How To Kick The Mainframe Habit

Cover Story: Information Technology Annual Report

If Chief Executive Scott McNealy had gotten his way back in 1987, Sun Microsystems Inc. would never have purchased the mainframe computer that still runs its manufacturing. As the booming workstation maker outgrew its minicomputer systems from Hewlett-Packard Co., McNealy insisted the company should "run Sun on Sun." If Sun did everything strictly on a network of its own workstations and servers, he reckoned, it would prove that customers could do the same. But he lost: The board outvoted him 11 to 1 and went with Amdahl mainframes.

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