Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sun: Split Up, Yo

Since the whole pick-on-sun meme has really taken off, I figured I'd post some more on the current situation, because El Reg's take led me to believe that the only really positive outcome is complete dismemberment.

Look back at my previous posting. Logically, you've got several distinct companies floating about in that mess of Fail:
  • Legacy SPARC, including Niagara. Sell it to Fujitsu and give up. Although the Niagara stuff may be cool, if you can't get it price/performance competitive with x86 just give up and use it for having a forward migration path for your existing customers.
  • Storage. This would include the StorageTek stuff, Thumper, FishWorks, and the Open Storage stuff. Separate company, which might even be able to stand on its own. Otherwise, find someone like Dell who's sick of OEMing EMC stuff and sell the business to them.
  • Software. Take all the open source stuff you have (including and especially Solaris) and give it to a new company which doesn't have anybody working for it who has ever worked for the hardware business in any form (in fact, it should probably be run by non-Sun people). Allow them to create an alternative to Novell and Red Hat as a multi-product open source company, completely ignoring your Sparc lines of business. I guarantee that this would result in the software changes that the community wants (ZFS with a Linux-friendly license) because it's in the best interest of such a company, but not in the best interest of the Sun hardware business. All those retarded decisions you've made in software seem to be to try to push your legacy hardware; free the company from that, and it'll do some great stuff.
  • Other Stuff. This is the x86 stuff and the HPC stuff (Constellation, blades) and everything else. Leave this as a rump hardware company, allowed and encouraged to compete with the Fujitsu-owned Sparc business. Alternatively, sell it to one of the Asian manufacturers that wants to bootstrap a server business (Asus?). I think it'd do quite well actually.
The simple fact is that if you look at it this way, Sun makes logical sense as 4 different companies, and really they're not getting any synergies out of having them all as one company, so why keep pretending? Split it up completely and maybe the world will be a better place.

If nothing else, we could all get on with our lives and stop blabbing on about it.
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