“Save a Penguin, Unplug a Linux Server” May Win Most-Flamable E-Mail Award

May 3, 2007 20 By Tad Reeves

Flame suits ready.

Probably the first rule that anyone learns in sales is, “don’t knock the competition.” Probably even more fundamental is to not knock your friends.

I just got an e-mail from Sun which is probably the largest violation of L. Ron Hubbard’s Survey tech that I’ve ever seen. It was an e-mail with the title of, “Save a Penguin – Unplug a Linux Server Today“. The e-mail was fairly good-natured, with a headline paragraph stating,

Linux x86-based servers have enjoyed success in the Web tier by delivering UNIX capabilities in a low-cost, open-source platform. However, power-hungry commodity Linux servers are driving up costs as companies continue to build-out Web tier infrastructures horizontally. Yesterday’s cost-cutting solutions, inexpensive servers, are today’s resource wasters. High-growth Linux Web infrastructures are inefficient, costly, and difficult to manage.

Now, noting the average demographic who is a Linux/Sun SysAdmin, knocking Microsoft may be acceptable, even lauded. Cracking a funny joke about retiring a tired old NT server in favor of a nice, spiffy new Solaris or Linux box running Sun hardware would definitely slide right in there. But knocking Linux in a Sun ad?

I, personally, have several Sun Aquarius-class servers (x2100, x2200), all of which are running Linux. I tried running Solaris, thought it would be cool, but was unable to find a SINGLE worthwhile Solaris book I could use to bone up on the OS. The entire command structure of Solaris differs slightly from my more familiar FC6, so I found myself going nuts just trying to turn on a network interface. So, I said to heck with it, and decided to just run FC6 Xen on all of them until Sun could get me a nice Solaris book that equalled the many O’Reilly books I had which handily clear my misunderstood words on Linux.

So, I’m right now a happy Sun customer who loves Linux. So, I’m not totally the right guy to attempt to alienate from Linux by extolling the benefits of Solaris.

L. Ron Hubbard put it beautifully in a Scientology essay he wrote on the subject of manners, stating:

“‘Good manners’ sum up to (a) granting importance to the other person, and (b) using the two-way communication cycle (as in Dianetics 55!). Whatever motions or rituals are, these two factors are involved. Thus, a PR violating them will find himself and his program rejected.

“Arrogance and force may win domination and control, but will never win acceptance and respect.” – L. Ron Hubbard, Essay entitled Manners.

More effective, I think, would have been to play off the fact that Solaris is, from all I’ve experienced, a buffer, more hardcore and battle tested OS that has strengths that build on what people already like about Linux. As opposed to a “ditch linux!” campaign, smarter might be to validate people who are already running Linux, and then let them know Solaris builds on this with some damn-cool features that Linux enthusiasts already dig.