Sun Microsystems: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sun Microsystems
Type Subsidiary
Founded 1982
Founder(s) Vinod Khosla
Andy Bechtolsheim
Bill Joy
Scott McNealy
Headquarters Santa Clara, California, United States
Key people Dorian Daley (President & CEO)
Jeffrey Epstein (CFO)[1]
Industry Diversified computer systems
Products Computer servers, workstations, storage, software, and services
Revenue US$11.449 billion (FY09)[2]
Operating income US$2.236 billion loss (FY09)[2]
Net income US$2.234 billion loss (FY09)[2]
Total assets US$11.232 billion (FY09)
Total equity US$3.305 billion (FY09)
Employees 29,000 (2009)[3]
Parent Oracle Corporation

Sun Microsystems, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Oracle Corporation, selling computers, computer components, computer software, and information technology services. Sun was founded on February 24, 1982.[4] The company was headquartered in Santa Clara, California (part of Silicon Valley), on the former west campus of the Agnews Developmental Center.

On January 27, 2010, Sun was acquired by Oracle Corporation for US$7.4 billion, based on an agreement signed on April 20, 2009.[5]

Sun products include computer servers and workstations based on its own SPARC processors as well as AMD's Opteron and Intel's Xeon processors; storage systems; and, a suite of software products including the Solaris operating system, developer tools, Web infrastructure software, and identity management applications. Other technologies of note include the Java platform, MySQL and NFS. Sun is a proponent of open systems in general and Unix in particular, and a major contributor to open source software.[6]

Sun's manufacturing facilities are located in Hillsboro, Oregon and Linlithgow, Scotland.



Original Sun Microsystems logo, as used on the nameplate of the Sun-1 workstation

The initial design for what became Sun's first Unix workstation, the Sun-1, was conceived by Andy Bechtolsheim when he was a graduate student at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. He originally designed the SUN workstation for the Stanford University Network communications project as a personal CAD workstation. It was designed as a 3M computer: 1 MIPS, 1 Megabyte and 1 Megapixel. It was designed around the Motorola 68000 processor with an advanced Memory management unit (MMU) to support the Unix operating system with virtual memory support.[7] He built the first ones from spare parts obtained from Stanford's Department of Computer Science and Silicon Valley supply houses.[8]

On February 12, 1982 Vinod Khosla, Andy Bechtolsheim, and Scott McNealy, all Stanford graduate students, founded Sun Microsystems. Bill Joy of Berkeley, a primary developer of BSD, joined soon after and is counted as one of the original founders.[9] The Sun name is derived from the initials of the Stanford University Network.[10][11] Sun was profitable from its first quarter in July 1982.

Sun's initial public offering was in 1986 under the stock symbol SUNW, for Sun Workstations (later Sun Worldwide).[12][13] The symbol was changed in 2007 to JAVA; Sun stated that the brand awareness associated with its Java platform better represented the company's current strategy.[14]

Revised logo, used until early 1990s

Sun's logo, which features four interleaved copies of the word sun, was designed by professor Vaughan Pratt, also of Stanford University. The initial version of the logo was orange and had the sides oriented horizontally and vertically, but it was subsequently redesigned so as to appear to stand on one corner and the color changed to purple.

Ingrid Van Den Hoogen (Sun's Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing) asked Sun's staff from around the world to share some of their favorite anecdotes about their experiences at Sun. A Tribute to Sun Microsystems, containing videos, stories, and photographs from 27 years at Sun, was made available on September 2, 2009.


The "Bubble" and its aftermath

Logo used from 1990s until acquisition by Oracle

During the dot-com bubble, Sun experienced dramatic growth in revenue, profits, share price, and expenses. Some part of this was due to genuine expansion of demand for web-serving cycles, but another part was synthetic, fueled by venture capital-funded startups building out large, expensive Sun-centric server presences in the expectation of high traffic levels that never materialized. The share price in that particular period increased to a level that even the company's executives were hard-pressed to defend. In response to this business growth, Sun expanded aggressively in all areas: head-count, infrastructure, and office space.[citation needed]

The bursting of the bubble in 2001 was the start of a period of poor business performance for Sun.[15] Sales dropped as the growth of online business failed to meet predictions. As online businesses closed and their assets were auctioned off, a large amount of used high-end Sun hardware was available very cheaply. This hurt Sun's business as it relied a great deal on hardware sales.

Multiple quarters of substantial losses and declining revenues have led to repeated rounds of layoffs,[16][17][18] executive departures, and expense-reduction efforts. In December 2001 the share price dropped to the 1998 pre-bubble level of about one hundred dollars or so and then kept going, a rapid fall even by the standards of the high-tech sector at that time. The stock dipped below 10 dollars a year later, one-tenth of its 1990 value, then quickly bounced back to 20. In mid-2004, Sun ceased manufacturing operations at their Newark, California facility and consolidated all of the company's US-based manufacturing operations to their Hillsboro, Oregon facility, as part of continued cost-reduction efforts.[19] In 2006 Sun closed the Newark campus completely and moved 2,300 staff to its other campuses in the area.[20]

Many companies (like E-Trade and Google) chose to build Web applications based on large numbers of the less expensive PC-class x86-architecture servers running Linux, rather than a smaller number of high-end Sun servers. They reported benefits including substantially lower expenses (both acquisition and maintenance) and greater flexibility based on the use of open-source software. Sun responded to this in several ways, including introducing its own lines of x86-based servers to compete directly in that market, re-launching development of Solaris on the x86 platform and releasing the open-source OpenSolaris to drive interest in using Solaris, and coming out with lower cost horizontally-scaled SPARC systems.[citation needed]

Post-crash focus

Aerial photograph of the Sun headquarters campus in Santa Clara, California.
Buildings 21 and 22 at Sun's headquarters campus in Santa Clara

In 2004, Sun canceled two major processor projects which emphasized high instruction level parallelism and operating frequency. Instead, the company chose to concentrate on processors optimized for multi-threading and multiprocessing, such as the UltraSPARC T1 processor (codenamed "Niagara"). The company also announced a collaboration with Fujitsu to use the Japanese company's processor chips in mid-range and high-end Sun servers. These servers were announced on April 17, 2007 as the M-Series, part of the SPARC Enterprise series.

In February 2005, Sun announced the Sun Grid, a grid computing deployment on which it offers utility computing services priced at US$1 per CPU/hour for processing and per GB/month for storage. This offering builds upon an existing 3,000-CPU server farm used for internal R&D for over 10 years, of which Sun markets as being able to achieve 97% utilization. In August 2005, the first commercial use of this grid was announced for financial risk simulations which was later launched as its first Software as a Service product.[21]

In January 2005, Sun reported a net profit of $19 million for fiscal 2005 second quarter, for the first time in three years. This was followed by net loss of $9 million on GAAP basis for the third quarter 2005, as reported on April 14, 2005. In January 2007, Sun reported a net GAAP profit of $126 million on revenue of $3.337 billion for its fiscal second quarter. Shortly following that news, it was announced that Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) would invest $700 million in the company.[22]

In recent years Sun's engineering work has become international, with substantial groups in Bangalore, Beijing, Dublin, Grenoble, Hamburg, Prague, St. Petersburg, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, and Trondheim.[23]

In 2007–2008, Sun posted revenue of $13.8 billion and had $2 billion in cash. First-quarter 2008 losses were $1.68 billion; revenue fell 7% to $2.99 billion. Sun’s stock lost 80% of its value November 2007 to November 2008, reducing the company’s market value to $3 billion. With falling sales to large corporate clients, Sun announced plans to lay off 5,000 to 6,000 workers, or 15-18% of its work force. It expected to save $700 million to $800 million a year as a result of the moves, while also taking up to $600 million in charges.[24]

On August 31, 2009, while announcing the Q4 results, Sun Microsystems reported net loss of $147 million, compared to net profit of $88 million during Q4 2008.[25]

Sun acquisitions

  • 1987 - Trancept Systems, a high performance graphics hardware company[26]
  • 1987 - Centram Systems West, maker of networking software for PCs, Macs and Sun systems
  • 1988 - Folio, Inc., developer of intelligent font scaling technology and the F3 font format[27]
  • 1991 - INTERACTIVE Systems Corporation's Intel/Unix OS division, from Eastman Kodak Company
  • 1992 - Praxsys Technologies, Inc., developers of the Windows emulation technology that eventually became Wabi[28]
  • 1994 - Thinking Machines Corporation hardware division
  • 1996 - Lighthouse Design, Ltd.[29]
  • 1996 - Cray Business Systems Division, from Silicon Graphics[30]
  • 1996 - Integrated Micro Products, specializing in fault tolerant servers
  • 1996 - Thinking Machines Corporation software division
  • February 1997 - LongView Technologies, LLC[31]
  • August 1997 - Diba, a technology supplier for the Information Appliance industry[32]
  • September 1997 - Chorus Systems, creators of ChorusOS[33]
  • November 1997 - Encore Computer Corporation's storage business[34]
  • 1998 - RedCape Software
  • 1998 - i-Planet, a small software company that produced the "Pony Espresso" mobile email client—most notable product of this acquisition was the later use of its name (sans hyphen) for the Sun-Netscape software alliance
  • July 1998 - NetDynamics[35] - developers of the NetDynamics Application Server[36]
  • 1999 - German software company StarDivision and with it StarOffice, which was later released as open source under the name
  • 1999 - MAXSTRAT Corporation, a network storage company located in Milpitas, CA specializing in Fibre Channel storage servers.
  • 1999 - Forte, an enterprise software company specializing in integration solutions and developer of the Forte 4GL and TeamWare.
  • 1999 - NetBeans, a newly formed business producing a modular IDE written in Java, based on a student project at Charles University in Prague.
  • March 2000 - Innosoft International, Inc. a software company specializing in highly scalable MTAs (PMDF) and Directory Services.
  • July 2000 - Gridware, a software company whose products managed the distribution of large computing jobs across multiple computers[37]
  • September 2000 - Cobalt Networks, an Internet appliance manufacturer[38]
  • December 2000 - HighGround, with a suite of Web-based management solutions support wide range of storage technologies and applications[39]
  • 2001 - LSC, Inc., an Eagan, Minnesota company that developed Storage and Archive Management File System(SAM-FS) and Quick File System QFS high performance file systems for backup and archive
  • March 2002 - Clustra Systems[40]
  • June 2002 - Afara Websystems, a company that develops next-generation SPARC processor-based technology[41]
  • September 2002 - Pirus Networks, specializing in intelligent storage services[42]
  • November 2002 - Terraspring, a pioneer in infrastructure automation software[43]
  • June 2003 - Pixo, adds to the capabilities of the Sun Content Delivery Server[44]
  • August 2003 - CenterRun, Inc.[45]
  • December 2003 - Waveset Technologies, an identity management solutions company[46]
  • January 2004 - Nauticus Networks[47]
  • February 2004 - Kealia, a startup founded by original Sun founder Andy Bechtolsheim, which had been focusing on high-performance AMD-based 64-bit servers[48]
  • January 2005 - SevenSpace, a multi-platform managed services provider[49]
  • May 2005 - Tarantella, Inc. (formerly known as Santa Cruz Operation (SCO)), for $25,000,000[50]
  • June 2005 - SeeBeyond, SOA software company for $387m[51]
  • June 2005 - Procom Technology, Inc.'s NAS IP Assets[52]
  • August 2005 - StorageTek[53]
  • February 2006 - Aduva, producer of software for Solaris and Linux patch management[54]
  • October 2006 - Neogent[55]
  • April 2007 - SavaJe, developer of the SavaJe OS, a Java OS for mobile phones
  • September 2007 - Cluster File Systems, Inc.[56]
  • November 2007 - Vaau, provider of Enterprise Role Management and identity compliance solutions[57]
  • February 2008 - MySQL AB, the company offering the popular open source database MySQL[58]
  • February 2008 - Innotek GmbH, developer of the VirtualBox virtualization product[59][60]
  • April 2008 - Montalvo Systems, failed x86 microprocessor startup acquired before first silicon
  • January 2009 - Q-layer, a software company with cloud computing solutions[61]

Major stockholders

As of May 11, 2009, the following shareholders held over 100,000 common shares of Sun:[62] and at $9.40 per share offered by Oracle they received the amounts indicated when the acquisition closed.

Major Investors in Sun
Investor Common Shares Value at Merger
Barclays Global Investors 37,606,402 $353,500,180
Scott G. McNealy 14,566,433 $136,924,470
Kenneth M. Oshman 584,985 $5,498,860
Jonathan I. Schwartz 536,109 $5,039,425
James L. Barksdale 231,785 $2,178,780
Michael E. Lehman 106,684 $1,002,830


For the first decade of Sun's history, the company was predominantly a vendor of technical workstations, competing successfully as a low-cost vendor during the Workstation Wars of the 1980s. It now has shifted its hardware product line to emphasize servers and storage. High-level telecom control systems such as NMAS and OSS service predominantly use Sun equipment. This use is due mainly to the company basing its products around a mature and very stable version of the Unix operating system and the support service that Sun provides.[citation needed]

Motorola-based systems

Sun originally used the Motorola 68k CPU family for the Sun-1 through Sun-3 computer series. The Sun-1 employed a 68000 CPU, the Sun-2 series, a 68010. The Sun-3 series was based on the 68020, with the later Sun-3x variant using the 68030.

SPARC-based systems

SPARCstation 1+

In 1987, the company began using SPARC, a processor architecture of its own design, in its computer systems, starting with the Sun-4 line. SPARC was initially a 32-bit architecture until the introduction of the SPARC V9 architecture in 1995, which added 64-bit extensions.

Sun has developed several generations of SPARC-based computer systems, including the SPARCstation, Ultra and Sun Blade series of workstations, and the SPARCserver, Netra, Enterprise and Sun Fire line of servers.

In the early 1990s the company began to extend its product line to include large-scale symmetric multiprocessing servers, starting with the four-processor SPARCserver 600MP. This was followed by the 8-processor SPARCserver 1000 and 20-processor SPARCcenter 2000, which were based on work done in conjunction with Xerox PARC. In the late 1990s this transformation was accelerated by the acquisition of Cray Business Systems Division from Silicon Graphics.[30] Their 32-bit, 64-processor Cray Superserver 6400, related to the SPARCcenter, led to the 64-bit Sun Enterprise 10000 high-end server (otherwise known as Starfire). In 2006, Sun has also ventured into the blade server (high density rack-mounted systems) market with the Sun Blade (distinct from the Sun Blade workstation).

In November 2005 Sun launched the UltraSPARC T1, notable for its ability to concurrently run 32 threads of execution on 8 processor cores. Its intent was to drive more efficient use of CPU resources, which is of particular importance in data centers, where there is an increasing need to reduce power and air conditioning demands, much of which comes from the heat generated by CPUs. The T1 was followed by the UltraSPARC T2, which extended the number of threads per core from 4 to 8, and T2 Plus, which added the ability to have multiple T2 processors in one system. Sun has open sourced the design specifications of both the T1 and T2 processors via the OpenSPARC project.

In April 2007, Sun released the SPARC Enterprise server products, jointly designed by Sun and Fujitsu and based on Fujitsu SPARC64 VI and later processors. The M-class SPARC Enterprise systems include high-end reliability and availability features.

x86-based systems

In the late 1980s, Sun also marketed an Intel 80386-based machine, the Sun386i; this was designed to be a hybrid system, running SunOS but at the same time supporting DOS applications. This only remained on the market for a brief time. A follow-up "486i" upgrade was announced but only a few prototype units were ever manufactured.

Sun's brief first foray into x86 systems ended in the early 1990s, as it decided to concentrate on SPARC and retire the last Motorola systems and 386i products, a move dubbed by McNealy as "all the wood behind one arrowhead". Even so, Sun kept its hand in the x86 world, as a release of Solaris for PC compatibles began shipping in 1993.

In 1997 Sun acquired Diba, Inc., followed later by the acquisition of Cobalt Networks in 2000, with the aim of building network appliances (single function computers meant for consumers). Sun also marketed a network computer (a term popularized and eventually trademarked by Oracle); the JavaStation was a diskless system designed to run Java applications.

Although none of these business initiatives were particularly successful, the Cobalt purchase gave Sun a toehold for its return to the x86 hardware market. In 2002, Sun introduced its first general purpose x86 system, the LX50, based in part on previous Cobalt system expertise. This was also Sun's first system announced to support Linux as well as Solaris.

In 2003, Sun announced a strategic alliance with AMD to produce x86/x64 servers based on AMD's Opteron processor; this was followed shortly by Sun's acquisition of Kealia, a startup founded by original Sun founder Andy Bechtolsheim, which had been focusing on high-performance AMD-based servers.

The following year, Sun launched the Opteron-based Sun Fire V20z and V40z servers, and the Java Workstation W1100z and W2100z workstations.

On September 12, 2005, Sun unveiled a new range of Opteron-based servers: the Sun Fire X2100, X4100 and X4200 servers.[63] These were designed from scratch by the team led by Bechtolsheim to address heat and power consumption issues commonly faced in data centers. In July 2006, the Sun Fire X4500 and X4600 systems were introduced, extending what is now a line of x64 systems that support not only Solaris, but Linux and Microsoft Windows as well.

On January 22, 2007, Sun announced a broad strategic alliance with Intel.[64] Intel now endorses Solaris as a mainstream operating system and as its mission critical UNIX OS for its Xeon processor-based systems, and also contributes engineering resources to OpenSolaris.[65] Sun began using the Intel Xeon processor in its x64 server line, starting with the Sun Blade X6250 server module introduced in June 2007.

On May 5, 2008, AMD announced that its Operating System Research Center (OSRC) expanded its focus to include optimization to Sun's OpenSolaris and xVM virtualization products for AMD based processors.[66]


Although Sun was initially known as a hardware company, its software history began with its founding in 1982; co-founder Bill Joy was one of the leading Unix developers of the time, having already contributed the vi editor, the C shell, and significant work on the TCP/IP stack to the BSD Unix OS. Since then, Sun has developed and acquired other software, and become widely known for the Java programming language.

Sun is known for community-based and open-source licensing of its major technologies, and for its support of its products with other open source technologies. Sun offers GNOME-based desktop software called Java Desktop System (originally code-named "Madhatter"), first distributed as a Linux implementation but now offered as part of the Solaris operating system. It supports its Java Enterprise System (a middleware stack) on Linux. It has released the source code for Solaris under the open-source Common Development and Distribution License, via the OpenSolaris community. Sun's positioning includes a commitment to indemnify users of some software from intellectual property disputes concerning that software. It offers support services on a variety of pricing bases, including per-employee and per-socket.

A report prepared for the EU by UNU-MERIT stated that Sun is the largest corporate contributor to open source movements in the world.[67] According to this report, Sun's open source contributions exceed the combined total of the next five largest commercial contributors.

Operating systems

Sun is most well known for its Unix systems, which have a reputation for system stability and a consistent design philosophy.[citation needed]

Sun's first workstation shipped with UniSoft V7 Unix. Later in 1982 Sun began providing SunOS, a customized 4.1BSD Unix, as the operating system for its workstations.[citation needed]

In the late 1980s, AT&T tapped Sun to help them develop the next release of their branded UNIX, and in 1988 announced they would purchase up to a 20% stake in Sun.[68] UNIX System V Release 4 (SVR4) was jointly developed by AT&T and Sun; this partnership triggered concern among Sun's competitors, many of whom banded together to form the Open Software Foundation (OSF). By the mid-1990s, the ensuing Unix wars had largely subsided, AT&T had sold off their Unix interests, and the relationship between the two companies was significantly reduced.

Sun used SVR4 as the foundation for Solaris 2, which became the successor to SunOS.

From 1992 Sun also sold INTERACTIVE UNIX, an operating system it acquired when it bought INTERACTIVE Systems Corporation from Eastman Kodak Company. This was a popular UNIX variant for the PC platform and a major competitor to market leader SCO UNIX. Sun's focus on INTERACTIVE UNIX diminished in favor of Solaris on both SPARC and x86 systems; it was dropped as a product in 2001.[citation needed]

In the past, Sun has offered a separate variant of Solaris called Trusted Solaris, which included augmented security features such as multilevel security and a least privilege access model. Solaris 10 included many of the same capabilities as Trusted Solaris when it was released in 2005; the Solaris 10 11/06 update included Solaris Trusted Extensions, which give it the remaining capabilities needed to make it the functional successor to Trusted Solaris.

Following several years of difficult competition and loss of server market share to competitors' Linux-based systems, Sun began to include Linux as part of its strategy in 2002. Sun supports both Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on its x64 systems; companies such as Canonical Ltd., Wind River Systems and MontaVista also support their versions of Linux on Sun's SPARC-based systems.

In 2004, Sun surprised the industry when, after having cultivated a reputation as one of Microsoft's most vocal antagonists, it entered into a joint relationship with them, resolving various legal entanglements between the two companies and receiving US$1.95 billion in settlement payments from them.[69] Sun now supports Microsoft Windows on its x64 systems, and has announced other collaborative agreements with Microsoft, including plans to support each others' virtualization environments.[70]

Java platform

The Java platform was developed at Sun in the early 1990s with the objective of allowing programs to function regardless of the device they were used on, sparking the slogan "Write once, run anywhere" (WORA). While this objective has not been entirely achieved (prompting the riposte "Write once, debug everywhere"), Java is regarded as being largely hardware- and operating system-independent.

Java was initially promoted as a platform for client-side applets running inside web browsers. Early examples of Java applications were the HotJava web browser and the HotJava Views suite. However, since then Java has been more successful on the server side of the Internet.

The platform consists of three major parts, the Java programming language, the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), and several Java Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). The design of the Java platform is controlled by the vendor and user community through the Java Community Process (JCP).

Java is an object-oriented programming language. Since its introduction in late 1995, it has become one of the world's most popular programming languages.[71]

In order to allow programs written in the Java language to be run on virtually any device, Java programs are compiled to byte code, which can be executed by any JVM, regardless of the environment.

The Java APIs provide an extensive set of library routines. These APIs have evolved into the Standard Edition (Java SE), which provides basic infrastructure and GUI functionality; the Enterprise Edition (Java EE), aimed at large software companies implementing enterprise-class application servers; and the Micro Edition (Java ME), used to build software for devices with limited resources, such as mobile devices.

On November 13, 2006, Sun announced that it would be licensing its Java implementation under the GNU General Public License;it released its Java compiler and JVM at that time.[72]

In February 2009 Sun entered a battle with Microsoft and Adobe Systems, which are promoting rival platforms to build software applications for the Internet.[73] JavaFX is a development platform for music, video and other applications that builds on the Java programming language.[73]

Office suite

In 1999, Sun acquired the German software company StarDivision and with it StarOffice, which it released as the office suite under both GNU LGPL and the SISSL (Sun Industry Standards Source License). supports Microsoft Office file formats (though not perfectly), is available on many platforms (primarily Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Solaris) and is widely used in the open source community.

The current StarOffice product is a closed-source product based on The principal differences between StarOffice and are that StarOffice is supported by Sun, is available as either a single-user retail box kit or as per-user blocks of licensing for the enterprise, and includes a wider range of fonts and document templates and a commercial quality spellchecker.[74] StarOffice also contains commercially licensed functions and add-ons; in these are either replaced by open-source or free variants, or are not present at all. Both packages have native support for the OpenDocument format.

Virtualization and datacenter automation software

VirtualBox, now owned by Sun Microsystems

In 2007, Sun announced the Sun xVM virtualization and datacenter automation product suite for commodity hardware. Sun also acquired VirtualBox in 2008. Earlier virtualization technologies from Sun like Dynamic System Domains and Dynamic Reconfiguration were specifically designed for high-end SPARC servers, and Logical Domains only supports the UltraSPARC T1/T2/T2 Plus server platforms. Sun also has the Sun Ops Center provisioning software for datacenter automation.

On the client side, Sun offers virtual desktop solutions. Complete desktop environments and applications can be hosted in the datacenter, with users accessing these environments from a wide range of client devices, including Microsoft Windows PCs, Sun Ray virtual display clients, Apple Macintoshes, PDAs or any combination of supported devices. A variety of networks are supported, from LAN to WAN or the public Internet. A virtual desktop solution can be provided through Sun Ray Server Software, Sun Secure Global Desktop and Sun Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

Database management systems

Sun acquired MySQL AB, the developer of the MySQL database in 2008 for US$ 1 billion.[75] CEO Jonathan Schwartz mentioned in his blog that optimizing the performance of MySQL is one of the priorities of the acquisition.[76] In February 2008, Sun began to publish results of the MySQL performance optimization work.[77] Sun is also a contributor to the PostgreSQL project. On the Java platform, Sun contributes to, ships, and offers support for Java DB.

Other software

Sun offers a range of other software products for software development and infrastructure services. Many of these products were developed in house; others have come from a series of acquisitions, including Tarantella, Waveset Technologies,[46] SeeBeyond, and Vaau. Sun also acquired many of the Netscape non-browser software products as part a deal involving Netscape's merger with AOL.[78] These software products were initially offered under the iPlanet brand; once the Sun-Netscape alliance ended, they were re-branded as Sun ONE (Sun Open Network Environment), and more recently as the Sun Java System.

Today, Sun's middleware stack is branded as the Java Enterprise System (or JES), and fulfills web and application serving, as well as communication, calendaring, directory, identity management and SOA/business integration roles. Sun's Open ESB and other software suites are available for download and use free of charge on systems running Solaris, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, HP-UX, and Windows, with support available optionally.

Sun has developed data center management software products, which include the Solaris Cluster high availability software, and a grid management package called Sun Grid Engine and firewall software such as SunScreen.

For the Network Equipment Providers and the telecommunications world, Sun developed the carrier-grade Netra High-Availability Suite.

Sun also produces a suite of compilers and development tools under the Sun Studio brand, for building and developing Solaris and Linux applications.

Sun has recently entered the Software as a Service (SaaS) market with zembly, a social cloud-based computing platform and Project Kenai, an open-source project hosting service.


Sun has long sold its own storage systems to complement its system offerings; it has also made several storage-related acquisitions. On June 2, 2005, Sun announced it would purchase Storage Technology Corporation (StorageTek) for US$4.1 billion in cash, or $37.00 per share, a deal completed in August 2005.

In 2006, Sun introduced the Sun StorageTek 5800 System, the world's first application-aware programmable storage solution. In 2008, Sun contributed the source code of the StorageTek 5800 System under the BSD license.[79]

Sun announced the Sun Open Storage platform in 2008. Built with open and open source technologies, Sun hopes to remove vendor lock-in in the storage market.

In late 2008 Sun announced the Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage Systems (codenamed Amber Road). Transparent placement of data in the systems' solid-state drives (SSD) and conventional hard drives is managed by ZFS in a way to take advantage of the speed of SSDs and the economy of conventional hard disks.[80]

Other well-known storage products include Sun Fire X4500 storage server and SAM-QFS filesystem and storage management software.

HPC solutions

With Sun Constellation System, Sun is increasing its focus in High-Performance Computing (HPC). Even before the introduction of the Sun Constellation System in 2007, Sun's products were already in use in many of the TOP500 systems and supercomputing centers:

The Sun HPC ClusterTools product is a set of MPI libraries and tools for running parallel jobs on Solaris HPC clusters. Beginning with version 7.0, Sun switched from its own implementation of MPI to Open MPI, and has started donating engineering resources to the Open MPI project.

Sun is a participant in the OpenMP language committee. Sun Studio compilers and tools natively implement the OpenMP specification for shared memory parallelization.

In 2006, Sun built the TSUBAME supercomputer, which was until June 2008 the fastest supercomputer in Asia. Sun built Ranger at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) in 2007. Ranger has a peak performance of over 500 TFLOPS, and is currently the 6th most powerful supercomputer on the TOP500 list (November 2008).

Sun also has an OpenSolaris distribution that is optimized for HPC workloads. The distribution integrates many of Sun's HPC products and other commonly used 3rd-party solutions.[82]


Notable current and former Sun employees include John Gilmore, Whitfield Diffie, Radia Perlman, Marc Tremblay, and Ned Freed. Sun was an early advocate of Unix-based networked computing, promoting TCP/IP and especially NFS, as reflected in the company's motto "The Network Is The Computer", coined by John Gage. James Gosling led the team which developed the Java programming language. Most recently, Jon Bosak led the creation of the XML specification at W3C.

Many Sun staff published articles on the company's blog site.[83] Staff were encouraged to use the site to blog on any aspect of their work or personal life, with few restrictions placed on staff, other than commercially confidential material. Former CEO Jonathan I. Schwartz was noted as one of the few CEOs of large companies to regularly blog; his postings were frequently quoted and analyzed in the press.[84][85][86]

See also


  1. ^ "SEC Filing". SEC. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  2. ^ a b c "Q4 FY 2009 Earnings Press Release". Sun Microsystems, Inc.. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  3. ^ "Company Info". Sun Microsystems. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  4. ^ "The Glamor in Mass Transit". Sun Microsystems, Inc.. 24 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-25. 
  5. ^ "Oracle Completes Acquisition of Sun". Yahoo. 27 January 2010. Retrieved 27 January 2010. 
  6. ^ "Sun begins releasing Java under the GPL". Free Software Foundation. November 15, 2006. Retrieved 2007-09-23. "FSF president and founder Richard Stallman said, "I think Sun has contributed more than any other company to the free software community in the form of software. It shows leadership. It's an example I hope others will follow."" 
  7. ^ "The SUN Workstation Architecture". Stanford University Computer systems Laboratory Technical Report No. 229. March 1982. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  8. ^ "Wellspring of Innovation: Sun Microsystems Spotlight". Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  9. ^, Vinod Khosla and Sun Microsystems, Amar Bhide, Harvard Business School, 12/14/89
  10. ^ "Mr. Scott McNealy". Sun Microsystems, Inc.. 2005-04-24. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  11. ^ Jim McGuinness (August 27, 2007). "Jim McGuinness's Weblog". Retrieved 2009-02-22. 
  12. ^ "Sun goes back to the future with Metropolis". The Register. 2 June 2004. Retrieved 2007-01-31. 
  13. ^ "Sun Microsystems — Investor Relations: FAQ". Sun Microsystems, Inc.. Retrieved 2007-01-23. 
  14. ^ By Alexei Oreskovic (2007-08-23). "Sun to Switch Symbol to JAVA". Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  15. ^ "NASDAQ". Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  16. ^ Shankland, Stephen (18 September 2003). "Sun to lay off 1,000". CNet,000/2100-1022_3-5078493.html. Retrieved 2007-07-13. 
  17. ^ Vance, Ashlee (24 June 2005). "Sun layoffs hit hundreds in US". The Register. Retrieved 2007-07-13. 
  18. ^ Shankland, Stephen (7 April 2006). "Sun layoffs hit high-end server group". ZDNet. Retrieved 2007-07-13. 
  19. ^ "Sun to add jobs in Hillsboro". Portland Business Journal. 16 January 2004. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  20. ^ "Sun to sell Newark campus, move 2,300 workers". Silicon Valley, San Jose Business Journal. 11 May 2006. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  21. ^ "CDO2 Unlocks The Power of Sun Grid for Faster Financial Risk Simulation". 24 August 2005. 
  22. ^ "Sun Microsystems Welcomes Endorsement and Investment From KKR". 23 January 2007. 
  23. ^ ""Offshoring Software Development presentation by Sun to the OECD"" (PDF). 
  24. ^ Ashlee Vance, "Crisis Hits Tech Sector With Layoffs as Sales Slump," New York Times, Nov. 14, 2008
  25. ^ "Sun Microsystems Q4 revenue down 31%". CBROnline. 2009-08-31. Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
  26. ^ "Trancept Systems". Retrieved 2007-05-12. 
  27. ^ Sun Microsystems (September 6, 1988). "Sun Microsystems Acquires Folio, Inc.". Press release. Retrieved 2007-11-12. 
  28. ^ "Sun's SunSelect Acquires Windows-Under-Unix Emulation Firm Praxsys". Computergram. 1992-09-18. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  29. ^ "Sun pitches software savvy as it pushes past server identity". San Jose Business Journal. 2002-05-31. 
  30. ^ a b Sun Microsystems (May 17, 1996). "Sun Mycrosystems announces intent to purchase Cray Business Systems Devision". Press release. Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  31. ^ "Sun Microsystems, Inc. acqquires Longview Technologies LLC". 18 February 1997. 
  32. ^ "Sun Microsystems completes acquisition of DIBA, pioneer in information appliance industry". 25 August 1997. 
  33. ^ Sun Microsystems, Inc. (September 10, 1997). "Sun expands network software business to embedded systems market; agrees to acquire Chorus Systems". Press release. Retrieved 2007-05-13. 
  34. ^ "Sun Microsystems signs definitive agreement to acquire Encore Computer's storage business". 17 July 1997. 
  35. ^ "Will a big company buy your startup?". San Francisco Business Times. 
  36. ^ "Sun buys NetDynamics". CNET. July 1, 1998. 
  37. ^ "Sun snaps up software company Gridware". CNET. 24 July 2000. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  38. ^ "Sun Takes a Shine to Cobalt". 19 September 2000. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  39. ^ "Sun snags storage company, software maker". CNET 4 December 2000. Retrieved 2007-07-04. 
  40. ^ "Sun buys Clustra for iPlanet". InformationAge. 19 March 2002. Retrieved 2007-07-04. 
  41. ^ "Sun buys start-up to boost UltraSparc". CNET 25 June 2002. Retrieved 2007-07-04. 
  42. ^ "Sun to buy start-up to boost "N1" plan". CNET 19 September 2002. Retrieved 2007-07-04. 
  43. ^ "Sun springs for software maker". CNET 15 November 2002. Retrieved 2007-07-04. 
  44. ^ "Sun Microsystems To Acquire Pixo". TechWeb. 26 June 2003. Retrieved 2007-07-04. 
  45. ^ "Sun Facts Acquisitions History". Sun Microsystems Inc.. August 2003. 
  46. ^ a b Sun Microsystems (December 10, 2003). "Sun completes acquisition of Waveset Technologies, Inc.". Press release. Retrieved 2007-01-01. 
  47. ^ "Sun Microsystems enhances network services integration into blades platform; Signs agreement to acquire Nauticus Networks". 2 January 2004. 
  48. ^ "Sun to buy Opteron server maker, reclaim co-founder". CNET. 10 February 2004. Retrieved 2007-07-04. 
  49. ^ Sun Microsystems (11 January 2005). "Sun Completes Acquisition Of Sevenspace". Press release. Retrieved 2007-10-03. 
  50. ^ "Sun to buy Tarantella". CNET. 10 May 2005. Retrieved 2007-07-04. 
  51. ^ "Sun to buy integration outfit SeeBeyond". CNET. 28 June 2005. Retrieved 2007-07-04. 
  52. ^ "Sun Facts Acquisitions History". Sun Microsystems Inc.. June 2005. 
  53. ^ "Sun Microsystems Completes Acquisition of StorageTek". August 31, 2005. 
  54. ^ Sun Microsystems, Inc. (February 22, 2006). "Sun to Acquire Aduva". Press release. Retrieved 2007-05-17. 
  55. ^ Sun Microsystems, Inc. (September 27, 2006). "Sun to Bolster Identity Management Leadership and Service Offerings With Acquisition of Neogent". Press release. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  56. ^ Sun Microsystems, Inc. (September 12, 2007). "Sun Microsystems Expands High Performance Computing Portfolio with Definitive Agreement to Acquire Assets of Cluster File Systems, Including the Lustre File System". Press release. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  57. ^ Sun Microsystems, Inc. (November 13, 2007). "Sun Microsystems Strengthens Market-Leading Identity Management Portfolio with Intent to Acquire Vaau". Press release. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  58. ^ Sun Microsystems, Inc. (February 26, 2008). "Sun Microsystems Announces Completion of MySQL Acquisition; Paves Way for Secure, Open Source Platform to Power the Network Economy". Press release. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  59. ^ Sun Microsystems, Inc. (February 12, 2008). "Sun Microsystems Announces Agreement to Acquire innotek, Expanding Sun xVM Reach to the Developer Desktop". Press release. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  60. ^ "Sun Welcomes Innotek". Sun Microsystems, Inc.. Retrieved 2008-02-26. "On February 20 Sun completed the acquisition of innotek" 
  61. ^ Sun Microsystems, Inc. (January 6, 2009). "Sun Microsystems Expands Cloud Computing Offerings with Acquisition of Q-layer". Press release. Retrieved 2009-01-06. 
  62. ^ "Preliminary merger proxy statement" By Sun Micro
  63. ^ Sun Microsystems
  64. ^ Sun Microsystems (January 22, 2007). "Sun And Intel Announce Landmark Agreement". Press release. Retrieved 2007-01-23. 
  65. ^ YouTube (April 30, 2008). "OpenSolaris & Intel Xeon Processors". Press release. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  66. ^ AMD (May 05, 2008). "AMD Expands Charter for the OpenSolaris OS and Sun xVM at the AMD Operating System Research Center". Press release.,,51_104_543~125446,00.html. 
  67. ^ Rishab Aiyer Ghosh (November 20, 2006). "Study on the: Economic impact of open source software on innovation and the competitiveness of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector in the EU" (PDF). European Union. pp. 51. Retrieved 2007-01-25. 
  68. ^ John, Burgess (January 7, 1988). "AT&T to Buy Stake In Sun Microsystems". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-01-23. "American Telephone & Telegraph Co. announced yesterday that it will buy up to a 20 percent stake in Sun Microsystems Inc., a Silicon Valley-based maker of powerful small computers known as workstations." 
  69. ^ Microsoft Corporation, Sun Microsystems, Inc. (April 2, 2004). "Microsoft and Sun Microsystems Enter Broad Cooperation Agreement; Settle Outstanding Litigation". Press release. Retrieved 2008-06-16. 
  70. ^ Mary Jo Foley (September 12, 2007). "Microsoft and Sun agree to support each other in virtualized environments". ZDNet. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  71. ^ "TIOBE Programming Community Index". TIOBE Software. June 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-05.  Java is ranked 1st as of June 2007, and has ranked 1st or 2nd in this index since its inception in 2001.
  72. ^ "Sun Opens Java". Sun Microsystems Web site. 13 November 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-25. 
  73. ^ a b Brandon Bailey (February 20, 2009). "Sun Microsystems, Adobe, Microsoft will battle for dominance in Internet software". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  74. ^ "Product Comparison". Sun Microsystems. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  75. ^ "Sun Microsystems to acquire Innotek". Forbes. February 12, 2008. 
  76. ^ "Helping Dolphins Fly". Sun Microsystems. January 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-28. 
  77. ^ "Optimize MySQL Server on Sun x64 Servers and Storage". Sun Microsystems. February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-28. 
  78. ^ Sun Microsystems (January 25, 2000). "Sun-Netscape alliance targets e-commerce with new brand identity". Press release. Retrieved 2007-01-01. 
  79. ^ "OpenSolaris Project: HoneyComb Fixed Content Storage". Sun Microsystems. February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-28. 
  80. ^ "Solaris ZFS Enables Hybrid Storage Pools: Shatters Economic and Performance Barriers". Sun Microsystems. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  81. ^ "Lustre File System presentation". Google Video. Retrieved 2008-01-28. 
  82. ^ "OpenSolaris Project: HPC Stack". Sun Microsystems. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  83. ^ "". Sun Microsystems. 
  84. ^ "Sun CEO Among the Few Chiefs Who Blog". The Washington Post. 16 September 2006. Retrieved 2007-07-04. 
  85. ^ "Sun CEO sees competitive advantage in blogging". USA Today. 26 June 2006. Retrieved 2007-07-04. 
  86. ^ "Jason Stamper's Blog: The ROI of blogging, and whether Jonathan Schwartz's blog pays for itself". Computer Business Review Online. 4 April 2006. Retrieved 2007-07-04. 

Further reading

External links

Simple English

Sun Microsystems Inc. (NASDAQ: JAVA) is a major supplier of UNIX based computers and are the makers of the Solaris operating system and the SPARC line of microprocessors. Located in Santa Clara, California the company was started in 1982 by Vinod Khosla, Andy Bechtolsheim, and Scott McNealy and has grown to become one of the largest makers of UNIX computers in the world. In January 2010 it was bought by Oracle Corporation.


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address