Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Sun is dying

I come from a Sun background. I started seriously using Unix (as opposed to just "using a computer" - which was on a Gould running BSD 4.2) on SunOS 4.1.x (and SGI's Irix).

(On the flip-side I'm an open-source bigot and Linux-lover.)

I became a Unix sysadmin for a Sun house and have moved around a bit. I love purple hardware and the way that Solaris just runs and runs and runs... and running the entire GNU toolchain and Apache etc. on it.

But WTF have Sun done? They've certainly dropped the ball in the low end. x86-based machines are now vastly faster running Linux. Also the big hardware vendors are (finally) fully supporting Linux on their platforms. The final nail in the coffin is the emergence of Enterprise editions of Linux (eg Red Hat Enterprise Linux) that offer the stability and reliability (plus ISV support) that kept Solaris as a prefered platform for RDBMS.

So Sun's answer to the fact that their own hardware is redundant? Sell x86 hardware. Purple x86 hardware.

Unfortunately, Sun's x86 hardware is still overpriced (when are Sun going to realise that we want the simplicity of Hardware RAID?) and underspecced.

So after years of loving Sun, I've now found myself loving HP/Compaq (with RHEL ES 2.1).

Add in Red Hat Enterprise Network, and Sun are dead in the water (Solaris 8 has an 80MB+ patch set that take hours to install and patchpro is difficult to configure and use).

No, I'm off. My employer agrees and I'm glad. Thanks Sun for being there until something better came along, but no thanks for not keeping up.

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