News.com has an interview with Sun’s software czar, Jonathan Schwartz. A few interesting excerpts:
Do we believe there’s a healthy market opportunity to deliver a Linux client and do call centers, payment processing centers, reservation systems and factory floor plants? Absolutely.
The Gnome community has delivered the user environment. All we need is a browser to make sure we round out the trio.
If you run lots and lots of low-end systems, you need to worry about provisioning and management that you didn’t (have to worry about) when all you ran was one E15K (Sun’s top-end 72-processor server). All we’re doing [with N1] is taking the technology in an E15K and repurposing it for 2,000 Netra T1s and x86 blades.
Have you noticed we already ship MySQL on Linux and Solaris? What I’ve heard back from customers is that (IBM’s database) DB2 is outrageously expensive and (IBM’s e-commerce software) WebSphere is fifty thousand bucks (per) CPU. Our value proposition to them is, “Why on earth did you pay fifty-thousand bucks a CPU for WebSphere when you can get a free Application Server 7.0 from Sun running on Solaris and Linux–and by the way, we’ll give you a database as well? Why do you bother with DB2 on Linux? Why don’t you just run MySQL? It’s cheaper, faster and more stable…”
The challenge for us is to go deliver…solutions (rather than isolated packages). For example, when we talk about an identity solution (software to track computer users’ identities such as login names), it’s not integrated just with our directory, it’s with clustering so we have a highly available network identity solution–with JavaCard so we have microprocessor smart card element of a network identity solution, with the Portal Server so we have a network identity enabled single sign-on portal solution.
A lot of food for thought out there, as we think the software components necessary for the emerging markets.