“Slow, Hot and Huge”

Monday was another momentous day for Sun – we were in New York City’s Hudson Theater to roll out some much anticipated innovation. We gave an update on our Wall Street business, gave some insights into our (phenomenal) progress with Solaris 10, and rolled out our newest industry standard servers (known as “Galaxy” systems) running Microsoft Windows, Red Hat Linux and Solaris.

Here’s the video (Real Player format) – it’s worth the watch, I promise. You can watch John Fowler and Andy Bechtolsheim (Sun’s first employee) disassemble the industry, and do a point by point comparison of our Galaxy products against the major competition (Dell, HP and IBM). They both talk through the design motivations behind our entire lineup of Opteron based systems. The difference between our Galaxy platforms and the leading competitive products is astounding. Here’s a snapshot.

Against Dell’s flagship enterprise server product, known as the 6850, Sun’s x4100 offers:

50% more performance* – you’ll need 1/3rd fewer servers
63% less electricity consumption
1/4 the physical size,
at 1/3 the price.

Allow me to repeat.

50% more performance
63% less electricity consumption
1/4 the physical size,
at 1/3 the price.

John was going to save Kevin and Michael the administrative hassle, and just announce the End of Life (EOL) of Dell’s 6850 for them, but he lost his nerve on stage. Slow, Hot and Huge. Not the attributes you want for your server line (although the initials, SHH, are fitting if you want to hide your flaws).

But as I mentioned in a prior note, the price of oil, of space, of administration and of money – suggests we’re going to have a blockbuster set of products against Dell, HP and IBM. Space and power matter, and we now lead the planet in responsible computing. Now the challenge is driving awareness, getting the marketplace accustomed to acquiring industry standard servers from Sun. We’re the #6 x86 vendor in the world – it’s time to get to number 4, then 3, then…

To build awareness, we started in Texas by flying a plane and a banner over Dell’s headquarters. I believe every citizen of Texas, given the media coverage, is now aware we’re in the game. And let me clip the rumor, no, Scott was not piloting the plane. He was in China delivering our 10th anniversary Java One. (Stay tuned for the video.)

Minute 51 of the above mentioned video is my favorite segment – it’s where you can see us challenge Steve Jobs to a “pod duel.” And you can also see John Fowler and me, both otherwise reserved executives, dance. A privilege we grant to few. I would like to point out it takes a real man to dance on a stage in front of a webcast. And a wayback machine.

Toward the end of the overall video, you can also see me host a panel with MySQL, Oracle, Red Hat and AMD, discussing where industry standards go next. And no, I’m not joking. Stay tuned for how Sun’s Solaris and Red Hat might work together to further the progress of open source.

All in all, this was one of the most enjoyable quarterly events we’ve done in a long while. It’s good to dance in keynotes.


UPDATE: No matter how excited you are, never write a blog on 2 hrs. sleep., or at least one involving fractions.

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