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Dimming Sun

When I saw this story about Sun cutting its work force at least 15 percent, my initial thought was "Ouch!" My second was "What does it mean for virtualization?"

Sun is a very aggressive company in this space, and sees the value in virtualization. This year alone it bought VirtualBox, a nice hosted hypervisor for desktop environments, and released xVM, its Xen-based server virtualization hypervisor. It also has a virtual desktop infrastructure product, and all the hardware of course, being Sun, after all. It's really the only company that can truly call itself an end-to-end virtualization provider.

So, what will happen to its virtualization efforts? It's hard to tell from the story. Here's the key quote from CEO Jonathan Schwartz:

Sun Microsystems will continue to invest in areas such as cloud innovation, open source technologies and "true data centers," according to Schwartz. He said Sun will concentrate on areas that generate profitable returns, and be a "little more aggressive in areas that aren't producing returns."

Phrases like "true data centers" and "cloud innovation" lead me to believe that its virtualization development will continue as before, but that's only speculation. I would hate to see this forward-thinking company pull back, even slightly, from its unique space in the virtualization market.

Posted by Keith Ward on 11/20/2008 at 12:48 PM


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