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Oracle Kills Virtual Iron

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the all-your-VMs-are-belong-to-us dept.

Oracle 189

rhathar writes in with news that Oracle is killing off the products of Virtual Iron, a month after purchasing the company. Reports say that all but 10 to 15 staff were let go. The Reg article speculates that Oracle bought VI for its technology and considers its customers and partners expendable. When the Sun purchase finalizes, Oracle will be in possession of three separate virtualization technologies all based on Xen. "In a letter to Virtual Iron's sales partners, Oracle says it 'will suspend development of existing Virtual Iron products and will suspend delivery of orders to new customers.' One partner said, 'So basically, anyone that built their hosting infrastructure on VI... is now totally in the s–.'"

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189 comments

So.. (0, Troll)

SchizoStatic (1413201) | more than 5 years ago | (#28403897)

Oracle is the new Google/M$

Re:So.. (2, Informative)

assert(0) (913801) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404617)

The new google? Anachronicity alert!

Oracle:

Type Public (NASDAQ: ORCL)
Founded California, USA (1977)

Google:

Type Public (NASDAQ: GOOG)
Founded Menlo Park, California (September 4, 1998)

Re:So.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28406337)

As much as you would like it to, anachronic does not mean what you hope it means. It would mean non-chronic, and that would mean, something that isn't habitual. Perhaps you were looking for antichronological (reverse order), or unchronological (not in order).

Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (5, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28403899)

I would so love to be Virtual Iron, or anyone who got bought out like that. Geez, they buy me out, then tell me, that, I really am not allowed to work on it any more and can just take off for a few years, here's your millions of dollars.

Yeah... SWEET!

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28403959)

Yeah yeah. Great for the 2 or 3 guys on the top. Everyone else gets fucked though.

Even if you have a small equity stake in a company that gets bought, the guys at the top will always cheat you out your share. Saw it happen many times during the first dot com bubble.

What usually happens is the original owners have a handful of class A shares, and everyone else has class B shares. When the buyout comes around, the owners create and issue a billion (or so) class B shares, and dilute everyone else's interest. OR they simply vote with their (super voting power) class A shares and force everyone to sell the class B shares back at a reduced rate. Or they just sell the assets of the company, and not the company itself... then give themselves huge "bonuses" for making the sale.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (2)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404047)

That sucks. I would like to think that if I made a millions selling a company with 50 people in it, the I would hook up the guys that got whacked who helped make it possible.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404137)

That sucks. I would like to think that if I made a millions selling a company with 50 people in it, the I would hook up the guys that got whacked who helped make it possible.

If slashdot has learned anything from copyright law, it's that a) the people that make it possible aren't important, and b) not only do you not owe the people that made it possible anything, but they owe you!

/bitter

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404173)

I would like to think that if I made a millions selling a company with 50 people in it, the I would hook up the guys that got whacked who helped make it possible.

How much are you going to share with them? 50 people at $100,000 each is 5 of your millions gone already. $100,000 would be nice to tide someone through the recession but they'd hardly be retiring rich.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404197)

How much are you going to share with them? 50 people at $100,000 each is 5 of your millions gone already. $100,000 would be nice to tide someone through the recession but they'd hardly be retiring rich

I would think that splitting it 50/50 between me and my people would be what I would do. So, if I made 10 million yeah, each gets 100k. I would be be grateful if I got let go with 100k, as that gives me a year to get my own business off the ground. And, if I made 100 million, than those 50 could take a bit more time looking for work, for sure.

Telling you, if I ever do come up with that big idea, it would pay to work with me.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (2, Insightful)

witherstaff (713820) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404725)

It'd be great if by the time you were able to sell out you weren't in bed with the devil already. It's hard to grow any company without bringing in some sort of wealthy partner or group of investors. The reason why most new businesses fail within 5 years, even those that have a good product or service, is undercapitalization. Once you bring in the money the rules change drastically.

The fortunate entrepreneurs that are successful the first go around and have it in them to self fund another company are very rare. Being altruistic and very successful in business don't often seem to go hand in hand. Although from my experience the honest geeks actually make decent deals like you say, often times screwed up by the rest of the corporate world.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (3, Interesting)

e9th (652576) | more than 5 years ago | (#28405113)

Such people do exist. Like this bank president [miamiherald.com] . Yes, bank president.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (5, Insightful)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 5 years ago | (#28405249)

This is OT, but needs to be said. My workaround for getting rid of that fucking annoying vertical and horizontal gray bars, and friend/foe circle icons, has now stopped working. It used to be that I could click any post in the story (i.e., "#28404197"), and then click the story link at the top of that page (i.e., "Oracle Kills Virtual Iron") to get back to the story with no disgusting graphics interrupting the flow of the beautiful words.

Now, that has stopped working as of this morning. So: fuck you, Slashdot. Burn in hell for all I care. I'll read you a lot less now than I used to. No, I'm not saying I'll stay away forever, but as soon as your continued idiotic refusal to fix basic layout bugs annoys me, I will stop reading. And that's about 5 or 6 posts into most stories.

If this is supposed to be an incentive to get me to try some other layout, FUCKING TELL ME! Don't just break shit and hope that I know how to "upgrade" to fix it.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (5, Interesting)

dookiesan (600840) | more than 5 years ago | (#28406351)

Thank you for saying what so many are afraid to (for fear of offtopic mod)

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28406385)

Here are my work-a-rounds for Slashdot in the order I use them.

1. Use Firefox and install Greasemonkey and Greasefire addons. 2. With the addons installed, go to slashdot and right click the little Greasefire monkey head in your taskbar. 3. In the right click menu, you'll see some shit that says something like "48 scripts available." Click that. 4. On the thing that pops up, install "Slashdot - Remove Title Prefix", Slashdot - Expandable Comment Tree", "Only Slashdot News/Comments", "Slashdot Facelift", and "Slashdot - Single Page View" 5. After you do that, making sure you are using the old comment mode, go to the story you want to read and just click the "Change" button for the comment threshold, even if you are happy the current threshold. Any story you read from now on, just get into the habit of clicking that Change button and all should be well. 7. ??? 8. I guess PROFIT!! or something.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28407271)

You realize how crazy it is that you should have to jump through so many hoops just to get a discussion site to display comments right?

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (2, Informative)

cshay (79326) | more than 5 years ago | (#28407217)

My workaround was to direct Adblock to simply block the grey bars. As an intelligent Slashdotter, you DO use adblock, don't you?

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (2, Insightful)

open4energy (1580085) | more than 5 years ago | (#28407407)

This is OT, but needs to be said. My workaround for getting rid of that fucking annoying vertical and horizontal gray bars, and friend/foe circle icons, has now stopped working. And that's about 5 or 6 posts into most stories.

I guess no one explained that poor language is simply the lack of intelligence to think of meaningful words to express yourself. But to the adblocks, why does the person suggest we not watch the ads? We are getting all this for FREE - is it too much to give a little of our precious moments to read an ad. No wonder the head guys are so mean to the lower ranks, look at how we are behaving down here! A respectful but ashamed open source evangelist

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404731)

>How much are you going to share with them?

Proportional amounts according to the individual cash investment each of them has made into the company. For most rank-and-file employees, that amount is zero. For shareholders, an equitable distribution would be made. Whose fault is it if you aren't rewarded in that scheme?

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#28406413)

Some very few people actually do show their appreciation for employees loyalty. I'm not googling for the story, sorry, but there was that bank president in Florida, I think it was. His bank was bought out, he got one HELLUVA whopping bonus as his parting gift, and he split it between his bank officers. One super great boss. So, yeah, there are a few people out there who qualify as "human". Most people are just greedy bastards.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (1)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 5 years ago | (#28406735)

Wish it was all so. Unfortunately, it's often not the case. Having been laid off before, it's has usually been as a result of a merger or being bought off. Not that the company did badly where we were, the entire operation shut down (us included), about a year after the purchase.

Loyalty to the company hasn't helped anyone I know. If share holders are near sighted idiots and management unable to lead, it's game over.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404131)

Why would anyone accept an agreement that does not have instant option vesting on a change in control of the company???

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404681)

Why would anyone accept an agreement that does not have instant option vesting on a change in control of the company???

Because they arent smart enough to insist on it. Even if they do, they find themselves laid off right before the change of ownership, or as the GP stated, they find their shares diluted by the buyout agreement.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (1)

uncqual (836337) | more than 5 years ago | (#28407159)

That's difficult for most employees to get. Usually the options vest immediately only if the employee is not offered a job of similar responsibility with the new company. There are of course any number of variations on this - it's not unusual for the options to fully vest after working for the new employer for one year (or if they are let go without cause during that year). In this case, it is likely that many who were let go vested immediately because they were not offered similar jobs w/Oracle - the options available to all but the founders (who mostly actually still own a percentage of the company), the CEO, and maybe VP Sales/Eng/Marketing are usually chump change anyway.

Key employees will almost never get an "instant vest on change of control" because if your key employees are able to bail upon acquisition with vested options, it's very hard to find someone who wants to buy the company as an ongoing concern (vs. just for its IP). Indeed, most deals don't get announced until the most key employees already have signed employment contracts with the acquiring company (assuming the company wants to keep the people - which, in this case, it seems Oracle didn't have a lot of interest in this) and deals are sometimes contingent on some percentage of a list of other personnel accepting their offers with the acquiring company (these are employees who are not sufficiently high to be told about the pending deal, so the deal gets announced without these employees having been approached about an offer with the acquiring company).

It may be possible to get this arrangement if one is not an important player and who would almost certainly become redundant in the event of a takeover (perhaps a receptionist or a facilities manager or something like that), but those individuals have options on such a small percentage of the company, they don't matter much.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404157)

[citation needed]

Or to put it another way, BULLCUNTINGSHIT, you lying stupid communist lying fuck liar.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28405311)

Yeah yeah. Great for the 2 or 3 guys on the top. Everyone else gets fucked though.

Since VI customers are being screwed too, maybe the sacked staff can work for their ex customers?

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28405619)

create and issue a billion (or so) class B shares, and dilute everyone else's interest

How is this even legal? If you own 5% of the company, you own 5% of the company, and "diluting" that would be theft.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (2, Insightful)

michaelhood (667393) | more than 5 years ago | (#28406531)

create and issue a billion (or so) class B shares, and dilute everyone else's interest

How is this even legal? If you own 5% of the company, you own 5% of the company, and "diluting" that would be theft.

It's never, ever that simple.

There are virtually always multiple classes of shares issued. Also, they might only hold warrants or options rather than actual stock.

There could be anti-dilution or redemption rights attached, but if they (the employees) don't know to look for these things, there won't be.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28403991)

The deal was probably a windfall for the founders, the VCs and angel investors, and the CEO installed by the board.

For the average employee there, probably not so much. They can sell their Oracle stock to hopefully pay their living expenses until they find a new job.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404763)

>For the average employee there, probably not so much.

For career-level employees, Oracle provides a pretty good severance package.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (5, Informative)

mzito (5482) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404089)

Heh. Well, so, that's not exactly how it works. They had raised something around $60-70m in three or four rounds, including one round that involved firing/departures of most of the original founders, a new management team, and a totally new business focus.

So first of all, every time you do a round of fundraising, you create new shares of stock. Let's say my company has 100 shares of stock, and you're a 10% owner of stock - that means you own 10 shares of stock. When we want to raise money, we go convince an investor that our company is worth $100,000, or $1000 per share, making your shares worth $10k. We then have the investor give us $100,000, we create 100 new shares of stock, making the company worth $200k "post-money" - but now you only own 5%, and your investors own 50%. On top of that, the investors might say, "hey, we want liquidation preference, or participating preferred" - complex subjects that can't be delved into here, but suffice it to say that gives them more power.

Ok, time goes by - you spend that $100k you've raised, and while business is not terrible, it's not as good as your investors had hoped. You go back to get more money, and they say, "Sure, we'll give you another $100k, but we really don't think the company has progressed like we'd hoped, so the total company is worth $150k pre-money" - whoops, now your shares are worth $7,500. And after another 133 shares are created, you now own around 3% of the company.

See how fast individual ownership can drop? Now, let's extend this factor to someone like VirtualIron who was raising $10-25m *every time* they raised money, and changed business models once. You can bet that by the time they went through four rounds of funding, the VCs owned almost all of that company. (By the way, I realize that this is only the most simplistic model of how companies fund operations through VCs, so don't yell at me - I don't have the space to talk about every option).

According to some papers that had been leaked to the nytimes, in 2008 they did $3.4m in revenue and lost something like $17m on that $3.4m. How much can that company be worth? Typical rule of thumb in tech stock transactions is 5x-12x revenue, depending on a variety of factors. Given that it cost them $17m to make $3.4m - one could see how the multiplier is not gonna be so favorable. Let's make it 6x - that's $20m.

So, you have a company where investors have sunk and lost $60m, fired management at least once, changed business models once, changed products at least once, and in the end, they're getting bought for between $16-32m. Do you think that anyone got more than a "thanks for selling this dog of a company" bonus?

It's a shame, and I feel bad for the employees, but this is not a tech success story.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (1)

Allicorn (175921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28405109)

You're already at +5 Insightful so: fascinating insight, thanks!

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28406859)

The bit I don't get is how it's legal for me, the 10% owner, to suddenly find myself only a 5% owner. Do I have to give my consent for this to go ahead?

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28406979)

Of course you have a choice, you can choose not to take the money. Unfortunately today if you want to bring something new or different to the market you're probably going to need investment money to do it, so your real choice is more like "how badly do you want it?"

If you're hot enough to get investors competing over you, you may be able to get a non-dilution clause into whatever constitutes your agreements. Otherwise, you're kind of at the mercy of the VC on terms - you're the one that needs the money, right? - and they tend to want to maximize their interests.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404199)

I would so love to be Virtual Iron, or anyone who got bought out like that. Geez, they buy me out, then tell me, that, I really am not allowed to work on it any more and can just take off for a few years, here's your millions of dollars.

Here's your millions of dollars, we'll keep the hundreds of millions you could've made in the next years if you weren't so damn short-sighted. Now go home.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (3, Informative)

tftp (111690) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404503)

Here's your millions of dollars, we'll keep the hundreds of millions you could've made in the next years if you weren't so damn short-sighted.

The seller knows about this. You don't get to sell a company for $Nm by being stupid. However there are many reasons why people sell stuff and why other people buy stuff. For example:

  • The owners want to retire.
  • The owners burned out.
  • The owners need money, now.
  • The company has problems and unless sold it will close its doors soon
  • The owners foresee difficulties ahead (financial crisis, for example)
  • The owners know that they reached the end of their road, technologically speaking
  • The owners know that they are no good as marketeers and will never be able to increase revenue
  • The owners know that without a big cash infusion they can't develop new product, and they can't get that financing on any reasonable terms
  • The owners know that once smoke clears their company won't be worth as much (or anything)

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (1)

mzito (5482) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404867)

tftp is totally correct, and if I had to guess, in this case it was:

- no more water to draw from the well - i.e. with $70m raised and $3.5m in revenue, who's gonna put in more money?

- they knew that there was still a little mojo left in the virtualization market - but the reality is that once the dust settles, you're gonna have a small number of players - VMWare for sure, maybe MSFT, maybe citrix, maybe Oracle - anyone else who's making a virtualization platform has already been bought or isn't going to be, so this was their chance to get out.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28406879)

You're forgetting the people who've been doing virtualisation for 30 years - IBM.

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (1)

Guido von Guido (548827) | more than 5 years ago | (#28406985)

You're forgetting the people who've been doing virtualisation for 30 years - IBM.

Well, the OP is presumably talking about the x86 market. IBM's virtualization offerings for non-x86 platforms are inseparable from their hardware. For the x86 market, they're reselling VMware.

Sun and HP still have virtualization offerings of various sorts for Solaris and HP-UX (also tied to the hardware, but frankly not as good as what IBM has).

Re:Yet another IT company gets to live my dream! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404843)

Actually, Oracle paid VI's investors less than they originally put into the company, so nobody made any money.

But Open Source if flakey and you cannot rely... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28403905)

But commercial software is oh so much better as it has guaranteed support and you can rely on in and they have roadmaps and shit.

Re:But Open Source if flakey and you cannot rely.. (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 5 years ago | (#28403997)

Well, when Oracle buys Virtual Iron, they also buy all their commitments. That means they still have to fulfill all support contracts.

Re:But Open Source if flakey and you cannot rely.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404057)

Nice fantasy you got there.

Re:But Open Source if flakey and you cannot rely.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404139)

Or they just pay out a modest amount in refunds equal to the remaining value of the contract. Nobody would be able to sue them for significant damages.

Re:But Open Source if flakey and you cannot rely.. (3, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404695)

Hey, if the shit's got shit, it's got shit.

3 words from Oracle to existing VI customers.... (1)

Khan (19367) | more than 5 years ago | (#28403919)

uNf! uNf! uNf!

Re:3 words from Oracle to existing VI customers... (2, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404473)

I thought it was "Emacs, Emacs, Emacs!" or "Developers, developers, developers!"

But closed source is more safe and reliable (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28403921)

Gartner said so! How can we rely on a bunch of Open Source enthusiasts (ok admittedly many of whom work for companies like Red Hat, Novell, etc.) to make a real virtualization product? Now I'm going to have to cross-discipline my internal processes to maximize the ROI alpha factor in order to deal with this situation!

Totally in the s--? (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 5 years ago | (#28403945)

I don't understand how this is an issue for existing VI customers. In the immediate future, I can see the concern, but I'd be shocked if Oracle didn't have a transition plan for existing customers in the long term to their combined virtualization platform. Granted, that plan may be "install this new version", but there's a plan I'm sure.

Re:Totally in the s--? (4, Insightful)

Senjutsu (614542) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404121)

Any transition offer that involves subjecting oneself to Oracle's pricing plans can accurately be described as being up shit creek.

Re:Totally in the s--? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404205)

with or without a paddle?

Re:Totally in the s--? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404465)

Does it matter? Either way, it stinks.

Re:Totally in the s--? (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404215)

Right... good point right up until you look at what they charge for their linux and virtualization offerings right now. Significantly cheaper than most of the competition...

Re:Totally in the s--? (2, Insightful)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 5 years ago | (#28406761)

This is going to drive Oracles VI customers right into Citrix's hands, who also have a VERY compelling Xen based product, and I think the original Xen guys themselves.

Citrix should be ALL over this.

Another reason why VMWare is the... (1)

bagboy (630125) | more than 5 years ago | (#28403995)

only commercial solution if you want long term support. Can't depend on MS (Virtual PC anyone? Now MS VS?), can't depend on Oracle. These and RedHat/Novell have other product lines to distract. At least VMWare continues to support their products (patches, migration paths) and is single-minded in their focus.

Re:Another reason why VMWare is the... (3, Interesting)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404079)

...VirtualPC is still around. But it was NEVER aimed as an enterprise virtualization solution, so I'm not sure why you would even bother to bring that up. I can only question your knowledge of the subject. Citrix Xenserver and Microsoft's Hyper-V are here to stay, and are VERY viable long-term solutions. In fact, more viable than VMware because they aren't a one-trick pony. Both company's can and will continue to make money if virtualization technology becomes a commodity, and with the ground MS is gaining with Hyper-V, that is a VERY real possibility.

Re:Another reason why VMWare is the... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404223)

Come talk to me in 5 years when your viable long term solution providers have decided that their product line is not profitable enough and kill it off. That is what happens when a company's products are not a one-trick pony.

Re:Another reason why VMWare is the... (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 5 years ago | (#28406311)

LOL. Citrix XenServer was so not viable, they had to give it away. Sarcastic remarks aside, I run a virtual data center with over 800 virtual machines. I would not replace my VMWare with Citrix, even with Citrix being "free". The "free" Citrix would hurt my opex so much, it would cost me money. Do you know how much money it means to add a percentage to our system admin load on 800 virtual machines? The Citrix guys aren't even to the point of "getting it," yet. When they have a product with a centralized management server, get back to me.

C//

Re:Another reason why VMWare is the... (1)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 5 years ago | (#28406775)

VMware's only differentiators in the market now are X86 emulation on non-VT platforms, the ancillary products like Lab Manager/Lifecycle manager/etc. and mature tools. That's not an advantage that is going to last very long.

Re:Another reason why VMWare is the... (1)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404209)

Virtual PC was and always will be a desktop solution. It's what MS uses for XP mode in Vista. Virtual Server [wikipedia.org] is the big box equivalent (although I suppose it's based off VPC).

Re:Another reason why VMWare is the... (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#28405971)

Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V will be supported until 2018 at least, do you think VMWare will be supporting ESX3.5 then?

NOT totally in the s--- (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404007)

VI customers could just switch to emacs.

Re:NOT totally in the s--- (0, Redundant)

Khan (19367) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404083)

ROFL!! I would have modded you up if you hadn't posted as a AC.

Re:NOT totally in the s--- (3, Funny)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404773)

VI customers could just switch to emacs.

HERETIC!!

Re:NOT totally in the s--- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28405441)

VI customers could just switch to emacs.

Now they have two problems.

Oracle is not IBM. (5, Interesting)

reporter (666905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404029)

After Oracle agreed to buy Sun Microsystems, many analysts claimed that Oracle intended to become another IBM by selling all components in the typical server room and by supporting those components with the same kind of high-value customer service.

Well, the analysts were wrong. Without warning, Oracle just abruptly terminated a product line on which its customers may have built their entire information-technology infrastructure. This kind of approach to customer service is not how IBM treats its customers.

Look at how IBM handled the sunsetting of OS/2 [ibm.com] . IBM issued a warning long in advance of ceasing sales and distribution of the product. Then, after the termination date, IBM continues to sell service contracts to support the product if a customer continues to need support.

Hmmm. Maybe the time has come to short my Oracle stock.

Re:Oracle is not IBM. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404227)

I think the time to short your Oracle stock was March 2000. It is still down 55% since then.

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=ORCL&t=my [yahoo.com]

Re:Oracle is not IBM. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404235)

Hmmm. Maybe the time has come to short my Oracle stock.

Short stock that you own? That's a new one.

Re:Oracle is not IBM. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404269)

Short stock that you own? That's a new one.

No its not. In fact, it is common enough. It is somewhat like buying puts on shares you own.

Re:Oracle is not IBM. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28406425)

It allows you to change the risk/profit balance, like insurance against the stock price falling.

Re:Oracle is not IBM. (4, Insightful)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404275)

This is not a fair product comparison: OS2 vs VI's end of life. Both companies buy product, in some cases to integrate, others to remove competition, and others yet again to just own the customer base. Expect the same careful moves when the database gets put down someday.

I'm willing to bet it will play out more along these lines... For existing customer who already own the product, Oracle will support them for as long as they are willing to pay for support. For those who did not buy yet - sorry, no product can be bought anymore. For previous partners, a tough break. Continue to sell services to existing customers, but don't plan for any new customers. Now would be a very good time to rethink product - any of the other VM products - and see if there might be a reasonable match to what they were doing.

 

Re:Oracle is not IBM. (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#28405779)

And you can still get OS/2 even now.
http://www.ecomstation.com/ [ecomstation.com]

Don't forget VirtualBox (4, Interesting)

somenickname (1270442) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404041)

Though probably not for data center use, VirtualBox would add a fourth virtualization technology to their list. I'm more interested to see what they do with VirtualBox than what they do with all their overlapping Xen offerings.

Re:Don't forget VirtualBox (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404159)

VirtualBox is really for the desktop... or developing VMs for the enterprise, which is where I hope they go with it. I really like VirtualBox. It's free, does everything I need it to do and has replaced my use of VMWare Workstation nicely. If VMWare Workstation were free, I'd switch back.

Re:Don't forget VirtualBox (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404285)

VirtualBox is really for the desktop... or developing VMs for the enterprise, which is where I hope they go with it. I really like VirtualBox. It's free, does everything I need it to do and has replaced my use of VMWare Workstation nicely. If VMWare Workstation were free, I'd switch back.

Well it's free for now at least...

Poor Sun employees... (1)

julie-h (530222) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404043)

I really wouldn't want to be a Sun employee right now. For us none-Sun employee, it will be interesting to see, what Oracle will be using a Virtual machine technology.

Re:Poor Sun employees... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404823)

Maybe Oracle will fund the R&D of some super Virtual Machine technology that will merge all these VM's into one huge 'borg VM that will do everything obsoleting Xen, VI, VMware, and Java's VM all in one fell swoop?

Re:Poor Sun employees... (1)

malchus842 (741252) | more than 5 years ago | (#28405603)

There aren't all that many Sun employees left. A couple of major layoffs and I've seen my rep get RIFd 3 times in the past year....

we are still hanging in there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28406175)

the closer you are to the customer, the better off you are, as I see it. Many have a hopeful belief that Oracle will come in and fix everything that the current management either couldn't or wouldn't do. Me, I'm not so sure. Oracle management is going to have to prove they are any better than what we have now.

OT slaughter in Iran (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404097)

While the western news magnates (USA, Britain, etc.) spoon feed us stories about Iran's measured response using official police and water cannon, tear gas and batons, the "Redneck Militia" of Iran, the Basij, are wearing plainclothes and are murdering peaceful protesters almost at random to disperse crowds. See youtube or Ireport for more info.

If by kill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404129)

If by "kill" you mean take a product based on Xen and merge it with your product based on Xen.

How is that killing anything? Did Fiat kill Chrysler?

English motherfucker, do you speak it?

Re:If by kill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404881)

Daimler Benz bought Chrysler, realized it was a turd (with union pensions destroying any chance of being profitable) and paid Cerberus capital management to take it. Cerberus was planning on selling it (to GM or someone else) as soon as they could, but the economy shit itself like John McCain after a prune eating contest. Instead of investing their own money, Cerberus begged for a bailout. George Bush and Barack Obama gave them money. When they ran out again, Barack Obama told them they wouldn't get any more unless they sold themselves to Fiat. So the problem is, Chrysler has been passed around like a 12-year old boy at the geek compound. While For and GM have strong international sales, Chrysler was whittled down to being a regional player.

They made the product even more virtual (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404163)

The product allowed people to eliminate physical boxes and still run dozens or hundreds of logical servers. Now, Oracle has discovered how to do away with customer support and engineering, too. Kinda like the next wave of virtualization - Virtual Virtual ("V-Squared") Iron, only from Oracle.

Re:They made the product even more virtual (5, Insightful)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404859)

>The product allowed people to eliminate physical boxes and still run dozens or hundreds of logical servers.

For us, ESX is the difference between needing a new contract with our electical contractor (hundreds of thousands of dollars) versus working with our current power capabilities. It's not about the host machines, the licenses, or even the sysadmin workload. It's more about the power supplies and cooling the racks than anything else.

Purpose of open software (4, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404347)

In a letter to Virtual Iron's sales partners, Oracle says it 'will suspend development of existing Virtual Iron products and will suspend delivery of orders to new customers.' One partner said, 'So basically, anyone that built their hosting infrastructure on VI... is now totally in the s--.

This is a good example of the purpose for requiring that you have access to and can compile the source code to the software you're using. If the current developer decides to close shop or has it closed for them as in this case, you can just take ths code to another developer or set up a new shop, rather than be totally screwed like this.

Re:Purpose of open software (3, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#28404489)

It's also a good example of why being a company "likely to be around for a while" isn't worth a damn. Mergers and buy-outs happen, to small companies and large, and it renders all those nice platitudes as to why commercial products are so much "safer" to go with into meaningless drivel.

Re:Purpose of open software (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404903)

Oh, yes, I'll just take virtualization software source code and send it to another developer for fixes. I'm sure just any old development shop can handle that <rolls eyes>

The funniest part is that the OP was probably dead serious when he wrote that. If this is a "good example" of anything, it's an example of why having the source code doesn't buy ordinary people diddly squat.

Re:Purpose of open software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28406193)

No, they hire someone competent to do so. It's no different with virtualization software.

Many embedded software vendors use QEMU heavily for testing and emulation and do have QEMU developers on their payroll.

There's a similar arrangement with hosting companies and the Linux-VServer project.

Re:Purpose of open software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28406343)

"Oh, yes, I'll just take virtualization software source code and send it to another developer for fixes. I'm sure just any old development shop can handle that "

Why not? I'm not any kind of programing guru (I'm not even a programer by trade but more of a sysadmin) and I write little maintenance patches and backports to our Xen 3.0 sources till we can manage to upgrade to a more modern release -for a company under 100 people. I can't see how a multimillion dolar company can't devote a hacker's or at least half a hacker's time to that if the need arises.

Re:Purpose of open software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404943)

This is a good example of the purpose for requiring that you have access to and can compile the source code to the software you're using.

Customers do have access to the source, at least partially, since Virtual Iron is based on the open source Xen hypervisor:

http://www.xen.org/

Re:Purpose of open software (1)

braeldiil (1349569) | more than 5 years ago | (#28405483)

Lets say, for the sake of argument, that this product was completely open-source. But the core development team just got scooped up by Oracle to work on a competing project. So exactly the same situation, except the source code is freely available. What changes? Well first, the sales partners could keep selling the existing technology. They could probably afford a few bug fixes, but none of the sales partners would have anywhere near the revenue stream to hire a new team to support the project. If that had that kind of revenue, they wouldn't be sales partners. Not to mention, the sales partners are integration shops, not code shops. It's a different skill set, and there are going to be significant growing pains. Not too mention the months it would take to get a new programming team up to speed. That's the kind of risk that breaks companies, even if it goes fairly well. The community won't be any help - despite all the claims to the contrary, the vast majority of open-source code work is done by paid programmers in an environment similar to any other programming shop. You'll get the occasional bug fix from the community, but you're not going to get many new features. You want to keep up with your competitors, you need a full time team. So the sellers could keep selling the same product. But without a source of updates, that's a slow trip to bankruptcy. Any sales partner worth a damn would look to immediately migrate to a supported platform. In other words, exactly what's happening here. Having the code wouldn't really change anything.

Re:Purpose of open software (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#28405801)

One of the problems VI customers are facing at the moment is that they won't be able to deploy the system on new machines or extend the licence numbers etc. That would not be a problem with free or open source software.

Oracles treatment of Virtual Iron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28404483)

"In a letter to Virtual Iron's sales partners, Oracle says it 'will suspend development of existing Virtual Iron products and will suspend delivery of orders to new customers.' One partner said, 'So basically, anyone that built their hosting infrastructure on VI... is now totally in the sâ".'"
There are reasons why people like Free/Open Source software. One of the reasons is its very reliable. Another is the low cost. Another is that you can do code audits independently and have security in your own hands (maintenance and development too). Nobody is forcing you to, and if you don't others will. Another big reason is that *if* you do a big setup and finally get things just so...., someone won't come along and say "no, you can't do that", or "sorry, we're pulling the plug, you have 5 days to stop using our product delete it from your computers and send us all original disks plus all backup copies.

The s-.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28405041)

I'm sorry, I don't speak EditorStupid. What does "s-." mean?

Bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28406115)

What a bunch of scumbags. The people who wrote the technology their were unabe to get the shaft in the middle of a recession and they get the benefits.

This is what People Worry About (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#28406265)

What if they phase out MySQL in order to promote the Oracle database?

I guess Oracle considered it didn't make sense to have three different virtual machine technologies and wanted to combine them all into one product and got rid of Virtual Iron but kept their IP and source code and technology. But then the VI customers and employees get shafted. Nice public relations there Oracle, you are channeling Microsoft through you on that one.

I guess they didn't learn their lesson from the Dotcom bubble bursting, and I figure it will come back and haunt them later.

Re:This is what People Worry About (1)

javajawa (126489) | more than 5 years ago | (#28407229)

except... Microsoft bought out about four different accounting packages and still offers all of them, or is in the process of merging different packages into similar ones... with backward compatibility... No. Microsoft has more brains than this.

Oracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28406939)

Oracle is more evil than microsoft

VI (1)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 5 years ago | (#28407033)

Real datacenters use Emacs.

Re:VI (1)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 5 years ago | (#28407049)

.....aaaannnnddd -1 Redundant, beaten by an AC. FML.

Antitrust (0, Flamebait)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28407171)

Why isn't this illegal?

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