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Friday, January 21, 2005

Sun Piles On IBM

IBM's decision not to test, certify and support its enterprise software applications on Solaris 10 for x86 platforms has angered Sun Microsystems Inc. officials, who say the move smacks of monopolistic behavior. Sun is piling on IBM, with an open letter from Jonathan Schwartz to IBM CEO Sam Palmisano calling IBM to serve its customers by porting its applications to Sun's Solaris for x86 systems.Sun is using blogs, open letters, Web sites, and customer testimonials to demand suitable response from IBM and using all these channels to force IBM to respond suitably. As Dan Farber writes in Zdnet,"It's becoming totally embarrassing for IBM. It's hard to imagine how IBM can come up with any reasonable excuse that the IT community (customers) would accept and save face at this point. Given the public forum and the support Sun has built up among customers and other vendors for its request, IBM should just bite the bullet and port the apps".
I like Jonathan - He is really whipping up things for Sun. Definitely a man to watch - and by the way telling people do not write sun off.

At the end of the open letter, Schwartz says, "We stand at the ready to help you tear down this wall." It's not an epic battle of communism (Berlin Wall) versus democracy, but we can expect to see more companies using a similar tactic--using public forums rather than just backrooms to alter the course of business.
Jonathan starts by recollecting successful co-operation between Sun and IBM in forging theLiberty Alliance benefiting customers and adds that Sun is about to roll out the newest release of Solaris operating system, Solaris 10. Jonathan claims,It's the most secure OS the world has ever seen - bringing mainframe features, like logical partitioning, to every platform on which it runs. Solaris is now available on over 300 systems, from vendors such as IBM, Dell, HP and of course Sun's SPARC and Opteron systems. We've made Solaris into a truly vendor neutral OS.
Customers and partners have noticed. From Federal Express to Verisign, SAP and Oracle to Siebel, Veritas and BEA - from across the globe and marketplace - there is tremendous demand and support. They love that we're open sourcing Solaris, and that we'll be the first open source vendor to offer a commercial version of our product with indemnification against intellectual property lawsuits. They love that we can run linux apps unmodified and draws his attention to comments fromT ony Scott, CTO, General Motors,on this issue.

Jonathan claims that Sun has repeatedly passed along customer interest in having IBM support Solaris 10 with WebSphere, DB2, Tivoli, Rational and MQSeries products. Customers have made repeated calls to you and your staff. Those same customers have now asked me to begin communicating with you in a more public and visible way - they'd like the choice to run IBM products on Solaris 10, and they're feeling that your withholding support is part of a vendor lock-in strategy. A strategy to trap them into IBM's proprietary Power5 platform only. Jonathan also writes,"Sun has made sure IBM engineers know that moving from Solaris 8 or 9 to Solaris 10 takes no work, given that there is true binary compatibility. If you're on SPARC, and you'd like to take advantage of a world of x86 systems, it's a simple recompile. There's no recoding at all. Same applies to scaling up from Intel or Opteron to SPARC. No recoding". Jonathan concludes"So the technology is there, and so are the customers, partners and opportunities. But it's more evident by the day, the only vendors that fear choice are those trying to block it. We stand at the ready to help you tear down this wall". Very honest,logical and direct to the point view expressed by Sun.

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