Sun's Schwartz signals a shift to Open Storage...and profit

Sun has seen better days, but Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz sees a bright future in open source.

Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz has been doomed to serve as the resident Thanksgiving roast for the media, but apparently he didn't get the memo. Instead he's trumpeting the dramatic growth of Sun's MySQL and Open Storage initiatives:

Like Wikipedia, most of the planet's largest web sites (just look at the top 100) are built atop Sun's MySQL database. Which is why we've just introduced a line of systems platform designed specifically to run MySQL - at up to 3x the performance of whitebox alternatives (after all, it's far easier marketing to audiences that have already chosen Sun). We're now expanding those offerings with our newest Open Storage portfolio, as well - built to run ZFS from 5 to 50x traditional performance. And again, all such systems are available here for free trial - pick the system you want to try, we'll cover shipping costs to and from your site.

Open Storage grew 150 percent last quarter, which is great, but still small ($25 million) . I still think Sun might do well to carve out a few businesses and focus on open source but, as Techdirt notes, Sun may well need software to serve as a "loss leader" for its hardware and services business.

We'll see. Interesting times for Sun. From conversations I've had with various executives there, I think Sun still has a fighting chance. It needs to execute, but Schwartz at least has the right ideas about where and how it needs to execute.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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