<I>CRN</I> Interview: Scott McNealy


At Sun Microsystems' latest quarterly product launch, Chairman and CEO Scott McNealy touted an integration scheme for the network computer. McNealy discussed the strategy with CRN Senior Editor Joseph F. Kovar and CRN Infrastructure Editor Larry Hooper. Here is an excerpt:

CRN: Sun is talking about a couple of integration projects, such as Orion and Mad Hatter. How far along are they?

McNEALY: We already integrate, just not that well. It's a journey; it's not a release. And each time we'll have better-integrated fault management. We'll use a common directory, and we'll have one [Java Virtual Machine] engine plant to go run all the Java code. We'll have one setup, administration and management Web page with one instead of 50 [user interfaces]. We'll have one remote-monitoring and customer network platform environment for upgrading, patching and telemetry.

But at all times, we'll provide "integratability," and what I mean by that is "deletability." So you can hit delete on our app server and put BEA's in there if you want, or hit delete on our directory and put Novell in. %85 So I think our partners will be able to be much more effective than, say, the Hewlett-Packard or IBM partners, where complexity is their friend.

CRN: The other Sun integration effort is Mad Hatter. We saw demos late last year of Sun's integration of its software pack to target the Microsoft space %85

McNEALY: We're not aiming at the Microsoft space. We're trying to give people an opportunity to have a consistent environment with the Sun SPARC Solaris technical and high-performance workstation marketplace. %85 We've got the fat client with SPARC Solaris, a "fit client" with Mad Hatter and a thin client with Sun Ray. Same [user interface], same GNOME user interface, Mozilla browser, StarOffice environment, Java Virtual Machine. It's got the same desktop mail and calendaring environment, and all the rest of it. %85 We're targeting somebody who wants reduced complexity and lower cost.

CRN: How do channel partners play in that space?

McNEALY: They'd better play. We are not out buying PwC. We are not out buying DEC's services organizations. We are not growing our field-coverage strategy. %85 But we ultimately and eventually want our partner to be the person who has front-line client control and responsibility.