Sun's surviving staff hit with 'motivation' missive
Code: Your solace, our savior
Exclusive Sun Microsystems has set software engineers seven goals in the wake of new layoffs, hoping to keep them focused amid uncertainty but to also hit existing corporate objectives.
Among the targets: focus all their efforts on Sun's Kenai hosting and collaboration service, and deliver a "solid, scalable internal proof-of-concept" of Sun's planned cloud storage for a public preview release. The preview is expected soon, while Sun earlier this year committed to deliver its separate JavaStore in the US by the end of this year.
Also, the company hopes to migrate all sites serving developers off of Sun's current CollabNet service provider and onto Kenai, while moving the flagship Sun.com site out of Nevada and onto a hosted facility at its Labs in Santa Clara, California with Kenai - and without a single outage.
Sun's corporate objective is to completely cancel is contract with CollabNet, which is also home to the Sun-dominated OpenOffice project.
Engineers, meanwhile, must keep NetBeans 6.8 on schedule because Sun plans a "demonstrable show of commitment" to its open-source development framework and integrated development environment. The plan is to make the NetBeans platform more of a product.
Vice president of cloud computing engineering Jim Parkinson outlined the goals in an email and company call with staff Friday. The Reg has obtained a copy of Parkinson's email.
Going, going, gone: Sun's Web 2.0 development site is being closed
In a Friday call to Sun employees, Parkinson noted how staff numbers are dwindling at Sun. "Reductions over past few days were unfortunate, but necessary. We've also lost a lot of people to attrition over the past few months, so we're a lot smaller organization than we were."
The result is that some projects are getting chopped, as engineers are being redeployed. Sun's Web 2.0 application development and hosting service Zembly is one of those, due to a lack of development and support resources. Zembly started life at the height of the Web 2.0 frenzy in 2006 and hit open beta in January this year. Engineers who'd worked on Zembly have been deployed to other Sun projects.
"[We] Will turn [the] site off and start talks with Oracle on where to go with it," Parkinson said.
The Sun Software Library, an on-line catalog that lists commercial and open source software that runs on Sun hardware and software, is going into "sustaining mode". The suggestion is this might be picked up by Oracle, who'd been looking at building its own catalogue.
Parkinson's emails said the last few months at Sun have been challenging "to say the least," the last few days especially so.
"The best thing we can do in the middle of all this uncertainty is continue to make progress and focus on the things in front of us," he said.
To that end, Parkinson set the short-term goals of moving sites and projects on to Kenai, delivering the storage beta, migrate Sun.com to the Palo Alto labs without the site going down, and hit the NetBean roadmap goals. Also on the list, complete productization of technology for cloud deployment and management from Q-Layer it bought in January.
Parkinson noted on Kenai, however, that it was up to Sun's individual project teams to put their code on the system rather wait for the engineers building Kenai to make the move. "The Kenai team will not become a migration service. What the team will do is make Kenai work well, and people who want to move their projects will do so," Parkinson's email read. ®
>someone obviously didn't know that Oracle was building out a cloud computing data center and paused the implementation once the announcement was made about purchasing Sun.
Yes, I knew. The first paragraph of that article says that Oracle halted work and "it is not clear why", it's only InfoWorld's speculation that links it to Sun. You do know what sun does to clouds, don't you? :)
Perhaps what is clearer is Ellisons comments at the Churchill Club in September:
"Ellison drew laughter when he ridiculed the industry trend known as “cloud computing,” saying as he has before that it’s nothing more than a faddish term for the established concept of computers linked by networks. “A cloud is water vapor,” he observed."
Or his comments last September at Open World:
"The interesting thing about cloud computing is that we've redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do. I can't think of anything that isn't cloud computing with all of these announcements. The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women's fashion. Maybe I'm an idiot, but I have no idea what anyone is talking about. What is it? It's complete gibberish. It's insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?
We'll make cloud computing announcements. I'm not going to fight this thing. But I don't understand what we would do differently in the light of cloud."
So, OK, let's all sell Oracle Real Application Clouds then :)
Like a trainwreck
I'm an AC at Sun in the US and I recognize the story....to say that the environment is currently challenging is an understatement at best, especially when there's a constant stream of folks either quitting or being laid-off after 24 years of service with a one-day notice. Fun times. There's a strong suspicion that Oracle is the hand up the current management's backside as whenever the deal closes, if it closes, Oracle wants to effect change rather quickly.
Nobody knows what's going on and, even those who did claim to be in a position to know have been surprised by some of the recent re-orgs. It's a bit like watching a trainwreck....painful but riveting to the flaming finale.
IBM acted unethicaly and damaged Sun
H. Insider Trading in SUN
84. Moffat, IBM's Senior Vice President and Group Executive, Systems and
Technology Group, conveyed to Chiesi material nonpublic information about SUN's Q2
2009 results in advance of SUN's January 27,2009 earnings release.
85. In January 2009, IBM was conducting due diligence on SUN in
contemplation of a possible acquisition by IBM ofSUN. Pursuant to a confidentiality
agreement between IBM and SUN entered into as part of that process, SUN provided
IBM with its Q2 2009 earnings results in advance of the January 27, 2009 announcement.
Moffat was involved in IBM's due diligence of SUN, and as a result had access to SUN's
86. Chiesi and Moffat, who are friends, contacted each other repeatedly during
January 2009, with the frequency of contact between the two increasing significantly just
prior to the SUN earnings release.
87. Moffat was one of a group ofIBM executives on the preliminary due
diligence team arriving at a designated location to conduct due diligence on SUN on
January 19, 2009. Moffat contacted Chiesi at home that evening, and had several
conversations with her over the next several days. In the course of one or more of these
conversations, Moffat provided Chiesi with material nonpublic information concerning
SUN's Q2 2009 earnings.
88. On Monday, January 26, New Castle began acquiring a substantial long
position in SUN. On January 27,2009, after the market close, SUN reported its Q2 2009
earnings information. SUN's performance substantially exceeded consensus estimates,
including higher revenue and margins, posting a $0.02 per share profit whereas consensus
estimates called for a loss of $0.09/0.1 0 per share. SUN's shares rallied on the news,
rising 21 %, from a January 27 close of$3.99 per share to a January 28 close of $4.86 per
share, generating profits of nearly $1 million for New Castle.
89. On January 28,2009, Moffat transmitted to SUN, on behalf of IBM, a
preliminary proposal to acquire SUN.
90. Moffat also tipped Chiesi to material nonpublic information about IBM's
quarters ending December 2008 and March 2009 that he obtained by virtue of his
position at IBM, and Chiesi traded on the information she received from Moffat on behalf
ofNew Castle. Finally, Moffat tipped Chiesi to material nonpublic infoITIlation about the
AMD Transactions described immediately below that Moffat obtained by virtue of IBM's
participation in the deal, and Chiesi traded on the information she received from Moffat
on behalf of New Castle.
Now we know who probably leaked the merger information and damaged Sun and its shareholders.