Whither Solaris?

In his del.icio.us links for yesterday, my former deptartmental colleague, Simon Phipps, who has been doing a great job as Chief Open Source Officer or what ever he wants to call his position, we like to have fun with job titles, posits that IBM should join the march to Solaris. Huh, why?

It’s funny how things worked out. When I was working with Simon in IBM SWG as their Linux technology evangelist, I was having a debate via LinuxGram with Shahin Khan, then Sun’s chief competitive officer, on our move into Linux and Suns’ obfuscation on Linux.

Sun have been doing a stellar job recently with their open source efforts and support of things like ODF, but I just don’t get why Solaris is such a big deal. For most of our systems, customer choice and the “power to leave” are delivered through a Linux implementation alongside industry standards that deliver interoperability and management of the IBM operating environment. I can only wonder how much better off the industry and customers would have been if Sun had put the same amount of time and effort into Linux in the five years that have elapsed since that debate.

Insight? Nah, just a lucky guess, who’da thunk Sun would GPL Solaris… 😉

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About & Contact

I'm Mark Cathcart, formally a Senior Distinguished Engineer, in Dells Software Group; before that Director of Systems Engineering in the Enterprise Solutions Group at Dell. Prior to that, I was IBM Distinguished Engineer and member of the IBM Academy of Technology. I'm an information technology optimist.


I was a member of the Linux Foundation Core Infrastructure Initiative Steering committee. Read more about it here.

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