back to article Sun sets on Oracle VDI products

Oracle has let it be known that the sun will soon set forever on desktop virtualisation (VDI) products including some it acquired from Sun. After an internal support document bearing the news made it into the public eye, the company has blogged to confirm a raft of Sun-derived VDI kit will soon be pining for the fjords. Big …

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  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Zombie down!

    Another one of the Sun zombies finally dies. Larry may have had a good feeling for VDI and/or thin clients, but he should have beaten EMC to the punch and bought VMware instead of Sun. EMC pulled off a real coup when it got VMware, the market-leading virtualization company, for only $625m, whilst Larry paid $7.4b for Ponytail's collection of zombie products.

    1. alderley
      Stop

      Re: Zombie down!

      Four years on, and Matt Bryant still can't resist any opportunity to dance on Sun's grave. Get a life! Nobody cares what you think, and I'm sure you have plenty of more useful things you could be doing.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: alderley Re: Zombie down!

        ".....Nobody cares what you think....." Hook, line and sinker! Enjoy!

        ".....I'm sure you have plenty of more useful things you could be doing....." Of course I have plenty of time seeing as we don't use any Sun products any more. For all those Sunshiners getting all misty-eyed over Oracle's lamentable VDI program, maybe you should go look at Citrix, VMware or even Microsoft Hyper-V, all quite healthy VDI ranges because the market judged them a better choice than Oracle's.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Given how widely these are used within the ex-Sun development organization, especially for home workers, Larry has probably just upset a lot of his own staff. Assuming that he actually pays attention to anything other than the America's Cup these days...

  3. Stephen Channell
    Facepalm

    workstation price, entry-terminal functionality.. was redundant on day one.

    Sun Ray wasn't even a partially good terminal for Sun Servers, and without buying Citrix for "legacy" support was never going to be any use in the enterprise, didn't even 3278 have graphics terminal support.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: workstation price, entry-terminal functionality.. was redundant on day one.

      A Sunray is essentially a remote framebuffer/keyboard/mouse, and sells for only a few hundred dollars (less than a PC). All the work is done on the server and then the desktop is transferred remotely to the graphics framebuffers in the Sunray using an efficient protocol (much better than plain X11). It gives you a full multi-head graphic workstation, just as you would have with a normal desktop. The big advantages I've found are that it is totally silent, no fan/disk noise in my office, and you have the full power of a SPARC or x86 server available, not just that of a desktop.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Phil O'Sophical Re: workstation price, entry-terminal functionality..

        Gee, Phil, it's not like Wyse had been doing that for years, and was still making profits doing it today. Oh, hold on a sec - they are! Maybe it's because they Wysely (pfnarr, pfnarr) made a product range that works with many different virtualization partners.....

    2. David Halko
      Thumb Down

      Re: workstation price, entry-terminal functionality.. was redundant on day one.

      > didn't even 3278 have graphics terminal support.

      IBM 3278?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_3270

      The SunRay was a 100% graphics terminal.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Ray

      You can even use web browsers and watch YouTube on an original 1999 SunRay 1 units - today!

      Try to watch a YouTube video on a 1999 era off-the-shelf PC, today, never mind an IBM 3278.

      SunRay - very graphical, virus-free, low power, silent, solid-as-a-rock.

  4. Not_JFSC_Chris

    A Great Shame - Goodbye to Probably the Best Stateless Solution on the Market

    Sun Ray technology is widely misunderstood and provides an extremly powerful and versatile desktop solution which connects to pretty much any broker you care to try. There are serious deployments worldwde in both public and financial sectors (healthcare and local govt particularly) that will now have to completely rethink their desktop strategies.

    The community have learned that the US-based dev teams were *let go* at a moments notice so this isn't just a poor decision for customers.

    This is conclusive proof that Oracle have never really had a grip on the product set they acquired with Sun. Altogether this is a massve shame as there's nothing else on the market that comes close to the functionality Sun Ray provides - future deployments are going to be, initially at least, a step backwards.

    1. Henrik Wallin
      Happy

      Re: A Great Shame - Goodbye to Probably the Best Stateless Solution on the Market

      We on Cendio have gotten a lot of requests from Sun Ray users who want to try ThinLinc after this announcement. At least one company is so happy with moving from Sun Ray to ThinLinc that they even wrote a piece on it for others in the same position:

      http://insights.oetiker.ch/linux/sunray2thinlinc/

  5. Anonymouse42
    Happy

    Good Riddance

    Glad to see this product set dead at last - it was an over complex pile of sh1te. I quite liked the protocol, but the architecture was just too complex to be cost effective in a Windows desktop dominated world, and it should have been put out of its misery many years ago.

  6. billse10
    Unhappy

    :(

    (apparently posts have to contain letters.)

  7. Moonprince
    Paris Hilton

    Architecture

    Anonymouses "good riddance" post was interesting.

    As an end user, sunrays are fantastic.

    What do other sysadmins/techies think about the comment around complexity and cost effectiveness?

    1. David Halko
      IT Angle

      Re: Architecture

      Once you set them up, they just run.

      I have 3 on my desktop at the office and another at my home.

      - at the office, all 3 run operation center displays, shut off the sleep functionality, and draw very little power

      - at the home, the 1 goes to sleep, draws nearly no power (the UPS has a power meter) and when I strike a key, instantly appears with a login prompt, with a small jump in consumption on the UPS.

      SunRay's enabled beautifully implemented architectures with very simple lifecycle support.

      When Sun decided early on to create Servers and abandon Workstations, the SunRay line was separated too far away from Solaris. Oracle had an opportunity to fix this as well as a variety of other broken initiatives.

      http://netmgt.blogspot.com/2012/07/detecting-sun-in-solar-system.html

      A SunRay GUI should have been built right into the "root" administrative consoles of Solaris Servers, instead of using install scripts as part of the SunRay Software. This lack built-in integration into the other product sets (i.e. Sun Solaris... and later Oracle Solaris & Oracle Linux) probably contributed to the demise of the SunRay.

    2. King1Con

      Re: Architecture

      Some SunRay models run via PoE, just like ethernet video cameras, desktop VoIP Phone, desktop VoIP speakerphone, wireless access points, etc.

      When an entire office infrastructure can have nearly their entire desktop, power, network, security, and voice infrastructure consolidated with central redundant power systems driven by switches with centrally & properly sized UPS's & generators at extremely low aggregate costs.

      The SunRay is an amazing product which fits well into a completely architected office.

    3. AndyC
      FAIL

      Sun Rays were fantastic...

      It's just a pity that people couldn't get past the power they *had* to have on their desks to increase their FPS in Word!

      Sun Rays were secure, instantly on and cut down the power requirements of the office. I set up a small (5 node) network running off a single 500MHz UltraSPARC Sun blade 100. It worked just fine as a terminal and allowed us to remote into the servers to do the real number crunching.

      I think Sun were ahead of their time.

      -Card access

      -transferrable sessions

      -low power requirements (<5W)

      -Secure

      About the only thing they didn't have was a CD player for people to install their pirated games onto the network. (A bonus from my point of view). They even had headphone and microphone jacks and USB ports.

      A sad loss in my book.

    4. Anonymouse42
      FAIL

      Re: Architecture

      Just to expand on the complexity issue - the problem is that the client is so thin that it requires one dedicated server per 200 devices to provide the necessary grunt - and that server is a complex and expensive Solaris box. Scale that up, add the servers necessary to support any Windows desktops, the support costs, and you have a large, complex and very uneconomic solution, compared to, say, Wyse. Obviously cheaper if you have a solely Unix based environment, but who has that?

      The devices draw very little power, but they had no on/off switch - so they drew that little power 24*7, 52 weeks of the year. Unless you could get the sleep mode to work, and it didn't in our Sun supported POC.

      The optimum quantity of processing power on the desktop is not the very minimum, because that gives you a solution that is too inflexible. IMO, the balance is best set at a much higher level of grunt, and limited by power consumption and complexity / resource usage of the firmware upgrade process.

      1. Moonprince
        Happy

        Re: Architecture

        > Obviously cheaper if you have a solely Unix based environment, but who has that?

        We had that Sun. Maybe this is the real issue I.e the ubiquity of windows-based offices.

        Considering an extremely high percentage of work in general requires no more than email, a browser, a collab tool and a spreadsheet app, then a Sunray environment is ideal. Is not a single complex solaris server better than maintaining 200 desktop machines each with its own windows and office sw installations, PSU, hard drives, cooling, security risks, non-portable sessions etc?

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Moonponce Re: Architecture

          "....Is not a single complex solaris server better than maintaining 200 desktop machines each with its own windows and office sw installations, PSU, hard drives, cooling, security risks, non-portable sessions etc?" So nobody told you the advantages of VDI are available on more than just Slowaris then?

          1. Anonymouse42
            IT Angle

            Re: Moonponce Architecture

            Precisely. Most of the commentators in this thread seem to be alarmingly ill informed about the wider world of computing. Yes, a Sun Ray has a lot to offer compared to a Sun / Unix workstation for an organisation that only buys from Sun. Sadly for them, back in the real world, that type of environment forms in infinitesimally small part of the commercial landscape.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Moonponce Architecture

            > So nobody told you the advantages of VDI are available on more than just Slowaris then?

            True. Sunray server software runs fine on Linux, and the client side software solution works well on Windows. I have a Windows laptop and I can start the client software, plug in my Sunray smart card into the built-in card reader, and my multi-screen desktop appears on my laptop/docking station combo. Since my server is an x86 box I can even run windows in virtualbox, displayed on the Sunray.

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