Discussions

News: Sun's Latest Positioning on its AppServer, IDE, OS and Hardware

  1. Vance McCarthy summarizes Sun's latest positioning from the SunNetworks 2002 conference with respect to its appserver, IDE, hardware offering, and tools. Scott McNealy is quoted: "Our position is that IBM and BEA think the app server is an industry, and our position is that the app server is a feature - not an industry by itself."

    Read Sun Gets Aggressive on J2EE Front with App Server, IDE.

    Threaded Messages (24)

  2. It is interesting how two guys could be looking at the same thing and come to different conclusion. I am referring to Sun calling AppServer as a feature and BEA, IBM feeling it is a product unto itself. Now Java is so huge it has ended up becoming a platform rather than a language.

    But if Sun can do it right, then their is a good change that IDE + AppServer can become a great combination. Even though Sun may be doing this to push Solaris. People may end buying IDE + AppServer and use it on Linux.

    Sun always has great engineering skills the problem was marketing, in contrast Microsoft always had great marketing but very poor engineering skills.
  3. I have to note that I once worked for Sun. I can say that Sun ONE is a lot different from Sun's other half hearted ventures into software. They are serious about it this time. They have put together an impressive software stack. Their Directory Server is #1 in the market. Their Portal Server is top rate. Their Certificate Server is #1 (maybe #2). The only weak product was the previous application server 6.x. From what I have seen, Sun ONE Application Server 7.0 looks pretty good. They might give IBM and BEA a run for their money.
  4. Netbeans 3.4 is really good( my favourite.. plz try it )

    I would expect the same will be the case with Forte ... So really this should be a competitive stack..

    ~mv
  5. How ironic for Scott McNealy to say that an App Server is a feature. Do other people here remember about 10 years ago when Sun unbundled their C compiler and started selling it as a product instead of a feature? Don't they still charge for their C compiler?

    It would be nice if McNealy would make his C compiler a feature again.
  6. What I find truly ironic is that this strategy of bundling the app server with the OS was first practiced (in recent history) by, guess who, Microsoft.

    N1 is kind of interesting - but I don't think it will have much in terms of legs. While I think data center management is a huge issue, I don't think it's enough to support a company like Sun. I also think it's hard for Sun to have credibility in this area as a provider of software for platforms other than Solaris. I think IBM has a much better shot at trying to do this - or maybe some other independent software company.

    Sun has always had interesting technology - and many people have said that they feel the Sun has had bad/no marketing - I disagree. Sun has lacked a cohesive business plan to deal with the threats created by Linux (both free and with IBM) and Microsoft.

    Look at Java - Sun is basically the only company not to profit from it. If anything, Java could be seen a bad product because it allows easy migration of applications from one platform to another. So it's easy (or easier) to get rid of a Solaris-based platform because of cost.

    I'm not one to say Sun is done - I think they've still got some shots - but I worry that they are too late in their new bundled strategy for it to have an impact and that their other efforts sound too small to impact a company of Sun's size. All I hear about these days is people (like E-Trade) ripping out all their Sun boxes to put in Linux-based servers.

    Damian
  7. Damian wrote:
    >
    >I think IBM has a much better shot at trying to do this -
    >or maybe some other independent software company.

    I think IBM chose Globus grid to compete with things like Sun's N1. WebSphere and JBoss already have a Globus adapter. This JavaWorld article mentions Sun, IBM, and BEA's take on grids: http://www.javaworld.com/javaworld/jw-09-2002/jw-0906-grid.html

    >All I hear about these days is people (like E-Trade)
    >ripping out all their Sun boxes to put in Linux-based
    >servers.

    It looks like Sun is succeeding at preventing Micro$oft from taking over the server market.
  8. "It looks like Sun is succeeding at preventing Micro$oft from taking over the server market. "

    Don't you think Linux is eating away Solaris market ? Or any other Unix flavors for that matter ?

    Cheers,
    Elango
  9. "Look at Java - Sun is basically the only company not to profit from it. If anything, Java could be seen a bad product because it allows easy migration of applications from one platform to another. So it's easy (or easier) to get rid of a Solaris-based platform because of cost.
    "

    Was it not the original intention of migrating Windows Applications to Java ? Hmm...is it a double edged sword ?

    Cheers,
    Elango
  10. It looks that SUN is taking lessions from MS. IE is not product, it's feature! :)

    Cheers,
    Elango

  11. "It looks that SUN is taking lessions from MS."

    No doubt! Next we'll be hearing of leaked internal Sun emails containing phrases like "...extinguish rivals WebSphere and WebLogic and cut off their air supply."

    Sound familiar???
  12. Yes, I've felt for a long time now that Scott and crew are bitter at Microsoft, but if they were in the same position they would adopt similar tactics. Now we can see that to be, at least somewhat, true.

    <quote>
    Don't you think Linux is eating away Solaris market ? Or any other Unix flavors for that matter ?
    </quote>

    From the research I've read, Linux is eating into MS server sales, but it is absolutely killing Solaris. The reason for this is obvious - while Microsoft's OS operates on cheap Intel platforms, Sun's run on their own expensive boxes. Given that you want to preserve the skill set of your Unix admins, it makes a lot of sense to migrate them to Linux. The same benefit is not there for the MS OS.

    <quote>
    Was it not the original intention of migrating Windows Applications to Java ? Hmm...is it a double edged sword ?
    </quote>

    Absolutely a double-edged sword - the problem is that Linux created a new problem for Sun, or any propritary platform.

    <quote>
    No doubt! Next we'll be hearing of leaked internal Sun emails containing phrases like "...extinguish rivals WebSphere and WebLogic and cut off their air supply."
    </quote>

    Yes - this is very interesting. And, if it's true, Java is in danger. Java benefits from having a large amount of suppliers support it. If Sun starts killing off these efforts, Java may fragment. Not good.
  13. Sun definetly profitted from java in the early days. HP/UX and Solaris were bitter rivals of market share. HP/UX wasn't multi-threaded. Java comes out and suddenly there are threads everywhere. HP was slow in producing adequate JVMs. In the late 90's, if you wanted to do java, which hardware platform did you pick - Sun! This happened at the same time the e-commerce/internet boom was going on, so I imagine their hardware was flying off the shelves. (We bought a boat-load at the fortune 100 company I worked for.)

    Unfortunately, Sun has never been very good with shrink-wrapped packaged software. Their role seems to be very engineering-based: hardware, OS, and the "keeper of the spec" for themselves and the other big guys (Oracle, IBM, BEA, HP).

    Linux has really messed them up. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

    -Scott
  14. "Yes - this is very interesting. And, if it's true, Java is in danger. Java benefits from having a large amount of suppliers support it. If Sun starts killing off these efforts, Java may fragment. Not good. "

    Sun is sufferring from the commoditization of hardware. That is eating away at Sun's core business. I beleive we are seeing the beginning of the commoditization of software, especially server software. App servers, web servers relational dbs are all freelt available. This will soon do to MS what has been happening to Sun and others.

    Not a bright future for MS or Sun or BEA or IBM, etc. Service providers will still be able to make a buck.

  15. actually, that is quite good news for IBM. 35 or 40% of their revenue is alreadt the Global Services division. They are possibly in the best position of the big companies to take a service oriented lead. And it's likely that they will continue to be profitable in the hardware market as a tie-in to this.

    -Newt
  16. Strange economy we live in all of a sudden. Here's the trend I see: hardware's cheap, software's free. How do you make money? Programming, consulting, contracting. IBM has the right idea. The other guys need to catch on.

    -Scott
  17. App Servers are expensive to build and maintain. It looks like Sun is going to roll these costs into the price of their hardware ( "We'll sell them servers!", Scott McNealy, from the article ).

    I don't think this is a good place to rob Peter to pay Paul: their core HW business will eventually suffer, especially at this time as Intel continues to creep its way into the serious server market.
  18. A feature of a feature?[ Go to top ]

    <
    And he said a few years ago that "software is a feature of hardware" so what a nimble thing a J2EE app server happens to be. This really makes me wonder about how Java is appreciated by Sun higher execs. I guess the sooner JavaSoft spins off from Sun the better for the platform.
  19. I just had to look at Sun's Java Code today and was amazed how a company like Sun can distribute such crappy software or does a sentence like:

    // What was this test supposed to achieve?
    // narrowTo != java.rmi.Remote.class &&

    make you feel you deal with a quality-oriented company (this can be found in JDK 1.4 com.sun.corba.se.internal.javax.rmi.PortableRemoteObject class).

    So I would think that Sun should start to write better code and better products. So far most of Sun's software is either crappy like iPlanet, missed the market like JavaBlend or "what so ever". The only projects which does not suck that much is when Sun participate in open-source. So I cannot understand why Sun does not use JBoss as J2EE-RI instead of their own.

    Have fun - Andy Schaefer
  20. Are speaking as a JBoss Group LLC rep or just for yourself?

    -- Igor

  21. Hi Igor

    I am always speaking for myself.

    Andy
  22. Sun's Latest Positioning - N1[ Go to top ]

    This statement has to be understood in relation to Sun's new strategic direction - N1. "Next Big Thing"

    It's worth reading. At the moment it's on Sun's front page. http://www.sun.com/n1

    N1 is the idea that "The computer is now built out of the network". In fact it comes across as "Sun's network data enter", but as you read further (and I recommend you do) more is said, especially between the lines.

    First thing to note is that all the big hitters at Sun are on board, Sun is clearly staking it's future (well almost) on N1. Second it is clear that the Javasoft guys are NOT big hitters in Sun as a whole. There is very little input from the J2EE camp.

    Yousef Khalidi in the essay "Revolutionary IT Architecture for Business" says

    "Each service is typically implemented using a multitier, possibly multisite infrastructure ... Business logic is hosted in containers such as an application server or an operating environment ... "

    There are of course technical and commerical questions over this strategy, but ... interestingly it has political implications for Java, especially for that (self-proclaimed) "distruptionist" Dr James Gosling.

    For those who have followed my posting I've pointed out that Javasoft has been politically split for years between the tiered J2EE camp and distributed services Jini camp. The 2 architectures closely follow each other by with different implementations of the same services (e..g lookup and discovery, data store, remote service etc).

    Clearly what has been happening is that Dr Gosling may not have won the battle at Javasoft but has won the war because (I feel that) N1 looks alot more like Jini than J2EE. N1 and Jini have both come from Sun research labs, of which he is the central figure.

    A quote from the offical Jini book by Edwards/Rodden. "The central vision of Jini is the realization of a distributed computing environment that can support the rapid configuration of devices and software ... Essentially the goal is to allow any device of software component to be connected with the network and announce it's presence"

    Another interesting statement made by Yousef Khalidi in his essay is.

    "Later versions of N1 will provide increasing sophistication by using application domain-specific knowledge to automate the process of translating business objectives into computing infrastructures, either making the translation without human intervention, or acting as an expert advisor to IT architects making the translation manually."

    This bears close correlations to the ideals of the ACE project from Java Labs. "Ace technology enables developers to simplify and automate the development of enterprise Java&#8482; applications, create applications that are easy to migrate from one architecture to another, and optimize performance and scalability." Some thing I've been a string advocate of for along time http://www.softwarereality.com/design/domain_oriented.jsp

    As an architect is my responsiblity to track these trends, and what I am advising my clients at the moment is to build architecture neutral specifications that can be fed into code generators, and not to spend large amounts of time trying to get some J2EE technology (e.g. EJB) working for strategic projects.




  23. Sun's Latest Positioning - N1[ Go to top ]

    Robin wrote:
    >
    >Clearly what has been happening is that Dr Gosling may not
    >have won the battle at Javasoft but has won the war
    >because (I feel that) N1 looks alot more like Jini than
    >J2EE.

    N1 resembles a grid (such as Globus) more than it does Jini. Jini makes little or no attempt at language independence and security -- two things that a grid or N1 are dedicated to. In this way N1 and Jini can enhance eachother. They're synergistic.

    >As an architect is my responsiblity to track these trends,
    >and what I am advising my clients at the moment is ...
    >not to spend large amounts of time trying to get some J2EE
    >technology (e.g. EJB) working for strategic projects.

    I advise the opposite. J2EE has become an industry-standard architecture with unsurpassed abilities. Even Globus grid has selected J2EE as its next-generation grid service container. Of course Jini is important too.
  24. Well, I would say that it sounds more like: we didn't succeed doing marketing to try to increase our share of app server market, so we are going to try to push it through hw. I would say that at least BEA already expect something like that and they made announcement that when buying HP hardware with HP UX 11i, you will also get license for Weblogic App server (even the license is valid just for half year).
    Also reminds me of MS making contracts with HW makers to sell MSWin with HW ...
    Rah
  25. I have to give credit to SUN visions. I really like Net Beans on the other hand Eclipse is really well made too. But both are open source project which is great. IBM's contribution to Java has been immense. I hope one of these days both IBM & SUN can bury their difference and work on Java ...as it stands Java has no competition . The future of Java is bright as ever.. more development support are coming from Apache(other open source projects), Oracle, Sybase, Bea which even helps more. I think IBM and SUN has it right that Java in Linux which has better future than windows when it come to server side computing. But the great thing is that Java now runs in all unix flavors as well as Mainframe. This is a great victory for Java. That is why we need innovators like IBM and SUN to work together.