Sun CEO Schwartz Champions Open Source at Web 2.0

by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 25, 2008

Sun Microsystems' CEO Jonathan Schwartz took the stage at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco on Friday, and OStatic staff was on hand. Sun, of course, has aggressively embraced open source software in its post-Scott McNealy period, as evidenced by its $1 billion acquisition of MySQL. Schwartz discussed ongoing open source efforts at Sun, current work being done with Linus Torvalds, MySQL, and even the future of blogging at the conference.

Schwartz was just as big on virtualization at Web 2.0 as he is on his blog. Virtualization is built directly into Sun's Solaris OS, and the company is pitching it along with open source software as ways for companies to simplify and reduce costs in data centers--especially hybrid data centers with Linux, Solaris and Windows machines.

Of course, as Lisa covered here virtualization is also a good way to run multiple operating systems, including Linux, on an individual machine. Sun's strategy, Schwartz said, is to keep its virtualization product competitive by keeping it free and open source.

Schwartz also gave out some numbers pertaining to MySQL. As eWeek notes, he says he is excited by the fact that MySQL gets 70,000 downloads a day onto servers and storage devices. Those, of course, are high profit margin categories that Sun specializes in.

"We get 70,000 opportunities a day to introduce them to the infrastructure that could provide an online backup for MySQL," says Schwartz. He referred to MySQL as a "financial asset that is growing like a weed," and claimed Sun will be able to amplify its Linux database assets success as the industry's focus shifts toward cloud computing.

Currently, Schwartz confirmed that he is talking with Linus Torvalds to see if they can release ZFS, the dynamic file system in Solaris, under GPL. It is already open source.

We bloggers were also in the spotlight as Schwartz spoke. He says that blogging will become an anachronism. "I communicate," he said.

Sun's acquisition of MySQL is widely perceived as evidence of how open source software can lead to great commercial opportunities. He said that in a recent meeting with many top CIOs, the CIOs reported that there were far more downloads of MySQL going on company-wide than any of them knew about before looking.

And, open source software is an essential part of what Sun wants to put in data centers as it seeks to move its servers and storage systems. Schwartz on open source in general: "Free software and free ideas are the best way to reach the marketplace."