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back to article Otellini: 'I'd rather have Sun be independent'

Another IT head honcho has put his two cents out there about the rumored acquisition of Sun Microsystems by rival IBM. This time, it is Paul Otellini, president and chief executive officer at Intel, who was speaking to company employees earlier this week about freezing the salaries of its highest paid workers and repricing the …

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Anonymous Coward

Again, no surprises here

Obviously IBM's main interest in acquiring Sun is to get Java, Sun's patents and its engineers. I doubt very seriously that IBM intends to run Sun as a subsidiary. More likely, it will break it up and sell off the potentially profitable parts of Sun's portfolio it doesn't need and bury the rest. Anyone who thinks that Sun can move forward as an independant company is either unrealistic or doesn't have enough business accumen. That time is past for Sun.

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Flame

Yay or nay?

"Is it good or bad for us?" Otellini asked rhetorically. "I don't know. I'd rather have Sun be independent, I guess."

What on earth for, whenever it is so impotent and ineffective an operation? It is nothing more than a vanity tool for wannabe heroes. Put them out of their misery, for goodness sake.

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Anonymous Coward

Well he would say that wouldn't he ! . . .

. . . having Sun be independent serves his and Intel's purpose !

Fair and interesting comment his remarks up until his point of Solaris and SPARC looking set to be EOL.

If this happens it may take a long time, SPARC and Solaris may be forced for antitrust server marketshare reasons on being spun out of the proposed merger and Fujitsu may be a most willing recipient and may wish to continue the architecture.

Also 'Polaris' isn't likely to run as fast as native even on P and Z.

Multicore and multithread SPARC appear to be well worth preserving and there may even be great value in Rock should it ever see the sunlight of day.

Much more likely is that SPARC will survive longer term, what else enterprise viable is there(?), and it may even help create a harder, better, faster, stronger and more profitable market for Solaris SPARC.

SPARC like SPARC64 are very high quality architectures now with tremendous reliability capabilities compared with early SPARCs.

Mr. Otellini's comments helps our understanding then to confirm the liekly existence of serious IBM and SUN merger talks and this would suit Southeastern Management, SAM, who's 40% shareholding is currently under water recoup some of their around USD$800M investment losses.

Likewise with the KKR's investment that preceeds even SAM.

Also the Sun board have arranged and filed covenants that help the Sun board make much money in the event of an eventual trade sale.

So it does look like due diligence and strong negotiations are happening behind the scenes maybe.

JAVA would be a grand prize for IBM, but so too would much else in Sun's massive innovative IP portfolio would be good value and great rich winnings, even if some must be let go.

Who knows, this could turn out to be the enterprise deal of the decade and maybe other players will end up kicking themselves for not having recognised superior value and acting first.

Intel included!

Stay tuned, the eventual outcome of this one is going to be very highly interesting and we're not done yet.

A shout to Tim for doing such a great job on reporting all this for Reg Readers and especially for so conveniently posting the SEC transcript of Paul Otellini's comments. Thanks Tim.

Kind regards,

Ray

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@AC

Much more likely is that SPARC will survive longer term, what else enterprise viable is there(?).

At the top end - there's Power, Itanium (on a good day), but most of all I expect Intel to push x64 more that way as there development progress on Itanium has been tardy to put it mildly.

As far as other entreprise issues goes, the SPARC64 (owned by Fujistsu) is considerably better than the SUN UltraSparc processors (now effectively dead). It has much better RAS features than SUN ever put in. Whether Rock will ever appear in a real machine, who knows. SUN have canned enough SPARC chip versions already and it requires serious money to build new enterprise servers and it would leave SUN with a messy mix of legacy UltraSPARC, re-badged Fujistu SPARC64 and whatever ROCK servers would look like. All the same OS of course, but plenty of other hardware differences like the I/O systems. The space for top-end RISC is also shrinking as Intel's x64 processors eat the bottom end out of that market.

In the case of the Niagara-powered servers, they suffer from two problems Firstly single thread speed is inadequate for many applications. I've lost count of the number where a bottleneck gets hit long before the box runs out of CPU. Many critical bits of infrastructure hit that problem - T series machines work great as NetBackup media servers, but dreadfully as the master server. Any app with even one heavy single-thread process is prone to suhc problems. The other problem is, of course, x64 where you get good single thread speed, ever improving power efficiency and agrressive cost reduction (plus two suppliers, even if one is walking wounded).

The real reason for SPARC is legacy apps and the difficulty of migration. Now that IBM own Transitive expect a big push on that side should they get there hands on SUN. In 10 years time, SPARC will have gone the way of Alpha, MIPS and PA-RISC as I can't see Fujitsu managing to sustain it.

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Polaris Personified?

Ray,

The Beauty/Trouble with JAVA is, is that it a Truly Dynamic Hydra Headed Application/Platform/Launch Pad with Minds of its Own. Treat it well and it Smothers you in Riches, Abuse its Novel Independent Enterprises and it will Savage you to its Advantage rather than to Mutual Benefit.

And a Perfect Clone Mirror of the Tempestuous Temptress and Madame of the Brothel/Harem/Perfumed Garden of Exquisite Flowers and Potent Weeds ........ and as Easily Worshipped and Mastered as Such with Such.

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Anonymous Coward

EMC should buy Sun

For varius reasons I think EMC should consider stepping into the fray see- http://www.ecm-stuff.blogspot.com

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Pirate

RE: ACs

"....Anyone who thinks that Sun can move forward as an independant company is either unrealistic or doesn't have enough business accumen....."

No sooner had you said it, and up pops Ray! Where to start with his Sunshine....

"....Also 'Polaris' isn't likely to run as fast as native even on P and Z....." Funny that it already runs faster on Itanium using Transitive. Seeing as Power is - like Itanium - years ahead of SPARC in any form, I'd expect Polaris or Slowaris on Transitive on Power to trounce any current SPARC kit. Why is it you SUnshiners have such a problem realising SPARC is such a poor performer, especially at Sun prices?

"....JAVA would be a grand prize for IBM, but so too would much else in Sun's massive innovative IP portfolio would be good value and great rich winnings, even if some must be let go....." Such a "grand prize" that Sun has never managed to make any money out of it. I can see IBM trying to buy up Java in a fire sale later to prevent maybe Microsoft getting control of it, but it is definately not a reason to splash out $6-8bn.

Once again for the Sunshiners - IBM is trying to get a head start on all the Sun customers that will be left in the lurch now that SPARC is dead. If IBM waits until the fire sale, then they have to compete with Dell and hp with no real market advantage, and against Fujitsu which at least has SPARC64. By buying up Sun's installed base now, IBM offsets the advantage hp got when it bought EDS (Sun's largest partner).

My take is Ortellini prefers Sun as a weak independent as it makes it easier for Intel vendors to chase those dying Sun accounts. If IBM gets in their first with Polaris or Slowaris on Transitive on Power then it will stop a lot of those accounts going to x64 or Itanium by default, which means less money for Ortellini.

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Anonymous Coward

It made sense!

It is the first time that a comment by amanfrommars made sense to me.

probably I am too drunk.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

Yes the two three look set to be Power, Intel in some form and the third to ensure competition could and maybe should be Fuji SPARC. Perhaps only Power and SPARC are mainframe class RAS and Fuji ECC throughout gives excellent availability.

Pity if we end up as just two horse race Power and Intel, limits customer choice.

@amanfrommars yes, valid points JAVA is unwieldy

@Matt yes, valid great points and i'm not so much Sun fanboi as you may think!

Roll on Power and Polaris, maybe they can get it faster than Slowaris?

Cheers

Ray

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Anonymous Coward

End of an era

Assuming Sun is purchased by someone and ceases to exist then its passing will mark the end of an era. The era is of course the dominance of big single threaded applications and cpus. Simply adding more cores to the chip will not move the industry too much farther forward. The Niagra and Rock processor represent an attempt to adapt to the new future. If IBM buys Sun it is inconcievable to think that these chips don't contain some IP of interest and benefit to IBMs own designs. IP that will be denied to Intel and most especially the Itanium.

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Anonymous Coward

Java??

Yeah right, they want Sun for their customer base. Java is awful, get with the game.

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Coat

Calling Number Six... Over...

I'm not a number, I'm a free man... Over...

Buddy, you've missed the body.

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Dead Vulture

7K layoffs today in Sun Global Sales and services

Today is d-day at Sun

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Pirate

Not good.

One Sun customer pointed out to me that Sun servers running x86 processors and Solaris x86 were more than 50 times faster for his in-house Web application, than the new T5220 box (running Solaris SPARC) he bought at around the same time.

Sounds like the death knell for SPARC, particularly given that the new Nehalem-based Xeons are going to completely rewrite the server landscape.

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