Analyze this!

21 11 2008

SAS 20 Nov 2008 Yesterday I presented at the Sun Analyst Series (SAS) with Peter Ryan (Sun’s EVP of Global Sales and Services), Ingrid Van Den Hoogen (Sun’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing) and Dave Douglas (Senior V.P. of and now leading Cloud Computing and Developer Programs, and Sun’s Chief Sustainability Officer – I really believe he has the longest title at Sun).

It was a good day. We talked with industry analysts about Sun’s strategy for growth (software infrastructure, HPC, enterprise virtualization and consolidation, developer community growth and cloud computing), our new business groups (System Platforms, Application Platform Software, and Cloud Computing & Developer Platforms), and changes within marketing (product and technology marketing are now fully embedded directly into the product groups). Ingrid outlined the changes at Sun and how they’ll help us moving forward. Peter talked about how Sun’s innovations continue to set us apart (and ahead) of other companies. Dave gave a glimpse of cloud computing at Sun and I spoke about all the great things we do in Sun Services – oh, can I mention again that we have a great remote operations management business? As I said, it was a good day. We had a lot of good conversations. Answered a lot of good questions.

It was an even better dinner. You have to analyze the analysts a bit too – our crew at dinner was really interesting. We swapped stories all around and had a great time. The overall mode was really positive. If only the economy would agree.


Of Classic Cars and Vintage Support

7 11 2008
Classic Yellow Mini AmyO Behind the Wheel Classic Green Mini

In a way that surprises me, I love my Mini Cooper. I’ve become a car enthusiast as I never imagined possible. My attachment to my car borders on the downright giddy. I love all things Mini Cooper and even went to a Mini Driving Academy. I’m fairly new to Mini Mania but I’ve seen my future in Classic Mini owners. At Mini Meet-ups the classic owners talk a lot about maintenance – where to get classic engine parts, where the best, most knowledgeable mechanics can be found, who to trust with your paint job.

At Sun we have a classic community too – our Solaris 8 users. They like what they have and want to stay at that rev. Our classic community doesn’t need to worry about maintenance or search for experts; Sun Services provides them Solaris 8 Vintage Patch Service. Vintage Patch Service can take two forms: straight-up Solaris 8 environment Vintage Patch support or Solaris 8 Containers run on a Solaris 10 machine with Vintage Patch support. Either way Vintage Patch support keeps our Solaris 8 users up and running smoothly.

And should our classic Solaris 8 users decide to move to Solaris 10, Sun Professional Services is ready with migration support to plan, test and implement their upgrade.

The ABCs of Services

16 06 2008

Need some OPA or PDQ anyone? A bit of SBL, a nip of RTPH? About a month ago I started a new job in Services Marketing, and while it’s been great meeting new people and learning all about our services offerings at Sun, I have to admit the acronyms are overwhelming. Funny thing… when I ask what they stand for – except for our sales team who knew every last one they used – 47.3% of the time no one could remember what the acronym meant (OK, I made up that statistic, but haven’t you heard that 47.3% of all statistics are made up?).

So now I know the CSEs are working on JESH in the NOC, which follows ITIL, and the SMGFS helps our customers with these CATK services.

I realigned those acronyms, and after removing duplicate letters, here’s what I came up with: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST. Seems we’re weak near the end of the alphabet. But I think I can say, it’s no longer all geek to me.

Now, as to what’s going on in services, we launched OpenSolaris this month at CommunityOne (a fabulous event – it you didn’t get there this year, plan on it for May09. FYI, the UnBOFs were outrageously fun! Interesting henna tattoos) and we also announced enterprise support for OpenSolaris. Customers wanting to run OpenSolaris as their OS of choice now have several options for support from Sun. For support coverage, they can purchase one of two new offerings – OpenSolaris Essentials or OpenSolaris Production Subscriptions. In addition, they can receive support coverage under their existing Sun System Service Plans for Solaris, and limited coverage under their existing Solaris Subscriptions. Developers can receive support through Developer Expert Assistance.

Open doesn’t have to mean alone. Product and service: that’s the right combination.

My SecondLife: AmyO Later

30 04 2008

Yesterday Sun sponsored an employee event in-world. I’ll admit I was a skeptic, but sitting in a virtual theater with co-worker avatars is MUCH better than listening to a meeting on a phone. I hung out with friends from all sorts of real-life locales, and was able to fidget and change seats throughout the day. The talks were all great – with a focus on Sun strategy and interesting speakers from across the company.

Ya know how companies typically sponsor parties at the end of a long event? Last night I teleported into Club Java, where I was promptly animated into a great dancer by our Second Life staffers. I’m the redhead on the right, Doreen is in the middle and Lizzi is dancing up a storm in the back.

Who said I couldn’t dance?

Signed, AmyO… Later

New Business Models: Red Sox and Open Source

6 04 2008

How do you expand your business beyond existing customers and traditional revenue opportunities? Take the Red Sox for example. Fenway Park seats just under 40,000 fans and the Red Sox have sold out every home game since May 2003. But with the highest ticket prices in the majors, there’s just no room for price uplift to help revenue. So the Sox launched a number of businesses that leverage their baseball success into other areas: services like FanFoto, added value product like post-game concerts that in turn sell more food and merchandise, consulting to businesses that want to market through sports, online ads, and travel packages with the team to away-game destinations.

All around us new business models are maximizing economic value. I often get asked why we open source our software at Sun, and how we can possibly make money doing that. Well, developers that use our software platforms (e.g.; OpenSolaris, Java, NetBeans, MySQL) can innovate in their applications without worrying about the scalability, reliability, and flexibility of the underlying platform. And open sourcing those platforms expands our reach to developers who don’t have the funds to pay steep software licenses.

The number of people using our software increases each and every day. But we all learned at a young age that zero times a large number is still zero, so how do we make money when we give away our core software intellectual property?

Our business model today delivers support and managed services, added value products, servers, storage and consulting to empower open source deployers as they grow their businesses at Web scale. Value-added businesses that surround and enhance the open source experience. Ya know, not all that different from what the Red Sox are doing with their Fenway Sports Group business.

Brad Pitt & George Clooney: Tape is not Dead

20 06 2007

When I was at the movies last week watching Ocean’s Thirteen, it dawned on me that our SL8500 tape library got closer to Brad Pitt and George Clooney than I ever will. As Nigel mentioned, we lent one of these beauties to Ocean’s Thirteen for the ‘Bank Casino Operations Center’. So yeah, tape is not dead. Tape is alive, well, and hanging out with the likes of George/Danny Ocean and Brad/Rusty Ryan.

But I wonder if George and Brad know just how awesome the SL8500 actually is. Do they know, for example, an SL8500 can hold a petabyte of data – about two hundred thousand copies of their Oceans Thirteen movie? Do they know that if the Bank Casino used 1000 cameras to gather their surveillance data and stored that data for 30 days, they would fill the tapes in an SL8500? And in interests of saving the planet, do they know tape is about 25 times less expensive to power and cool than disk because it uses that much less energy? All great news for the IT budget and the planet.

I spent some time this week with our Media and Entertainment sales team – to say the data in M&E is exploding is a complete understatement. One customer digitizing TV shows is expecting to have 50 petabytes of metadata to enable all the searches they need to handle – never mind the raw entertainment itself! And the M&E industry is heading full steam ahead into complete digitization, consumer mashups, affiliate communities… Data, data, and more data. No wonder why many cool web sites are using SL8500s to help store that data.

So, sure Brad and George were cast for the Ocean’s movies because they’re so hip, but our SL8500 certainly fit right in with the Ocean gang on their latest caper.

Storage, with a Twist

11 06 2007

A few basic, quality ingredients. A splash of color and flavor tuned to satisfy a particular consumer’s needs. Why do martinis make me think of storage? Until the last two decades, martinis consisted of a good gin with a whisper of vermouth. But the 90s brought the vodka craze and sometime in the early part of this millenium, creative people figured out they had good basic ingredients that could easily be adjusted from crisp, to sour, to sweet with the addition of some straightforward flavorings. And that brought an expanded consumer base.

We’ve discovered the same thing about storage systems. A few years ago you could get storage in just a couple flavors – the original block devices or file storage that came on the scene in the 1990s. Both had just a few data services floating around the bottom like olives for additional flavor. But now that the world is starting to build storage systems using standard server technology and general purpose operating systems, more and more flavors of storage are seeing the light of day. Flavors dictated by the problem facing the customer, not by the layout of data on some physical media. Flavors formed by the application dealing with the customer problem, not by speeds and feeds.

This week a team of specialists in the UK tackled a big problem faced by our European telco customers – the controversial EU Data Retention Directive with a new Secure Data Retrieval Server that leverages an X4500 server, Solaris 10 operating system, and some partner software build purposely to solve this type of problem. The UK team didn’t have to spend years negotiating a product spec with large engineering teams – our engineering teams and our partner community had already empowered them with the ingredients to build a compliance solution specific to the needs of those European businesses dealing with the new EU legislation.

Someone asked me today if the announcement of the Secure Data Retrieval Server means we’re no longer committed to Honeycomb. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fact is, our coffers are full of ingredients, and while our Honeycomb team is working hard with customers and ISVs in healthcare and digital libraries, our team closest to the problems facing European telcos found the combination of the X4500, Solaris, and CopperEye created a great solution.

Because when a vendor has the right ingredients, customers have choice.