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2010 Server OS Winners and Losers

By Paul Rubens (Send Email)
Posted Dec 14, 2010


2010 was a pretty dramatic year in the server OS world, with one big name disappearing in a puff of logic, another selling itself off to the highest bidder, and a third joining Oracle's "evil" empire. And like any year, 2010 had some obvious winners, some downright losers, and a quite a few merchants of "meh." Here are the 8 most notable server OS developments that took place in 2010.

Server OS Winners

1. Solaris

2010 was a pretty dramatic year in the server OS world, with one big name disappearing in a puff of logic, another selling itself off to the highest bidder and a third joining Oracle's 'evil' empire. Like any year, 2010 had some obvious winners, some downright losers and a quite a few merchants of 'meh.' Here are the 8 most notable server OS developments that took place in 2010.

2009 was a pretty hair-raising year for Solaris. Sun was going down the pan; customers were defecting to HP, IBM, Red Hat and others in droves; and the whole future of the UNIX server OS was in doubt. Oracle's acquisition of Sun finally went through in January 2010, but that didn't stop the exodus of Sun engineers -- like Solaris lead developer Greg Lavender and DTrace developer Bryan Cantrill -- or customers defections.

So how was Solaris a winner in 2010? Well, it now has a rich parent (Oracle), a strategy going forward (although many customers still don't know exactly what it is), and Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) believes it has what it takes to make Solaris the world's No. 1 Unix. That's a vast improvement over the predicament Solaris was in last year.

Besides, if you're a Solaris user and you're finding that Oracle's prices are too steep or you don't like the direction the company is taking the OS, you can still jump ship -- HP, IBM and Red Hat will be only too happy to help with the migration.

2. Red Hat

Red Hat finished the year as the enterprise Linux poster child and general all-round good guy. While other Linux vendors foundered or failed to find their place in the world (Hello, Novell), Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) diligently got on with introducing its KVM-based virtualization eco-system to the world and releasing version 6 of its enterprise software. Investors are pleased with the company too -- Red Hat's stock is up around 70 percent for the year.

Server OS Losers >>>

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