Logo used from the 1990s until acquisition by Oracle
Acquired by Oracle
February 24, 1982; 36 years ago (1982-02-24)
January 27, 2010 (2010-01-27)
Menlo Park, California, U.S.
Number of employees
38,600 (near peak, 2006)
See Archived 4 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
Sun Microsystems, Inc. was an
American company which sold computers,
computer components, software, and information technology services,
and that created the Java programming language, the Solaris operating
system, ZFS, the Network
File System (NFS) and SPARC. Sun contributed
significantly to the evolution of several key computing technologies,
among them Unix, RISC processors, thin client computing, and
virtualized computing. Sun was founded on February 24, 1982. At its
height, the Sun headquarters were in
Santa Clara, California
Santa Clara, California (part of
Silicon Valley), on the former west campus of the Agnews Developmental
On April 20, 2009, it was announced that
Oracle Corporation would
acquire Sun for US$7.4 billion. The deal was completed on January
Sun products included computer servers and workstations built on its
SPARC processor architecture, as well as on x86-based
Xeon processors. Sun also developed their own
storage systems and a suite of software products, including the
Solaris operating system, developer tools, Web infrastructure
software, and identity management applications. Other technologies
Java platform and NFS. In general, Sun was a proponent of
open systems and Unix, in particular. They were also a major
contributor to open-source software, as evidenced by their $1 billion
purchase, in 2008, of MySQL, an open-source relational database
management system. At various times, Sun had manufacturing
facilities in several locations worldwide, including Hillsboro,
Oregon, Linlithgow, Scotland, and Newark, California. However, by the
time the company was acquired by Oracle, it had outsourced most
1.1 The "bubble" and its aftermath
1.2 Post-crash focus
1.3 Sun acquisitions
2 Major stockholders
3.1 Motorola-based systems
3.2 SPARC-based systems
3.3 x86-based systems
4.1 Operating systems
4.2 Java platform
4.3 Office suite
Virtualization and datacenter automation software
Database management systems
4.6 Other software
6 High-performance computing
8 Acquisition by Oracle
9 See also
11 Further reading
12 External links
Sun Microsystems logo history
Original Sun Microsystems logo, as used on the nameplate of
Revised logo, used from 1983 to 1996
From 1996 until 2010/acquisition by Oracle Corporation
The initial design for what became Sun's first
Unix workstation, the
Sun-1, was conceived by
Andy Bechtolsheim when he was a graduate
Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Bechtolsheim
originally designed the
SUN workstation for the Stanford University
Network communications project as a personal CAD workstation. It was
designed around the
Motorola 68000 processor
Motorola 68000 processor with an advanced memory
management unit (MMU) to support the
Unix operating system with
virtual memory support. He built the first ones from spare parts
obtained from Stanford's Department of
Computer Science and Silicon
Valley supply houses.
On February 24, 1982, Vinod Khosla, Andy Bechtolsheim, and Scott
McNealy, all Stanford graduate students, founded Sun Microsystems.
Bill Joy of Berkeley, a primary developer of the Berkeley Software
Distribution (BSD), joined soon after and is counted as one of the
original founders. The Sun name is derived from the initials of the
Stanford University Network. Sun was profitable from its
first quarter in July 1982.
By 1983 Sun was known for producing 68000-based systems with
high-quality graphics that were the only computers other than DEC's
VAX to run 4.2BSD. It licensed the computer design to other
manufacturers, which typically used it to build Multibus-based systems
Unix from UniSoft. Sun's initial public offering was in
1986 under the stock symbol SUNW, for Sun
Workstations (later Sun
Worldwide). The symbol was changed in 2007 to JAVA; Sun stated
that the brand awareness associated with its
Java platform better
represented the company's current strategy.
Sun's logo, which features four interleaved copies of the word sun in
the form of a rotationally symmetric ambigram, was designed by
professor Vaughan Pratt, also of Stanford. The initial version of the
logo was orange and had the sides oriented horizontally and
vertically, but it was subsequently rotated to stand on one corner and
re-colored purple, and later blue.
The "bubble" and its aftermath
In the dot-com bubble, Sun began making much more money, and its
shares rose dramatically. It also began spending much more, hiring
workers and building itself out. Some of this was because of genuine
demand, but much was from web start-up companies anticipating business
that would never happen. In 2000, the bubble burst. Sales in Sun's
important hardware division went into free-fall as customers closed
shop and auctioned high-end servers.
Several quarters of steep losses led to executive departures, rounds
of layoffs, and other cost cutting. In December 2001, the
stock fell to the 1998, pre-bubble level of about $100. But it kept
falling, faster than many other tech companies. A year later it had
dipped below $10 (a tenth of what it was even in 1990) but bounced
back to $20. In mid-2004, Sun closed their Newark, California, factory
and consolidated all manufacturing to Hillsboro, Oregon. In 2006,
the rest of the Newark campus was put on the market.
Aerial photograph of the Sun headquarters campus in Santa Clara,
Buildings 21 and 22 at Sun's headquarters campus in Santa Clara
Sun in Markham, Ontario, Canada
In 2004, Sun canceled two major processor projects which emphasized
high instruction-level parallelism and operating frequency. Instead,
the company chose to concentrate on processors optimized for
multi-threading and multiprocessing, such as the Ultra
processor (codenamed "Niagara"). The company also announced a
Fujitsu to use the Japanese company's processor
chips in mid-range and high-end Sun servers. These servers were
announced on April 17, 2007, as the M-Series, part of the SPARC
In February 2005, Sun announced the Sun Grid, a grid computing
deployment on which it offered utility computing services priced at
US$1 per CPU/hour for processing and per GB/month for storage. This
offering built upon an existing 3,000-CPU server farm used for
internal R&D for over 10 years, which Sun marketed as being able
to achieve 97% utilization. In August 2005, the first commercial use
of this grid was announced for financial risk simulations which was
later launched as its first software as a service product.
In January 2005, Sun reported a net profit of $19 million for
fiscal 2005 second quarter, for the first time in three years. This
was followed by net loss of $9 million on GAAP basis for the
third quarter 2005, as reported on April 14, 2005. In January 2007,
Sun reported a net GAAP profit of $126 million on revenue of
$3.337 billion for its fiscal second quarter. Shortly following
that news, it was announced that
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) would
invest $700 million in the company.
Sun had engineering groups in Bangalore, Beijing, Dublin, Grenoble,
Hamburg, Prague, St. Petersburg, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, and Trondheim.
In 2007–2008, Sun posted revenue of $13.8 billion and had
$2 billion in cash. First-quarter 2008 losses were
$1.68 billion; revenue fell 7% to $12.99 billion. Sun's
stock lost 80% of its value November 2007 to November 2008, reducing
the company's market value to $3 billion. With falling sales to
large corporate clients, Sun announced plans to lay off 5,000 to 6,000
workers, or 15–18% of its work force. It expected to save
$700 million to $800 million a year as a result of the
moves, while also taking up to $600 million in charges.
Sun server racks at
Seneca College (York Campus)
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
1987: Trancept Systems, a high-performance graphics hardware
1987: Sitka Corp, networking systems linking the Macintosh with IBM
1987: Centram Systems West, maker of networking software for PCs, Macs
and Sun systems
1988: Folio, Inc., developer of intelligent font scaling technology
and the F3 font format
1991: Interactive Systems Corporation's Intel/
Unix OS division, from
Eastman Kodak Company
1992: Praxsys Technologies, Inc., developers of the Windows emulation
technology that eventually became Wabi
Thinking Machines Corporation
Thinking Machines Corporation hardware division
1996: Lighthouse Design, Ltd.
1996: Cray Business Systems Division, from Silicon Graphics
1996: Integrated Micro Products, specializing in fault tolerant
Thinking Machines Corporation
Thinking Machines Corporation software division
February 1997: LongView Technologies, LLC
August 1997: Diba, technology supplier for the Information Appliance
September 1997: Chorus Systems, creators of ChorusOS
November 1997: Encore
Computer Corporation's storage business
1998: RedCape Software
1998: i-Planet, a small software company that produced the "Pony
Espresso" mobile email client—its name (sans hyphen) for the
Netscape software alliance
June 1998: Dakota Scientific Software, Inc.—development tools for
July 1998: NetDynamics—developers of the NetDynamics Application
October 1998: Beduin, small software company that produced the
"Impact" small-footprint Java-based
Web browser for mobile devices.
1999: StarDivision, German software company and with it StarOffice,
which was later released as open source under the name OpenOffice.org
1999: MAXSTRAT Corporation, a company in
Milpitas, California selling
Fibre Channel storage servers.
October 1999: Forté Software, an enterprise software company
specializing in integration solutions and developer of the Forte
1999: NetBeans, produced a modular IDE written in Java, based on a
student project at
Charles University in Prague
March 2000: Innosoft International, Inc. a software company
specializing in highly scalable MTAs (PMDF) and Directory Services.
July 2000: Gridware, a software company whose products managed the
distribution of computing jobs across multiple computers
September 2000: Cobalt Networks, an Internet appliance manufacturer
for $2 billion
December 2000: HighGround, with a suite of Web-based management
2001: LSC, Inc., an Eagan, Minnesota company that developed Storage
and Archive Management
File System (SAM-FS) and Quick
File System QFS
file systems for backup and archive
March 2002: Clustra Systems
June 2002: Afara Websystems, developed
September 2002: Pirus Networks, intelligent storage services
November 2002: Terraspring, infrastructure automation software
June 2003: Pixo, added to the Sun Content Delivery Server
August 2003: CenterRun, Inc.
December 2003: Waveset Technologies, identity management
January 2004 Nauticus Networks
February 2004: Kealia, founded by original Sun founder Andy
Bechtolsheim, developed AMD-based
January 2005: SevenSpace, a multi-platform managed services
Tarantella, Inc. (formerly known as Santa Cruz Operation
(SCO)), for $25 million
June 2005: SeeBeyond, a
Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) software
company for $387m
June 2005: Procom Technology, Inc.'s NAS IP Assets
August 2005: StorageTek, data storage technology company for $4.1
February 2006: Aduva, software for Solaris and
October 2006: Neogent
April 2007: SavaJe, the
SavaJe OS, a Java OS for mobile phones
September 2007: Cluster
File Systems, Inc.
November 2007: Vaau, Enterprise Role Management and identity
MySQL AB, the company offering the open source database
MySQL for $1 billion.
February 2008: Innotek GmbH, developer of the VirtualBox
April 2008: Montalvo Systems, x86 microprocessor startup acquired
before first silicon
January 2009: Q-layer, a software company with cloud computing
As of May 11, 2009, the following shareholders held over 100,000
common shares of Sun and at $9.50 per share offered by Oracle,
they received the amounts indicated when the acquisition closed.
Major Investors in Sun
Value at Merger
Barclays Global Investors
Scott G. McNealy
M. Kenneth Oshman
Jonathan I. Schwartz
James L. Barksdale
Michael E. Lehman
For the first decade of Sun's history, the company positioned its
products as technical workstations, competing successfully as a
low-cost vendor during the
Workstation Wars of the 1980s. It then
shifted its hardware product line to emphasize servers and storage.
High-level telecom control systems such as Operational Support Systems
service predominantly used Sun equipment.
Sun originally used
Motorola 68000 family
Motorola 68000 family central processing units for
Sun-3 computer series. The
Sun-1 employed a 68000
Sun-2 series, a 68010. The
Sun-3 series was based on the
68020, with the later Sun-3x using the 68030.
See also: SPARC
In 1987, the company began using SPARC, a RISC processor architecture
of its own design, in its computer systems, starting with the Sun-4
SPARC was initially a
32-bit architecture (
SPARC V7) until the
introduction of the
SPARC V9 architecture in 1995, which added 64-bit
Sun has developed several generations of SPARC-based computer systems,
including the SPARCstation, Ultra and
Sun Blade series of
workstations, and the SPARCserver, Netra, Enterprise and
Sun Fire line
In the early 1990s the company began to extend its product line to
include large-scale symmetric multiprocessing servers, starting with
the four-processor SPARCserver 600MP. This was followed by the
8-processor SPARCserver 1000 and 20-processor SPARCcenter 2000, which
were based on work done in conjunction with Xerox PARC. In 1995 the
Sun Ultra series
Sun Ultra series machines that were equipped with
64-bit implementation of
SPARC processors (UltraSPARC). In
the late 1990s the transformation of product line in favor of large
64-bit SMP systems was accelerated by the acquisition of Cray Business
Systems Division from Silicon Graphics. Their 32-bit, 64-processor
Cray Superserver 6400, related to the SPARCcenter, led to the 64-bit
Sun Enterprise 10000 high-end server (otherwise known as Starfire).
In September 2004 Sun made available systems with Ultra
which was the first multi-core
SPARC processor. It was followed by
SPARC IV+ in September 2005 and its revisions with higher
clock speeds in 2007. These CPUs were used in the most powerful,
enterprise class high-end CC-NUMA servers developed by Sun, such as
Sun Fire E25K.
In November 2005 Sun launched the Ultra
SPARC T1, notable for its
ability to concurrently run 32 threads of execution on 8 processor
cores. Its intent was to drive more efficient use of CPU resources,
which is of particular importance in data centers, where there is an
increasing need to reduce power and air conditioning demands, much of
which comes from the heat generated by CPUs. The T1 was followed in
2007 by the Ultra
SPARC T2, which extended the number of threads per
core from 4 to 8. Sun has open sourced the design specifications of
both the T1 and T2 processors via the Open
In 2006, Sun ventured into the blade server (high density rack-mounted
systems) market with the
Sun Blade (distinct from the Sun Blade
In April 2007 Sun released the
SPARC Enterprise server products,
jointly designed by Sun and
Fujitsu and based on
Fujitsu SPARC64 VI
and later processors. The M-class
SPARC Enterprise systems include
high-end reliability and availability features. Later T-series servers
have also been badged
SPARC Enterprise rather than Sun Fire.
In April 2008 Sun released servers with Ultra
SPARC T2 Plus, which is
an SMP capable version of Ultra
SPARC T2, available in 2 or 4 processor
configurations. It was the first CoolThreads CPU with multi-processor
capability and it made possible to build standard rack-mounted servers
that could simultaneously process up to massive 256 CPU threads in
SPARC Enterprise T5440), which is considered a
record in the industry.
Since 2010, all further development of Sun machines based on SPARC
architecture (including new
SPARC T-Series servers,
SPARC T3 and T4
chips) is done as a part of
Oracle Corporation hardware division.
In the late 1980s, Sun also marketed an
Intel 80386-based machine, the
Sun386i; this was designed to be a hybrid system, running
SunOS but at
the same time supporting DOS applications. This only remained on the
market for a brief time. A follow-up "486i" upgrade was announced but
only a few prototype units were ever manufactured.
Sun's brief first foray into x86 systems ended in the early 1990s, as
it decided to concentrate on
SPARC and retire the last Motorola
systems and 386i products, a move dubbed by McNealy as "all the wood
behind one arrowhead". Even so, Sun kept its hand in the x86 world, as
a release of Solaris for PC compatibles began shipping in 1993.
In 1997 Sun acquired Diba, Inc., followed later by the acquisition of
Cobalt Networks in 2000, with the aim of building network appliances
(single function computers meant for consumers). Sun also marketed a
Computer (a term popularized and eventually trademarked by
JavaStation was a diskless system designed to run Java
Although none of these business initiatives were particularly
successful, the Cobalt purchase gave Sun a toehold for its return to
the x86 hardware market. In 2002, Sun introduced its first general
purpose x86 system, the LX50, based in part on previous Cobalt system
expertise. This was also Sun's first system announced to support Linux
as well as Solaris.
In 2003, Sun announced a strategic alliance with AMD to produce
x86/x64 servers based on AMD's
Opteron processor; this was followed
shortly by Sun's acquisition of Kealia, a startup founded by original
Sun founder Andy Bechtolsheim, which had been focusing on
high-performance AMD-based servers.
The following year, Sun launched the Opteron-based
Sun Fire V20z and
V40z servers, and the Java
Workstation W1100z and W2100z workstations.
On September 12, 2005, Sun unveiled a new range of Opteron-based
Sun Fire X2100, X4100 and X4200 servers. These were
designed from scratch by a team led by Bechtolsheim to address heat
and power consumption issues commonly faced in data centers. In July
Sun Fire X4500 and X4600 systems were introduced, extending
a line of x64 systems that support not only Solaris, but also Linux
On January 22, 2007, Sun announced a broad strategic alliance with
Intel endorsed Solaris as a mainstream operating system and
as its mission critical
Unix for its
Xeon processor-based systems, and
contributed engineering resources to OpenSolaris. Sun began using
Xeon processor in its x64 server line, starting with the Sun
Blade X6250 server module introduced in June 2007.
On May 5, 2008, AMD announced its Operating System Research Center
(OSRC) expanded its focus to include optimization to Sun's OpenSolaris
and xVM virtualization products for AMD based processors.
Although Sun was initially known as a hardware company, its software
history began with its founding in 1982; co-founder
Bill Joy was one
of the leading
Unix developers of the time, having contributed the vi
editor, the C shell, and significant work developing
TCP/IP and the
Unix OS. Sun later developed software such as the Java programming
language and acquired software such as StarOffice,
Sun used community-based and open-source licensing of its major
technologies, and for its support of its products with other open
source technologies. GNOME-based desktop software called Java Desktop
System (originally code-named "Madhatter") was distributed for the
Solaris operating system, and at one point for Linux. Sun supported
Java Enterprise System (a middleware stack) on Linux. It released
the source code for Solaris under the open-source Common Development
and Distribution License, via the
OpenSolaris community. Sun's
positioning includes a commitment to indemnify users of some software
from intellectual property disputes concerning that software. It
offers support services on a variety of pricing bases, including
per-employee and per-socket.
A 2006 report prepared for the EU by
UNU-MERIT stated that Sun was the
largest corporate contributor to open source movements in the
world. According to this report, Sun's open source contributions
exceed the combined total of the next five largest commercial
Main article: Solaris (operating system)
Sun is best known for its
Unix systems, which have a reputation for
system stability and a consistent design philosophy.
Sun's first workstation shipped with
UniSoft V7 Unix. Later in 1982
Sun began providing SunOS, a customized 4.1BSD Unix, as the operating
system for its workstations.
In the late 1980s, AT&T tapped Sun to help them develop the next
release of their branded UNIX, and in 1988 announced they would
purchase up to a 20% stake in Sun. UNIX
System V Release 4
System V Release 4 (SVR4)
was jointly developed by AT&T and Sun; Sun used SVR4 as the
foundation for Solaris 2.x, which became the successor to
(later retrospectively named Solaris 1.x). By the mid-1990s, the
Unix wars had largely subsided, AT&T had sold off their
Unix interests, and the relationship between the two companies was
From 1992 Sun also sold Interactive Unix, an operating system it
acquired when it bought
Interactive Systems Corporation
Interactive Systems Corporation from Eastman
Kodak Company. This was a popular
Unix variant for the PC platform and
a major competitor to market leader SCO UNIX. Sun's focus on
Unix diminished in favor of Solaris on both
SPARC and x86
systems; it was dropped as a product in 2001.
Sun dropped the Solaris 2.x version numbering scheme after the Solaris
2.6 release (1997); the following version was branded Solaris 7. This
was the first
64-bit release, intended for the new Ultra
based on the
SPARC V9 architecture. Within the next four years, the
successors Solaris 8 and Solaris 9 were released in 2000 and 2002
Following several years of difficult competition and loss of server
market share to competitors' Linux-based systems, Sun began to include
Linux as part of its strategy in 2002. Sun supported both Red Hat
Linux and SUSE
Linux Enterprise Server on its x64 systems;
companies such as Canonical Ltd.,
Wind River Systems
Wind River Systems and MontaVista
also supported their versions of
Linux on Sun's SPARC-based systems.
In 2004, after having cultivated a reputation as one of Microsoft's
most vocal antagonists, Sun entered into a joint relationship with
them, resolving various legal entanglements between the two companies
and receiving US$1.95 billion in settlement payments from
them. Sun supported
Microsoft Windows on its x64 systems, and
announced other collaborative agreements with Microsoft, including
plans to support each other's virtualization environments.
In 2005, the company released Solaris 10. The new version included a
large number of enhancements to the operating system, as well as very
novel features, previously unseen in the industry. Solaris 10 update
releases continued through the next 8 years, the last release from Sun
Microsystems being Solaris 10 10/09. The following updates were
released by Oracle under the new license agreement; the final release
is Solaris 10 1/13.
Previously, Sun offered a separate variant of Solaris called Trusted
Solaris, which included augmented security features such as multilevel
security and a least privilege access model. Solaris 10 included many
of the same capabilities as
Trusted Solaris at the time of its initial
release; Solaris 10 11/06 included Solaris Trusted Extensions, which
give it the remaining capabilities needed to make it the functional
successor to Trusted Solaris.
After releasing Solaris 10, its source code was opened under CDDL free
software license and developed in open with contributing Opensolaris
community through SXCE that used SVR4
.pkg packaging and supported
Opensolaris releases that used IPS. Following acquisition of Sun by
Oracle , Opensolaris continued to develop in open under illumos with
Oracle Corporation continued to develop
OpenSolaris into next Solaris
release, changing back the license to proprietary, and released it as
Oracle Solaris 11 in November 2011.
Main article: Java platform
Java platform was developed at Sun in the early 1990s with the
objective of allowing programs to function regardless of the device
they were used on, sparking the slogan "Write once, run anywhere"
(WORA). While this objective was not entirely achieved (prompting the
riposte "Write once, debug everywhere"), Java is regarded as being
largely hardware- and operating system-independent.
Java was initially promoted as a platform for client-side applets
running inside web browsers. Early examples of Java applications were
HotJava web browser and the
HotJava Views suite. However, since
then Java has been more successful on the server side of the Internet.
The platform consists of three major parts: the Java programming
Java Virtual Machine
Java Virtual Machine (JVM), and several Java Application
Programming Interfaces (APIs). The design of the
Java platform is
controlled by the vendor and user community through the Java Community
Java is an object-oriented programming language. Since its
introduction in late 1995, it became one of the world's most popular
Java programs are compiled to byte code, which can be executed by any
JVM, regardless of the environment.
The Java APIs provide an extensive set of library routines. These APIs
evolved into the Standard Edition (Java SE), which provides basic
infrastructure and GUI functionality; the Enterprise Edition (Java
EE), aimed at large software companies implementing enterprise-class
application servers; and the Micro Edition (Java ME), used to build
software for devices with limited resources, such as mobile devices.
On November 13, 2006, Sun announced it would be licensing its Java
implementation under the GNU General Public License; it released its
Java compiler and JVM at that time.
In February 2009 Sun entered a battle with
Microsoft and Adobe
Systems, which promoted rival platforms to build software applications
for the Internet.
JavaFX was a development platform for music,
video and other applications that builds on the Java programming
In 1999, Sun acquired the German software company StarDivision and
with it the office suite StarOffice, which Sun later released as
OpenOffice.org under both
GNU LGPL and the SISSL (Sun Industry
Standards Source License).
file formats (though not perfectly), was available on many platforms
Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Solaris) and was
used in the open source community.
The principal differences between
StarOffice was supported by Sun, was available as either a
single-user retail box kit or as per-user blocks of licensing for the
enterprise, and included a wider range of fonts and document templates
and a commercial quality spellchecker.
StarOffice also contained
commercially licensed functions and add-ons; in
were either replaced by open-source or free variants, or are not
present at all. Both packages had native support for the OpenDocument
Virtualization and datacenter automation software
VirtualBox, purchased by Sun
In 2007, Sun announced the
Sun xVM virtualization and datacenter
automation product suite for commodity hardware. Sun also acquired
VirtualBox in 2008. Earlier virtualization technologies from Sun like
Dynamic System Domains and Dynamic Reconfiguration were specifically
designed for high-end
SPARC servers, and
Logical Domains only supports
SPARC T1/T2/T2 Plus server platforms. Sun marketed Sun Ops
Center provisioning software for datacenter automation.
On the client side, Sun offered virtual desktop solutions. Desktop
environments and applications could be hosted in a datacenter, with
users accessing these environments from a wide range of client
Microsoft Windows PCs,
Sun Ray virtual display
clients, Apple Macintoshes, PDAs or any combination of supported
devices. A variety of networks were supported, from LAN to WAN or the
Virtual desktop products included
Sun Ray Server
Sun Secure Global Desktop and Sun Virtual Desktop
Database management systems
MySQL AB, the developer of the
MySQL database in 2008 for
US$1 billion. CEO Jonathan Schwartz mentioned in his blog
that optimizing the performance of
MySQL was one of the priorities of
the acquisition. In February 2008, Sun began to publish results of
MySQL performance optimization work. Sun contributed to the
PostgreSQL project. On the Java platform, Sun contributed to and
supported Java DB.
Sun offered other software products for software development and
infrastructure services. Many were developed in house; others came
from acquisitions, including Tarantella, Waveset Technologies,
SeeBeyond, and Vaau. Sun acquired many of the
software products as part a deal involving Netscape's merger with
AOL. These software products were initially offered under the
"iPlanet" brand; once the Sun-
Netscape alliance ended, they were
re-branded as "Sun ONE" (Sun Open Network Environment), and then the
"Sun Java System".
Sun's middleware product was branded as the
Java Enterprise System (or
JES), and marketed for web and application serving, communication,
calendaring, directory, identity management and service-oriented
Open ESB and other software suites were available
free of charge on systems running Solaris, Red Hat Enterprise Linux,
HP-UX, and Windows, with support available optionally.
Sun developed data center management software products, which included
Solaris Cluster high availability software, and a grid management
Sun Grid Engine and firewall software such as
SunScreen. For Network Equipment Providers and telecommunications
customers, Sun developed the
Sun Netra High-Availability Suite.
Sun produced compilers and development tools under the Sun Studio
brand, for building and developing Solaris and
Linux applications. Sun
entered the software as a service (SaaS) market with zembly, a social
cloud-based computing platform and Project Kenai, an open-source
project hosting service.
Sun sold its own storage systems to complement its system offerings;
it has also made several storage-related acquisitions. On June 2,
2005, Sun announced it would purchase Storage Technology Corporation
(StorageTek) for US$4.1 billion in cash, or $37.00 per share, a
deal completed in August 2005.
In 2006, Sun introduced the Sun
StorageTek 5800 System, the first
application-aware programmable storage solution. In 2008, Sun
contributed the source code of the
StorageTek 5800 System under the
Sun announced the
Sun Open Storage platform in 2008 built with open
source technologies. In late 2008 Sun announced the Sun Storage 7000
Unified Storage systems (codenamed Amber Road). Transparent placement
of data in the systems' solid-state drives (SSD) and conventional hard
drives was managed by
ZFS to take advantage of the speed of SSDs and
the economy of conventional hard disks.
Other storage products included
Sun Fire X4500 storage server and
QFS filesystem and storage management software.
Sun marketed the
Sun Constellation System for high-performance
computing (HPC). Even before the introduction of the Sun Constellation
System in 2007, Sun's products were in use in many of the TOP500
systems and supercomputing centers:
Lustre was used by seven of the top 10 supercomputers in 2008, as well
as other industries that need high-performance storage: six major oil
companies (including BP, Shell, and ExxonMobil), chip-design
Synopsys and Sony), and the movie-industry (including Harry
Potter and Spider-Man).
Sun Fire X4500 was used by high energy physics supercomputers to run
Sun Grid Engine was a popular workload scheduler for clusters and
Sun Visualization System allowed users of the
TeraGrid to remotely
access the 3D rendering capabilities of the Maverick system at the
University of Texas at Austin
Sun Modular Datacenter
Sun Modular Datacenter (Project Blackbox) was two Sun MD S20 units
used by the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
The Sun HPC ClusterTools product was a set of Message Passing
Interface (MPI) libraries and tools for running parallel jobs on
Solaris HPC clusters. Beginning with version 7.0, Sun switched from
its own implementation of MPI to Open MPI, and donated engineering
resources to the
Open MPI project.
Sun was a participant in the
OpenMP language committee. Sun Studio
compilers and tools implemented the
OpenMP specification for shared
In 2006, Sun built the TSUBAME supercomputer, which was until June
2008 the fastest supercomputer in Asia. Sun built Ranger at the Texas
Advanced Computing Center (TACC) in 2007. Ranger had a peak
performance of over 500 TFLOPS, and was the 6th most powerful
supercomputer on the
TOP500 list in November 2008. Sun announced an
OpenSolaris distribution that integrated Sun's HPC products with
See also: List of
Sun Microsystems employees
Notable Sun employees included John Gilmore, Whitfield Diffie, Radia
Perlman, and Marc Tremblay. Sun was an early advocate of Unix-based
networked computing, promoting
TCP/IP and especially NFS, as reflected
in the company's motto "The Network Is The Computer", coined by John
James Gosling led the team which developed the Java programming
Jon Bosak led the creation of the
XML specification at W3C.
Sun staff published articles on the company's blog site. Staff
were encouraged to use the site to blog on any aspect of their work or
personal life, with few restrictions placed on staff, other than
commercially confidential material.
Jonathan I. Schwartz
Jonathan I. Schwartz was one of
the first CEOs of large companies to regularly blog; his postings were
frequently quoted and analyzed in the press. In 2005, Sun
Microsystems was one of the first
Fortune 500 companies that
instituted a formal
Social Media program.
Acquisition by Oracle
Main article: Sun acquisition by Oracle
Logo used on hardware products by Oracle
Sun was sold to
Oracle Corporation in 2009. Sun's staff were asked
to share anecdotes about their experiences at Sun. A web site
containing videos, stories, and photographs from 27 years at Sun was
made available on September 2, 2009. In October, Sun announced a
second round of thousands of employees to be laid off, blamed
partially on delays in approval of the merger. The transaction
completed in early 2010. In January 2011 Oracle agreed to pay
$46 million to settle charges that it submitted false claims to
US federal government agencies and paid "kickbacks" to systems
integrators. In February 2011 Sun's former Menlo Park,
California, campus of about 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) was
sold, and it was announced that it would become headquarters for
Facebook. The sprawling facility built around an enclosed
courtyard had been nicknamed "Sun Quentin". On September 1, 2011,
Sun India legally became part of Oracle. It had been delayed due to
legal issues in Indian court.
Callan Data Systems
Global Education Learning Community
List of computer system manufacturers
Open Source University Meetup
Sun Certified Professional
San Francisco Bay Area portal
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sun Microsystems.
"Oracle and Sun". Post-merge web site. Oracle Corporation. Retrieved
June 4, 2011.
Sun Microsystems at Curlie (based on DMOZ)
"System news for Sun Users". —A weekly third-party summary of
news about Sun and its products published since 1998.
Sun Microsystems (acquired by Oracle Corp, 2010)
List of notable employees
Sun Modular Datacenter
Java Desktop System
iPlanet/Sun ONE/Java Enterprise System
Sun Secure Global Desktop
Sun Open Storage
Sun Constellation System
Sun Visualization System
Sun Grid Engine
Project Looking Glass
Common Development and Distribution License
Java Community Process
Computer hardware by
Sun Microsystems (acquired by Oracle Corporation,
SPARC III Cu
Workstations and servers
Sun Fire X4500
Sun Modular Datacenter
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Web Start (JNLP)
Major third-party technologies
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OpenSolaris for System z
H. Raymond Bingham
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Education and recognition
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