|Note:- the articles below are
listed in reverse date order - newest first. These articles are first published
on our current SPARC
news page, and then archived here much later.|
|Predicting the Next
3 Years in the SPARC Server Market - (2007 to 2009)
Looks at the market opportunities and competitive threats to
SPARC server growth in the next 3 years.
|Revisiting One of
SPARC's Old Flames|
Looking back at a decade of the Sun On-Line!
|Joining the Dots in
An exclusive interview with SPARC International
about the marketing and branding aspects of OpenSPARC.
|Sun, SPARC and
Solaris Highlights and Lowlights in 2005|
End of year market
Established Itself in the Market?|
Looks at the state of the
Infiniband market at the end of 2005.
|Why are Most
Analysts Wrong About Solid State Disks?|
The #1 industry
report on emerging markets and applications for solid state disks.
|Are Serial Attached SCSI
Drives Science Fiction for Most Sun Users?|
SAS drives are
appearing in new Sun servers, but what's the state of the SAS user upgrade
|the 10 biggest storage
companies in 2008?|
Sun will be one of them, says the 5th annual
edition of this popular STORAGEsearch.com article.
|2005 Market Report on
Sun Compatible OEMs |
History, trends and prospects for
independent hardware vendors in the Sun market.
|Sun, SPARC and Solaris
Highlights and Lowlights in 2004|
See market developments, the
top news stories and predictions for 2005 in this end of year review.
|Surviving the Solaris
The phoney war for Solaris x86 is over. It lasted 18
years and Sun retreated 3 times. The real marketing war will take place in 2005.
|A Bridge Too Far? -
Linux Apps on Solaris 10|
Reading the runes on Sun's Linux
Test your knowledge of Sun's technologies and marketing
|Sun Under Fire - for
Mal Maintenance Policies|
Sun's policy regarding Maintenance
Acceptability Level is Mal (Bad) for users according to this article by ASCDI.
|Sun Under Fire - for
Used Sun Market Policies|
Sun fixes its prices on Solaris to
reduce competition in the sales of its used servers according to this article
|Fujits...Who? - A
Primer on Fujitsu's SPARC Heritage
SPARC users now have to look to Fujitsu, and not Sun, as the
spring from which faster SPARC chips and servers will flow. Fujitsu is a
company you may not know much about. This independent article provides a
history of Fujitsu's main contributions and milestones in the SPARC market.
|Why Sun Should Acquire
a Solid State Disk Company ASAP|
The Need is Strong, the Upside
Potential is Huge
|First Signs of Sun
SPARC Market Recovery|
The SPARC recovery is lagging the rest of
the market, but there are signs it's already happening.
|How Many SPARC
Processors Deployed in Servers?|
It's a lot more than you might
|Hardware Upgrades to
Make Your Sun SPARC Server Go Faster|
You don't have to wait
for Sun Microsystems to bring out faster SPARC processors to get faster
performance from your SPARC/Solaris applications. And you don't have to pay
exorbitant prices either.
Solaris Migration? - migrating away from Sun's OS|
articles by the publisher and major computer vendors.
|Are Sun's Days Numbered|
long will SPARC competitively available?
|What's the Trigger
Event that will Turn Around Sun's Revenue Decline?|
There is a
product announcement which will signal a positive change in Sun's fortunes. Why
don't they just do it?
#10 SPARC Manufacturers - 2003|
This popular annual feature was
published July 21, 2003.
|Should Sun, Apple and
Red Hat form an anti Microsoft Marketing Alliance?|
government has tried it and failed. It's time for market forces to tackle this
| Is it time to
Resurrect Sun User Groups?|
In the early 90s SUGs were popular.
Then at the start of the web age Sun decided it could do without them. As a
downsized company in 2003 with much reduced marketing muscle and weaker
gravity, Sun should probably look again at this low cost way of keeping its
SPARC server architecture alive and understood.
Your Sun Hosted Business from Administrator Induced Data Loss |
article, written by Ron Austin at ActionFront Data Recovery describes the true
story of how one company which ran their business on a Sun server, hit a crisis
when their administrator accidentally wiped their live data and their disk to
Although the customer had support contracts in place,
none of the suppliers of the constituent parts (Sun Microsystems, EMC, Veritas
and Oracle) were able to help them. This is a cautionary tale of what can so
easily go wrong, and what the customer did to avoid going out of business.
these Pre Millenium SPARC Banner Ads?|
Print ads can easily last
100 years, but banner ads on the web usually disappear without trace after a
few months. That makes it hard to understand how markets which are influenced by
the web medium developed.
|Why Sun's Server
Revenue will Decline Again Next Year (and HP's and IBM's too)|
recent recession has speeded up the unbundling (or dismembering) of the server
|The Trouble with
That new blade looks good, sounds good. But will it stop
your system working?
|How's that relationship
between your strategic IT supplier and their bank going?|
they still talking? Do they still hold hands?
|Celebrating the Work of
the Independent Sun VARs|
One of the most important roles of
the Independent Sun VARs has been to increase price competition within the Sun
user base. As a buyer you benefit from that influence even if your order goes to
an official Sun VAR. The official Sun VARs are looking over their shoulder all
the time to see what's happening in the "gray" market.
|Why Sun's Fortunes will
Look a Lot Brighter in 2003|
I'm starting the New Year with a
more positive outlook on the prospects for Sun's SPARC server business. Methinks
that Sun's revenue will grow and that Sun is going to look smarter than its
main competitors (again).
|Everyone's bashing Sun.
So will SPARC survive? |
It's become fashionable to knock Sun in
the financial press, and even Business Week this week dedicated a long article
to Sun bashing called "Will Sun Rise Again?" which includes another
scary quote from Scott McNealy in which he says "...A computer is not a
commodity." If you still had any doubts about the thinking that's now
driving Sun, that might make you more worried. But let's do a reality check
here.. It was only a sound bite to a journalist. If you look back at Sun's
history, their past success owes much to commoditizing products.
|No longer the Dot in
dotcom, Sun Grapples to Find a Credible New Positioning Statement|
the eclipse of the Sun last year, analysts and the stock market have discovered
that they can now look at Sun Microsystems without being dazzled by its
marketing hype. When you've got a company whose outlook has changed from being
an $18 Billion revenue with double digit growth, sliding towards a $10 Billion
company with the prospect of double digit shrinkage, and a share price which has
fared worse than many of its main competitors people are bound to ask questions.
Increasingly they're getting less impressed by the lack of vision coming out
from the company. In an effort to meet some of that criticism, Sun's CEO -
Scott McNealy - appears to be testing out a new positioning statement.
|Return of the SPARCbook|
you've been editing a directory like this one for more than ten years, you come
across a lot of brands and jargon, some of which stay in fashion for a while,
but most of which get gradually forgotten. So it was with great interest, and a
sense of déja vu, that I came across a press release from Tadpole
recently about their new SPARCbook 5000.
|A Better Windows than
Windows... A Better Linux than Linux?|
For some quirky reason
Sun Microsystems' launch of their Linux for Intel architecture systems at
LinuxWorld in mid August (2002), put me in mind of IBM's marketing push to get
their OS/2 into PC's back in the mid 1990's, long after everyone in the PC world
realised that the PC OS race was already over, and had been won by Microsoft.
|Sun Users Waiting for
Fujitsu? - meanwhile Microsoft aims to cut off Sun's oxygen supply|
the Wintel world whenever Intel is a bit slow in bringing out a new faster
processor, manufacturers of PCs and servers don't worry, because they know that
arch rival AMD is waiting in the wings and will soon come up with such a
solution. That competitive pressure keeps the performance curve leaning into the
wind. The same used to be true in the world of SPARC processors...
| Top #10
Most Important SPARC Systems Companies|
based on a sample size
of over 125,000 SPARC Product Directory readers in Q2 2002
|How Long Can Sun Stand
the Heat in the Server Benchmark Wars?|
This summer (2002) the
pressure from Sun's competitors will start to mount, as long as Sun is still
saddled with its one year old vintage 900MHz processors (and low volume selected
1,050MHz variants). Although the processor benchmark wars have been a regular
event throughout SPARC's 15 year history, Sun's economic and technical woes last
year caused it to slip behind its main competitors with an interim processor
which was far below the expectations predicted by Moore's law. Although Sun has
publicly stated that it continued investments into new chip designs, its
economics are vastly different here to rival Intel, which despite the recession
in the PC market, is planning around a market estimated to be as large as
another one billion PCs during the next 6 years. That allows Intel to get a
payback on interim clock speed products much earlier than Sun.
|Should Sun Rename All
its Products in Line with the New Reorganization Thinking?|
Microsystems has recently come out of deep-thought mode and made sweeping
changes to a whole bunch of things.... I know that many influential people in
Sun, read the SPARC Product Directory, and look for new business ideas in these
columns. So here are a few free suggestions guys and gals for the next few steps
|Looking Back at 3rd
Party SPARC Technology Firsts|
The introduction of the
SPARCblade by Continuous Computing, started me reflecting generally on the
history of 3rd party innovations in the SPARC systems market. One of the
benefits which Sun has received from opening up SPARC technology, is that other
SPARC companies have pioneered new ways of using it, and brought better
solutions to users faster, than if you had to wait for Sun. Here are some
Looking under the hood at Sun's recent server engine
problems Sun's cache memory problem:- What did Sun know? When did Sun know it?
And what did Sun do about it? - a critical commentary - by Peter Baston.
|The Emerging Bright
Spots in the Sun Compatible SPARC Systems Market|
2001 was the
worst year in Sun's 20 year history. The combination of the IT recession, 9/11,
and Sun's shooting itself in the foot with technical problems in its cache
memory (thereby blowing away its hard won reliability image advantage over
Wintel) and the slowness of developing faster SPARC processors could leave you
with the false impression that all was doom and gloom in the SPARC systems
market. Not so.
|...and Then There was
One. The Rise and Fall of the SPARC Workstation Market|
seems likely that the year 2000 represented the peak of the desktop SPARC
workstation market, which started in 1989 with the launch of the SPARCstation 1.
And I predict that, by the end of 2003, there will be only one supplier of
desktop SPARC workstations left to service a market that's already declined
significantly in revenue as a result of the recession in 2001, and the overlap
in capability between Unix workstations and dekstop PCs. And there are no prizes
for guessing that will be Sun Microsystems. The workstation market has
outlasted its usefulness, but it's interesting to see where it's been.
on Sun's Cache Memory Problem|
Throughout most of this year
(2001) Sun's reputation for hardware reliability was plagued by random faults in
some of their cache memory products. These problems caused a loss of confidence
in Sun's core competence as a vendor of reliable trouble free servers.
Hello New Employer!|
A market research based Jobseekers Guide
for Sun employees concerned about the 4,000 job losses anounced October 5, 2001
|How Sun Got Burned...
What should Sun do now?|
October 5, 2001 the messages start
coming out from Sun Microsystems. Quarterly revenue will be 38% below the number
for last year, 4,000 jobs will be shed to reduce costs and get back into
profitability. We've been hearing messages like this all year from other
computer computer companies. But Sun's revenue decline is worse than most of its
leading competitors. And the climb back up the hill will be harder. Did it have
to be so bad?
|Re: Crossroads Systems
Wins Patent Infringment Lawsuit Against Chaparral Network Storage|
a recession, your competitors can become a useful source of additional revenue
from technology licenses, and if that fails, from court judgments. The network
storage market has now gotten big enough so that you can afford to hire lawyers
to pursue a case, and still have a worthwhile amount left after you've paid
|Diary of a Workaholic
Sun Partners Program Manager During the Week of Sun's Shutdown |
July 2, 2001 - (day #1 of shutdown) - got into work 15 minutes late this
morning. Can't understand it. Cars everywhere. Assume other drivers haven't
heard about Sun shutdown. But when I get into office, it's empty. Have decided
this week to concentrate on outgoing activities with partners and potential
allies in new marketing programs. Waste several hours emailing technical
support, and eventually learn how to access incoming voicemail. Get error
message:- buffer full. Spend rest of day dealing with email, as usual.
|Re: Compaq's proposed
merger with HP|
The September 3, 2001 press release, announcing
the agreement to merge of two of the world's top 10 storage companies continues
the trend of mergers and acquisitions we've been seeing in this market all year.
You're going to hear a lot about synergy and the complementary roles of these
two organisations and their product lines, from their marketing departments. My
view is that both these companies were in trouble before the recession kicked
|Things to do during an
eclipse of the Sun|
In the SPARC systems market you could say
we're in the Renaissance, where most people are quite comfortable with the idea
that everything revolves around Sun Microsystems. So Sun's planned shut-down of
operations during the first week in July, as a cost cutting measure designed to
save jobs, could be the first time that people in this market get a chance to
see other companies which are usually outshone by the strength of Sun's powerful
marketing machine. Just as the solar system would be a pretty dull place if you
took away the planets, comets, and other stuff swirling around the center or the
photons and other particles which are passing through, the same can be said of
the markets for compatible products which revolve around Sun Microsystems.
|Time for changes at the
top in Sun?|
I communicate with more Sun users and VARS than
probably anyone else on this planet, but you don't need my privileged view of
this market to know that all is not well in the Sun market.
|Why Did Sun's Revenue
Growth Hit a Brick Wall?|
On April 19, 2001 - Sun Microsystems,
Inc., (NASDAQ: SUNW) reported results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2001,
which ended April 1, 2001. Revenues for the third quarter were $4.095 billion,
up 2 percent compared with the third quarter of fiscal 2000. That's one of the
worst revenue growth results that Sun has reported for years. I think there's
more to this than just the recession. Sun is losing focus.
Acquires Cycle Computer - consequences?|
On November 22, 2000 a
press release to this effect appeared on Tadpole's site. I discuss what this
could mean for the SPARC market?
|Will Sun Succeed in the
STORAGE market? - part #1|
Will Sun Succeed in the
STORAGE market? - part #2
They didn't. These popular articles analyzed the flaws in Sun's
storage business strategy before they wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on
|Why are most Sun
resellers invisible on the web?|
Is it because they think that
web technology is something which is only good for their customers? Or are they
useless at marketing?
|For large systems,
Solaris on SPARC will continue to be a better choice than NT for many years.|
These are the real reasons why... The reliability of an operating system tends
to increase with age.
|Should Sun Microsystems
make its own brand of "Intel Inside®" PC's?|
could become a successful PC supplier a lot more easily than you might think...
|Sun Microsystems needs
Intel and Microsoft to be successful to fuel the insatiable demand for SPARC
Most companies above a certain size inevitably become
owners of large amounts of data in relational databases. SPARC machines started
out as the computer market's most cost effective database servers.
|SPARC resellers - are
they important? Do we really need them?|
I think it's now safe
to say that luck had a good part to play in Sun's successful business
development. It wasn't just technology and good timing...
|SPARC Systems -
Previewing the 2nd Decade |
First published Q3 1996, this
article includes views from SPARC industry leaders about what changes they
thought the next decade (1996 to 2006) would hold.