Friday, March 27, 2009

Sun's McNealy touts open source, bashes Oracle and IBM

BOSTON -- With rumors of a takeover by IBM swirling around him, Sun Microsytems' chairman Scott McNealy tried to pitch a room of customers this week on the idea that Sun is a wily innovator whose software and hardware are far less costly than proprietary solutions from Oracle and IBM. But McNealy had little to offer loyal customers with Sun's legacy Sparc hardware.

McNealy touted Sun's vision of cloud computing and the folly of "best of breed" to about 200 customers and partners. "Frankenstein was best of breed, and every time he keels over, IBM comes in with $100,000 shock paddles," McNealy said. Sun's goal "is to get you out of the kitchen. We build data centers; you do whatever you do," adding that "building a data center out of 40 different parts is last year's strategy."

Open source gets a plug

Like the man who succeeded him at the job of CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, McNealy also loudly beat the open source drum, but in his own inimitable style. Open source code is less buggy and more stable than proprietary code and insulates companies from the "shelf-life-of-a-banana problem" in which technology becomes obsolete 18 months after it was released.

And because the code is available for all to see, open source software such as Sun's MySQL offers a "low barrier to exit." Compare that with Oracle's database and applications. "We all know the first hit of heroin is free -- in fact, Oracle will probably pay you to roll up your sleeve," McNealy said. But sooner rather than later, your data is trapped in proprietary Oracle databases, and "contract negotiations become contract explanations."

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1 comment:

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