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April 20, 2009


John Webster

"I think that NetApp probably ducked a bullet as well. Sun's storage technology (especially ZFS) in IBM's hands could have posed a bit of a problem for them."

OTOH, both EMC and NetApp could count on Oracle as a beneficiary. Not any more, assuming this is the final, final ending and IBM and anyone else potentially interested will let Oracle walk away with Sun without making a counter-offer.

Geoff Mitchell

In one swoop, Oracle potentially damages cooperative strategic relationships with HP, Dell, EMC, IBM and about a dozen other major IT companies.

What does it get out of this? It's definitely about the software as well as a defensive play by augmenting the portfolio against IBM.

Robert Max

A couple of thoughts...

The tape part of this doesn't make much sense -
Does Oracle really have any interest in promoting tape as an archival strategy (?) - wouldn't they be more inclined to want to promote a "live archival" type of architecture - more licenses, more disk, more servers?

I would think that the first move the combined Sun/Oracle salesforce will make in the way of storage is to look to replace the HP-branded USP with the Sun/Oracle-branded USP when tech-refresh opportunities present themselves. They could really make this difficult for HP by bundling with Server HW/DB licenses.

So where is the compelling reason for purchasing HP-branded USP outside of HP shops?

And while there may be interest in the Sun/Oracle customer base for the proposed synergy, what will be the level of interest amongst SAP, Microsoft, CMA, mainframe, VMWare, etc. customers?

Let the games begin indeed!

Juan Jose Palacios

Hello, Chuck.

Have you considered what could have been the effect of having a large slice of your yummy DB Business' tier 1 platform (Solaris) in the hands of one of your main competitors (IBM)?

I do not think, however, this is the main issue for Oracle. But I suspect it had some relevant weight in the decission.


John F.

If you stare at the sun too long, you'll go blind. Personally, I've given up speculating on the subject. I guess we'll just have to wait and see where the chips fall.


Juan Jose Palacios

I agree with all of you we'll just have to wait and see.

But if we just think what's Oracle's core business and how they've been successful with it (that is, partnering with the whole industry and becoming a de facto standard) let me doubt that the hardware issue will have a long term run for Oracle.

Too many new problems created when the business was running nice and smooth.

Yes, let's wait and see anyway...


Sudhir Brahma

Professor Farnsworth (Futurama fame) let me have a peek into his “What-if “ machine.
Before I could click on “download Java”, the website now offered me 2 versions:
1. Professional Java (Licensed version, with 30 day only free usage and lots of goodies including optimization for Virtual machines, not to mention special optimization for Oracle Database). Cost: just a few dollars.

2. Free Java (suitable for prototype with encouragement to move to the Professional version)

The machine switch off and then turned on again few years later with Google news : “ Oracle recovers cost of buying SUN Microsystems from excellent sales of its flagship product: “Professional Java” ….at that point, the rest was history.

John F.

"Professor Farnsworth". Now that's a play on names. Philo T. Farnsworth was arguably the father of television http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761583171/Philo_Farnsworth.html

In addition to TV, he patented the "fusor". There are thousands of hobbyists that build these things for fun. The University of Wisconsin has a program to develop the techology for commercial purposes (like transmuting high level nuclear waste and inspecting pipe welds). Robert Brussard built upon that foundation by replacing the grid (the reason a fusor will never reach net power is too manyt electrons smack the grid) by using a "virtual grid" comprised of magnetic fields in his "polywell fusion" designs. Polywell Fusion research, led by Dr. Rick Neibel, is actually currently funded by the department of the Navy, and shows great promise of being the first fusion design to produce net power (http://www.talk-polywell.org). All that at a fraction of the cost of ITER, which is not expected to produce net power for at least another 50 years...

Polywell fusion, Philo T. Farnsworth, the fusor, now there's something worth talking about. Sure beats going blind staring into the Sun.


Gene Piatigorski

I think Joe Tucci was not advised well, when EMC turned away from a bid for Sun.

The EMC-Sun merger would have been a win-win for everyone with greater synergies between the product lines (and ability to monetize Sun's IP) than either the IBM-Sun or Oracle-Sun merger.

Oracle's 'knitting' is in the software business. It will be interesting to see how they handle the hardware business (servers and storage) without much experience or exposure to running either one of those.

Maybe there is a hardware unit(s) spin-off or sale(s) in the Oracle-Sun future... Fujitsu has been building Sun's servers for awhile.

Maybe Oracle will no longer market servers and just market (open)Solaris and ZFS portions of that business.

But what can they do with the StorageTek unit? IBM can't buy them because of anti-trust issues for mainframe tape... If Oracle keeps the ZFS IP in its software coffers, there is nothing interesting left in that unit. Maybe a spin-off candidate...

Chuck Hollis

Hi Gene -- thanks for the vote of confidence in EMC's abilities to mergers and make them work.

I really can't say too much here, other than many companies looked at the Sun situation very carefully, including EMC.

The rest of the story can only be told over beers :-)

-- Chuck

Business Opportunities

Oracle has stepped up the rhetoric when it comes to its plans for Sun. In a message to Sun customers, the company said it would "dramatically improve Sun's hardware performance by tightly integrating Oracle software and Sun hardware.

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Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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