Diana makes an interesting comment on 42: SunRays prove popular.
She starts with
I would suggest that Sun have a pre-configured deskside server with Solaris 10. A cheap box, under $1000.
and suggests this could be good for small businesses. I can see her point although to run multiple clients Sun do recommend a twin processor machine which might make the price point tough.
I have a more radical suggestion as I think Solaris is some way off being ready for this (although as users would not see the installer maybe that helps bring this closer).
Start supporting Cannonical and Ubuntu for the SunRay Server software and these servers. There are lots of reasons for this.
- Ubuntu is much more up-to-date than the Suse that JDS is based on at present.
- Ubuntu is moving really fast and is working flat out on support for Laptops, Wifi and Thin Clients. All these are where Sun needs great support if it is to sell to small business and homes.
- Ubuntu is not targeted at corporate desktops so does not compete with Solaris and JDS based on Suse
- Ubuntu could benefit from Suns help on the 64bit opterons.
Do a bundle for small business of a neat cube with the inside of a budget, lower spec SunFire V20Z (with much quieter cooling), offer cheap SunRay bundles, plus live Cd to use PC’s as thin clients, support for laptops via wifi.
This is the next logical step from the network attached storage in a box and mail/webserver in a box products.
See A shattering experience with Windows – vnunet.com for the types of customer this will appeal to.
It has to come ready to go with a full installation done. Logging in as administrator should automatically open a web browser based server admin (much simplified/focused webmin).
The server should have a smartcard slot so that no thin client needs to be setup as a smartcard reader.
I would think a plug and go server that supports upto 5 PC’s or SunRays as thin clients would sell like hot cakes if the installation were already done. I would bundle it with bandwidth, printer and dvd-writer.
Offer upgrades of adding more of these servers and moving to Solaris with server failover etc. As soon as you have one server running Solaris then any new server should simply clone itself and be transparent to the users. The servers should keep themselves in sync.
Now is the window of opportunity before MS have a new OS out that they say fixes all security problems. Once that is out it will take a while before people realise that it does not fix many security problems and competing will be harder.