Sun restricting access to SunSolve and the System Handbook

Posted by Bill Bradford on Mar 13, 2005

According to this page, “Sun is streamlining online support, and access to information on SunSolve and in the Sun System Handbook will change.”

SunSolve and the Handbook provide information to two different audiences:

(1) the general Sun Community
(2) Sun Service Plan or Contract customers

The type of information available to these two audiences will be changing starting on April 5, 2005. 
The information available to each audience will be based on the following guidelines:

Available to the general Sun Community:
    * On SunSolve: Security Information
    * Resolved Sun Alerts
    * Patch Descriptions (a.k.a. Patch ReadMe documents)
    * Archived SunSolve content
    * Limited Access to the SunSolve Knowledgebase
    * Sun Support Forums
    * Big Admin

    * In the Sun System Handbook: Hardware Specifications
    * Related Documentation
    * Limited Full Component List (FCL) Information

Available to Service Plan or Contract customers:
    * On SunSolve: Everything available to the general Sun Community listed above
    * Full Access to the SunSolve Knowledgebase

    * In the Sun System Handbook: Full access to Sun System Handbook information including:
    * A complete Full Component List (FCL)
    * System Views
    * Component / Device Information
    * Reference Lists
    * Index Pages

Personally, I think restricting access to the System Handbook is a bad idea – apparently someone at Sun wants to go back to the “good old days” of charging almost a thousand dollars for a set of Field Engineer Handbooks – and you can’t even look at PICTURES of Sun systems without having a support contract.

7 responses to “Sun restricting access to SunSolve and the System Handbook”

  1. Paul says:

    I’ve sent my comments about this to Sun. I hope many others do so too, and maybe they’ll realise that restricting access to systems documentation isn’t the best of ideas….

    Funny though, they preach openness but close their own documentation sources…

  2. mg midget says:

    i hope, there will a lot of unofficial sources on the web then. maybe they realise
    afterwards, that they will lose customers by restricting their offers.


  3. Matt Prazak says:

    I wrote SunSolve asking about this, and they said that documentation for EOL hardware will still be avavailable for free under the “Archived SunSolve content.” The effect of the changes will be less than I initially thought, although it might affect people needing information on Sun’s newer hardware.

  4. Whether or not the changes are smaller than we think, the fact is that Sun is going in the opposite direction than they need to go, especially now that they’re making Solaris 10 open source.

  5. Matt Prazak says:

    The end result will be a greater incentive for small customers to buy EOL hardware second-hand or to buy non-Sun x86 systems, and it is up to Sun to decide wether this market segment matters to them.
    I agree that this is generally the opposite direction they should go, but I am not responsible for their profitability, either. We should note, however, that even Red Hat faces a similar dillema with RHEL, where money has to come from somewhere. With RHEL, free clones were made, so with SunSolve, perhaps the response would be to run OpenSolaris on non-Sun x86 hardware. It’s hard to say what the final impact of this whould be…but some indications show Red Hat slipping a bit, recently.

  6. Hi,

    I’ve had contact with someone from sun who’s actually told me that the documentation to older systems & EOL systems will remain the same. However the new systems will require a support contract in future … In a way one should not take the original posting with a bit of salt. Now what I suspect is that SUN’s documentation devision is not as profitable as it ones was and that is the reaseon they are charging again for access to the documentation.

    NOTE : This is my opinion and has not been verified.