Summary: SUN re-licensing policy

From: Mike Carter <>
Date: Fri Jun 18 2004 - 10:22:22 EDT
Summary...My initial question and summary is below.  Also included are the
replies to my initial post.  I appreciate all the feedback!

I am interested in a discussion, and opinions/reactions to Sun's new policy
regarding Solaris re-licensing on used/refurbished equipment not bought from
Sun direct.  As I believe this topic may be outside the scope of this forum
I would ask that folks share opinions direct to my email.  I feel this is
on-topic as many Sunmanagers are directly affected by this policy shift, as
are independent re-sellers.  Looking forward to hearing from any and all
regarding this issue.

regarding Sun's re-licensing several have requested the info.

This was the cover on CRN

Again...this being a point of interest for me personally and I would assume
several managers here, please share your opinions off-list to my email or
IM.  If anyone decides they'd like to see a collection of opinions let me
know and I will forward a collection of replies.

Great feedback so far...but also a lot of requests for the info too.
Apparantly Sun hasn't gotten the word out to their customer base!!!


It seems to me that Sun is creating a bigger problem rather than solving one
with this restrictive re-licensing policy.  Placing all value on their
software makes the hardware companies are spending millions on worhtless.  I
question the legality of this policy...should Sun be allowed to monopolize
the used equipment market?  HP and IBM are both satisfied with fair transfer
fees that enable independant re-sellers to sell licensed used equipment to
companies.  This benefits the companies that deinstalled the equipment, as
they recieve fair residual from their initial investment, the re-seller
profiting from the re-sale, and the corporation saving considerable money on
the gear.  Sun's policy makes Sun the sole benefactor in any equipment
purchase...excluding even the customers buying the latest and greatest new
equipment.  This in my opinion will excellerate Sun's demise as companies
decide enough is enough!!!  Thank God we sell HP and IBM too!!!!!

PS...Please let it be known that I do not intend to contact anyone on this
list regarding sales.  And though a few (2) scolded me for being outside the
confines of the Sunmanagers list, many others shared the appreciation for
bringing up a topic worthy of discussion.  I hope some of you that have
strong opinions will take the time to contact Sun regarding this
re-licensing policy.  Thanks for the feedback...I'll crawl back in my "evil
reseller" hole! ;-)

If anyone else has opinions they didn't have time to share feel free to send
them. TIA

collection of replies..............

Speaking for my department, we've already fired Sun's butt as a
maintenance provider and replaced them with IBM Global Services.
Support is up, cost is down, and IBM will even support our third
party peripherals such as the FUJI disk drives in our U60/U80s.
Support of third party peripherals was a big issue at the last
maintenance contract party.

As for longer term, we've found much of our work can be done
more cost effectively on Slackware 9 running on Intel hardware,
so our point servers (secondary DNS, web, ...) will be migrated
to non-Sun platforms via tech-refresh.  We've also eliminated
our larger Sun servers (E3500s).  We will continue to have
some Sun workstation class boxes used as servers for binary
software we continue to need, and which is not available for
Slackware.  That translates to 3-5 systems being of Sun
manufacture within 2 years as opposed to the 50 some Sun
systems we had 3 years ago.

Their inflexibility will be their undoing, I fear.


Perhaps the anti-Sun stuff I've been reading on slashdot might be
correct ... Let Sun Die! and Who cares?
Perhaps there'll be a rejuvination of Linux for Sun boxes away from
Sun's "Assistance".

It's the continuing Stupidity coming from SUN that has driven our
company's decision to no longer deploy our product on Sun equipment.

SUN's two faced attitude towards Linux and other free OS's, their slow
killing of Java, (IMHO, the last true dam impeding the flow of MS based
garbage in the Web Services space), and their (sudden?) acceleration in
dropping support for older hardware (and the INSANE* prices on the few
parts they still have for the older equipment) have also forced our hand
in making a platform change.

(*INSANE, as in $1400 bucks for an 18Gig SCSI drive in a proprietary
carrier, as opposed to $180 for the same drive in a universal format.)

Don Krause                                ph: 909.799.8327
Systems Administrator                   page: 909.512.0472
Optivus Technology, Inc.       e-mail:
Here is my 2 cents

It is all short term bottom line. Sun is hurting so they have to do
something to generate revenue and do it fast. This is their bright idea
to get that revenue, either by actually selling the secondary licenses
or by selling their new and refurbished hardware because people are
afraid to buy it elsewhere.

I was at the ITEC conference in Seattle last week and had a discussion
with one of these 'unauthorized' vendors (Solar Systems), trying to sell
me used equipment (i.e. sales guy, like you).
His statements mirrored those in the the White Paper you sent.
Sun usually will waive or reduce both the recertification and the
license fee but it really depends on who you talk to and what mood they
are in.
Most people ignore it and get support from 3rd parties.
Sun has never taken anyone to court over this, nor will they because
they fear that they would loose.
I asked him specifically about workstations, I am looking to move up
from my personal Ultra 5, and he said I could ignore all license/and
recertification and that they provide a 1 year warranty for a newer
(used) Blade workstation.

My company has a policy not to buy any 'Gray Market' Sun products (by
Sun's Definition, includes used Sun products), including Memory, CPUs,
or PCI cards (QFE, HBA etc). This policy was in effect before I joined
and is in because 'if we put 3rd part or used memory in we will void our
support contracts and warranties'. Which I am sure came from SUN or the VAR.

my 2 cents, good luck

Good Luck,

We used to be an all Sun shop, but we're guessing that they won't be a
viable company in 5 more years. Our product demands a 30 year lifespan,
and we just don't believe Sun will be there with their current

It's sad, but what choice did they have. With cars it's different, no one
wants a used car. So it's not a big deal the man reps don't make money. Most
people buy new. For computer equipement it's different. People don't care.
So Sun is loosing tons of money.

While I think they needed to do something or else bleed to death, I don't
think this is right. Even Cisco method of buying up the grey market and
destroying it was better than this.  And I think it will bite them in the
end as there are some customers that ONLY buy grey market and as a result
will leave sun all together.

But they had to do something.

I would however if it impacted my business like to challenge the legality of
it. I don't think it's legal.

Imagine if you bought a used car, and found out the software on it was
unlicenced and you had to pay another 6k to get your car working. No one
would believe it.

It's a pain in the ass and expensive. I am going thru it right now
600 for a Netra T105. Plus whatever it will cost to get new solaris
licenses..See they are laying two things out there if you want support.

Recert on the hardware and re-license on the box for the OS.
Jeremy Loukinas

Michael Carter
Major Account Manager
Alta Technologies, Inc
763-475-5327  (direct)
800-546-2582  (Ext. 327)
763-475-5331 (fax)
AIM  mikec at alta
sunmanagers mailing list
Received on Fri Jun 18 10:22:11 2004

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