#27314739)

Let's push your argument about not needing for the desktop aside for a moment --
what about analytical work that outclasses portable devices? Think sketching up
a simulation on your Gphone and then throwing it to the amazon could for number crunching.

Re:Still the Cloud? (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | about 5 years ago | (#27316871)

We're actually moving in this direction, due mainly to security and data retention/backups. Currently, security is mainly failing at the personal level. This isn't always due to maliciousness but mostly to human stupidity. Putting controls and audit trails on stuff makes securing data easier.

Re:Still the Cloud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27317613)

Not for a small business it isn't.
Yes, a large corporation would be foolish to get enveloped by 'the cloud'.

My analyst friend says that it is true about a large corporation not buying into the cloud, but that it makes a lot of sense for a startup.

And then, if the startup gets big (which most don't) then they will need to invest in all of the infrastructure that you mention. PS: 'cloud' is a very bad synonym for 'software as a service'. The concept as been around for years but the marketting a-holes have developed the term 'cloud' which is too cute for them to let go.

Analogous to this is the term 'twitter' which is a particularly annoying new advertising blitz. twitter is essentially a micro-blog. Again a concept that has been around since the early days of CSS (ie wheather reports have been on the internet since the early days of 15 years ago) but some marketing a-holes who want to IPO make a new word, attach it to a simplistic idea and then, walla, they are handed millions in IPO money from stupid bankers (who are probably related to them).

'Cloud' and 'twitter' are both are terms that come from marketting. Don't confuse the idiocy of these terms, and the nacent minds that come up with them, with the very sofisiticated ideas of software as a service and microblogging.

Re:Still the Cloud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27318167)

MapReduce

How can you process large datasets? The most convenient way is to rent the storage and 10s of thousands of computers for a limited amount time to get the results. How much money would you otherwise spend?

Yes, most companies don't need such a hammer. But for my work the ability to use thousands of computers and wait for the results one day is much better than to use one computer and wait 30 years. And there many inter

Where's the money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27312531)

This is interesting coming from the guy that's currently having to sell his company to IBM because FOSS didn't save his bacon...

Re:Where's the money? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27312637)

Speaking of open sores, VA Linux (or whatever they call themselves now) has a share price of $0.82 and a market cap of $53 million.

Re:Where's the money? (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | about 5 years ago | (#27314443)

Without knowing why IBM is interested in buying Sun, isn't it a bit presumptuous to think that Sun's position in the FOSS world might not have something to do with it?

Re:Where's the money? (1)

jeffstar (134407) | about 5 years ago | (#27321533)

the tectonic article states that maybe IBM would buy sun for MySQL since DB2 is 'flagging'.

This company is best positioned for the future (4, Insightful)

Xemu (50595) | about 5 years ago | (#27312535)

Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz continues to promote ... says the downturn in the economy will only boost the momentum ...That's creating massive opportunity for those of us who have pioneered the market, to drive commercial opportunities... We announced just last week that ...

So in other words, A high-level spokesperson for [vendor X] is quoted as saying that [recent event] is really good for [vendor X] business, and that recently released [product Y] is positioned perfectly for current market conditions.

What a surprise.

Re:This company is best positioned for the future (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | about 5 years ago | (#27313615)

But it's really hard to argue now that their F/LOSS portfolio is a burden and was a waste of money.

Whoever planned those acquisitions in past was visionary.

But whoever would have to capitalize on that now ... good luck. He'd better be at least a double visionary of the previous guy.

I'd say Sun, a not-so-much service company compared to HP or IBM, is in quite bad position. Their corporate culture is also not that nice to customers: they are used too much to selling boxes. All that "service" thing is way to new for them. And cloud is primarily a service, not product. They have been changing in past few years (my employer is actually "strategical partner" of Sun) but I'm not sure they have much time left to convince everybody to try to deal with them again. (That's probably why the aforementioned focus on start-ups - what is also bad timing, since in the financial state, there would be much less of those.)

Re:This company is best positioned for the future (1)

kestasjk (933987) | about 5 years ago | (#27313715)

Microsoft will say during a downturn no-one will want to invest in training and software migration, and can make up some TCO numbers anyway..

Re:This company is best positioned for the future (2, Insightful)

pr0nbot (313417) | about 5 years ago | (#27313915)

The motives for a statement have no relevance to its truth or untruth.

Swastika in the Sun Logo? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27312553)

Does anyone else see the swastika in the Sun logo?

Re:Swastika in the Sun Logo? (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | about 5 years ago | (#27313811)

Yep, right handed swastika - right in the Sun's logo. Which in some mythologies is actually associated with ... right - the Sun. (The star under which like where are living - not the corporation.)

For comparison: Swastika [wikipedia.org] vs. Sun's logo [wikipedia.org]

As somebody born long after WWII I hardly have anything negative against swastika.

Still. Sun's logo was so many year popping up randomly before my eyes and I never spotted the pun: it is quite literally 100% sun wheel or good or right-handed swastika.

Give Sun more time (1)

javacowboy (222023) | about 5 years ago | (#27312663)

Sun's strategy is sound. Essentially, it's to become to provider of dev tools of choice and then use those developers to promote their tools in the organizations in which they work. Those organizations will then need to buy support from Sun.

It's a great strategy, but it takes time to execute. Unfortunately, the recession happened at the wrong time and 10% of Sun's customers went under.

Re:Give Sun more time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27313583)

I'm not convinced it was so sound. They make most of their money on hardware and Solaris, right? They give their "dev tools of choice" away for free.

Unfortunately, Linux and Dell came along to cannibalize their market for Unix on low-end hardware, Microsoft came out with a mostly-workable Java alternative in .Net, and great developers are no longer the primma-donnas of IT that they were in the dot com era, able to demand their high-end platform of choice on every server in the company. Nowadays, in all but a few well-managed shops, they are sent packing once the software is written, or dev work is off-shored completely.

Re:Give Sun more time (1)

javacowboy (222023) | about 5 years ago | (#27313791)

Well, as a developer who's used Sun's tools in my spare time on my own hardware, I can tell you that I'd be advocating those tools at my company, if it weren't for all the red tape.

At any small dev shops that aren't locked down by red tape, any developer who has a solution to a problem will be able to implement it without even asking for permission. For any shop where "get the job done" is the mantra, as opposed to "let me micromanage you because I have all the time in the world", this will work.

Hell, look at all the consultants who are writing Ruby on Rails code. You're not going to convince me that this was a top-down decision from management.

Re:Give Sun more time (1)

rackserverdeals (1503561) | about 5 years ago | (#27314233)

Actually, now might be just the right time to promote those tools.

Many people want to cut costs and increase time to market. If you and other developers are already using tools that can do that, that eliminates or reduces the primary barrier, training.

Re:Give Sun more time (1)

rackserverdeals (1503561) | about 5 years ago | (#27313669)

Jonathan Schwartz put out a series of 4 videos on his blog [sun.com] (YouTube versions here [youtube.com]) where he outlines the strategy you mentioned.

It seems to make sense. The economic downturn really hurt sun because a lot of it's big clients in their high margin areas were on Wall St.

I hope they work through it because they're a very innovative company for their size. For example, Intel still hasn't released their 8 core (2 threads per core) chips yet, while Sun has had 8 core 8 thread per core chips for a while now. They are even able to run them in multi socket systems.

The Schwartz is with you ... NOT (1)

pallmall1 (882819) | about 5 years ago | (#27312727)

Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz continues to promote the use of Open Source...

Strange words considering that JavaFX is only for Windows and Mac. The promised [sun.com] linux and solaris release is nowhere to be found, and the hacks for installing the 1.0 mac version on linux were broken in the javafx 1.1 (also Windows/Mac only) release.

When Schwartz talks about the "cloud", I think he's really talking about vaporware.

Re:The Schwartz is with you ... NOT (3, Informative)

javacowboy (222023) | about 5 years ago | (#27313045)

Here are the instructions for installing 1.1 on Linux (haven't tried this myself):

http://java.dzone.com/tips/javafx-11-linux-netbeans [dzone.com]

And OpenSolaris (not sure if they work with 1.1, I haven't had time to try):

http://blogs.sun.com/observatory/entry/javafx [sun.com]

The reason JavaFX is not officially available on Linux and OpenSolaris is because they haven't solved the media rendering issues on those two OS's, so they can't offer the full non-beta versions.

Besides, if JavaFX doesn't work completely on Sun's *own* OS, then you know that there are substantial issues still to be resolved. It has nothing to do with any vindication against open source.

I agree about the downturn helping (;-)) (2, Interesting)

davecb (6526) | about 5 years ago | (#27312769)

As an Evil Contractor[TM], I usually find a downturn increase both

  • my business, and
  • my customers' interest in low-cost, medium-performance or medium-feature-set solutions.

--dave

Re:I agree about the downturn helping (;-)) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27318193)

Dave, Just because you use "tm" doesnt mean you have a trademark. Learn a thing or two about trademarks. They cost a bit more than simply adding TM next to whatever you feel is "cool".

Remember pen based computing? (0, Redundant)

MpVpRb (1423381) | about 5 years ago | (#27312849)

A few years ago, the tech press became infatuated with the idea of pen based computing. It seemed like every article talked about it. At every press conference, the rep was asked "what's your pen strategy".

Nobody seemed to notice that it was a bad idea that never quite worked correctly.

Now, the tech press seems to be focusing on the "cloud".

It's also a bad idea that doesn't work very well.

I can imagine a niche where cloud computing fits perfectly, but only a small one.

Here are my objections...

Lets say that you depend on a cloud app, or cloud data storage for something important. What could possibly go wrong.

The provider could go out of business.

The provider could get hacked.

The provider could change their pricing or other restrictions.

The provider could add nasty adware or other annoying stuff.

The provider could dramatically change the behavior of the app.

Features you depend on could be removed, or made useless.

I imagine the nightmare scenario. The deadline is approaching, you go to your cloud app and find out that it operates in a completely different way, requiring several hours of learning, only to find out that it no longer does what you need.

And...what happens when the net goes down?

Re:Remember pen based computing? (1)

gustgr (695173) | about 5 years ago | (#27313003)

I'm afraid the end users don't have much of a conscious choice once the big companies starts really pushing the Cloud down their throats, since they won't stopping using this or that service because it went Cloud. They may be pissed and all but most will just adapt, as it has been happening already. I personally have serious concerns regarding my critical and sensitive data being stored in a place I can't physically access.

Re:Remember pen based computing? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 5 years ago | (#27313451)

Storing your data off site or placing your data in the hands of a third party doesn't seem to both most companies these days... Single points of failure seem to be acceptable when it comes to computing.

Re:Remember pen based computing? (1)

deraj123 (1225722) | about 5 years ago | (#27314303)

I don't see any real issues with the concept of the cloud in your list.

The provider could go out of business.

This is the closest to a viable objection in your list. Unfortunately, this is true of any vendor in business. You have to make a business decision of whether or not this risk is worth the savings from using the vendor.

The provider could get hacked.

Yes, they could. So could your data center. Which one is more likely? What's the risk if they do get hacked? What's the risk if your data center gets hacked? Is mitigating that risk worth the cost?

The provider could change their pricing or other restrictions.

The provider could add nasty adware or other annoying stuff.

The provider could dramatically change the behavior of the app.

Features you depend on could be removed, or made useless.

All of these are covered by contracts and service agreements. Sure, they can force the issue at renewal time. I suggest, as is prudent in selecting any vendor, that you have an exit plan. Or are at least aware of some possibility for exit.

And...what happens when the net goes down?

You can't work. Yes, I know this is the nightmare scenario. Again, I point you to the cost of risk mitigation. How likely is it that you'll lose your connection? If you do lose your connection, would you still be able to do business if you weren't using a cloud vendor? How much does it cost to mitigate this risk?

I know that I use very few cloud services. Primarily Google Apps for email, im, and scheduling. It's not my ideal solution, but it's a good price for where I'm at right now. It costs less that maintaining a server myself. If I lose connection, yes, there's a problem. But...even if I were running these services locally, I'm going to have a similar problem. When I worked in a large development shop, much of my job was undoable when we lost the net connection, and we didn't rely on any cloud apps whatsoever.

no IBM plz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27313035)

please, please, PLEASE

do not get bought by IBM

I do not want to see MySQL ruined by the big, blue, slow, and oh-so corporate shitheads.

Re:no IBM plz (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | about 5 years ago | (#27314009)

I guess then You have never been IBM's customer...

Because only problem customers have with IBM is their prices. IBM can actually do anything you would ask them. Literally. But it will cost you a bunch ... and your kidney too.

In short term I do not think there are any dangers in IBM's acquisition of Sun. Their either buy it (then we all have two/something years to make a decision where to migrate) or not (then we all have two/something years before Sun goes bankrupt, so better start planning migration now).

Sun is one of the last big product oriented companies. And it sucks to be a product company now: sales went down a lot, while services slightly improved.

Re:no IBM plz (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27314461)

Because only problem customers have with IBM is their prices. IBM can actually do anything you would ask them. Literally. But it will cost you a bunch ... and your kidney too.

No they can't. They will say they will for the longest time.

If you're a customer of theirs in one segment, they'll make promises about another product if you're using a competitor's version.

They'll try to give it to you for free. Waste your time trying to cobble together a solution that was easily done with your previous solution and you'll waste months to just get back where you started. All this because your manager enjoys the perks IBM gives him.

Even within IBM, there are competing technologies and they just don't know how to position them. I remember years ago when Domino was going to be the application paltform, no WebSphere, it all depended on which group you were talking to and what they thought they could sell you.

Since so much of Sun's portfolio overlaps, I see those days returning.

Last 1% (1)

jlebrech (810586) | about 5 years ago | (#27313055)

If you use and opensource product without any modification and then the last 1% features are missing to make your product viable, what you can do is implement the changes to the source yourself, it doesn't matter how badly you code it as long at the original base code is sound.

when you buy in a proprietary product you have to rely full on that outside company to create the remaining features, they may have all the essentials but none of the nice to have features and are often built around archaic systems that would never allow the nice to have technologies to be implemented in that solution.

most of those non-foss products are only secure due to obscurity or to really slow (and secure) developement cycles.

The Yahoo Moment (1)

westlake (615356) | about 5 years ago | (#27313183)

Sun "is having a Yahoo moment," said Rob Enderle, a veteran technology analyst and principal of San Jose-based Enderle Group. But unlike Yahoo's fierce fight to remain independent, Sun has reportedly been actively seeking an acquirer.
Sun has taken a beating in recent years. Its server was favored during the dot-com era, but the company found its products being sold at bargain basement prices following the bust. Its servers are considered to be of the highest quality, and their prices match that reputation. By acquiring Sun, IBM could add the critical parts it lacks with Sun's open-source Solaris operating system, the open-source database MySql and the Java platform. By doing so it could become the leader in cloud computing.
Sun Microsystems may shine in IBM's sky [bizjournals.com]

Bubbles burst.

I have been wondering idly if we will look back on "computing in the cloud"- Web 2.0 - and all the other buzz words you can think of - simply as relics of the recession.

anti-competitive Sun-IBM deal (1)

rs232 (849320) | about 5 years ago | (#27313531)

"In related news, the Sun-IBM deal proposed last week has been called "anti-competitive" by a tech industry group"

"CCIA is a D.C.-based lobby group whose member includes Microsoft [networkcomputing.in], Google, and Advanced Micro Devices, as well as mainframe maker T3 Technologies", Mar 2009

"The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) is criticizing a decision by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to use [computerworld.com] Microsoft Corp. software ..

"The CCIA represents three of Microsoft's biggest direct competitors, Sun Microsystems, AOL Time Warner Inc. and Oracle Corp", Aug 2003

Curiously enough the original article had an extra word that's missing in the update ..

"The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) is criticizing last month's decision by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to exclusively use [computerworld.com] Microsoft Corp. software"

Just recycled text from Jonathan (1)

Osvaldo Doederlein (34220) | about 5 years ago | (#27313719)

If you read Jonathan's blog (http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan/), there's nothing new in this article. Either Jonathan has perfect memory to repeat entire paragraphs, or the journalist (or some Sun PR folk) just copy&pasted large chuncks of text from recent blog posts.

Jonathan Schwartz says "" (1)

swordgeek (112599) | about 5 years ago | (#27313799)

The astute amongst you may have noticed that between the quotation marks was nothing at all. After reasonable editing, that's all Schwartz ever says--nothing.

For the last ten years I've been a full-time Solaris admin (before that was a mix of HP-UX, AIX, Solaris, OSF/1(!), and other misc.). In that time, Jonathan Schwartz has NEVER said anything of substance. Nor has he done anything positive for the company.

When he was McNealy's lap-dog, he'd say stupid things and the stock would go up. When he became CEO, he continued saying (and doing!) stupid things, and the stock would go down.

Sun's time as a public company has come and, thanks to the pony-tailed freak, gone. The only way that Sun can survive independently is to buy themselves out (i.e. delist from the stock exchange). They have the capital, but clearly don't want to do it, so being bought out by someone is the only chance. IBM, Cisco, or possibly someone else (EMC2? Lenovo?), it doesn't matter--it _will_ happen eventually.

As for Schwartz's comments on FOSS, he alternately (a) haws his own company's new wares, (b) keenly points out the blindingly obvious, and (c) blows smoke. Nothing to see here.

Pity, though. I sometimes wonder what Sun would have become if McNealy had kicked Jonathan to the curb, and picked a better successor.

Re:Jonathan Schwartz says "" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27315555)

Yeah, McNealy sure did a great job cancelling Solaris on Intel, and wearing a penguin suit. Real visionary stuff.

Sun's vague strategy made less vague (4, Insightful)

John Bayko (632961) | about 5 years ago | (#27315713)

It's very difficult to get a concrete handle on Jonathan Schwartz' description of Sun's strategy, but not impossible. I don't know why Jonathan prefers generalities rather than actual examples, but it may be either not wanting to give away strategic secrets to competitors, or because it's just such a large company that there's no single example that he thinks stands out.

But there is a strategy. To take MySQL as an example, why spend a billion dollars on a free database?

First, it's both promotion, and a point of contact to get in touch with people who are doing something database-y - and might also want ZFS and Solaris. And maybe it's a pilot project for something that's going to need a lot of servers later - free software has to run on something. It's a combination of marketing and customer relations.

There are two kinds of customers, Jonathan points out - those which need expensive support contracts because their downtime would cost even more, and those who don't. Previously those who don't would by cheaper software, but by making all the important software free, there's no profit in competing at the low end anymore. This is exactly the niche that Microsoft Windows (and other Microsoft products) grew into, eventually displacing more and more Unix (including Sun) and mini/mainframe (DEC, IBM) systems. Free software forms a kind of firebreak around the profit services, preventing small competitors from doing the same thing again. Jonathan Schwartz doesn't actually say anything like this, but it is a side effect of free software, and Red Hat does the same thing. In this sense, buying MySQL and giving away the software preserves Sun profits (small companies can still compete, but by using the same software - MySQL, Linux, Solaris, Apache - they are now interchangeable with Sun, so there's no "Windows lock-in" effect).

Of course, if the software runs best on Sun hardware, all the better. For example, the UltraSPARK T1/T2 systems which run multithreaded workloads so well. Being able to, say, make MySQL more threaded would give them an advantage.

The "cloud computing" thing hasn't been really well defined, but is basically a potential development platform, like web applications. Like many, Sun has been trying for a long time to get the technology right, including a number of Java technologies (remember Jini and JXTA?). The ultimate goal with that is to basically break down the barrier between those "expensive contract customers" and "free software" customers by making "computing services" so flexible and easy that it's no longer a question of either a million dollar contract, or do it yourself - you can define where and how you want to access your computing resources, and exactly how much control you want over them, and just pay for what you want or need. And what you don't want to pay for, you do yourself. Obviously big customers can't be milked forever (the current recession is a big threat).

If there's one characteristic that Sun has displayed, it's trying to be ahead of the curve in the technology market. That means a lot of mistakes, and trying a lot of things in immature, unprofitable markets, with the hopes that when they hit the right thing, they'll make it big by being first. They don't want to be "Microsofted" like IBM was.

The downside is it looks like Sun is doing a lot of insane things, giving up profits in mature areas for "happy thoughts". I won't say whether these strategies are the best or most effective, or premature or just dumb. But of all the original Unix workstation makers, Sun alone is still around and independent. There must be a reason for that.

If Linux is FOSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27315291)

then what is FreeBSD? A BSD-style license is so much more open/free than GNU.

Re:If Linux is FOSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27315437)

It's not free because it doesn't force others to be free too.

Re:If Linux is FOSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27315711)

It's not free because it doesn't force others to be free too.

Coercion != freedom.

You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of what "free" means.

Re:If Linux is FOSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27316277)

Your sarcasm processing modules seems to be buggy.

Re:If Linux is FOSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27318603)

Then let's promote Linux to VOSS (virally open software) and call FreeBSD FOSS.

Schwartz is an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27317719)

the cloud CAN NOT and should never be trusted. Ever. Or maybe companies have become all so responsible with our data. OUR data. Dont forget it. Idiot.

Anti-competitive? (1)

jcr (53032) | about 5 years ago | (#27318009)

WTF? A dying company gets a lifeline from a viable one, and people are objecting? If Sun dries up and blows away, how is that going to make for a more competitive marketplace?

-jcr

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