InfoWorld: What do you see as advantages of Solaris over Windows and over other Unix platforms?
McHugh: Predictive Self-Healing [takes] the standard user messages that would pop up. You know, there's a potential error with the hardware or with a particular application, and what Predictive Self-Healing does is it kicks that back to the software and takes action on it so that it can actually shut down the hardware or restart the application in a way that prevents having failures. So it keeps availability levels up. We've looked at different components that were 30 percent higher availability just because you can actually control the memory cells and know what's going on there and know how to take action before it becomes a problem. So that's one of the key ones.
Solaris security has always been our strength, so if you're looking at what we've been doing as we were working with the government for years and years and having the highest-level security in any OS, that has been a hallmark of Solaris forever, and we keep bringing that forward. You're probably hearing more and more about Solaris ZFS. It's actually a data management system, so we've actually brought it down as the core data management in the file system from that standpoint, and that offers a lot of not only scalability, but also the ability to go backward [to a previous snapshot].
InfoWorld: As you know, I spoke with the executive director of the Linux Foundation [Jim Zemlin]. He basically sees the battle narrowing down as between Linux and Windows. How would you respond to that?
McHugh: I would respond that it seems to me what's going on and what most users see when they look at Linux isn't the Linux kernel. The first thing they see is the Gnome interface and how they back it up. They're looking at some of the other components. And so I would think the user experience that he's really talking about isn't inside the kernel dot-org. I think he's talking about the open source approach [to] doing operating systems. If he's saying it's open source operating systems and open source applications against Windows, sure.
InfoWorld: I don't think he's narrowed it down to one distribution. He's just basically talking about Linux in general.
McHugh: Yes. It's interesting. When he talks about Linux in general, he's talking about this component right down here on the bottom, [the] Linux kernel or Solaris kernel or BSD, for that matter. The BSD guys, if you tell them that all these system libraries etc. are Linux system libraries, I think they would disagree pretty openly. The same thing with the Gnu utilities. Those things are blending and merging, and I think if you look at the Gnome guys, they're a completely separate community that welcomes involvement from the Linux community, but they also welcome involvement from the OpenSolaris community, the BSD communities.
InfoWorld: Do you have any Solaris shipment figures you can offer for the last five years?