Veritas CEO Gary Bloom, Monday said there are "early signs" of a migration from Sun Solaris to Linux.
"We certainly see some of the early signs of movement in that direction," Bloom said, speaking at the New York announcement of his company's new Linux products and alliances.
Bloom stressed that he sees Linux as an incremental opportunity for Veritas rather than a displacement of Sun Solaris. Nevertheless, he maintained that the open source code operating system is picking up momentum moving from "traditional experimentation" to deployment.
Veritas, which sells a significant portion of its storage software on Sun's Solaris, has to walk a fine line when talking that shift. Some 45 percent of Veritas storage business sells into the Solaris base, officials there have said.
Sun took the Veritas/Linux alignment in stride. "We continue to have a really close relationship with Veritas, do a ton of work, joint engineering, testing and marketing with them. Today was the day for them to shine the light on their Linux strategy and that's cool, but Solaris is still by far the No. 1 deployment platform for Veritas," said Mark Bohlig, director of global ISVs for Sun Microsystems.
"I think what Bloom is saying is that Linux is in an early adoption phase. It's not that people are dumping Solaris as they are complimenting existing systems with Linux systems and we're all over that," he noted.
In two weeks, Sun is expected to unveil a more aggressive Linux strategy.
But other speakers at the Veritas event underscored the momentum Linux is having at Solaris' expense. Amazon.com senior manager of corporate systems Walt Nelson Sr. told attendees that Amazon moved from a variety of platforms including Solaris to Linux and that the switch saved the e-tailer millions of dollars due to lower licensing fees, maintenance costs and lower total cost of ownership.
"At Amazon.com, if it can run on Linux, we will run it on Linux." he said.
Red Hat Vice President of Marketing Mark de Visser said he is seeing a dramatic shift from Solaris to Linux in the field. De Visser said the shift is causing huge problems for Sun, which will have a significant presence in two weeks at Linuxworld. "The Solaris business model goes to pieces when there is no hardware involved..... We see Sun on its knees."
De Visser said Red Hat will be out in full force at Linuxworld touting Red Hat Linux Advanced Server. "We see Sun positioning Linux as a niche application," he said. "They don't want it to take the place of Solaris....we'll be there [at Linuxworld to prove how much Linux has become an enterprise power."
Veritas also trotted out execs from the Weather Channel and IBM to show Linux acceptance in the enterprise.
IBM vice president of xSeries server group Rich Michos said Linux is moving into corporations, often without the knowledge of chief executives. Michos said a number of large companies are looking to move their installed base from Solaris to Linux. "We think Linux is a real disruptive force," he said. He predicted a CAGR of Linux for the foreseeable future at 35 percent per year.
Further, he said he expects Linux to surpass Unix shipments next year.
Jeremy Burton, Veritas Chief Marketing Officer, said the pricing on Veritas new Linux lineup is comparable to the company's analogous Solaris and AIX and HP-UX offerings.
Burton said the total cost of ownership (TCO) savings comes less from the price of software than from hardware and labor savings.
Sixty-three percent of the TCO difference comes from labor, 28 percent from hardware and 9 percent from software, Burton said.
--Barbara Darrow contributed to this story.