Jacob Kaplan-Moss

Free server? Probably not

As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

A few weeks ago I applied for Sun’s Niagra try-before-you-buy program hoping to get a chance to benchmark how a Django stack behaves on one of those bad boys.

Unfortunatly, it appears the hype is better than the follow-through. I applied as an individual, and after about two weeks got a call from a guy at Sun wanting a credit card to pre-authorize for the entire value of the server. I don’t have anywhere near $8,000 in credit – does anybody?

The guy advised me to reapply as a small business owner, but after reading Adam Kalsey’s account I’m pretty sure that’ll be a no-go, too.

I did ask if they had a special program for open-source developers, and the answer was “no.” Seems to me that Sun hasn’t really thought this program through. As a Django developer, I get asked to recommend a hardware platform all the time. If Niagra is as cool as Sun claims, they should jump at the chance to try to influence me to suggest Sun.

It’s the classic mistake every big company makes: they only look to do business with the existing big companies, and completly ignore the long tail.