Sun targets Digital server users

Sun targets Digital server users

In what seemed a little like a car dealer's pitch, Sun Microsystems recently started offering Digital users a "twice the normal trade-in allowance" deal on servers. The offer appears particularly aimed at OpenVMS users, who Sun suggested may be worried about the impact of the pending merger between Digital and Compaq.

Digital, which set up a rumour-quash Web site designed to put its OpenVMS users at ease, dismissed Sun's effort.

"It [Sun] has a right to do competitively whatever it thinks is necessary, but I can't imagine Digital's customers being so fickle or easily swayed," said Dick Calandrella, a Digital spokesperson.

And Digital should be warmed to hear that in any event, migrating from OpenVMS to a Sun platform isn't a simple option for most users, said Dan Kuznetsky, an IDC analyst.

Only those users running packaged applications -- about 20 per cent of OpenVMS users, according to a recent IDC study -- would be able to move easily to Sun's Unix systems, Kuznetsky said. The costs required to reprogram, retrain and adopt new procedures for other users "would be too expensive for most people", he said.

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