Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Solaris 10 fails to generate interest

SUN published a map showing number of connected Solaris 10 users. The number is less than 100,000 (80713 to be exact). SUN announced OpenSolaris in January 2005. It has been two years. During this period, SUN itself sold about half million servers. In other words, less than 20% of SUN customers use Solaris 10. SUN touts that its UltraSparc T1 machines generated $100 mil revenue in a couple of quarters, Pat Gelsinger made a scornful comment on that.

Frankly, most of SUN's software projects failed. The plan for Java desktop went nowhere, the Java Enterprise System went nowhere, the $100 per head subscription plan went nowhere... In the end, SUN has to open source every piece of software that is not making money.

I personally tried SUN's application server, it's terribly slow even on simple JSP pages. The Tomcat server (part of the Apache project) is much faster.

As I pointed out long time ago, in software, it's a winner-take-all situation. People would rather pay big bucks for the best software, instead of paying less for one with lower quality.

For an average user, Linux is much more user friendly than Solaris 10. Linux has a control panel where you can access common system tasks, such as setting up network and mounting hard drives. Linux even comes with a GUI app to configure Apache virtual hosts.

I tried Solaris 10 on a few machines, on two machines, it failed to install due to unsupported hardware. A bunch of cryptic messages scroll across the screen and that was the end of it. I tried it on a virtual machine, and it had a problem using the virtual disk. Linux has none of such problems. Solaris 10's installer is extremely primitive, a bunch of text commands, you have to press arrows then space to select options, and press F2 to continue to the next step, very tedious. In my opinion, Solaris 10 is a technology, but it's not a product.

For any OS to have mass appeal, it must be simple to use. Otherwise, it's just a niche.

41 Comments:

Blogger PENIX said...

It's amazing how fast the tides can change. 2 Years and a 90% market share drop. Soon the same will happen for Intel.

10:57 AM, December 20, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sigh. Too much blogging and not enough reading or thinking:

"This is an early access Google Maps mashup of Solaris 10 and Open Solaris instances that activated Sun Connection to receive automatic software updates."

This is hardly an accurate count of how many new Sun boxes are running Solaris 10.

It is, however, a count of how many Solaris instances are running "Sun Connection" and using "automatic updates".

As most Solaris machines are required to be stable, "automatic updates" is NOT something that is usually turned on. Rather, patches will be tested and applied by sys admins.

This is the same way "automatic updates" are handled by all intelligent life forms.

11:14 AM, December 20, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with the previous poster. "Too much blogging!" haha!

Another note, if you did the cut by regions:
North America
Total: 39462

Latin America Region
Total: 25903

EMEA/APJ
Total: 80709

Grand total is: 146,000

11:29 AM, December 20, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The link shows just the Solaris 10 update connection customers. The actual number of Solaris users is much more. e.g. there is no dot for my location even though I use Solaris often. That is because I don't use the update manager!
osgeek

11:40 AM, December 20, 2006  
Blogger Slippery Slope said...

I use Java which Sun recently re-licensed under the GPL, to great aclaim among developers, most notably the Free Software Foundation. Various pundits have wondered if Sun will also GPL Solaris. If so, then Linux future releases can mix and match with Solaris components, and that in my opinion would be great news.

Keep up the good work.

1:09 PM, December 20, 2006  
Blogger Giri Mandalika said...

Couple of corrections:

>> SUN announced OpenSolaris in January 2005

I believe you meant to say Solaris 10, not OpenSolaris. Sun announced OpenSolaris in June 2005.

>> Linux has a control panel where you can access common system tasks, such as setting up network and mounting hard drives..

You have to distinguish the kernel (core of OS) from the graphical interface that runs on top of kernel. The word 'Linux' refers to the linux kernel. Just like all Linux distributions, even Solaris supports GNOME, KDE and a handful of window managers for desktop users.

Have a good look at the following screenshot, and see if you can tell whether it is running Linux (Ubuntu distribution) or Solaris:
screenshot
--

From this blog post, my impression is that either you never touched Solaris 10 or might have used CDE.

2:54 PM, December 20, 2006  
Anonymous enumae said...

Hey Sharikou I am wondering if you would post your blogs on a new website I am working on.

You would have moderator privlages and no limitations.

I would really like to bring alot of blogs together in a forum type of atmosphere.

Please do not post this.

If you would like to take a look at the site...

http://www.cpu-gpu-forum.com

From there you could email me and let me know what you think.

Thanks.

3:56 PM, December 20, 2006  
Anonymous enumae said...

Sorry, I made a mistake, to make it easy please email me at...

enumae@gmail.com

Thanks, and I hope you like the idea.

3:59 PM, December 20, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

You have to distinguish the kernel (core of OS) from the graphical interface that runs on top of kernel. The word 'Linux' refers to the linux kernel.

No. I was not talking about the Kernel, I was talking about user experience. It has nothing to do with KDE. What Solaris needs is a Windows control panel GUI app for sysadmin. Even though I am experienced with the command line, I found a control panel much easier to use. Solaris 10 may be quite advanced inside the kernel, but it user interface is extremely primtive. The installation process is tedious, you have to navigate through some kind of curses application. Linux is light years ahead of Solaris in that regard.

So, SUN has a boat load of programmers doing NetBeans for free, but it can't produce a mildly usable Solaris 10 installer and a control panel. Pity!

I tried to install Solaris 10 on two of machines, both installation failed because of unsupported hardware. Linux, on the other hand, supports zillions of hardware. I had a hard time even installing Solaris 10 on a virtual machine, it complains about the virtual disk.

All these things point to one conclusion: Solaris 10 needs a lot of work to be viable.

4:14 PM, December 20, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

Grand total is: 146,000


Try zoom out, so you see the whole globe, and then look at the total.

4:37 PM, December 20, 2006  
Blogger Stephen said...

Here Sarikou, I thought I'd pass this link along since it'll probably impact you significantly:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061220/ap_on_hi_te/techbit_blog_disclosures

:p

4:42 PM, December 20, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just don't understand some peoples' installer fixations. If you do it every day, you can script it, and if not, you will soon forget about whether you liked it. But there is a graphical installer. I suspect that it was forced to fall back to the old text method due to your (virtual?) hardware. Anyway, I have used both, and if you consider either challenging, maybe this TV-Typewriter thingy is not for you.

Also, there actually are a bunch of graphical admin apps in Solaris, but you should consider that when you only have a serial console or a shell prompt, the GUI is useless. Command line is more universal, and is often no more difficult. In either case, doc reading is the key.

Which leads me to one of my favorite things about Solaris: Sun always has huge volumes of comprehensive documentation up, containing both how and why, and also common scenarios for the impatient. Random Internet advice is way more likely to be relevant since (generally) Solaris is Solaris. I rarely troubleshoot a Linux issue where distro idiosyncracies do not have to be considered. No GUI admin app helps when you are running Gentoo or Red Hat and the only other report of the problem you can find has to be translated from Slackware or Ubuntu speak.

5:34 PM, December 20, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

Sun always has huge volumes of comprehensive documentation up, containing both how and why, and also common scenarios for the impatient.

The beauty about Windows server is you don't need a manual. When I tried to setup media server, SQL server on Windows server the first time, I never had to read the manual and work is done. Linux is approaching the same level. I witnessed people who had no UNIX background setting up web server and PHP stuff on Linux...

Solaris 10 is far far behind.

7:54 PM, December 20, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

Here Sarikou, I thought I'd pass this link along since it'll probably impact you significantly:


Check my old posts, SUN usually gets my high praises. But for SUN to tout 80K Solaris 10 user after 2 years is sad. It's better for SUN to tout 5 million downloads. I personally contributed at least 5 downloads...

In the old days, Scott McNealy and Andy Bechtolsheim designed a workstation and in a few of quarters, sales reached hundred million. Today, SUN is again touting about T1 generating 100 mil revenue after a few quarters. The difference? It was almost infinite growth before, now it's almost zero growth.

8:07 PM, December 20, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is the Solaris 10 failure bigger than the 4x4 failure?

11:59 PM, December 20, 2006  
Blogger Kalle said...

Who the hell uses X on servers? Servers are meant to run in some far away place with mostly only SSH access. Sure, you can pipe X over SSH tunnel but that would inevitabely increase the likehood of security breaches.

If the admin really is so incompetent that it can't use CLI as fast as GUI then there is always a possibility to use Webmin, no need for X on server, all goes through HTTP.

As for the installer, I would use the curses or even pure CLI version any day before nice point&click one. Servers don't need most of the stuff installers give you, the less you install the better. So far I haven't seen a good GUI installer that lets you choose exactly what to install and what not. Sure, they mostly let you choose a few applications but will install loads more by default, even when you will never use them.

So in short, your points about why Solaris is that bad are moot. They might make life a bit easier for seasoned Windows admin but that's all.

12:05 AM, December 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I often use belenex as test software which is free at distrowatch and it is solaris made easy.
I think solaris is a safe unix based operating system but it lacks the bells and whistles of Linspire 5.0
Even pc-bsd unix tries to be like linspire but you just cant beat the ease of linspire and now the freespire plus the click n run warehouse.
I have tried several linux distributions but none are as easy as linspire 5.0 in fact I find it much easier than windows and much more informative and intuitive.
Linspire has allowed me to click n run thousands of software packages that I would have never experienced with other linuxs, unixs, or windows.
Linspire has actually taught me how to program for linux as well as windows.
I would say linspire linux has been a real learning tool and can teach you about java and solaris as well.
Linux can teach you all about the cli interface with its modern gui interface.
Secuity does not and should not depend on the interface.
Secuity enhanced linux does not depend on cli or gui but on software design.
Terminal mode is fine for simple operations but complex tasks are better handled by gui interfaces.
Server monitering is better handled by complete gui interfaces because raw data simply takes to long to analyse.
When your dealing with mountains of data its best to let the computer do the ananysis.
I think there will always be some solaris users just like some may never let go of windows.
I think linux has won the server wars and the desktops are next.

1:06 AM, December 21, 2006  
Anonymous Joerg Moellenkamp said...

I used to like your blog, but this ended as your praise of AMD got as worse as the praise of Intel fanboys, i migrated to Scientia to get more information about the competion between AMD and Intel.

But your last post is worser than all you posted in a long time. You can not compare Windows and Unix.

Solaris and Opensolaris gets traction all over the enterprises. I am aware of various customers, who already throw away Linux in favour of Solaris. You do not need an graphical installer in enterprise computing. You need stable customizable automatic system-independent recovery and installation procedures. Something like Jumpstart with Jumpstart Enterprise Toolkit. You need storage with a simple but powerful administration and modern concepts like verifiable data integrity... some

And to put the numbers into context: Solaris Users tend to be problem patchers, not release patchers. So they select their patches by hand and often avoid automatic procedures. As soon they system showed a high stability over a longer time, they touch it seldomly. This is the reason, why i see Solaris 8 system all over the time only with minimal patching to ensure the stability and security of the system. This is a cultural topic, not a technical one

Do your self a favour and stay with hardware, and not with enterprise computing.

Solaris in VMserver? No Problem. OpenSolaris in a patched Linux-Xen? No Problem. So, where are your vm-problems.

BTW: Automatic configuration via GUI leads to many misconfigured unoptimized systems that float around because many people have not the least inkling of knowledge how their systems works.

1:12 AM, December 21, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

You can not compare Windows and Unix.


Let's be open minded. Technically speaking, Windows is not inferior. A lot of the holes we have seen in Windows are from those services that don't exist in UNIX in the first place. And UNIX is not free of holes. For instance, SUN RPC had an overflow bug that existed for 20 years....

No matter how you measure it, 80K user is negligible for an OS which is out there for years. You can give one example of switching to Solaris 10. It means nothing. We know there are 80,000 examples there. The proper count should include switching from Solaris to Linux and Windows. You must count the net flow. Once you have done that, I bet the net gain by Solaris 10 is even smaller, as I am sure the number of people switched from Solaris to others is not zero.

9:12 AM, December 21, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

Terminal mode is fine for simple operations but complex tasks are better handled by gui interfaces.
Server monitering is better handled by complete gui interfaces because raw data simply takes to long to analyse.


Very true. I started my computing experience with a modem connection to SUN servers. I still hand edit httpd.conf files to setup apache servers, and I hand edit ifcfg-eth (in Linux) files to setup IPs, but I have to look for the manual a lot of times. For complex tasks, a GUI is much better. Why is Linux popular? There are a lot of control panel vendors who allow anyone who is not a Unix admin to manage 95% of the system tasks. In the old days, you can have a clumsy CLI, and people will love it--the users are just a handful of professionals. Today, everyone needs a server. In the furture, every device will be a server. Solaris is not in that game.

9:25 AM, December 21, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

Who the hell uses X on servers? Servers are meant to run in some far away place with mostly only SSH access.

There are about 50,000 Unix admin out there in the whole world. Most UNIX programmers don't know to how to administer a UNIX machine. The rest are Windows users. A Windows XP user would have no difficulty setting up a basic configuration for SQL server on Windows 2003.

9:32 AM, December 21, 2006  
Anonymous Joerg Moellenkamp said...

We intruced the automatical update with Sol 10. So its quite a large number. Over 100.000 Users in one year, and the number has almost nothing to do with the real adoption of Solaris 10, as it s only count the Solaris Connection users. You still did not understand the context of this numbers.

Windows not inferior? Massive security problems. Its hard to minimize and harden, as of the thight integration of operating system and application layer. Scalability problems. Would you really try to run Windows on a 144 core system ? But this is a diffrent topic.

Please do not take the marketing sheets from Microsoft for real. I mean "use" in the sense of betting your carrer on it as the responsible person for databases or of a large company. I mean "use" like in "the really important systems". Hey, there are many reason why we still still sell this beasts when marketing of other companies tell the world you only need linux and few server-ized desktop cpus.

As i mentioned before: Please stay with AMD processors and your fanboyism. Enterprise computing is not the league, it is not the same stadium, it is not even the same sport.

PS: You are correct, we lost many users in the past, but this trend reversed temendously with with the introduction of Solaris 10.

10:34 AM, December 21, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

You still did not understand the context of this numbers.

Windows not inferior?


I can read. The problem is SUN used the number to represent the success of Solaris. What's the % of users who gets live updates? 20%? That's translates to 400K running instances of Solaris 10. SUN sold half million servers.

Bill Gates got rich for a reason and SUN is having a hard time making a profit. SUN has to be open minded and learn from Bill Gates. Ask a simple question, what's the ratio of Windows servers over Solaris? It's something like 100 over 1. That's the situation and for SUN to survive, that situation must change. As I pointed out, Solaris 10 is constrained by the number of UNIX sys admins exist on this planet. SUN's network computing vision is a dud if only 50,000 people know how to use Solaris.

Windows architecture is bizarre and inelegant to most UNIX people, but it's very usable. You can't deny that fact. Usability will be the deciding factor in determining the fate of Solaris 10 and SUN. Frankly, all SUN got right now is Solaris.

10:50 AM, December 21, 2006  
Anonymous edward said...

"Windows architecture is bizarre and inelegant to most UNIX people, but it's very usable. You can't deny that fact."

You have to separate the Windows (NT) architecture from the Windows API. NT is a nice architecture; it lacks good shell capabilities but it is solid. Windows API OTOH is IMO the result of carefully guarded monopoly.

11:19 AM, December 21, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

You have to separate the Windows (NT) architecture from the Windows API.

NT aims to have a microkernel with some object oriented features. UNIX is much simpler, but it gets the work done in most cases. In a lot of other cases, UNIX has to be extended to match Windows in functionality.

Linux is not shamed of borrowing from Windows, that's a great attitude. On Linux, drag and drop has become quite doable. I am not sure about Solaris.

SUN spent a couple billion buying a company named Cobalt--which was total crap. I used a Cobalt machine, it's just a cheap box with a bunch of terribly written perl scripts. One of the perl script, a web log analyser, would eat up 100% CPU on any web server with some activity. The fact SUN had to buy Cobalt indicate that it doesn't have a good software to manage system. of course, we know there are other grid system management stuff, which is another bunch of scripts.

On UNIX, any mildly complex sys admin tak requires scripting--in other words the skill of a programmer. Windows is point and click even for remote system management, no brainer.

Some say running X eating up resource on server. This is untrue. When you are running X, the X server is on your local machine. The remote machine is just a X client. In any case, you don't use X all the time.

11:34 AM, December 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A lot of the holes we have seen in Windows are from those services that don't exist in UNIX in the first place"

Such as IE and other user-level bug-filled GUI stuff?

"For instance, SUN RPC had an overflow bug that existed for 20 years...."

To me it shows that OS is designed so that exploiting a bug won't be too damaging. Probably because it has working user privileges from day one, not glued on later.

"For complex tasks, a GUI is much better."

I'd say it is the exact opposite. GUI works for simple things but for more complex things GUI is not flexible enough.

"In the old days, you can have a clumsy CLI, and people will love it--the users are just a handful of professionals."

Would you let non-professionals near your servers?

"There are about 50,000 Unix admin out there in the whole world."

That would make about one admin per 200 users. Perhaps it is just another weirdness of Estonia but from the handful of Linux users I know many are administrators. It is not exactly half but not too far from it. Linux is a niche OS, there aren't many normal users, most definitely not as much as on OSX or Windows.

"Windows XP user would have no difficulty setting up a basic configuration for SQL server on Windows 2003."

Have you ever used a good package manager? I could install trac, mambo or wordpress with a single simple command or a few clicks in GUI if I wanted to. They would also install HTTP and SQL servers for me. Only thing left doing is changing the settings if for some reason defaults don't suite you.

"SUN has to be open minded and learn from Bill Gates"

You mean it should become an evil monopoly bastardizing every opponent it has and charge insane prices from its customers?

"Ask a simple question, what's the ratio of Windows servers over Solaris? It"

It's about 1:18.3 according to netcraft. For every windows box there are two Linux ones. Hadn't godaddy moved to windows based hosting there would have been about three and a half Linux machines per one windows server.

Is that 5x smaller number as accurate as your other nubmers you present in your analysis?

"Windows architecture is bizarre and inelegant to most UNIX people, but it's very usable. You can't deny that fact"

It is about as good as any other desktop environment out there after Vista comes. Relatively nice for home use after changing some programs. Too bad you have to waste some extra recources for security though.

"Windows is point and click even for remote system management, no brainer"

I wouldn't like no-brainers messing with enterprise servers.

"Some say running X eating up resource on server. This is untrue"

Do you know how terminal servers work and what part does the hard job?

"In any case, you don't use X all the time."

In windows case, there really isn't a viable choise now is there.

1:39 PM, December 21, 2006  
Anonymous Joerg Moellenkamp said...

I´m not sure, if the situation should really change. It has a reason, that all really important system runs under a commercial unix and why various customers migrate back to a commercial unix. The world is not as simple as many people want make the decision makers to belief.

Furthermore we should stop to believe, that the configuration made by an graphical installer is production ready. This is utter bullshit. You have to customize it.

In any operating system. And there is no difference in editing a file or clicking trough dozens of property fields to change the parameters Besides of editing a file is more easy to automate.

Cobalt wasn´t buyed for the management interface. It was buyed for the appliances it self. But Cobalt is a story, nobody can really explain ;)

And in the end. Sun has management tool that are vastly superior to stuff like webmin, kickstart, autoyast or a control panel or something like that, albeith they were designed with enterprise computing in mind. For example the question: How to install a dozens systems that are identical? How to install the same system on different hardware? How to update systems? How to roll back? Questions that goes beyond a simple graphical installer.

And to be honest: The similarity of XP and the server flavours of Windows operating systems leads to many badly administrated systems. Or to be precise, unadministrated system.

And the market for admins that that are at least as fluent with system administration as your XP user is vastly higher than 50.000. Think about all the linux admin. Unix variants are relativly similar in the mindset. So any intelligent linux admin is able to to "administrate" a Solaris as well as an XP user is able to administrate an Windows 2003 Server.

An operating system must be measured in it´s ability to provide services in a maintainable, recoverable, secure and efficent manner, not by the existence of an GUI. Filesystem with verifiable data integrity ? Complete miss in windows? Lightweight virtualisation ? Complete Miss? Decent multiprocessor support above 4 to 8 processors ? Complete miss.

1:59 PM, December 21, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

Filesystem with verifiable data integrity ? Complete miss in windows? Lightweight virtualisation ? Complete Miss? Decent multiprocessor support above 4 to 8 processors ? Complete miss.


Easy administration is a must for any modern system. You can't have a Su-35 pilot typing scripts, that will be a crappy fighter in battle, and typing scripts is error prone too. Any OS without a decent sys admin interface is just unsuable for 99.999% of the people.

Windows is improving on security and scalability. Windows data center edition does support 8 CPUs -- with AMD's quad core that's 32 cores, enough to beat a 64 core Sparc--see the picture? Soon SUN will have nothing to brag about performance wise. Today, SUN can still sell a handful of 256 proc machines for good money, soon that will be history, everyone can do hi-performance machines off the shelf for very little. So, Solaris is SUN's last hope to distinguish itself from others, but I see almost zero improvement for Solaris on usability.

I don't think Microsoft has any difficulty borrowing some good ideas from Solaris 10 if it wants to -- it's open source any way. Imagine a Windows kernel with some NUMA features borrowed from Solaris and some ZFS look-alike coupled with a nice interface so a grandma can click and select N disks and create a raidz array with another click. When that happens, why do we need SUN?

2:19 PM, December 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Easy administration is a must for any modern system"

You do know that you can manage servers really simply over SSH? Just write a simple script and run it on several machines. You can't have that with GUI.

"Windows data center edition does support 8 CPUs"

Support is one thing, scaling is a whole different story. Default Linux kernel can support up to 255 CPU's and has had that support for ages. With a few patches you can most likely increase that number further.

"Today, SUN can still sell a handful of 256 proc machines for good money, soon that will be history,"

And "soon" will be in about 5+ years?

"but I see almost zero improvement for Solaris on usability."

Most of the stuff that make Solaris different from any other *nix is its kernel and base system. The apps that are actually maintained by admins have almost nothing to do with OS specific things.

Perhaps you are right that Solaris can't improve. It's kind of difficult to make kernel replacing simplier :)

"I don't think Microsoft has any difficulty borrowing some good ideas from Solaris 10 if it wants to -- it's open source any way"

No it can't. Go read about GPL and then come back. I thought and ph.d knows that kind of things. They are introduced on the first UNI course when you learn anything about computers.

2:53 PM, December 21, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

And the market for admins that that are at least as fluent with system administration as your XP user is vastly higher than 50.000. Think about all the linux admin.

Even an experienced Linux admin will face huge hurdle doing Solaris. With all the wonders of ZFS, a Linux user won't even be able to identify the dev/ entry for his hard disks.

2:54 PM, December 21, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

"I don't think Microsoft has any difficulty borrowing some good ideas from Solaris 10 if it wants to -- it's open source any way"

No it can't. Go read about GPL and then come back. I thought and ph.d knows that kind of things.


Microsoft doesn't have to follow GPL or any other license. Bill Gates can just throw out a couple million and hire away some happy SUN folks, they will rewrite the code from scratch. Copyright doesn't protect ideas, only original expression. C# looks surprisingly like Java, and there are more .NET installations than Java. Even if Bill Gates copies Solaris 10 code verbatim, he has enough money to pay any damages in court--he doesn't care about money, all he wants is world domination.

3:01 PM, December 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"there are more .NET installations than Java"

Sure, at least on desktops. There are more IE installations than FF installations too, there is certainly nothing to do with the fact that it is impossible to use Windows without it now is there. IE comes by default and there are lots of needed things on Windows that won't work without .Net.

"Even if Bill Gates copies Solaris 10 code verbatim, he has enough money to pay any damages in court--he doesn't care about money, all he wants is world domination"

So it is OK for MS to do it's evil thigngs but when Intel does anything it should burn in hell? Interesting logic.

3:29 PM, December 21, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

So it is OK for MS to do it's evil thigngs but when Intel does anything it should burn in hell? Interesting logic

The line between evil or good is sometime blurred. Some view Gates as evil, some praise him as the king of the computing, with all other bowing like servants. When SUN gave up its quixotic challenge of MS domination and US DOJ failed to divide and conquer Microsoft, Gates basically ruled the middle earth. People can't blame Bill Gates for his ruthlessness, people should blame themselves being less shrewd. Gates will be remembered as a great conqueror, not by us, but by future generations. Intel? It won't last. Its leaders made too many mistakes, and its Israeli engineering won't reverse the fortune.

3:39 PM, December 21, 2006  
Blogger Jeach! said...

I'd have to disagree with you Sharikou on many points of this blog. Here are my views...

Frankly, most of SUN's software projects failed.

I guess it all depends on how you view success! If your a capitalist, then success means money. Although I would consider myself a 'moderate' capitalist, I consider Sun to be extremely successfull on how they can create, reinvent, challenge entire industries. Other companies wouldn't even dream of being able or capable of such endevours. Sun is a bold company and to that I raise my hat and give them all my respect. In my view they are extremely successfull... ok, many be not so profitable!!

The plan for Java desktop went nowhere

It is being adapted by the largest up-coming economy... CHINA! Why? Because it is the most capable system in terms of internationalization (I18N) and localization (L10N), exaclty what the chinese require. I believe there are 300 million licenses being used on a daily basis in china! Now isn't that success?

Java Enterprise System went nowhere

You are right! Because it is too complicated and gets worst by the minute!

In the end, SUN has to open source every piece of software that is not making money.

In the end, it all depends on one's view of 'open'. If you tell me that they should just open everything up and make it all free to everyone... well I'd have to say your just as crazy as E. Raymond and J. Goslin.

Frankly, the way the open source currently works is flawd in my opinion! I've been using open source software (oss) since 1994. I contribute to the community on a daily basis and have my own open source projects. I believe Linux is one of the best OS's out there, but frankly I've come to learn that the open source community can also be deceiving. I really don't want to get into it (unless people want me to).

If Sun keeps strict control of Java's specifications (such as JSR) and opens the code for everyone to participate, then I'm all for it. I believe most programmers have much to contribute. But if Sun were to loose the specs then Java's true identity would be lost just like Linux will never make it to the desktop.

I personally tried SUN's application server, it's terribly slow even on simple JSP pages.

Your right that Sun's applications and frameworks at time seem more complicated and bloated. But then again, AMD's chipsets are never intended to be faster and better than VIA's, NVIDIA's or ATI's either!

As I pointed out long time ago, in software, it's a winner-take-all situation. People would rather pay big bucks for the best software, instead of paying less for one with lower quality.

Again, I disagree on the key words best software. If you were to change those words for support then I'd agree. It is because of the lack of standardization AND support that most open source projects are NOT successfull. I've learnt that paying for decent software and support is more productive than amazing software with NO support!!

Sun's biggest problem throughout the last decade was that it had too many wars on too many fronts! Sun had lawsuits with just about every single huge competitor. Lawsuits are a distraction! Fortunatly, Sun has solved most of these and is now concentrating on its technology... first problem solved!

Second, Sun is at a stage right now where IBM was before Louis Gerstner Jr. took over (near death) IBM. It must learn to reinvent itself as a services company rather than trying to be a one-stop-fits-all company. It can't expect to sell their servers, the OS, the tools, the apps, the compilers and network to companies anymore. It has to loose this old-fassion business model.

With it's new CEO, Sun does seem to be heading this way, but at a very slow pace! The adoption of AMD processors, Linux, etc is a great start! It must pick up the pace!

Oh and did I mention that either Sun or IBM will be the ones to buy (IBM) or merge (Sun) with AMD! In about 18 months, once AMD proves to the world that it can dominate the server/cluster market, IBM or Sun will pick it up!

Jeach!

5:22 PM, December 21, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

The adoption of AMD processors, Linux, etc is a great start! It must pick up the pace!


Linux is the only force that can challenge Windows, the Linux community should absorb some of Solaris 10's strength--which will render Solaris 10 redundant, but will at least have a chance to halt Microsoft's Windows.

Regarding lawsuits, I think Bill Gates is most shrewd, paying SUN a few billion was just like spending pocket change for Gates, but the last challenger is silenced. Gates bought off Netscape and others with billions too.

SUN missed a big chance in AMD64 market. It was the first to go AMD64, but lagged far behind HP in shipping the first inhouse developed servers. Now that DELL is also in the AMD64 market, SUN basically missed the oppurtunity. SUN never adapted itself to serve the volume market.

8:37 PM, December 21, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

I contribute to the community on a daily basis and have my own open source projects. I believe Linux is one of the best OS's out there, but frankly I've come to learn that the open source community can also be deceiving. I really don't want to get into it (unless people want me to).


Please share your insight.

It could be a lesson for a lot of people here. When a company open source stuff, we can safely assume that the purpose was to exploit the free work of others for its own benefit. Every company's goal is pure profit, no doubt about it. What about FSF?

8:46 PM, December 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"When SUN gave up its quixotic challenge of MS domination and US DOJ failed to divide and conquer Microsoft, Gates basically ruled the middle earth."

And you are happy with that?

"Frankly, the way the open source currently works is flawd in my opinion!"

Perhaps, in my oppinion GPL is a bit too strict. Then again it works, just see how many people are using OSS on servers.

"But if Sun were to loose the specs then Java's true identity would be lost just like Linux will never make it to the desktop."

I'm not so sure, Linux userbase has grown constantly during the last years. Technologically and usability wise it got ahead of it about year or two ago. Vista will leap ahaed but will stay ahead for about a year until KDE 4 arrives. I wouldn't be that sure that Linux can't make it to desktop. Only thing keeping it back is not that good gaming support but slowly, things are getting better in that front too.

"Regarding lawsuits, I think Bill Gates is most shrewd, paying SUN a few billion was just like spending pocket change for Gates, but the last challenger is silenced."

What about EU? For how long do you think MS will keep on paying the daily fine?

"Gates bought off Netscape and others with billions too."

And you are happy with that too?

"Every company's goal is pure profit, no doubt about it. What about FSF?"

Is FSF a company? Last I checked it wasn't. There are some groups out there whose main target is not making profit. Just take Wikipedia as another example.

12:34 AM, December 22, 2006  
Anonymous Joerg Moellenkamp said...

You forgot, that there is processor development outside of x86. We talk about 32 threads on one processor today, 64 next year. 2008 multiproc system with multicore processors, thus 128 threads and more. In one system. Not much larger than small datacenter servers today. Scaling vastly beyond 32 threads is a need for the future. Not in 5+ years. Today.

To comment your Su35 example: The pilot is only the equivalent of a user. The system "Su35" is administrated by a well trained ground support crew with a vast knowledge of the system. Very bad example.

And I can tell you, why we need Sun: To drive innovation for future tasks. Where other companies only look to "me too".

4:44 AM, December 22, 2006  
Anonymous edward said...

"Easy administration is a must for any modern system. You can't have a Su-35 pilot typing scripts, that will be a crappy fighter in battle, and typing scripts is error prone too. Any OS without a decent sys admin interface is just unsuable for 99.999% of the people."

No, you're confused of admin capacility with its easiness. You're also mixing up OSes using for different environment. Sun doesn't AFAIK intend Solaris to be consumer OS. Solaris admin isn't as friendly as Windows, but that doesn't mean Solaris doesn't have good sys admin capability.

Your example of Su-35 is also plainly mistaken. Nobody ever auto-updates such an OS onboard an aircraft. No aircraft will use OS admin utilities as they are, either.

Sun of course can spend money to improve Solaris user-friendliness; but you have understand unless you're a monopoly like Microsoft where you tell the users what to do, for everyone else you have to match the user's desire. Given the diversity of environment in which a general purpose OS like Solaris can be used, it may occur to Sun that it'd rather spend resource to improve the core of the OS, not the GUI (which can be added by knowledgeable users, anyway).

5:21 PM, December 22, 2006  
Anonymous edward said...

"I'd have to disagree with you Sharikou on many points of this blog. Here are my views..."

Jeach... good comments. I'd like to second many/most of your points.

5:24 PM, December 22, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

We talk about 32 threads on one processor today, 64 next year. 2008 multiproc system with multicore processors, thus 128 threads and more.

Multi threaded CPU is good idea (though not novel), basically, you saved the thread context switch -- it's now done in hardware. But we know Azul does more cores than SUN. SUN is suing Azul -- a lot of Azul engineers were from SUN...

I proposed an architecture a while ago for AMD's inverse threading--- a chip with N pipelines which can be grouped and ungrouped dynamically to form a massive single core CPU or a N-core CPU. I think that's the future.

3:36 PM, December 26, 2006  

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