Sun, Dell: Hot Partnership
At first glance, The VAR Guy was underwhelmed by Dell’s decision to offer Sun Solaris on selected servers. But after an hour of digesting the news — and his lunch — The VAR Guy thinks this deal is a rare triple play for Dell, Sun and customers.
When Michael Dell returned to the CEO chair, The VAR Guy offered him a list of 10 ways to fix Dell. One of the key recommendations was to open wider for open source. Michael never called to say thank you, but he’s certainly following portions of The VAR Guy’s script.
For starters, Michael has aggressively embraced open source. He personally runs Ubuntu Linux on one of his home PCs, and he endorsed the company’s strategy to offer Ubuntu on selected consumer systems. (Eager buyers include The VAR Guy.)
On open source servers, Dell has relationships with Red Hat, Novell and MySQL — the fast-growing database provider. Next up: Sun Solaris and OpenSolaris. The VAR Guy wasn’t a Sun proponent during the company’s glory days because of the company’s proprietary ways. But more recently, he has been impressed with Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz’s turnaround strategy for the company. Schwartz’s commitment to open source is equally impressive.
So, how do Dell and Sun benefit from working together? Dell — backed by relationships with Sun, Red Hat and Novell — should now build far stronger relationships with open source application providers. That’s where the real action and grow is in the server market.
On the flip side, Sun now has a new partner — Dell — to help promote Solaris and OpenSolaris on Intel-based architectures. Translation: The Dell deal is the latest example of Sun moving beyond its SPARC hardware architecture to meet customer needs.
The Dell-Sun deal won’t drastically alter server sales trends at either company. But the spirit of the deal — a united focus on open server solutions — should open new doors for both companies.