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Explaining Oracle's Sun Takeover — "For the Hardware"

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the well-and-the-awesome-logo dept.

Oracle 154

blackbearnh writes "Brian Aker, former Sun MySQL guy, and current proponent of the Drizzle MySQL fork, gave O'Reilly Radar an update on where MySQL is at the moment. During the interview, he was asked to speculate on Oracle's original motives for acquiring Sun. 'IBM has been moving their pSeries systems into datacenter after datacenter, replacing Sun-based hardware. I believe that Oracle saw this and asked themselves, "What is the next thing that IBM is going to do?" That's easy. IBM is going to start pushing DB2 and the rest of their software stack into those environments. Now whether or not they'll be successful, I don't know. I suspect once Oracle reflected on their own need for hardware to scale up on, they saw a need to dive into the hardware business. I'm betting that they looked at Apple's margins on hardware, and saw potential in doing the same with Sun's hardware business. I'm sure everything else Sun owned looked nice and scrumptious, but Oracle bought Sun for the hardware.'"

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154 comments

And here I thought they did it for (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31796912)

The nookie.

They are fleecing their customers ! (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 4 years ago | (#31797966)

For so many years we users have been fleeced by those vendors.

I'm betting that they looked at Apple's margins on hardware, and saw potential in doing the same with Sun's hardware business

A piece of hardware that could have been sold for $100 is being sold for $500.

A piece of software that could have been sold for $100 is being sold for $1000.

And the worst part is, although they sold us their wares with such high prices they never ever bother about the bugs.

We users are worse than guinea pigs. After we pay the high prices, we work for them for free reporting bugs to them so that later they can come up with a bug-fixed version and they can charge us again for it.

Re:They are fleecing their customers ! (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | about 4 years ago | (#31798140)

The charge what the market will bear. You're just mad that you didn't think of that first.

Re:They are fleecing their customers ! (5, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 4 years ago | (#31798200)

"The charge what the market will bear. You're just mad that you didn't think of that first."

The market will not bear this. Witness the rise of Linux. 10 years ago slashdot was a different place. If you dare say anything bad about Sun you would be modded into an oblivon similiar to bashing macs today. Solaris was God and linux was nice but a toy. Today bashing Solaris gives you mod karma.

This all changed 10 years ago because Sun charged $10,000 for a sparc 1 workstation and $1,000 more for each 128 meg module. At the same time 10 years ago a Redhat Linux 5.2 box from a generic pentium III could run circles around it for only $1,000. Why pay $25,000 for a SGI or sun workstation when a $1,500 could now outperform it! Gcc started to replace sun studio and java ides like netbeans and eclipse started taking over the $$$ borland Jbuilder and Visual C++. Database software is now finally catching up with postgreSQL. You can argue that mysql is getting better too I suppose. With the database software formally reserved to big iron we have no reason to use Solaris/Oracle except on all but the biggest data warehouses.

Vendors got greedy and monopolies and ogopolies created their own demise with cheap free solutions. Hostage with pricing can only go so far until alternatives become competition and customers will now be happy to jump ship.

Re:They are fleecing their customers ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31799684)

"The charge what the market will bear. You're just mad that you didn't think of that first."

The market will not bear this. Witness the rise of Linux. 10 years ago slashdot was a different place. If you dare say anything bad about Sun you would be modded into an oblivon similiar to bashing macs today. Solaris was God and linux was nice but a toy. Today bashing Solaris gives you mod karma.

This all changed 10 years ago because Sun charged $10,000 for a sparc 1 workstation and $1,000 more for each 128 meg module. At the same time 10 years ago a Redhat Linux 5.2 box from a generic pentium III could run circles around it for only $1,000. Why pay $25,000 for a SGI or sun workstation when a $1,500 could now outperform it! Gcc started to replace sun studio and java ides like netbeans and eclipse started taking over the $$$ borland Jbuilder and Visual C++. Database software is now finally catching up with postgreSQL. You can argue that mysql is getting better too I suppose. With the database software formally reserved to big iron we have no reason to use Solaris/Oracle except on all but the biggest data warehouses.

Vendors got greedy and monopolies and ogopolies created their own demise with cheap free solutions. Hostage with pricing can only go so far until alternatives become competition and customers will now be happy to jump ship.

I agree somewhat with your sentiment but you are way off with your timeline.

The SparcStation1 first became available in '89 and support for it ended in '95. That's a hell of a lot longer ago than 10 years. Linus didn't even start working on the linux kernel until '91 and it really wasn't in much of a usable state until towards the end of the Sparcstation1's life. And even then describing the PC hardware that linux ran on back then as "running circles" around the Sparc is drawing a pretty long bow - yes the clock was faster on an early pentium but the IO performance was dreadful in comparison.

Re:They are fleecing their customers ! (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#31799142)

Looked at Apple's margins? Apple's margins are around 20% on hardware - high for the consumer market, but very low in comparison to companies like IBM and Sun. Back in the PowerPC Mac era, people were buying graphics cards from Apple to use in their Sun workstations. Sun would charge four or five times as much for exactly the same hardware. Apple would charge a bit more than the PC version. The only difference between the PC and Mac versions was that the PC version had a BIOS chip and the Mac version had some FORTH code for OpenFirmware. Because the Sun machines also used OF, they could use the Mac versions, but not the PC versions. It cost a bit more to produce the Mac version than the PC version - the firmware code was more complicated, so cost more to write, and was bigger, so needed a bigger chip, and on top of that would sell in much smaller quantities, but the Sun version was identical yet cost vastly more.

Damn you slashdot (1, Offtopic)

Anarki2004 (1652007) | about 4 years ago | (#31796944)

Error 503 everwhere I go!

Re:Damn you slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

sconeu (64226) | about 4 years ago | (#31796962)

I've been getting a lot of those, too.

Wonder if it's related to this [slashdot.org] ?

Re:Damn you slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

sconeu (64226) | about 4 years ago | (#31796976)

Oh, the page looks like this:

Error 503 Service Unavailable

Service Unavailable

Guru Meditation:

XID: 2144369020

Varnish [varnish-cache.org]

WTF is "Varnish", and why does a Slashdot 503 link to it?

Re:Damn you slashdot (2, Informative)

Galactic Dominator (944134) | about 4 years ago | (#31797552)

it's like squid, except better. A reverse proxy cache, and I'd guess the 503 is generated because all the back-ends are down. The link is present because that's Varnish's default configuration and /. admins haven't changed it. The real question is what is borking on the backend. My money is MySQL.

Re:Damn you slashdot (1)

erayd (1131355) | about 4 years ago | (#31797582)

Varnish is a high-performance HTTP cache / reverse proxy / accelerator / router. This particular Slashdot 503 links to the Varnish site because Slashdot uses Varnish as part of its server stack, and Varnish is generating the error to moan about something upstream. Why not get in some free advertising?

Re:Damn you slashdot (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#31799152)

Why not get in some free advertising?

Well, in this case because it's a failure message. Advertising is about building subconscious associations with your product, and you probably don't want potential customers to associate your product with failure...

Re:Damn you slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31797022)

Probably not. It happens to me only if account info is required.

Re:Damn you slashdot (1)

RMingin (985478) | about 4 years ago | (#31798118)

Guess I should be glad I was already logged in. (Ok, not sure why anyone would care.)
I'm still logged in (cookies, I suppose), and clicking my own username at the top gets it, so I think you're right.

Error 503 Service Unavailable
Service Unavailable
Guru Meditation:
XID: 292179591
Varnish

Re:Damn you slashdot (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 4 years ago | (#31797134)

I seriously doubt it. While I can access the Slashdot homepage and articles, I get a 503 when I attempt to access any user profile (including my own). I'm 99% sure it's site related. I couldn't tell you though as to why, I'm not a web/db developer.

Probably UID overflow? (2, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | about 4 years ago | (#31797698)

We go over 2 to the power of 21 on UIDs maybe? That would be 2,097,152. Seen some pretty high ones lately.

Re:Probably UID overflow? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 4 years ago | (#31798588)

Wouldn't that just cause an insert error on attempting to create the new user?

Oh, hang on. I forgot this is slashdot.

Re:Damn you slashdot (2, Funny)

CoffeeDog (1774202) | about 4 years ago | (#31797174)

Maybe /. needs some new Sun hardware to run an Oracle back-end on!

Re:Damn you slashdot (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#31799166)

Sun hardware is pretty much ideal for a site like Slashdot, but I suspect that the cause of the problem is a product that Sun bought and now Oracle owns: MySQL.

Re:Damn you slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31797316)

Error 503 trying to login, so Anonymous Coward it is!

Speaking of logging in, how about setting the focus to the username box? You know, usability and all that shit? I guess Taco is happy making the site UI as usable as Gimp.

Oracle buys Sun for (1)

crispi (131688) | about 4 years ago | (#31796972)

Customers, potential customers, and to stick it to IBM.

The OS is just a vehicle for a database.

Re:Oracle buys Sun for (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 4 years ago | (#31797002)

For IBM software seems to be a way to sell expensive consulting services. Don't buy it, it just encourages them.

Re:Oracle buys Sun for (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 4 years ago | (#31797612)

"I'm betting that they looked at Apple's margins on hardware, and saw potential in doing the same with Sun's hardware business."

Yeah, because Sun's target market is Apple's target market. NOT.

HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer all look at Apple's margin's and say to themselves "I wish I could get those margins". And the shareholders in those companies should line up all the executives, then each shareholder will kick each executive in the nutsack, and say "Each kick may not be that powerful, but we'll make it up wish volume". Just like how the executives decided to go into the netbook business, to make up low margins by selling huge volumes.

But other than "sell a product for a bunch more than it costs you to produce it", Sun's product design and marketing goals don't have a lot in common with Apple's product design and marketing goals.

Re:Oracle buys Sun for (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 4 years ago | (#31798434)

"I'm betting that they looked at Apple's margins on hardware, and saw potential in doing the same with Sun's hardware business."

Yeah, because Sun's target market is Apple's target market. NOT.

How do you interpret the quote to mean that Oracle want to sell to fashionistas and creative wannabes? It just means they'd like the same margins. The quote would be equally valid if they made ice-cream or frying pans.

Re:Oracle buys Sun for (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#31799172)

Except that Sun and Oracle don't look at Apple's margins and want the same, they look at Apple's margins and shudder. Apple's margins are high for the consumer market, but they're not even close to the same league as Sun or Oracle.

Re:Oracle buys Sun for (2, Insightful)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about 4 years ago | (#31797294)

They're proving both quotes that 'real men build hardware" and that "real software lovers build hardware" from IBM and Apple.

Both IBM and Apple design Software and Hardware to complement each other. Compare an iSeries or iPad to the typical Oracle setup where they are at the mercy of Intel, AMD, Microsoft, IBM, etc to get their Database to work. Defining a basic Schema is full of so many tips and tricks compared to any other database. Sure, it's nice to choose the "optimum" setting for every single block of data... but wouldn't it be BETTER to simply format the hard drive the way you want it in the first place and to build the most critical functions directly into firmware? IBM stuff can do really neat things like split database writes in the disk controller and keep track of multiple copies at once on redundant systems. You just can't do that level of stuff with the tools Oracle or Microsoft has now. Microsoft's sole existence is based on separation of hardware and software... so everybody squabbles between Intel/AMD, ATI/Nvidia, Oracle/MySQL, etc... and Microsoft gets rich playing "middleman" being the only party the others can legally talk to.

There is already a company that makes a Sparc based blade for IBM BladeCenter chassis, drop it in an IBM Blade and share your SAN and have backplane-level network between the other hardware and OSes....this is what Oracle is after. Rather than keep playing games with other vendors, simply sell "Oracle" like IBM sells System i (iSeries). You would by an Oracle blade and simply connect that to your network. There's no point in loading multiple apps on hardware... it's so cheap now versus the time to make it work. Much better will be the "appliance" approach... plug and go. Weather you want a single blade for your own storage solution, or a whole rack as a HA/DR Cluster/Cloud you'll buy "Oracle" for your needs. Remember they also own lots of other enterprise apps, JDEdwards, Peoplesoft, Java, etc. this is million-dollar level installs... bickering about "hardware" if Oracle provides a solution that works (like Apple) out-of-the-box is a non-issue.

Re:Oracle buys Sun for (4, Interesting)

bertok (226922) | about 4 years ago | (#31797936)

How did this get modded up? I know that it... sounds like it makes sense, but it's the exact opposite of what actually goes on.

They're proving both quotes that 'real men build hardware" and that "real software lovers build hardware" from IBM and Apple.

Both IBM and Apple design Software and Hardware to complement each other. Compare an iSeries or iPad to the typical Oracle setup where they are at the mercy of Intel, AMD, Microsoft, IBM, etc to get their Database to work. Defining a basic Schema is full of so many tips and tricks compared to any other database

WTF? It's hard to define an Oracle schema because of a client's choice of instruction level compatible CPUs? Are you kidding me? I've never heard of anyone actually altering their database schema design to target it for either "Intel" or "AMD". That's insane.

. Sure, it's nice to choose the "optimum" setting for every single block of data... but wouldn't it be BETTER to simply format the hard drive the way you want it in the first place and to build the most critical functions directly into firmware?

First of all, it's quite possible to "format the disk" natively with Oracle's database files, bypassing the OS filesystem. Even Microsoft SQL Server can do that [microsoft.com] , it's just not advertised as a big feature. Yes, there are performance gains (I've heard up to 20% in some corner cases), but it's almost never worth it, because the downsides are enormous. Managing a LUN is much harder than managing a file. Either way, this can be done now. There's no reason for some sort of magic hardware support.

Second, somehow 'burning' Oracle in the firmware is neither going to make it faster, nor improve anything else. It'll just make it harder to patch and manage, and it'll mean that a future service pack may not fit into the limited flash space. I can't imagine too many deployments where the speed of the program storage is the limit. Even if it is, it's not like you can't boot-from-SAN or just buy an SSD for any old server now!

IBM stuff can do really neat things like split database writes in the disk controller and keep track of multiple copies at once on redundant systems.

Err.. you mean scatter-gather IO [wikipedia.org] and synchronous mirroring [microsoft.com] ? Ooo... fancy stuff, I bet nobody's ever managed to do that in software!

You just can't do that level of stuff with the tools Oracle or Microsoft has now.

Yes, you can. The differences between the major vendors at the "low level" have been tiny for years and years now. The real differences are at the high-level, pure-software layer. Features like RAC differentiate DB2, Oracle, and SQL Server from each other, not the RAID controllers.

Microsoft's sole existence is based on separation of hardware and software... so everybody squabbles between Intel/AMD, ATI/Nvidia, Oracle/MySQL, etc... and Microsoft gets rich playing "middleman" being the only party the others can legally talk to.

Are you kidding me? Since when is Intel some poor pauper holding out a begging bowl to Microsoft? Last time I looked, both Intel and Oracle had market capitalisations over USD 100 billion, and were 'legally allowed' to talk to each other.

There is already a company that makes a Sparc based blade for IBM BladeCenter chassis, drop it in an IBM Blade and share your SAN and have backplane-level network between the other hardware and OSes....this is what Oracle is after. Rather than keep playing games with other vendors, simply sell "Oracle" like IBM sells System i (iSeries). You would by an Oracle blade and simply connect that to your network. There's no point in loading multiple apps on hardware...
  it's so cheap now versus the time to make it work.

That's hilarious. Quite literally, every single reasonably sized company on Earth is jumping on board with virtualization exactly because there's no point in purchasing dedicated hardware when consolidation is so much more cost effective. Really, nobody gives a shit about a 10 or 20% speed difference if they don't have to nurse a stupid 'appliance' along when it breaks. The ability to just rip & replace a failed node with any off-the-shelf server is orders of magnitude faster and cheaper.

It's to the point now that I've gone to major government clients that refuse to purchase 'appliances' unless they really do have some sort of special hardware in them, like networking related kit tends to. Everything else gets virtualized, including the Oracle servers. Even the networking equipment is going virtual. Take a look at:

- A virtual switch form Cisco, the Nexus v1000 [cisco.com] .
- The Citrix Netscaler virtual appliance [citrix.com] .

Much better will be the "appliance" approach... plug and go.

.. and then it fails, and your corporation grinds to a halt while you wait 1 month for a spare to arrive from Singapore. Or wait, you buy two... for twice the price. Per site. Or just buy the enterprise support for the low price of a luxury car... a month.

Yes, much better... for Oracle's sales division, not the customer.

Weather you want a single blade for your own storage solution, or a whole rack as a HA/DR Cluster/Cloud you'll buy "Oracle" for your needs. Remember they also own lots of other enterprise apps, JDEdwards, Peoplesoft, Java, etc. this is million-dollar level installs... bickering about "hardware" if Oracle provides a solution that works (like Apple) out-of-the-box is a non-issue.

It's a non-issue if the CIO is criminally negligent, and only cares about covering his own ass instead of shaving digits off the IT budget.

Selling software with no special hardware needs as an appliance is a pure marketing exercise. It almost never has a perceptible benefit to the customer, but invariably creates higher profit margins for the vendor.

Oracle might have already lost (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31796994)

Oracle has been saying that they won't support Solaris on non-Sun/Oracle branded gear. This essentially means that even if 70% of your gear is Sun hardware running Solaris they won't support the 30%, even if that 30% was bought because there wasn't a good fit with Sun gear.

I've heard the same thing about Java support.

To add insult to injury, Project Caiman in OpenSolaris is going to force everyone to rebuild a lot of infrastructure and process (for reasons that all seem to point to ego and a complete misunderstanding of how sysadmins actually do their jobs).

As a result, many companies (including the one I work for) are looking at making the jump to Linux on cheaper hardware. Given some of the other posts (including fanboi's like BenR), we're clearly not the only ones thinking this.

Re:Oracle might have already lost (4, Insightful)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about 4 years ago | (#31797442)

FreeBSD is a more likely replacement for some of the Solaris market. Especially since it's had DTrace for a while and now ZFS is now production ready on FreeBSD 8

Re:Oracle might have already lost (2, Insightful)

hoggoth (414195) | about 4 years ago | (#31797670)

> now ZFS is now production ready on FreeBSD 8

I do not think that means what you think it means.

Re:Oracle might have already lost (3, Interesting)

dnaumov (453672) | about 4 years ago | (#31798822)

> now ZFS is now production ready on FreeBSD 8

I do not think that means what you think it means.

If ZFS isn't production-ready in FreeBSD 8, it isn't production-ready in Solaris either.

Re:Oracle might have already lost (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#31799182)

Care to elaborate? The ZFS developers on FreeBSD have been running it on their own systems for a couple of years and now trust it enough to recommend it for deployment. It was mostly fine with 7.x, but there were a couple of obscure corner cases where there it had problems, so they didn't recommend it. They don't suggest using it on anything other than x86-64 with over 1GB of RAM, but aside from that caveat it's considered production ready.

Re:Oracle might have already lost (4, Interesting)

wmac (1107843) | about 4 years ago | (#31797752)

I have been an IT manager in a bank and I do not agree with you. OS selection is not just a technical matter.

Those who have selected proprietary OS will replace it with another proprietary one. If they intend to use open source they will more likely to choose the most popular one.

We were using HP-UX and Solaris. When we decided to use an open source OS for a particular server farm we selected Linux because that selection is less dangerous politically (it matches the consensus) and Linux market is more diverse and more supported.

Re:Oracle might have already lost (-1, Troll)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 4 years ago | (#31798618)

Those who have selected proprietary OS will replace it with another proprietary one.

So twenty years ago Linux had zero percent of the server market, still has zero percent, and will always have zero percent?

We were using HP-UX and Solaris. When we decided to use an open source OS for a particular server farm we selected Linux

Contradict yourself much?

I have been an IT manager in a bank

Well thankfully you aren't any more.

Re:Oracle might have already lost (2, Insightful)

wmac (1107843) | about 4 years ago | (#31798650)

"Well thankfully you aren't any more."

And you are a rude person which is not in a position to decide on that. I am in a higher position now.

I did not say they always choose proprietary. I said that will be their preference. I also said if they ever decide to go open source they'll go with a more popular one.

Re:Oracle might have already lost (-1, Flamebait)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 4 years ago | (#31798806)

And you are a rude person

Oh goodness gracious me, am I? Well at least I'm not a liar.

I am in a higher position now.

I'm sure you got it on merit, and not by ass-kissing and lying.

I did not say they always choose proprietary.

Really?
Those who have selected proprietary OS will replace it with another proprietary one. [slashdot.org] . I don't see "mostly", "usually", "generally" or even "sometimes" in there.

Re:Oracle might have already lost (0, Offtopic)

wmac (1107843) | about 4 years ago | (#31798854)

You proved my point being a rude and impolite person. The words you refer to me are MOST LIKELY describe yourself better than me.

Besides, you have eye sight problem. Otherwise the word "likely" means the same as those words you mentioned.

Re:Oracle might have already lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31798018)

Nice bit of FUD here. Unfortunately, you're full of shit. Oracle hasn't decided WHAT to do with Solaris support yet.

Re:Oracle might have already lost (1)

OneMadMuppet (1329291) | about 4 years ago | (#31799704)

WTF? Oracle have said no such thing. They've changed the licensing agreement so that you would need to buy a support contract if you plan on running Solaris on non-Sun gear for more than 90 days, and that is all. What are you - a FUD machine?

Hogwash (3, Interesting)

Third Position (1725934) | about 4 years ago | (#31797020)

Oracle originally only made an offer for Sun's hardware assets. They only bought the entire company after IBM made a bid for it. That doesn't sound much like Oracle had much enthusiasm for Sun's hardware. Apparently they bought it only because it came with the dinner.

Re:Hogwash (5, Interesting)

Third Position (1725934) | about 4 years ago | (#31797028)

Ugh - make that "Oracle originally only made an offer for Sun's software assets.

Re:Hogwash (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31797214)

Ugh - make that "Oracle originally only made an offer for Sun's software assets.

According to Larry Ellison (in September 2009), they want to sells "systems":

We are not going into the hardware business. We have no interest in the hardware business. We have a deep interest in the systems business.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmrxN3GWHpM#t=26m40s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmrxN3GWHpM#t=38m03s

Of course software is a significant component of any system:

Systems is about eighty-five percent software--if you take out the microprocessor design. Microprocessor design is a complicated deal, it's a very complex component; Sun has a significant team, IBM has a significant team, Intel has a significant team, designing microprocessors. But when you get by the microprossor component, and you're assembling these systems, Cisco--I'm guessing--85-90 percent software.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmrxN3GWHpM#t=42m44s

And if they are after the hardware (3, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#31797276)

They are doing a crap job. Why? Well if you buy expensive SPARC hardware, you are going to run Solaris on it. It is the only thing really well made for that architecture. So what is Oracle now doing? Charging for Solaris. Not just charging, but being total dicks about it. You have to have their agreement, if you at any time lapse in the agreement, not only do you not get security updates, you are required to uninstall all the ones you've already installed.

Hmmmmm... How do I feel about that for critical systems.... Oh ya: Fuck you.

Seriously, this kind of shit could well kill SPARC. It is a very limited use platform anyhow. If you start screwing people over they may well abandon you for IBM's offerings, or just commodity x86 stuff (which is getting more and more high end offerings all the time).

To me, it seems like Oracle WANTS to kill off the hardware. They can't just say "Nope, it is all discontinued, go away," as Sun has preexisting contracts with people and the contracts come with everything else. However if they are big enough dicks, everyone will switch of their own accord.

It's that, or they really don't know how to try and run a competitive hardware business.

Re:And if they are after the hardware (2, Insightful)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | about 4 years ago | (#31797402)

It's that, or they really don't know how to try and run a competitive hardware business.

That's okay -- neither did Sun.

But, if I go IBM why wouldn't I also go DB2? (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 4 years ago | (#31798754)

Your logic makes sense, until you realize that IBM offers a LOT more then Oracle does. IBM can be a total solution provider (including that problem of what to do with your cash) and will be more then happy to replace Oracle for you.

So I think it is the last. Oracle just doesn't have a clue. They are used to be seeing as the only professional database, so they don't really think in terms of competition. You don't really compare quotes on databases like you do with say webservers or NAS storage. Your IT guys will suggest Oracle and then that be the one you go for. It is an interesting position to be in for Oracle, to suddenly have a product to sell that people do compare with other offerings.

Exadata2 anyone? (1)

AgentPhunk (571249) | about 4 years ago | (#31799278)

I can't believe no-one has mentioned this yet. Oracle's Exadata2 solution uses Sun x4175 and x4275 servers, and runs on NO, not Solaris, but Oracle Enterprise Linux. (Which I believe is just a RedHat variant.)

Its my impression that Oracle bought Sun for the hardware, in order to deliver a one-stop-shop solution for Oracle clusters. The one-throat-to-choke model, if you will.

http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/bi/db/exadata/pdf/exadata-storage-technical-overview.pdf [oracle.com]

slides 16, 17, 22, and 57. And that helpful link was provided by Scott Davenport's Sun blog at:
http://blogs.sun.com/sdaven/entry/oracle_exadata_2 [sun.com]

Re:Hogwash (4, Informative)

fm6 (162816) | about 4 years ago | (#31797724)

Where did you hear that? I was working for Sun at the time, and there was nothing official about Oracle until after talks with IBM broke down. And then it was for the whole company. It's true that Sun restructured itself so that all the software businesses (minus Solaris, which was moved into the hardware division) could be sold. But there were no offers. The sad truth is that Sun's software initiatives generated tons of press (even people who don't know what "high level language" or "virtual machine" mean have heard of Java) but not much in the way of revenue.

This acquisition was never about software. People assumed it was, because software is all they know about Sun. But most of the revenue came from selling hardware. Buying Sun for the software is as silly as buying Oracle for Larry Ellison's yacht.

Re:Hogwash (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31797828)

"No offers told to the engineers" does not mean "no offers". Unless you were the engineer asked why the VP's and the lawyers took more than 30 seconds to arrive, and called on the carpet about it, most of us who do real work were unlikely to get reliable information until after the managers with stock options managed to sell them or reinvest them quietly, before any actual offer is put on the table and blocks them from trading.

If you think I'm kidding, keep a very close eye on the sales leadership and lawyers at your company during a merger or corporate sale.

Re:Hogwash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31799464)

Most of Sun's revenue was from providing service contracts on Sun's hardware and software. Not from selling hardware.

Re:Hogwash (2, Insightful)

williamhb (758070) | about 4 years ago | (#31799562)

This acquisition was never about software. People assumed it was, because software is all they know about Sun. But most of the revenue came from selling hardware

It's not Sun's revenues that are relevant -- if Sun's revenues were good enough it would have been able to stand on its own two feet. Oracle's revenues are all about software and in it's expansion from databases into other middleware, it had bet the house on Java. The words "Our biggest competitor is talking about buying the company that directs the stuff we are totally reliant on [IBM bidding for Sun]" would rightly have been ringing alarm bells in Larry Ellison's ears whether he was on the yacht or not. Oracle needed to buy Sun for the software, because if IBM had got the software Oracle would have faced massive risks to its business. IBM might well have ripped up the JCP, taken Java inside the eclipse foundation (which Oracle is only a reluctant member of), and skewed the whole development of the platform away from Oracle.

Nice Signature (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31797786)

Why do you support a white supremacist political party? The articles on this organization's web site are written by well known racists and anti-Semites. For example, this [american3p.org] article was written by a racist [wikipedia.org] who believes in a Jewish conspiracy [wikipedia.org] to enhance their genes through selective breeding.

Re:Nice Signature (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31797852)

Please cite a quote from Dr. MacDonald where he states there is "a Jewish conspiracy to enhance their genes through selective breeding". That's right: you can't.

I love it when the opposition lies in order to claim moral righteousness.

Mazel tov!

Re:Nice Signature (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31798064)

Where do you see that they're white supremacists? They aren't supremacists, they're white nationalists. You don't have a problem with ethnically-based nations, like, say, Israel, do you? So why are ethnically based nations alright for Jews, and not for whites?

Re:Hogwash (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 4 years ago | (#31798498)

Oracle originally only made an offer for Sun's hardware assets. They only bought the entire company after IBM made a bid for it.

My theory all along was that Oracle bought Sun to stop anyone else getting it. What would they do with it? And what would anyone else do with it? I have no idea, and neither does Ellison. It's just how his mind works - he's like a dog with a bone.

And scaling (3, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 4 years ago | (#31797034)

Cringely was on about this a year ago - Oracle needs Sun hardware to scale [cringely.com] .

Go go ahead and GPL ZFS, guys.

Re:And scaling (1)

DarkFencer (260473) | about 4 years ago | (#31797160)

Go go ahead and GPL ZFS, guys.

I would LOVE for this to happen. I have some systems I've kept on Solaris purely for ZFS. ZFS on Linux would really be the best of both worlds.

Oh - and DTrace please while you're at it.

Re:And scaling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31797372)

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ZFS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SystemTap

Re:And scaling (1)

DarkFencer (260473) | about 4 years ago | (#31798036)

From your link: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ZFS [ubuntu.com]

Due to CDDL incompatibility with GPL, and the fact that all Linux kernel drivers must be GPL compatible, ZFS remains outside the Linux kernel.

Because of this and how its integrated - the performance advantage of ZFS on Solaris (or BSD) is lost.

Re:And scaling (4, Insightful)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about 4 years ago | (#31797452)

Then what you want is FreeBSD, not Linux. FreeBSD has had DTrace for a few years now and ZFS support for a couple years in experimental mode. As of FreeBSD 8-Release, ZFS is now considered "Production Ready". We've been slowly moving the last of our Solaris stuff over to FreeBSD the past year even before ZFS was officially supported in the FBSD 7.x series.

They sure as hell didn't buy it for the software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31797066)

see subject

The Oracle ECLIPSED The SUN! (-1, Troll)

itsybitsy (149808) | about 4 years ago | (#31797206)

The Oracle ECLIPSED The SUN! He he... "Oracle bought Sun for the hardware." Good news, Java is likely doomed as a result! Bye bye Java. Now on the Blackberry front with RIM buying QNX to battle Apple Java OS will be doomed too. Opportunity rising for other cutting edge languages. [:)]

stupid morons. sun hasn't been relevant for years (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31797230)

sun hardware has underperformed comparable ibm hardware by an astonishing factor of at least 2 for the past 5 or so years. the hardware is literally a joke in the industry. anyone not aware of that is basically a kid in college or someone who never had the pleasure of working with both systems simultaneously. oracle is trying to take over the database market, free included, plain and simple.

Re:stupid morons. sun hasn't been relevant for yea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31797836)

If you live in a SPARC/Solaris monoculture, things look just peachy! The Sun/SPARC/Solaris fanbois (most are crotchety old men to be sure) have no idea what the competition is doing.

How does this make sense? (1)

pedantic bore (740196) | about 4 years ago | (#31797250)

If Sun hardware can't compete with the P-series, why would Oracle want to buy it? (If current Sun customers don't even want to buy Sun hardware, why would anyone?)

Re:How does this make sense? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31797278)

nobody wants sun hardware aside from internet startups (whoops, guess thats why the stock went to hell) and dumb companies who literally do not know any better. period. it's complete garbage.

Re:How does this make sense? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#31799208)

I think the idea is that IBM are more competent at selling a complete stack than either Sun or Oracle alone, so neither could compete individually. When Oracle buys Sun, they can offer hardware, OS, database, and enterprise app stack all from the same vendor, supported by the same support contract. This makes them competitive with IBM.

I'm not sure who is replacing SPARC hardware with pSeries stuff. Maybe if you've got old UltraSPARC II stuff it makes sense. The POWER chips are designed for similar workloads, they're just a lot more modern. There's not really any competition between the UltraSPARC T2 and POWER6 though. Any given workload is likely to be massively faster on one than the other. It's almost like comparing a CPU to a GPU - some stuff will be a lot faster on one, other stuff will crawl.

If you've got a floating point intensive workload, particularly something that uses binary coded decimals (e.g. big financial calculations) then you want pSeries, not anything from Sun. If you've got something based on processing lots of concurrent transactions, like web serving or a database, you probably want the T2.

All aboard the sinking ship! (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | about 4 years ago | (#31797272)

Isn't Sun's ridiculously overpriced and underpowered hardware the reason they went bankrupt?

Re:All aboard the sinking ship! (4, Insightful)

DesScorp (410532) | about 4 years ago | (#31797802)

Isn't Sun's ridiculously overpriced and underpowered hardware the reason they went bankrupt?

Um, one, they never went bankrupt. They had billions in cash just sitting in the bank, in fact. Next, hardware wasn't why they declined. Hardware sales were keeping them afloat. There are three reasons they were declining:

1 - Software is one reason they declined... specifically, Linux software, as it did much of what Solaris did at no or lower cost. Windows was also cheaper when you considered the cost of the hardware it ran on.

2 - Leadership was non-existant, and the sales strategy was all over the place like an ADHD kid bouncing off the walls. "We'll push Java! It'll make us rich! No, we'll push network computers, it's the wave of the future! No, we'll compete at the low end by GPL'ing and giving away our software! No, we'll spend a billion dollars on a free database system, and then give THAT away! Riches will follow!"

3 - With this lack of focus, IBM attacked them from the top, and Microsoft from the bottom, squeezing them out of former markets

Larry Ellison has made what I think is a prudent decision; stick to the expensive, profitable high end, and quit giving your software away. Pump money into your hardware, as your latest CPU offerings compete very well on the high end with lots of servers, especially on performance per watt costs.

Re:All aboard the sinking ship! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31799514)

Not only did Sun have billions of dollars in the bank, but they had enough money that they could have bought themselves back and gone private. Of course, that wouldn't benefit the top executives who just wanted to get a big pay day and move on to milk the next company like the useless vampires they were at Sun.

For hardware? Hah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31797348)

oracle bought sun for one reason only, for a strategic asset that is very valuable to oracle:

Java.

So much of the oracle software stack depends on java.

Personnaly, I think that java is a slow, monstrous abomination that should have been killed off years ago. I have yet to see a fast, well written server-side java app.

Re:For hardware? Hah! (2, Insightful)

codepunk (167897) | about 4 years ago | (#31797522)

You are correct however I love the shit out of java since I am a system admin. It takes a boat load of expensive hardware
to make it run decent, more hardware, more stuff to maintain, better paycheck and job security.

Re:For hardware? Hah! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31798040)

oracle bought sun for one reason only, for a strategic asset that is very valuable to oracle:

Java.

So much of the oracle software stack depends on java.

true

Personnaly, I think that java is a slow, monstrous abomination that should have been killed off years ago. I have yet to see a fast, well written server-side java app.Personnaly, I think that java is a slow, monstrous abomination that should have been killed off years ago. I have yet to see a fast, well written server-side java app.

That's because you're a stupid fucking moron who is clueless about software development.

judge suggests citizens carry guns (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31797354)

yikes almighty. the scariest part is that it is likely sound advice. at least the economy is back to good (according to... blah, blah, blah, or is that the mainstream media(haha))?

usually post the link but it was several 100 characters long.

'Amid cuts, Ohio judge tells citizens to carry guns
By THOMAS J. SHEERAN, Associated Press Writer Thomas J. Sheeran, Associated Press Writer Fri Apr 9, 5:34 pm ET

CLEVELAND – One judge's solution for citizens feeling less secure because of budget cuts in an Ohio county: Carry a gun.

Judge Alfred Mackey of Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court advised residents Friday to be vigilant and arm themselves because the number of deputies has been cut about in half because of a tight budget. He also urged neighbors to organize anti-crime block watch groups.

"They have to be law-abiding, and if they are not familiar with firearms they need to take a safety course so they are not a threat to their family and friends and themselves," Mackey said Friday.'--

never a better time to consult with/trust in your creators, armed to the teeth with newclear powered ability to allow comfort/hope in the face of doom.

Not quite an insider view, but close (4, Informative)

swordgeek (112599) | about 4 years ago | (#31797716)

So I've been working with Unix vendors for wow--decades now--and have worked very closely with some of them, as a big customer and also as a 'strategic partner.' I've never been close enough to see the email in the company, but maybe that gives me a bit of neutrality to my knowledge. Anyways, here's what I see:

1) IBM? Nobody buys P-series. Oil/Gas doesn't buy them, telecom doesn't buy them, entertainment doesn't buy them, and that leaves financials. Maybe the banks are buying P-series, but to replace Sun gear? I doubt it. More likely, they're replacing VAX and S/390 gear. (Yeah, still.)

2) Sun's hardware (i.e. SPARC gear) has some very nice features, but is not in the same category for _general_ computing power. Massively multithreaded jobs belong on SPARC, small-thread number crunching belongs on the GHz-of-the-day winner, and that's x86-derived. Sun has also thrown away most of their competitive advantage in the x86 market by embracing Windows. If it weren't for Windows compatability, they could have had Open Boot Prom on every single box they sell, but instead we're stuck with a third-rate BIOS and ILOM (LOM designed by committee of middle managers).

3) Software ls really the most valuable asset that Sun had at the end, but the problem has always been monetizing software. Sun's model actually worked well (it was the follow-through they eventually fell apart on)! Sell hardware, give away software, include training credits with hardware purchases, and soak you for enterprise support. There aren't a lot of big companies unwilling to pay Sun's prices for great support on rock-solid products, but there are a lot who don't want to pay for CRAP support on flakey products, which is what Sun has been offering for two years now.

Oracle could make out like a bandit if they rationalised the SPARC lineup, maintained the model, and fixed the support issues. Instead, they're destroying the business model, breaking support EVEN MORE, and ignoring all Sun products. I'm afraid that Larry Ellison thinks he just bought a hardware monopoly to support his software monopoly, and is going to be in for a rude surprise when customers leave him in droves for Linux or Microsoft.

I don't like it, but I don't see much of an alternative. The egos are too big to keep good products alive and relevant, so they're all going to fall apart.

you clueless tard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31797886)

do you even have a job? do you post from your mother's basement?
"Maybe the banks are buying P-series, but to replace Sun gear? I doubt it. More likely, they're replacing VAX and S/390 gear. (Yeah, still.)"
seriously.. this is based on... making stuff up?

Re:Not quite an insider view, but close (1)

blargster (239820) | about 4 years ago | (#31797910)

In the telecommunications industry, at least at the company that I work at, of the tens of thousands of Unix servers, over half of the servers are Sun, roughly a quarter are HP-UX, most of the last quarter are Linux and a very tiny sliver are IBM running AIX.

No one is buying new IBM servers. There has been a slight rise in Linux over the last few years, but the continuing growth is on Solaris/Sun.

Re:Not quite an insider view, but close (1)

swordgeek (112599) | about 4 years ago | (#31798000)

Yep. That's about what I've been seeing - except that in my chunk of telecom, Linux is gaining ground rapidly. Probably one server out of three that we deploy is Linux now, and considering that only 5-10% of our data centre runs it, that's a big increase.

In the Oil/Gas (and mines and resources) sector, I see more and more Windows showing up - mostly due to reduced time to deploy, regardless of how good the deployed product is. No matter how many times they get bitten, some people would still rather have a flakey server tomorrow that they complain about forever, than a reliable one next week.

Re:Not quite an insider view, but close (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31797912)

Sun hardware was always underpowered for the price, and they've always played strange and silly games trying to tie the hardware to the software. Remember how SunOS "wouldn't run on sun4m hardware", until Tatung released a modified SunOS that ran just fine, and Sun played catchup with their own OS? Their own engineers refused to run Solaris and preferred the more BSD like and open source compatible SunOS: I'm aware of at least 3 who ran illicit copies of modified SunOS, at Sun, for their own day to day work.

They played similar games with Java: what release *IS* Java? Is it 1.4? Is it Java 5, I mean Java 1.5.2 as it says in the actual source code? Is the latest release Java 6 update 19, or if you look at the actualy code, is it really 1.6.19? This is a company that's too stupid to even give their software RPM's the actual name that it is recorded with in RPM, or that it had when compiled as a software bundle: how stupid is that? Or deliberately slapping 30 Meg of unnecessary and separate documentation into the "self-extracting" binary which you have to download with every new update even though it's identical content, because Sun is too stupid to publish the documentation separately?

Re:Not quite an insider view, but close (1)

davecb (6526) | about 4 years ago | (#31799106)

Sun's recent problem is that it's been underpowered for the price. When they started out, the rule of thumb was an engineering workstation (anyone's, not just Sun's) was twice the price and ten times the performance. Smart people bought workstations, pulled the heads and put them into racks as servers.

This advantage has been degrading over time, as hardware performance got into diminishing returns, and has only started coming back with the T5000 series. Alas, the T is for small/medium business, so they've got a ways to go yet to have a compelling price/performance story across the board...

You'll know they're healthy when they start offering engineering workstations once more, and you see engineers designing aeroplanes on pizza-box systems on their desks.

--dave

My shop is deploying P-series systems... (3, Informative)

Kymermosst (33885) | about 4 years ago | (#31797726)

We've deployed a few P-series systems in place of where we would have deployed big Sun boxes.

My observations are thus:

1. I like Solaris way better than AIX.
2. If you consider Linux and Solaris to be cousins from an administrative standpoint, then AIX is a 3rd- or 4th-cousin. Lots of things are different.
3. smit is my friend and helps deal with #2.
4. Virtualization on the IBM gear is powerful. And WAY complicated.
5. I keep hoping we'll change our mind and go back to Sun gear, but it's rather unlikely.

Re:My shop is deploying P-series systems... (3, Interesting)

the linux geek (799780) | about 4 years ago | (#31797958)

A lot of the appeal of AIX and i is the support for virtualization (#4 on your list.) Seriously, the LPAR system and other virtualization bits are the absolute best available, and they blow away everything else on the market. AIX may be a weird-ass UNIX with a lot of strange and occasionally unpleasant quirks, but there are perfectly good reasons why IBM is #1 on UNIX hardware, and the speed of POWER processors isn't the only one.

Re:My shop is deploying P-series systems... (3, Interesting)

Kymermosst (33885) | about 4 years ago | (#31798054)

Overall I like the hardware, though there are a few things that I find annoying. People say "fast" with the P6 CPUs...but they don't execute instructions out-of-order, so a high clock rate isn't what it appears. Another complaint is that I can't add/remove/swap CPUs and memory while the system is running, even on the 595s. Sun had this figured out ages ago. Lack of simple integrated systems management forcing the use of the HMC on the bigger boxes is also kind of annoying. IBM also requires that the HMC be placed within a certain distance of the systems, which forced me to get creative with a particular data center.

There's a bit of complexity with support plans and cost as well. Even though AIX only runs on IBM hardware (as far as I am aware), you have to buy separate support for it. I suspect that there may be a few customers who ditch AIX and run Linux instead, I'd rather see the AIX support and Right to Use "in the box", so to speak.

I have to say though that you're right about the virtualization and partitioning capabilities being some of the best out there. It sure comes with a steep learning curve (and don't get me started on LHEAs!).

I suppose my dream world might be Solaris on either SPARC or POWER, with IBM partitioning/virtualization capabilities in a Sun frame with RIO connections...

Re:My shop is deploying P-series systems... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31798300)

You can swap CPU and Memory on 595 hot (period) since the regatta Power4. On 570 you can also by de allocating them as far they are not in node 0. and the HMC uses TCP/IP you can place it ANYWHERE you with with TCP/IP connectivity to the service processors.
  Network virtualization on SUN is a joke compared with the Power one, so it is Containers with WPAR's

Re:My shop is deploying P-series systems... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#31799220)

Virtualization is also pretty nice on the UltraSPARC T2. Like the IBM hardware, there's a simple hypervisor in the firmware and you can partition it into logical domains easily. It's very well supported on Solaris and also on OpenBSD (you can run a firewall in an OpenBSD VM to protect your Solaris instances). Not sure how well it works with Linux, but I presume the support is there too.

Not just margins, also Apple quality, simplicity (2, Insightful)

gig (78408) | about 4 years ago | (#31797826)

If you create a complete solution, you can tune it for best performance, you can make it easier and cheaper to deploy, you can guarantee a certain level of quality, you can include a warranty, you can harden it in ways that software alone can't.

 

AKA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31798022)

sour grapes.

Seriously, when did Slashdot completely throw in the towel on objectivity?

Hell half of this story is true and it's STILL sour grapes with Sophistication and Jasmine Dressing. Come on

Next SPARC chip is shaping up to be competitive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31798380)

Last I heard from some of the insiders, the upcoming SPARC chip is shaping up to be very competitive - for the *first* time since UltraSPARC-I, it is rumored to hit the production on schedule, and meet the original performance target. This is unheard-of event for Sun in this century, so Oracle may actually make some money.

Sun vs Apple's margins on hardware (3, Interesting)

PhunkySchtuff (208108) | about 4 years ago | (#31798526)

"I'm betting that they looked at Apple's margins on hardware, and saw potential in doing the same with Sun's hardware business."

Are you freaking crazy? Sun's margins on hardware make Apple's margins look like small change. Having sold both in my career, there are retail margins of 8% on Apple hardware and anywhere up to 20-30% on Sun hardware. That's just the margins that the resellers make. Then there are the margins that Apple or Sun make themselves. Apple's are generally worked out to be around 30%, and I'd shit a brick of Sun's margins on hardware were anywhere less than this...

Will Sun's OS Projects be affected (2, Interesting)

mcnazar (1231382) | about 4 years ago | (#31798720)

I don't know if its me (I'm getting jaded and cynical in my old age) but I do keep wondering how Oracle's takeover will affect Sun's OS efforts.

The only reason I mention this is that there has been a noticeable (at least IMHO) change in VirtualBox development. Since the Oracle takeover, VirtualBox development seems to have changed direction or slowed down... I can't really put my finger on it but something noticeable has happened. I don't if the core devs have been affected/left or what.... but certain VirtualBox issues, issues you might think would be simple to fix, have remained unfixed for the last couple of months.

Again, I'm not too sure if Netbeans (I haven't used Netbeans for 6+ months) is affected.

Has anyone else noticed any shifts in Sun's OS offerings?

What about buying it for Java? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31799254)

Everybody takes what's in the TFA for granted...

Do you frakkin' realize how big Java is? Java came out of nowhere, got pathetically badly marketed (Java applets gave Java the badest rep one can imagine and nearly totally ruined Java) and yet became the greatest language success story of these last 20 years.

The Real-World [TM] depends on Java. Every single tech-savvy company out there is high on Java: IBM, FedEx, Walmart, eBay, the whole frakkin banking world (both consumer and non-consumer banks), entire countries' medical care system, etc.

Oracle now owns both the DB and the software that powers the entire Real-World [TM]. And buy buying Sun, they made sure neither MS nor IBM nor Google (do you frakkin' realize how big Java is at Google?), nor, worse, Apple, wouldn't acquire Sun. Both Apple and MS would have killed Java (iPhone Java-optimized CPU yet no Java on the iPhone, no Java on the iPad...).

Oracle is now in a very comfy position to rule the Real-World [TM] even moreso than it already did.

What hardware? (1)

Eskarel (565631) | about 4 years ago | (#31799268)

Sun doesn't have any hardware anymore. They killed off most of the value in SPARC years ago. Solaris isn't going to win back the data center in any major way any time soon(if ever), and it's the only OS which really runs particularly well on SPARC. Intel has pretty much taken the general purpose CPU crown at this point and may very well stand alone in that arena by the time the economy comes back to normal.

The rest of SUN's supposed hardware is the same stuff everyone else distributes upmarket models of the same stuff that's in your home PC. The prices they charged were mostly for the software stack they sold with it and the support they provided. No different than Apple, IBM, HP, or anyone else for that matter anymore. There's no margin in specialized hardware unless it serves a specialized task, and in computing that basically leaves appliances and mainframes, neither of which is the kind of gold mine that would make all the hell Oracle went through to get SUN worthwhile.

As far as I can tell, Oracle bought SUN for two reasons. To try to turn some of Sun's great ideas into actual revenue generators and to stop anyone else from doing the same.

Let's face it, despite the fact that their managers couldn't find a profit to save their lives, Sun's R&D department has come up with some seriously cool stuff over the last decade or so. True their own implementations of their ideas have mostly sucked and the best implementations(and most of the money) have been made by other companies, but they're still good ideas. Oracle can squeeze blood from a stone when it comes to making money, and I'm sure they have some pretty exciting ideas on how to generate cash out of Sun's assets.

Even if they can't, they most likely couldn't afford to risk that IBM or one of their other competitors could. A lot of Oracle databases still run on SPARC and Solaris, and IBM and Oracle aren't exactly the best of friends.

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