Feeds

Massive Sun cuts planned as IBM focuses on software trio

Death and the community

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

If IBM purchases Sun Microsystems - as expected - the fallout will be brutal.

IBM staffers have, according to a Reg source close to the parties, been talking to Sun about its software portfolio and - unsurprisingly - they don't like what they've found: It's not making any money.

IBM's now interested in three Sun software assets: the open-source MySQL database, Java, and Sun's Solaris operating system.

The rest, including all that open-source work Sun's spent years building and hyping, will succumb to that classic of big vendor lingering deaths by being, ahem, "released" to the "community".

A third of Sun's staff, meanwhile, will immediately be cut. This could come through layoffs or the sale of divisions where there is overlap with IBM's existing business.

That would be a huge cut for anyone and much will depend on what is meant by "immediately." However, if it happens, that could see 11,000 Sun employees cut, based on the company's current head count.

Sun declined to comment on what it called "rumors and speculation" while IBM was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

The cuts would be made because the software is very much an afterthought to the deal. IBM is only interested in Sun's hardware business as a way to stop Cisco Systems' recent break through into servers with the release of its California Unified Computing System.

This is of course assuming IBM's deal proceeds in the first place. The Reg understands that while Sun is committed to an agreement, IBM is uncertain - one possible reason why IBM reportedly dropped its proposed purchase price from $10 to $11 per share to $9 to $10.

Currently, a deal is expected during the next week at the latest, although this could slip.

Where would the trio of MySQL, Java, and Solaris fit in the new organization?

MySQL would serve as a low-end business to IBM's DB2, and extend IBM's reach among systems partners, as well as making direct sales to customers. About 40 per cent of MySQL's business is in the OEM market. MySQL would therefore be to the database what Gluecode was to IBM's WebSphere in application servers.

Owning Java would help ensure the platform's continued survival to suit IBM's own goals, while opening up the prospect of revenue from licensing and support of Java with OEMs, ISVs, handset manufacturers, and services providers - the only way Sun's made money on Java.

Solaris would give IBM's Global Services business the opportunity to support and maintain existing customers.

It's likely the remainder of Sun's software would be quietly punted out to the Apache Software Foundation or released under an Apache license. IBM is an experienced backer of both.

One potential winner in this scenario would be Apache's Project Harmony, which is backed by IBM. Harmony's been locked in a long-running disagreement over licensing of test-compatibility kits (TCKs) with spec-lead Sun. Without the TCKs, Apache cannot prove Harmony - an implementation of Java Standard Edition (Java SE) - meets Sun's official compatibility standard.

Apache's Java Community Process (JCP) representative Geir Magnusson Jr recently accused Sun of doing "tremendous damage" to Project Harmony.®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really
Windows NEIN skipped, tech preview due out on Wednesday
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.