Solaris, Customers and Volume

It’s been a big Solaris week. You can’t have missed it – our “opportunitites to see” (OTS) numbers, how our marketing team looks at the number of people we’re reaching with news from Sun, hit 25 MILLION on Monday. That’s a lot of exposure. We must be touching a few nerves.

It was a great launch event – although I’ll admit to still being a tad dizzy from delivering a presentation in a theater that projects onto a dome above the audience. Gives a whole new meaning to “speak up.” If you haven’t visited the San Jose Tech Museum of Innovation, it is totally worth the time/ticket. A museum built by geeks, for geeks (and geeks with kids to entertain). And even though Intel and HP (and SGI) appear to be big donors, it was awfully gratifying to see the Sun logos in their glassed in data center downstairs 🙂

The best part of the launch event for me was having Don Fike, senior architect from Fed Ex, stand on stage and say, “Solaris 10 is the fastest platform available for SPARC, Intel or AMD.” I repeated this for the audience just in case they didn’t hear it, exercising considerable restraint in doing so only once. Don told me Fed Ex runs a bunch of HP hardware, on which Solaris is now running – he’s apparently pretty happy with HP. I’m talking to a lot of HP’s customers about running Solaris – they’re seeing similar performance, stability, scalability and utilization benefits. Sure would be nice if they could buy systems with Solaris pre-loaded, eh? I wonder if HP would be interested in the volume opportunities opened by running all the industry standard OS’s?

What’s also interesting in talking to HP’s installed base is the lack of momentum around Itanium – the effort appears to have stalled (HP’s decommitment, followed by Microsoft’s, probably didn’t help). We’ll be making a public announcement about changes to our Itanium plans next week. Stay tuned. I don’t think it’s the endian-ness of the platform that’s holding Itanium back.

The other really gratifying part of the announcement was standing with our newest Solaris x86 partner, SAP, and speaking to our respective developer communities. We made the point pretty clearly – now’s the time to get your apps moved over to Solaris 10. Together, Sun and SAP are going to drive business solutions across the entirety of our SPARC and x86/Opteron platform customers. This is really the final brick in the wall for us with partners – Oracle, Veritas, BEA, CA, EMC, Sybase, Siebel and now SAP. That’s a fantastic list (and there are hundreds of others who’ve also signed on). It takes an ecosystem to raise an OS, and volume to attract partners.

It’s good to have volume. And to be back on offense.

With the best OS ever built. And that’s not me saying so.

This time, it’s customers.

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