Sun Microsystems

Why European startups should be furious about Autonomy

Meg Whitman’s claims that Autonomy executives deliberately misled HP over its $11 billion acquisition are under investigation by the authorities. But whatever the truth, the damage is already done, as the affair further erodes the fragile relationship between Silicon Valley and Europe’s brightest technology companies.

When it comes to startups timing really is everything

When it comes to startups, a lot is made of startup’s founders, the market opportunities, its advisers and the team. Of course, there is chest thumping around investors and dollars raised. Yes, those are important issues, but let’s not forget that timing is everything.

A tale of 2 tech conferences: Google I/O and Red Hat Summit

Two tech conferences took place this week on opposite coasts. One featured storage product updates and cocktails at Fenway Park. The other highlighted augmented-reality glasses and skydivers. One was the Red Hat Summit, the other Google I/O. Guess which was which.

Oracle has a cloud computing secret

There’s a reason Larry Ellison called cloud computing “nonsense” and why he still won’t permit Amazon-style metered pricing for Oracle’s mainstream database and middleware. George Gilbert lets us in on the company’s expensive secret.

Scott McNealy’s Wayin nets $14M in Series B funding

Wayin, the social networking startup launched by Sun Microsystems co-founder Scott McNealy, just closed $14 million in Series B financing, bringing its total backing to $20 million. U.S. Venture Partners led the round and USVP partner Rick Lewis is joining the board of the Denver-based company.

Sun Microsystems is gone, but its legacy is everywhere

Yesterday, I drove past the former Sun Microsystems headquarters for the first time since Facebook moved in earlier this month. It reminded me just how influential a company Sun was, despite its somewhat unfortunate fate. Innovation was never Sun’s problem: just look at its alumni.

HP wins a battle, but war with Oracle rages on

HP won a tactical battle last night when a judge tossed out an Oracle fraud claim. But it also lost one — when he unsealed previously redacted documents that show just how desperate HP was to keep Oracle working on software for HP’s Itanium servers.

Scott McNealy on the startup experience

It’s not 1982 anymore. Twenty-nine years after co-founding Sun Microsystems — a company that once boasted a $200 billion market cap — McNealy is a known commodity in the Valley, and that makes life a lot easier when it’s time to launch a new venture.

Oracle learns the dark side of hardware

Oracle is finally learning that the hardware business is not the software business. Revenue for the company’s Sun Microsystems-rooted servers fell 14 percent in the second quarter compared to the year-ago period. And gross margin on those hardware sales is returning to earth.

Bechtolsheim: AWS, open source rewrite rules for startups

Inexpensive rented data center capacity and cheap but powerful open-source toolsets have completely changed the game for tech entrepreneurs, says Silicon Valley legend Andy Bechtolsheim. In short, you would have to be nuts to build, rather than rent, a data center.

You don’t need to be “social” to profit from networks

It is fashionable to obsesses about the web startup phenomenons and forget old fashioned Silicon Valley startups – ones that makes hardware, writes software and along the way clocks in hundreds of millions in sales and profits. And like everything good it takes time to build one.

Scott McNealy’s new venture WayIn makes everything a game

Sun Microsystems founder Scott McNealy has a new venture, but surprisingly enough, it’s not about building big hardware or enterprise software. It’s a new social startup called WayIn that’s focused on building a community of users that can vote and comment on pretty much anything.

Amid NoSQL hubbub, Oracle tweaks fan-fave MySQL

Oracle’s rumored NoSQL database made its splashy debut along with its Big Data Appliance at Oracle OpenWorld 2011 yesterday. Less trumpeted was news that MySQL, the venerable open-source database for cloud companies, hit a milestone, offering faster queries and more powerful clustering.

Oracle launches Exalytics, an appliance for big data

Exalytics, an appliance for near-real-time business intelligence applications, debuted at Oracle OpenWorld 2011 Sunday night. A key part of Oracle’s big data strategy, Exalytics layers in-memory and multi-dimensional database technology atop 40 Intel Xeon cores, all running in parallel, said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

Oracle needs some cloud computing mojo

Oracle’s cloud computing stance has evolved, to say the least, over the past few years. As the company preps for its annual Oracle OpenWorld mega-show in San Francisco next week, a huge question lingers: Does Oracle–and its CEO Larry Ellison–really “get” the cloud?

Sun co-founder launches new startup — on Twitter

WayIn is a new startup being developed by Sun Microsystems’ co-founder Scott McNealy. But so far, the tech industry veteran is going about WayIn’s launch in a slightly unexpected way: entirely over Twitter. On Wednesday, McNealy took to Twitter to answer questions about his new company.

Zero Motorcycles Seeks Reinvention as CEO, Founder Exit

For electric motorcycle maker Zero Motorcycles, springtime is shaping up to be a season of change. The company announced today that CEO Gene Banman is retiring. This comes just about a month after co-founder Neal Saiki stepped down from his role as chief technology officer.

Green Cars Are the Platform, Now Come the Applications

Today forward thinking developers are eying the iPad — tomorrow they’ll be focused on your family sedan. These so-called connected cars will ultimately offer a next-generation platform for entrepreneurs and car makers to develop auto-focused applications.

UPDATED: Sun CEO Issues Memo in Wake of Oracle Acquisition Greenlight

Just a few hours after Oracle’s $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems was approved, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz sent out an internal memo to employees discussing the impact the change in control would have. Go Oracle! he told Sun employees. There’s more to the story, though.

Europe OKs Oracle/Sun Deal, But Was the Time In Limbo Too Long?

The European Commission has finally officially approved Oracle’s proposed $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems. Sun’s time in no-man’s-land saw it lose many customers and raised questions about key products and divisions that it has. The question now is, what has this cost the company?

HP, Microsoft Buddy Up for Cloud Computing

Microsoft and HP today announced the two companies would invest $250 million over the next three years to create an optimized platform for cloud computing. The move exemplifies a trend that should worry open cloud advocates and is a blow to Dell, Oracle and perhaps IBM.


Report: Green Data Center Design Strategies

Data centers are a critical component of many businesses these days, but because of the amount of electricity they consume, they are extremely expensive to run. However, a great deal can be done both to cut costs and reduce their environmental footprint, simply by making them more energy efficient. Online technologies and applications are creating skyrocketing demand for new data centers, and most enterprises are now seeking “greener” solutions, both in their own facilities, and in the facilities with which they do business. This report looks at innovations in green data center design and identifies key players — from major data center operators to startups solving specific issues — leading the charge.


Report: The Future of Data Center Storage

The last decade has seen tremendous evolution and innovation in storage array technology — from the introduction of thin provisioning and ultra-wide data striping to storage virtualization in various forms of deployment, along with new generations of disk arrays, creative data retention and tiering. Many of the technologies introduced have caused significant disruption in the storage market and brought new and creative value propositions to corporate data centers the world over, lowering both storage array purchase costs and the extended cost of managing them. Many of the new innovations have enabled IT enterprises to reduce power and cooling costs, consolidate data centers and floor space, and repurpose storage assets and extend their useful life. However, even with all the advancements in storage technology, there are still gaps that need to be filled — such as in the areas of security and data de-duplication. This report looks at current key players in the storage market, highlights market drivers and the technology gaps that present opportunities for companies in the space, and forecasts the relative potential of key players going forward.

Quarterly Wrap-up

Second Quarter 2009 in Review: Infrastructure

If an IT trend is legitimate when the old guard, which makes plenty of money selling traditional solutions to risk-averse customers, fully embraces it, cloud computing established its legitimacy during the second quarter. Apart from the countless startups and software companies rolling out cloud products, the past quarter brought full-on infrastructure-as-a-service offerings from enterprise-grade service providers and systems integrators like Verizon Business, Computer Sciences Corp. and Unisys. They will not have the Fortune 1000 customer base to themselves, though, as cloud pacesetter Amazon Web Services continued its march forward with new capabilities, such as auto-scaling, and new products, such as Elastic MapReduce.

However, not all cloud news was good news. The quarter started with an April report by McKinsey & Co. that questioned the true cost-savings of cloud computing, putting cloud providers and pundits on the defensive. The quarter wrapped up with highly publicized outages of Rackspace’s Dallas data center and Google’s App Engine platform. Earlier in the quarter, a routing error at Google slowed service for about 14 percent, and a lightning strike knocked out a small number of servers in Amazon’s EC2 cloud.

We also saw the line between cloud computing and virtualization blur with the long-awaited introduction of VMware’s vSphere 4. Dubbed a cloud operating system, vSphere 4 combines VMware’s ESX hypervisor, a suite of dynamic products and improved performance to let customers create private clouds from their own data centers. VMware has plenty of competition in the private cloud space, however, with everyone from IBM to Platform Computing to open-source startup Eucalyptus announcing products in the past few months.

Then there’s the continuing saga of Cisco’s bold move into the server business. While Cisco spent the second quarter announcing new products and strategies based on its Unified Computing System vision, Cisco’s partners-turned-competitors began distancing themselves from the network leader. HP and IBM, the two most-spurned vendors, each found networking partners that can help them lessen their reliance on Cisco, and that will not try to steal server sales from them in next-generation data centers.

But the biggest news of the quarter involved money – lots of it, in fact. In a move that stunned the IT world, Oracle swooped in and bought Sun Microsystems — snatching it from IBM’s nose — for $7.4 billion. The acquisition opened myriad possibilities, but few details will be known until it closes later this year. The same cannot be said, however, for EMC’s $2.1 billion acquisition of Data Domain. After winning a back-and-forth bidding war against NetApp, EMC can incorporate Data Domain’s industry-leading data de-duplication technology into its portfolio and further extend its lead in the storage market.

The effects of the world’s economic recession also manifested themselves public companies announced first-quarter results. Companies ranging from VMware to Cisco saw both earnings and revenue drop, in some cases plummet, and the overall chip market suffered a nearly 30 percent year-over-year sales drop. Indicative of the momentum of the software-as-a-service and cloud computing, however, actually saw a 23 percent spike in year-over-year revenues.


De-Duplicating the Storage Industry

Companies are rolling out storage efficiency technology as fast as they can since that technology helps delay and avoid additional capital expenditures that would otherwise be needed to accommodate ongoing data growth. Data Domain is the leader in storage efficiency and therefore represents an attractive target to larger storage OEMs that are driving the consolidation of the industry.
This note examines the strategic rationale of the deal for the different potential acquirers as well as for Data Domain, elaborates on what the deal means for customers, and puts Data Domain’s offerings in the context of storage efficiency technologies and trends.


IPTV Market Snapshot

After a slow start, IPTV, or Internet Protocol Television, has become established as a legitimate pay TV alternative to satellite and cable. Now that several IPTV operators have each attracted more than 2 million subscribers, IPTV has begun to attract the attention of media companies and advertisers that are keen to bring content to any screen that happens to be in the consumer’s hand. And therein lies the rub.

Have we begun a period of fragmentation in which no single service provider owns the subscriber, or, just the opposite: Have technology advances made it possible for individual service providers to serve every screen via a unified service platform? Early indications are that both situations are likely to occur, as the largest operators deploy convergence and personalization tools, while consumers capture what’s missing via the Internet.

Our Full Analysis of the $7.4B Oracle-Sun Deal

Oracle’s decision to buy Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion is not only going to shake up the database business — it’s likely to energize the Java community, too. And of course, the deal puts the insurgent MySQL database in the hands of incumbent Oracle. Whatever the long-term implications, in the short term expect massive layoffs as Oracle tries to squeeze profits out of Sun.

For Sun, Q-Layer is a Smart Buy

[qi:012] Sun Microsystems (s JAVA) has acquired Q-Layer, a Belgium-based infrastructure management company that has technology to automate the deployment and management…

For VMware, an Uncertain Future

VMware, which single-handedly created a market for virtualization, is currently faced with the threat of commoditization of its core product, increased competition and fiscal uncertainty. The question is, did EMC Corp. kill this golden goose? Continue Reading.

Adobe AIR & Its Hybrid App Dreams

For what seems to be an eternity, we have been promised seamless connectivity, high-speed connections that appear auto-magically out of thin air,…

MCI, a buy out candidate? With Shares Down, MCI Begins to Look Like a Buyout Target: Prospective buyers like BellSouth Corp., Sprint Corp. and SBC Communications…