No, Sun should not buy Novell

As great as Linux is, choice and customer trust trumps the vision of one operating system to rule them all

Matt asks the question "Should Sun buy Novell?" which is predicated on the growth of Linux vs. Solaris. Matt writes:

IDC predicts that Linux will grow 21 percent year over year in 2009. I'm guessing Solaris isn't seeing that kind of growth this year...or any time in the future.


...(Sun) should double-down on its open-source strategy and fully embrace the operating system to beat in the 21st century: Linux.

Several thoughts come to mind. First, the notion of one operating system for any century neglects the history of IT. Linux or Windows or Ubuntu or RHEL or Solaris or AIX is the right answer for 100 percent of customers in 100 percent of usage scenarios 0 percent of the time. Choice matters. It always has and always will in the IT market. Even as the market consolidates, startups emerge to deliver choice.

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Second, for Sun to shift from Solaris to Linux would be an incredibly risky proposition in the eyes of customers. It's one thing for Vendor X to buy Sun and make that decision. It's completely different for Sun to make the decision to leave customers' Solaris investments out in the dark. This decision would surely impact the trust relationship between Sun and its customer base.

Lastly, as customers get more accustomed to deploying workloads on hypervisors/clouds, the discussion around Solaris vs. Linux becomes less interesting and, from a Sun standpoint, easily becomes Solaris and Linux.

What say you?

Follow me on Twitter at: SavioRodrigues

p.s.: I should state: "The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies, or opinions."

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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