Friday, April 28, 2006

Sun and Google - an opportunity

Sun sells services, servers and storage. Google sells search, direct to the consumer. But Google is keen to get into the Enterprise Search business. So here's a great idea for Sun and Google - work together to deliver enterprise search tightly integrated with resilient fast storage. Sun's new StorageTek 5800 Content Addressable Storage system is a fine candidate for Google Enterprise Search integration. As Sun investors, let's hope it competes well against HP's RISS and EMC's Centera products.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Yesterday's news of JBoss being bought by Red Hat for about $400m sent Sun shares skidding badly. It seems the world knows what Sun can't admit - Sun needs to provide a popular Jave 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) server, to grow mindshare and market.

JBoss is popular for a number of reasons:

  1. It's free and open source software (FOSS)
  2. It includes a number of excellent technologies (e.g. Hibernate)
  3. It is backed by the JBoss service organization

When Jonathan Schwartz talks about building communities, this is what he must be aiming at. JBoss is a fine example of a successful open source community. As Sun invetors, let us hope that Sun can emulate this in the very near term.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sun vision

The Economist recently ran a story about Sun's history through the boom and bust. I believe it's a fair critique of Scott McNealy's direction of Sun in the days before Jonathan Schwartz revolutionized the company with per-employee support pricing, FOSS and true utility computing. The article highlights how Sun lost ground when it only offered a "my way or the highway" solution to customers. But things are looking very different today with Sun's AMD Galaxy servers and new throughput computing machines.

Last week, Sun announced its new CT900 telecoms blade server. This was a smart move. IBM and HP currently dominate the general blade market, so Sun is going specifically after its best vertical market - the telcos. By the end of the year, Sun's telco blades will also feature the T1 processor which is perfectly suited to telco applications. I have a good feeling about these new telco blades.

The new Sun Microsystems is all about smaller, faster, eco-friendly servers. For example, their recent aquisition of Aduva makes it far easier to maintain large numbers of small servers.
So it's no surprise that their Scalable Systems Group recently laid off 7% of staff. This is a sign of clear direction and cost control. Mike Lehman is delivering profitability as he takes control of company finances.

When the Economist says "Unfortunately, none of this visionary stuff seems to be helping Sun", it appears to be absolutely wrong in so many ways. I believe that investors can expect good news when Sun reports 06 Q3 results on April 24th.