Fox Television Stations Unplug the iSeries for Sun Unix Boxes
May 1, 2006 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Perhaps more than other server makers, Sun Microsystems likes to gloat. It has always been a rough-and-tumble, cocky, mouthy IT vendor, but one that has also done its share of innovating and money making, thus proving that it deserves some respect. Sun likes nothing better than to knock out IBM mainframe and OS/400 servers from key accounts, and last week was crowing about how it has just displaced the iSeries at a division of News Corporation.
According to Sun, which made an announcement at the National Association of Broadcasters trade show last week in Las Vegas, Fox Television Stations, the subsidiary of News Corporation that manages the Fox affiliate television stations, is unplugging its AS/400 and iSeries servers and getting rid of a collection of standalone sales, traffic, and programming management solutions. (This is TV programming, not RPG and Java.) Fox has chosen the IBMS suite–I am not kidding, you can’t make these names up–from Pilat Media as its new platform, and will be deploying the software on a collection of Sun Fire 4900 and 6900 servers using Sun’s dual-core UltraSparc-IV+ processors as well as some Sun Fire “Galaxy” servers based on Opteron processors from AMD. And because this is broadcasting, storage is a big deal, and Sun will sell a bunch of StorEdge 6920 arrays and StorageTek L500 tape libraries. The whole shebang runs on Sun’s Solaris 10 Unix variant. The IBMS suite is based on the Oracle database and is supported on Unix, Linux, and Windows machines. Fox Television Stations is a $3 billion subsidiary of News Corporation that runs 35 local television stations and 11 regional sports networks, and spans about 45 percent of American households. This was a key OS/400 account.
The NAB2006 show is a huge media event, and as computer systems have increasingly become the backbone of broadcasting, IT wares are an important part of what broadcasters do. The NAB2006 event had over 105,000 attendees, and having a strong presence there with IBM, the System i platform, and the ISVs. It would help if software like the IBMS suite from Pilate Software was ported to OS/400 so it could run natively, too.