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Posted by Richard Fichera on July 28, 2010
I have received a number of inquiries on the future of SPARC and Solaris. Sun’s installed base was already getting somewhat nervous as Sun continued to self-destruct with a series of bad calls by management, marginal financial performance, and the cancellation of its much-touted “Rock” CPU architecture. Coming on top of this long series of negative events, the acquisition by Oracle had much the same effect as throwing a cat into the middle of the Westminster dog show, and Oracle’s public responses were vague enough that they apparently increased rather than decreased customer angst (to be fair, Oracle does not agree with this assessment of customer reaction, and has provided a public list of customers who endorsed the acquisition at http://www.oracle.com/us/sun/030019.htm).
Fast forward to last week at Oracle’s first analyst meeting focused on integrated systems. While much of the content was focused on integrating the software stack and discussions of the new organization, there were some significant nuggets for existing and prospective Solaris and SPARC customers:
Our net take is that while it may still be hard to convince a new customer to jump on board the SPARC bandwagon, existing customers have no reason to make an abrupt migration, and can wait and see if Oracle delivers on the milestones that they will reveal over the remainder of 2010 and into 2011. As these milestones are disclosed we will have further analysis.
On a related topic which we will address in more depth in future posts, Solaris on x86 will remain a solid enterprise choice for both current and new users. Customer issues with Sun were centered around SPARC and the strategic future of the company as opposed to technical issues with Solaris functionality, performance or stability. The continued availability of this proven operating environment, with an anticipation of continued investment and improvement by Oracle, is a strong positive for any customer looking for an enterprise-class Unix environment on an x86 platform.
However, this is my take on things. What's important are your plans and intentions. If you are a SPARC or Solaris user, let us know what your plans are for future deployment.
8/18/10 UPDATE - Oracle has recently released a webcast by John Fowler with public information on future systems plans,
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