Feeds

Sun ravaged, IBM lauded in Unix server study

Bad moon on the rise

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A new study on the major players in the Unix server market has declared IBM the clear customer favorite and brought to light some serious issues with Sun Microsystems' product line. Most alarmingly for Sun, the company appears to have lost its cachet as the dominant Unix player and done so while alienating customers. Sun finished last in almost every one of the Gabriel Consulting Group (GCG) survey's categories, spanning technology performance, customer satisfaction and software tools.

The survey polled 197 corporate Unix customers with particular attention paid to the opinions of administrators as opposed to the CIOs in their ivory towers. "We have found that people on the data center floor have a much better idea of what works well (and not so well) in their infrastructure and are generally not shy about expressing their views – both positive and negative," GCG said. Close to 75 per cent of the respondents hailed from North America, and the median participant managed between 25 and 50 Unix boxes.

GCG does a nice job of giving us an idea of who uses what. Only about 20 per cent of customers have standardized on a single Unix vendor. Around 46 per cent of customers tap two vendors and 34 per cent have gear from all three of the big boys. If you have standardized on one vendor, then you're probably running on Sun systems, although this hasn't helped the vendor too much of late.

"Sun was the major beneficiary of the UNIX buying spree in the 1990s, building an installed base that is estimated by some to top that of HP and IBM combined," GCG said. "While Sun has the advantage of a massive installed base, it hasn’t paid off in terms of sales for the last several years. IBM and HP have caught up to and surpassed, albeit by a small margin, Sun in terms of overall UNIX system sales."

Starting with the overall results, IBM clobbered the competition. According to GCG's methodology, IBM secured a VPI (Vendor Preference Index) of 105. HP followed at 85, and Sun placed last at 80. As GCG notes, IBM has enjoyed a solid run since the introduction of Power 4 and then Power 5, gaining significant market share. Meanwhile, HP and Sun have struggled to keep pace with their RISC chips, and HP customers have also had to face the Itanium question.

Things don't improve for Sun as GCG moves to individual categories. Sun finished third - or in this case last - in Raw Performance, Processor Performance, Observed Performance, Operating System Features, Operating System Quality, System Management Suite, Partitioning/Virtualization Suite, RAS Features, Overall Technology and Technology Futures. That's quite a list.

In nearly every case, IBM finished first in these categories with HP just ahead of Sun. HP did manage to edge out IBM on the System Management Suite and Partitioning/Virtualization Features categories.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?