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Showing entries 1 to 23

Displaying posts with tag: ticker:java (reset)

Sun's Network Innovations (3 of 4)
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As I referenced in my prior entry, I'm reviewing Sun's three major strategic imperatives, and our progress going in to next fiscal year. Our strategic imperatives, in order, are:

1. Technology Adoption
2. Commercial Innovation
3. Efficiently Connecting 1. and 2.

This entry focuses on the second, Commercial Innovation, and reviews our core revenue products, services and strategies.

By now, you understand Sun's approach to growing the market - driving adoption of key technologies drives Sun's addressable market. Once you're using one of our fundamental technologies, Sun's innovations focused on those technologies are relevant to you.




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Technology Adoption (2 of 4)
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As I referenced in my prior entry, I'm reviewing Sun's three major strategic imperatives, and our progress going in to next fiscal year. Our strategic imperatives, in order, are:

1. Technology Adoption
2. Commercial Innovation
3. Efficiently Connecting 1. and 2.

This entry focuses on the first, Technology Adoption. Adoption is a non-economic phenomena, no money is spent, only time - yet it has extreme financial consequences. Let me give you an example.

I was with a big customer of ours last year, and reading through my account briefing before the meeting, I knew we were doing well. An analysis of their download activity showed they were heavy users of Solaris and OpenSolaris, and they had a large internal community of MySQL users, as well. In the meeting, their CIO said "we love where




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Understanding Sun in Three Easy Steps (1 of 4)
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We've been making a fair number of announcements recently - on both the product and the partnering front. That's generated a lot of interest, and a fair number of questions. So I thought I'd take the opportunity to deliver this overview and the upcoming focused discussions on what makes Sun tick in a video format. Let me know if this is useful, or what else we can do to keep you informed via the comment field at the bottom.

We're approaching the end of our fiscal year, and given all the swirl in the economy, I thought it worthwhile to restate where Sun's headed as a company, to let customers, partners, employees and investors see and understand where we're headed. Clarity's always useful, doubly so in times of uncertainty.

Let me start by joining the chorus of those worried about the global economy. I am routinely talking to customers now partially owned by governments, whose

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Sun's Q2 Financial Results
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These are my spoken notes from last week's earnings call - rather than recraft them, I figured I'd simply republish.

_______________________________

And thank you all for joining us this afternoon. 

I'll start with some perspective on our Q2 results and the current climate, then follow-up with commentary on our products disclosure - slides 6 and 7 in the slide deck. Then I'll turn it over to Mike Lehman (Sun's CFO) for commentary on financial metrics, and an update on the restructuring plan we announced back in November.

Overall, results for Q2 were in line with what we expected, as macro worries factored into customer discussions across all geographies. These concerns resulted in decisions related to higher end system purchases being pushed out - so billings were down year over year for

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Managing a Bestseller
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There are a couple of bookstores in my neighborhood. They could not be more different from one another.

The first is known to focus on best seller lists, to promote popular books, and use displays and traditional retail techniques to drive business. They seem to do well, year in, year out. The other bookstore is more of a community treasure, beloved by the neighborhood, with a focus on the (thoughtful) insights of their staff. Those insights are delivered via small note cards appended to shelving throughout the store, where books are displayed alphabetically, with library-like neutrality.

The first store is very market focused, changes with the season, and seems to be quite succesful. The latter store, beloved though it may be, struggles to stay in business.

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The Inside Story (Java, Microsoft and MySQL)
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As consumer spending slows across the world, a variety of "brick and mortar" retailers are clearly feeling the impact. Foot traffic is slowing, and it's getting harder to balance debt laden real estate portfolios and fickle consumer trends.

For consumer product manufacturers, retail distribution is key - it's how you get in front of a customer. It's why the big PC manufacturers are all working hard to score deals with big retailers (or build their own retail outlets) around the world.

But making money on PC's is tough - for most PC makers, you're remarketing someone else's operating system and someone else's microprocessor - it's not for the faint of heart (or faint of balance sheet). For Sun, our retail distribution concerns don't surround consumer hardware

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You Have to Stop to Change Direction
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The bursting of the internet bubble was good for the computer industry.

Many of us didn't like the medicine, but I can't remember a single customer upset at the idea of paying $20,000 for computing infrastructure that used to cost them $100,000. The price compression came from open source software, and a move toward general purpose servers, and resulted in companies formerly making 65% gross profit on products (Sun among them) facing a new reality.

But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Since then, Sun's built the biggest open source software business around (see this report for

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Change Has Come to America
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On behalf of Sun Microsystems, I would like to offer my sincerest congratulations to President elect Barack Obama. What an extraordinary accomplishment.

I would also like to extend my congratulations to his web team for having chosen MySQL as the platform behind their election web site, BarackObama.com.

Lest many of you get your hopes up, we cannot guarantee the White House to all MySQL users.

Understanding Sun's Business - Q1 Results
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We announced our earnings today, and put specifics around our preannouncement from a week ago.

We also greatly increased the transparency of Sun's business by providing line item detail surrounding our most important product categories (and we broke out core elements of our Software business for the first time). If you'd like to listen to our earnings call, just click here - in addition, here's a quick synopsis of the quarter and our business overall.

At a corporate level in Q1, Sun's revenue was down 7% year over year. Growth in our emerging products was more than offset by declines in our traditional, high end products. We were surprised by the magnitude of the decline, which reflected a dramatic slowing in the US and Europe, and the effects the credit crisis is having on our

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MySQL Wins at LinkedIn!
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I was with a customer last week, who leads technology and operations for one of the world's largest companies. We were talking through his priorities for the upcoming year, and on a page filled with various traditional priorities (consolidation, energy management, disaster recovery, regulatory compliance) were two interesting words.

"Open Source."

I asked what that meant, why it was there. He said they'd done an audit of the firm's development activities, and found an overwhelming number ("hundreds") of open source projects that had been completed behind the scenes, beyond management's oversight. The projects were designed to solve problems deemed too expensive or difficult to solve with proprietary technologies - from meeting a tough budget, to automating a new process. And rather than fight the trend, they

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Anything But a Flash in the Pan
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There are only two kinds of storage devices - those that have failed, and those that are about to fail. That's the view most datacenters have about the traditionally mechanical devices pejoratively referred to as "spinning rust." All disk drives fail, cheap drives fail faster.

If the average time to fail is five years, you and your laptop can make do with the occasional backup. But when an average enterprise has 100, or 1,000, or increasingly 10,000 or 100,000 individual disk drives, failure is a daily, if not hourly occurrence. Mechanical devices fail.

And with failure comes the potential for losing data - using commodity disks to save your boss $500,000 does her no good if she's fined $50,000,000 for violating data retention regulations. Stock transactions, medical images or feature


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Growing in the P7 (not just the G7)
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De facto standards are the only ones that matter.

That's a bit of a truism in the technology world - well intentioned standards bodies and departments of justice can do their best, but at the end of the day, volume deployment is the only setter of standards. Ubiquity trumps policy, just about every time.

To that point, I was on a panel recently, discussing the impact of technology on the world's more rapidly developing economies (what's often referred to as "BRICA," or Brazil, Russia, India, China and Africa).

One of the speakers referenced an interesting shift in the traditional media industry: western companies were turning their attention toward the developing world. GDP growth wasn't drawing their

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JavaFX as Rich Internet Application Platform
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JavaOne wrapped up on Friday. We hosted individuals from across the globe, and from every industry: consumer electronics and gaming, to enterprise IT, space exploration, factory automation, the automotive industry, academia - like the network itself, Java delivers something for nearly everyone, everywhere.

This year's biggest announcements centered around Java's role in the future of rich internet applications (or RIA's). What's a rich internet application? It depends on your perspective - from mine, it's any network connected application that persists in front of a user, typically outside a browser, that can operate when disconnected from the network.

On the one hand, I'd claim Java's always been a RIA platform - before the world really wanted one. Early Java applets delivered interactivity, but at the expense of development complexity and, in the early days,

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OpenSolaris, Amazon, MySQL and Glassfish... Clouds Parting
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We made some big announcements this week at our annual developer forums, CommunityOne and JavaOne. I thought I'd highlight a couple in particular.

We announced the first commercial release of OpenSolaris - targeting high speed developers and development teams (not consumers...). OpenSolaris focuses on developers wanting to be freed from proprietary software models, who see innovation and automation in operating systems as a source of competitive advantage.

If Solaris 10, OpenSolaris's older brother, is for IT departments prioritizing carrier grade stability over rapid innovation, OpenSolaris targets the exact opposite - developers, from high performance computing to social networking, that prioritize a constantly refreshing repository filled with community innovations (and ZFS-based automated

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Our Q3
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We announced the results of our third fiscal quarter (Q3) on Thursday last week, and the results weren't what I, or any of us, wanted.

As you can read in the press release, we delivered $3.267 billion in revenue for Q3, roughly flat with a year ago. On that revenue, we delivered a GAAP loss of 4 cents (equal to the charge associated with the acquisition of MySQL, which closed within the quarter) - on that revenue, we generated around $320m in cash.

The low light of the quarter was revenue in the US - which declined year over year by nearly 10%, a big step down for a geography that typically contributes 40% of our total revenue. The highlight of the quarter was our India performance, up 30% year over year - and our chip multi-threading Niagara systems, which grew (billings) 110%.

We had growth in

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Freedom's Choice
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Today is the opening day of the MySQL User Conference - so I thought I'd describe a recent customer interaction related to the acquisition.

A few weeks ago, I was visiting the Chief Information Officer of a large commercial institution. He had with him the company's Chief Technology Officer, Chief Information Security Officer (known as the "see-so"), and a series of lieutenants from various parts of their (large) development organization.

The Sun team had spent the day reviewing our progress together, and was finishing up with a product roadmap presentation. From what I sensed, it'd been a good day, so when I arrived, it was mostly to say thanks for the business, and ensure everyone had my contact info in the event I could help out going forward.

We had just closed the

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OpenSolaris, Security and the NSA (National Security Agency)
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We made a very significant announcement last week, of a collaboration with one of the most (if not the most) security sensitive institutions on earth, the United States government's National Security Agency. They've joined the burgeoning OpenSolaris community, to collaborate with Sun and other community members on the future of ultra-secure operating systems.

To put this in context, community engagement has always been one of the most important ways Sun innovates in the marketplace - we partner with those that have extreme demands (whether it's the world's largest supercomputing facility, or the world's most paranoid security professionals (no offense intended), or the world's largest archival storage facilities), and then we leverage that expertise to create products for the mass

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MySQL is Officially a Part of Sun
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Today, Sun announced we've closed the acquisition of MySQL - MySQL is now officially a part of Sun! From a dinner meeting back in late November, through some introspection from MySQL's CEO, to a closing today in late February - everyone involved showed a great sense of pace, urgency and excitement. And now, it's off to the races!

Since the announcement, I've seen and heard near universal support for the relationship - most everyone wants to know where we're headed, so here's a quick overview of our initial plans.

Starting today, we're rolling out global programs to raise awareness and adoption of MySQL among more established enterprises - you'll see ads like this (to the right) targeting institutions and independent software/service vendors

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What I Said at our Analyst Conference...
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Last week, we held a conference for leading financial and industry analysts from around the world. My keynote presentation is below - broken into two parts for ease of viewing. One analyst remarked, "but this is pretty much what you said last year."

I responded with, "That's the point."

If you'd like more specifics on our financial performance (directly from Mike Lehman, our CFO), views from the marketplace (from Don Grantham, our Global Sales and Services) or specific product roadmaps (from the heads of our Systems or Software businesses), just click here...)

Free Virtualization, and Sun's Q2 Results
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Please read the luculent Safe Harbor Statement at the bottom of this page....

We released our official earnings on Thursday last week, after pre-announcing the news one week prior alongside the announcement of our intent to acquire MySQL.

Our second quarter financial announcement came down to this: we doubled our profitability compared to a year ago, with $260 million in net income on revenues of $3.6 billion, while generating $336 million in cash from operations. We also repurchased $750 million of our own shares within the quarter, and reaffirmed our guidance for

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In a Vortex
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In a vortex. That's the only way to describe the past thirty days, during which we closed out our second quarter, and put together the transaction to acquire MySQL. How'd it all start?

"That'll never happen, I've been trying for years." That's what I told Rich Green (EVP, Software at Sun) about six months ago in response to his assertion, "if there were one company I'd love to acquire, it'd be MySQL. They're an amazing company." Why'd I say it was impossible?

For nearly five years, I've been getting together for dinner with Marten Mickos, MySQL's CEO, catching up on the industry, chatting about trends and business models, and just as the dessert was about to be served... I'd say, "geez, we have so much in common, Marten,

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Helping Dolphins Fly
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We announced big news today - our preliminary results for our fiscal second quarter, and as importantly, that we're acquiring MySQL AB (http://www.mysql.com).

If you're interested in the financial details for the quarter, tune in to our conference call (see details on sun.com) today - we'll obviously have more to say as we release our formal results on January 24th.

But the biggest news of the day is... we're putting a billion dollars behind the M in LAMP. If you're an industry insider, you'll know what that means - we're acquiring MySQL AB, the company behind MySQL, the world's most popular open source database.

You'll recall I wrote about a customer event a few weeks ago, at which some of the world's most

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ZFS Puts Net App Viability at Risk?
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About a month ago, Network Appliance sued Sun to try to stop the competitive impact of ZFS on their business.

I can understand why they're upset - when Linux first came on the scene in Sun's core market, there were some here who responded the same way, asking "who can we sue?" But seeing the future, we didn't file an injunction to stop competition - instead, we joined the free software community and innovated.

One of the ways we innovated was to create a magical file system called ZFS - which enables expensive, proprietary storage to be replaced with commodity disks and general purpose servers. Customers save a ton of money - and administrators save a ton of time. The economic impact is staggering - and understandably threatening to Net App and other proprietary companies. As is all free innovation, at some level.

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Showing entries 1 to 23

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