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Sun suffers self-imposed Linux lobotomy

Rip that 'orrible penguin from my brain!

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Not too long ago, Sun Microsystems proudly sold Linux for its line of x86 processor-based servers. If you had any doubts that this Linux love era has passed, then check out yesterday's press release describing a customer win with Ciena Corp. Love? Not even tolerance.

In round one of Sun's release, the company proclaimed,

Sun Microsystems today announced that Ciena Corporation, the network specialist, has selected Sun Microsystems' leading x64 (x86, 64-bit) Sun Fire servers for its electronic design automation (EDA) platform, in order to improve the speed of its simulation and testing capabilities. Ciena purchased 30 Sun Fire V20z servers, running a standard Linux operating system and powered by the AMD Opteron processor, which have improved Ciena's ability to design and test its ADSL2+ telecommunications solutions by a factor of four compared to its previous systems.

A couple of hours later, Sun realized its gaffe, and decided the Linux billboard had to go. Here's version two of the press release that hit the wire Wednesday afternoon.

Sun Microsystems, Inc today announced that Ciena Corporation, the network specialist, has selected Sun Microsystems' leading x64 (x86, 64-bit) Sun Fire servers for its electronic design automation (EDA) platform, in order to improve the speed of its simulation and testing capabilities. Ciena purchased 30 Sun Fire V20z servers, powered by the AMD Opteron processor, which have improved Ciena's ability to design and test its ADSL2+ telecommunications solutions by a factor of four compared to its previous systems.

Many of you know the ins and outs surrounding Sun's relationship with Linux. It ignored the operating system for years, preferring the homemade Solaris OS. Then CEO Scott McNealy decided to change course and live the Linux lifestyle. Sun agreed to sell both Linux and Solaris x86 on its non-UltraSPARC kit.

Of late, however, Sun has again opted to push Solaris x86 over Linux quite vocally - a move that makes sense when you consider the new investment Sun has thrown at its own OS. Sun would love to see customers forgo Red Hat, in particular, in favor of Solaris x86, which now, like Linux, is open source.

But to go from McNealy dressing up in a penguin suit to erasing the word "Linux" from press releases is a more massive change than many might have expected.

So, for the record, what exactly are the Ciena boxes running?

"We are running Linux on the majority of our V20z's, however, in our Build environment, we also have several V20z's running Windows XP, and one v20z running Solaris," Steven Rennick, lead network systems engineer at Ciena, told El Reg.

One out of 30 ain't bad. ®

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