Enterprise Linux Log

May 27 2009   6:38PM GMT

Readers weigh in on Sun/Oracle impact


This post was written by News Contributor, Pam Derringer.

A May 5 story on SearchEnterpriseLinux.com about the decline of Sun Microsystems and its recent purchase by Oracle Corp. drew some thoughtful, diverse views from readers. The article concluded that Linux didn’t cause Sun’s downfall, fiscally speaking, but provided a low-cost x86-based OS that offered companies a cheaper hardware/software alternative, indirectly undermining Sun’s overall business.

David Marsh, an IT architect with a custom chip company, said his firm is planning to replace its outdated Solaris systems with cheaper, more powerful x86-based hardware, a decision that has nothing to do with the pending Oracle/Sun merger. Marsh expects to migrate its Oracle e-Business suite from Solaris to Linux at the next upgrade, probably virtualizing some portions of the application, and potentially all of it, on VMware.

Marsh’s firm also uses Sun Solaris instead of Windows to run Citrix XenApp, which functions as the front-end for its designers, who use many Linux-based tools. Marsh would prefer to migrate them from Solaris to Linux because the licensing for the Windows version of XenApp is “triple” the cost on Solaris. However, a Citrix spokeswoman said Citrix currently has “no plans” to add a XenApp version for the Linux platform.

Marsh was dismayed with Citrix’ response and predicted that “quite a few high-end customers will switch to other products,” like X-Windows display software for Windows or free, open source Xming software.

But Rich Rutkowski, whose small firm makes point-of-sale systems for retail outlets, hopes that Oracle will leverage Solaris and Java at Linux’s expense. Rutkowski’s firm was using Linux for development but was disappointed with Red Hat and Novell’s SUSE open source OSes. Red Hat doesn’t support Sun’s application server directly but, instead, refers users to Sun forums, he complained. And SUSE has a complex install process for nVidia drivers and, worse, a SUSE desktop upgrade caused a kernel panic, he said.

“After experimenting with OpenSolaris and the full production Solaris, we realized that everything we added to Linux (Postgres, Java Application Server and Java) came packaged with a full install of Solaris,” Rutkowski said. “Buying from Sun makes sense and the costs were actually cheaper. We will stay with Sun hardware and software and observe Oracle’s actions. There is no reason to go to Linux if Oracle keeps Solaris open.”

Oracle’s $7.4 billion purchase of Sun Microsystems is expected to be finalized this summer.

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