Sun CEO aims to create a larger open-source community

Scott McNealy, chairman and chief executive officer of Sun Microsystems made a visit to Asia this week and announced the company's new Opteron-based servers as well as outlined their strategy for 'monetizing' the large communities created around open source and Java technology.

McNealy also gave some details on Sun's acquisition initiatives and how it envisions helping governments of developing countries close the gap for the digital divide.

Speaking to different journalists from the Asia South region, McNealy said Sun's new Sun Fire servers, based on AMD's 64-bit Opteron processors, represent a significant investment for the company. Sun is hoping to lure back corporate customers with the new servers that can run Solaris, Linux, and Microsoft's Windows operating system.

The new servers, previously code-named Galaxy during production, not only offer customers the choice of operating systems, but also provide more efficient energy usage, speed and size compared with similar servers based on Intel's Xeon processors, said McNealy.

Prior to announcing Galaxy, Sun had earlier offered its Solaris operating system to the open source community. The company is looking to bring more of its products to the open source community as a way of helping create large communities of users and developers.

McNealy explained that large communities present opportunities for Sun as potential users of its products. "We have over 2.5 million downloads of Open Solaris and when users start deploying Solaris, they will need service contracts for their operating systems. You won't deploy a system unless you have a service contract that can protect your investment," he said.

Sun is pinning its growth plans as well on its storage division, especially with the recent acquisition of Storagetek which gives Sun the largest installed base for storage archives. McNealy said they will continue to acquire companies that can compliment their current products.

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