Ressources documentaires pour Mandriva Linux et les Logiciels Libres

Why IBM may want to buy Sun and consequences for Mandriva

There are many rumors on the net concerning IBM buying Sun. Slashdot
today even announce the pricetag : 7 billion $. They were also many question about the motivations
behind this move. Here are my thoughts.

  1. Technology control : IBM is using many Sun-based technologies in its
    software stack : Java ( Websphere, Eclipse, … ), OpenOffice.org ( L
    otus Symphony
    ). So buying Sun will allow IBM to control directly theses
    technologies. Of course some products will eventually disappear like Star
    Office, NetBeans.
  2. Virtualization technologies for mid-servers : IBM with the mainframes have
    a long history of virtualization technologies, however theses technolgies can’t
    be used outside of the scope of the IBM mainframes. x86 based servers rely
    more on products like VMWare or Virtualbox ( eventually Xen ) for virtualization.
    With the acquisition of Sun, IBM will have the control of Virtualbox and thus may
    be less dependant from VMWare and even be in direct concurrence.
  3. low-end and mid database market : Again IBM have a super product called
    DB2 but which is not really used on mid-servers. 2 OpenSources technologies
    dominate this market : MySQL and PostgreSQL. Sun have presently the control
    of MySQL, and also employ some of the lead dev of PostgreSQL. Now maybe
    that IBM should make a choice between MySQL and PostgreSQL. Feature-wise,
    PostgreSQL is more interesting and advanced, however IBM may fear that
    PostgreSQL may become a competitor in the futur for DB2.
  4. low-end and mid-system OS : IBM with AIX control the O.S and the
    hardware for big systems ( notably mainframes, HTC market, … ). However for
    low-end and mid x86 servers, IBM is using Linux onr which it has no control.
    Red Hat will have more expertise to maintain its distribution for example, so
    someone will buy the IBM hardwxare, buy RedHat, but use Red Hat for support
    services concerning the OS. However IBM is
    one of the first IT consulting company in the world. So if IBM sell a IBM server
    running Linux, a part of the IT consulting revenue will go to the Linux
    distribution maker. By buying Sun, IBM will have also OpenSolaris : a user
    friendly x86 Unix based Unix operating system supported by a community and
    Open Source. OpenSolaris could then be used in place of Linux on IBM
    servers, and then IBM could ship its servers with OpenSolaris and control all
    the revenus stream with a complete software stack going from the operating
    system ( OpenSolaris ) to the database (DB2, MySQL ) and a language/SDK to
    develop and build the applications (
    Java, Websphere, Eclipse, … ). For this stack, the best placed to provide
    consulting services would be … IBM.

So IMHO the IBM strategy is to come back in the mass x86 market by
targeting both the x86 servers, and eventually the workstations. IBM will then
be able to be at the same time in the high-end market ( mainframes, HPC, big
big servers ), but also in the x86 mass market.

By looking at this, others vendors could be interested to do the same move,
and notably a french one … Bull. Bull provide
high-end servers with the Novascale ( Itanium based ) running Linux and
mainframes running their own Operating System ( GCOS ). Bull is involved in many
open sources projects like NFSv4,
Ext4, KDB or JOnAS. Bull is also an IT Consulting company, however they
provide third parties Linux system. What if Bull was able to provide its own Linux
distribution ? For which they could have control and provide full and complete
support ? IMHO this could be a good opportunity for Mandriva and Bull to work
closer, and especially for Bull to buy Mandriva. This will give a boost to
Mandriva credibility in the professional market, and allow Bull to ship its own
Linux. Wait & See, but I do hope this will come to reality in the future. Bull and
Mandriva
together is one of my dream for a first class european player in the Linux and
server market.

Here is a link to another point of view, in french, concerning
IBM/Sun by Denis Szalkowski : Quel impact du
rachat de Sun par IBM ?

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