Sun Microsystems has laid off about 200 people from its Scalable Systems Group, the company announced Friday.
The layoffs represent about 7 percent of that group’s worldwide employees, said Stephanie Von Allmen, a spokeswoman from Sun’s corporate communications department in Santa Clara, Calif.
Managers of that division also streamlined the group by closing open requisitions, reallocating resources and increasing organizational efficiency, she said in an e-mail.
Sun did not offer any specific reason for the layoff, saying its overall business strategy and technology road map remain the same.
That is a smart path, given the modest size of this round of layoffs, analysts say.
“I see this as fine-tuning more than changing direction,” said Gordon Haff, an analyst with Illuminata. “Obviously, they’re struggling financially, but in general this is a small number of people in the scope of things at Sun.”
Sun leaders are looking at the company’s costs very closely, as they continue to share Sparc processor development with Fujitsu, cancel the Jupiter processor program and marshal their resources to launch the new line of Rock processors, he said.
Indeed, the company’s statement held that Sun would maintain its focus on the Sparc processor, using its OpenSparc initiative to expand the community of hardware and software developers.
As the division responsible for high-end systems, the Scalable Systems Group has helped to manage the company’s drive to use an open-source model to expand the market for its Sparc processors by sharing source code with developers.
In March, it was David Yen, executive vice president of the Scalable Systems Group, who announced Sun’s plan to unveil specifications for its Hypervisor application programming interface and UltraSparc T1 (formerly code-named “Niagara”) processor design.
Together, they allow companies to port Linux, BSD and other operating systems to UltraSparc T1 and give developers the information they need to create related hardware and software tools.
-Ben Ames, IDG News Service
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