Sun's next step unclear after breakdown of talks with IBM
Computerworld - After the apparent collapse of acquisition talks between IBM and Sun Microsystems Inc., Sun faces a choice: continue looking for a buyer, change its management — or just keep plugging along as is.
Other companies seen as possible bidders for Sun include Cisco Systems Inc., which is trying to move into the server business; Fujitsu Ltd., which makes servers based on Sun's Sparc technology; or Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM's top server rival.
Meanwhile, there were rumors last week that Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz could be replaced by chairman and co-founder Scott McNealy, who gave up the CEO job to Schwartz four years ago. But Schwartz was his protégé, and McNealy has publicly supported his successor's strategies.
Even if those rumors are off base, Schwartz has "a lot riding on showing growth or an exit strategy" for Sun, said Forrester Research Inc. analyst James Staten. Thus far, "neither one has come through," he added, pointing to Sun's 11% year-to-year revenue drop in the quarter that ended in December.
In the spirit of pretending that nothing happened with IBM, Sun this week is scheduled to detail new systems that use the Xeon 5500 processor released by Intel Corp. late last month. In addition, Sun is expected to ship a 16-core Sparc processor called Rock later this year — more than 12 months behind its original delivery schedule for that chip.
But with all the uncertainty surrounding Sun's future, the big question is whether corporate users will continue buying new hardware from the company.
Because of the difficulty involved in switching to other technologies, some customers will keep investing in Sparc systems if they need to add processing capacity, said Nathan Brookwood, an analyst at Insight64 in Saratoga, Calif.
But Staten said that even before the acquisition talks began with IBM, many Sun users were thinking about Linux and x86 systems as alternatives to Sparc machines running Solaris. Changing platforms "is a center-of-mind question every three months among Sun customers," he said.
And the economic recession is only making it harder for Sun to win server sales, according to analyst Judith Hurwitz at Hurwitz & Associates in Newton, Mass. "In down markets," she said, "people run for safety."
This version of the story originally appeared in Computerworld's print edition.
Oracle buys Sun
- Oracle buying Sun in $7.4B deal
- Don Tennant: Sun deal revives Oracle's Network Computer dream
- Oracle's Ellison praises Solaris, thumbs nose at IBM
- Sharon Machlis: What happens to MySQL?
- Seth Weintraub: No wonder Sun upped its price to IBM
- Sun's next step unclear after breakdown of talks with IBM
- Mark Everett Hall: Sun escapes IBM's clutches
Read more about Data Center in Computerworld's Data Center Topic Center.
- 5 Ways Dropbox for Business Keeps Your Data Protected Protecting your data isn't a feature on a checklist, something to be tacked on as an afterthought. Download here to find out how...
- Evaluating File Sync and Share Solutions: 12 Questions to Ask about Security File sync and share can increase productivity, but how do you pick a solution that works for you? Download to learn some important...
The Wall Street Journal: CIO Journal
Article describes how cloud ITSM:
* Reduces drain on IT, increased response time
* Eliminates roadblocks to completion
* Enables IT to deliver...
- Datacenter eGuide Read on to learn what technologies are essential for high-performing data centers today, and to get a glimpse of what the data center...
- The Key to Happiness: Throw out Your Data Warehouse In this webinar, Kerry Reitnauer, Director, Solution Architect at FairPoint Communications will discuss the challenges the data warehouse brought, how they migrated to...
- Building Tomorrow's Data Center with Converged Technologies A number of forces are converging: the cloud, converged infrastructure, big data and fabric architectures to name a few. All Data Center White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!