It was an exciting morning… we made two big announcements at Oracle Open World.
First, we announced a key relationship with Dell, through which they’ll be OEM’ing Solaris, and directly supporting customers running Solaris on Dell systems. Second, we announced our free/open source virtualization roadmap, starting with xVM and xVM OpsCenter, our hypervisor and management product set.
With the Dell relationship, Michael joined me on stage (after I assured him there would be no uninvited hugs), and kindly offered me a Dell t-shirt (I gladly accepted). You can watch the whole keynote here.
Truth be told, the relationship with Dell has been in the making for a while – I flew down to Texas last year to have dinner at his house (with a fortuitous 180 knot tail wind – sadly, I had return the same night with a 180 knot headwind). If you’re thinking, “hm, didn’t Sun’s relationship with Intel start with dinner, too?” you’re picking up on a theme – great partnerships start with a meal, in my book. At that dinner, we began discussing ways we could work together. Since then, we’ve both heard from a ton of customers that they’re running Solaris (and Sun Software, broadly) on Dell systems – and they’d like us to work together to make the experience a seamless one. It’s important to note, of the Solaris instances distributed into the world, roughly a third run on Dell – that’s certainly motiviation for us both to work together.
Dell and Sun will work shoulder to shoulder to support joint customers. And we expect our respective sales organizations to do the same – in pursuit of the highest quality customer experience possible. We’ll be making joint investments to build new solutions for customers, working to expand the already large Solaris ISV community for Dell systems, and broadly work together to build new business. For customers, partners, Sun and Dell – win/win/win/win.
Dell’s now advantaged in the marketplace, as well, and alongside Intel and IBM, can better serve customers wanting a single hand to shake (throat to choke isn’t the experience either of us are seeking). Reciprocally, Solaris is clearly advantaged by association with Dell, the company that invented volume success in the IT marketplace. The relationship broadens the market for the both of us.
So why are we signing these partnerships, rather than simply locking Solaris to our own hardware? (Yes, I still get that question…) Because locking Solaris to Sun would be like a wireless carrier selling you a phone that didn’t roam – or an automobile manufacturer mandating you buy their gas after you’ve bought their car. There’s probably a market for both, it’s just smaller than the market we’re after – the global market. In which customers value choice.
So thanks, Michael, and the whole Dell team. We’re looking forward to building the market.
We also introduced our new virtualization offering today, the Sun xVM hypervisor, and Sun xVM OpsCenter management suite (the video, above, has a great presentation/demo by Rich Green, who runs our Software biz). I’ll be putting together some thoughts later on our approach to the virtualization market, but in short, for geeks… our xVM hypervisor is a very lightweight kernel that inherits proven virtualization technologies (like ZFS, FMA, Dtrace and Crossbow) from the Solaris kernel – while supporting Linux, Windows and Solaris as guests – imbuing guest OS’s with the properties of the host hypervisor.
We also announced a variety of partners today, most importantly Red Hat, who’ll offer reciprocity with their hypervisor, like Microsoft. As our mothers told us, it’s important for us to be a good guest, and a good host. We plan on doing both.
As with all our innovation, xVM is going to start first in the community, where we can engage the folks who’ll help make this a success – if you have an interest in joining the developer/administrator community we’ll build around openxVM and the OpsCenter management platform, come visit us at OpenxVM.org.
(and finally… for those interested in why our ticker symbol changed again… it didn’t. After a reverse split, the exchanges append a character to the symbol for a period of a few weeks to let them adjust their systems.)