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After a Lull, Sun Server Business Grows Under Oracle

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the was-it-foretold? dept.

Businesses 84

itwbennett writes "For the first time since the 3rd quarter of 2007, IDC is reporting an increase in sales of Sun hardware. Oracle logged $773 million in server sales during the quarter, up from $681 million the year before, according to IDC's estimates."

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But still no more desktops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36237788)

If they were still selling sparc desktops/workstations, I'd have upgraded by now... I may be the only one, but I still would have purchased one :-)

Re:But still no more desktops (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237818)

I just don't understand you then... I guess my question is: What are the advantages of a Sun workstation over a PC - on the desktop?

Re:But still no more desktops (1)

CrAlt (3208) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237848)

What are the advantages of a Sun workstation over a PC

There is none.
But its way cooler then some no name PC.

Re:But still no more desktops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36237914)

CDE was the best.

Re:But still no more desktops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36237986)

Re:But still no more desktops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36238736)

He meant the Common Desktop Environment. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Desktop_Environment

Re:But still no more desktops (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237922)

Sun not really had been pursuing the Workstation business actively the last 10 years before the Oracle merger. It was all about servers.

Re:But still no more desktops (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237982)

Uh no. Some no name PC running Linux is way cooler than some Sun workstation because A) it's probably faster, B) it will certainly do more units of work per dollar spent, and now C) it has nothing to do with Oracle. Sun's good name was lost when Oracle bought them. They will forever after be known as that company that was in its death throes and was cannibalized by Oracle.

Re:But still no more desktops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36238372)

Sun would probably still be around if Schwartz hadn't run it into the ground by trying to give away a whole bunch of stuff for free in hopes that someone was going to want to license a proprietary version of their software (which was never going to happen). McNealy was a fucking idiot for putting The Schwartz in command.

Re:But still no more desktops (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36238682)

Sun would probably still be around if Schwartz hadn't run it into the ground by trying to give away a whole bunch of stuff for free in hopes that someone was going to want to license a proprietary version of their software (which was never going to happen). McNealy was a fucking idiot for putting The Schwartz in command.

Sun would probably still be around if they had recognized Linux for what it was and embraced it earlier. They could have become a top-tier Linux vendor with Solaris as the step-up niche. Instead, Linux chipped away at their market driving Solaris in to a niche anyway. Eventually, Sun began to give away (more) things with strings attached - neither committed to being entirely proprietary or open. And they produced hardware that COULD have made them competitive in the Linux market if they had only marketed the damned things.

Sun screwed up but giving away stuff wasn't even the beginning of it.

Re:But still no more desktops (1)

headLITE (171240) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237972)

Depends. I need to write code that works on SPARC so it would make sense for me :P

Re:But still no more desktops (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36238166)

Shouldn't that just be a compiler option? Of course the only cross platform developing I've done has been for microcontrollers, but still.. if you developed on OpenSolaris then I'm guessing there wouldn't be that much, if anything that needed to change to build for a SPARC server?

Re:But still no more desktops (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36238880)

Shouldn't that just be a compiler option?

I haven't programmed SPARC in a decade, but one of the differences I remember between SPARC and x86 is that SPARC was big-endian; that didn't matter in most cases but if you had some manky C code doing weird things with pointers it could be a problem. It did cause a few issues when I was working on a mix of SPARC and Sun 386 workstations years before that.

Re:But still no more desktops (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239754)

SPARC is big endian, x86 is little endian. Misaligned loads / stores on x86 incur a performance penalty, they crash on SPARC. SPARC64 is 64-bit and often has different type sizes to x86 and x86-64. SPARC has register windows and passes parameters in them, so some tricks with va_list that work on x86 won't work on SPARC (on x86, va_list is usually just a pointer into the call frame on the stack, on SPARC it may reference some registers). SPARC will generate an illegal instruction trap if you call a function that returns a structure using the calling convention for functions that return a scalar, x86 will just do some subtle stack corruption that you might miss (but malware authors probably won't).

That's just off the top of my head. There are probably some other differences.

Re:But still no more desktops (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36242552)

You can actually *test* the code that comes out of your cross-compiler. I've written opensolaris code that was ok on x86 and exploded on sparc, (at time was setjmp/longjmp issues and the way gcc handled them). or you might have unknown endian sensitive bug.

That actually was a joke at a place I once worked, "did you even check if the code you gave me worked? *shrug* "it compiled ok". Assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups.

Re:But still no more desktops (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#36245034)

. I guess my question is: What are the advantages of a Sun workstation over a PC - on the desktop?

What is this "Sun workstation" of which you speak? There is no such thing. Sun hasn't made or sold desktop SPARC for a couple of years, now.

Re:But still no more desktops (1)

DetriusXii (632162) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246398)

. I guess my question is: What are the advantages of a Sun workstation over a PC - on the desktop?

What is this "Sun workstation" of which you speak? There is no such thing. Sun hasn't made or sold desktop SPARC for a couple of years, now.

I thought it was the amount of registers on the Sun processor. With the amount of registers available, more primitive variables didn't need to be swapped into memory and function calls would need to store the outer scope in memory as frequently.

first! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36237802)

this would have been first post by my proxy server is sloow..

Double the Price, Half the Servers? (4, Interesting)

BBCWatcher (900486) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237806)

In other words, IDC is reporting that Oracle raised prices. That strategy works for a quarter or two, maybe. But it's a going out of business strategy.

Re:Double the Price, Half the Servers? (4, Informative)

Migala77 (1179151) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237970)

In other words, IDC is reporting that Oracle raised prices. That strategy works for a quarter or two, maybe. But it's a going out of business strategy.

Where did you read this? Nothing about the price is mentioned in the article, apart from that sales of pricier servers have increased in general. Oracle sales are more or less matching overall market growth, so neither a higher market share nor higher price is necessary for Oracle's revenue to go up.

Re:Double the Price, Half the Servers? (1)

Rob Riggs (6418) | more than 3 years ago | (#36238800)

Anyone buying Sun hardware knows where the increased revenue is coming from...

Re:Double the Price, Half the Servers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239008)

Anyone buying Oracle hardware or hardware support contracts since the sale of Sun knows that prices have gone way, way up. They don't need to spell it out in TFA.

Re:Double the Price, Half the Servers? (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 3 years ago | (#36242196)

Actually the hardware support contract for our 10 year old E450 and A1000 dropped slightly this year. No changes in coverage.

Re:Double the Price, Half the Servers? (2)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36242646)

yeah, but those *not* running long-obsolete old stuff are the ones seeing the contract jacking price problem. Awesomely impressive your systems are still going strong.

Re:Double the Price, Half the Servers? (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246826)

Well, other than replacing some drives in the A1000 and the keyboard and mouse when the bathroom above our server room backed up (since fixed) we've never had any problems with it. We are running an old ERP (MK) system that we'll never upgrade so it works for us. Running Solaris 7 and Oracle 8i on it. We seldom put a serious load on it. In a few years we'll transfer to the ERP system our parent company runs which is Oracle Financials on some big Sun servers halfway across the country.

Re:Double the Price, Half the Servers? (2)

cthulhu11 (842924) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247344)

Oracle required Sun VAR's to enroll in their own, more-rigorous VAR program in order to sell the newer products. Many Sun VAR's didn't bother, which has caused us no end of grief given a requirement that we have to come up with three quotes to buy stuff. They added restrictions to the the quoting process and the automatic 20% (or whatever) discount that one would get through just about any VAR on systems is no longer the case. That's effectively a price increase. They've also substantially increased the price of support contracts. That said, Soracle x64 systems continue to rock. They work well, have thoughtful physical design, and they have real, working, useful serial consoles. No "attach a keyboard and monitor" crap, no need to pull a DHCP server out of your ass. I have yet to identify a single other x64 vendor with a fully-useful serial console. Maybe those of you with two 'servers' sitting on a desk don't see the value in this, but when you routinely have to bring up systems purchased and racked in an unstaffed facility on another continent where the by-the-hour local hands have even fewer English skills than tech savvy, having a working serial console to get in to configure the rest is a frickin' GODSEND.

Re:Double the Price, Half the Servers? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265520)

well hello 1990. Serial port is ok, but a management board with network interface that can take ssh AND can put virtual devices in a browser are better. Sun's competitors give you a virtual high-resolution screen, mouse, keyboard, power buttons, DVD drive that can map to local drive or ISO file......The VAR I work at has responded to Oracle's abandoning us and trying to muscle us out in another way, *we steer our clients to alternative hardware solutions* FOAD, Oracle, those our OUR customers and clients

Re:Double the Price, Half the Servers? (1)

cthulhu11 (842924) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265602)

ILOM does those things too - hello 1982! Which do you think is more responsive over a transpac link -- a high-bandwidth video interface, or a low-bandwidth textual one? Also, you're completely missing the point about the network management interface -- how does IP get configured on it? Telepathy?

Re:Double the Price, Half the Servers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36238568)

No. Oracle did the unimaginable thing of actually charging people for the things they got from the company. Under Sun, products would be sold at a loss for various reasons and support would often be given for free without performing any real verification that the customer even had a current contract. They supported everyone with no questions asked. Oracle cleaned up ship and mandated that you charge for the products and you don't give out free support (that's what the CONTRACTS that companies like mine pay money to have with Sun/oracle are for).

I know. It's mindbending. By charging for your product instead of giving it away like a whore, you actually make money. Duuuuh.

Re:Double the Price, Half the Servers? (2)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#36238772)

Oracle cleaned up ship and mandated that you charge for the products and you don't give out free support (that's what the CONTRACTS that companies like mine pay money to have with Sun/oracle are for).

So you were paying Sun for a contract that you didn't need because they were giving away support for free? How generous of your company!

By charging for your product instead of giving it away like a whore...

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

Re:Double the Price, Half the Servers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36251316)

I know. It's mindbending. By charging for your product instead of giving it away like a whore, you actually make money. Duuuuh.

I'm sure you meant to use another term - whores aren't known for giving away their "product."

Bullshit! (3, Insightful)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237812)

IDC can say what they want, but the only way Sun hardware sales are growing is because Oracle bumped up the price on the hardware, and companies are buying their last Sun gear to give a two-year buffer to migrate away from.

I don't know of a single company ANYWHERE that is actively growing their Sun server farm. Everyone is running away screaming as fast as they can from Sun/Oracle.

Re:Bullshit! (2)

Denogh (2024280) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237932)

I don't know of a single company ANYWHERE that is actively growing their Sun server farm. Everyone but the U.S. Government is running away screaming as fast as they can from Sun/Oracle.

FTFY.

Seriously. The federal government still thinks there's some advantage to running Solaris on Sparc. My project tosses a few million of government money at Sun/Oracle every 1-2 years for "support" and new hardware.

Re:Bullshit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36238038)

Dude, I know of (albeit 4th hand) a project that is throwing millions of government money at Oracle every year, for a yet-to-be-launched DB system (and hardware upgrades for said DB system) to handle, of all things, military paychecks. Should GIs be paid once a week, or every two weeks...? How about reservists and the national guard? How does deployment change things? Decisions like this cannot be made lightly, of course, and Oracle is happy to take the money and continue working with the government on an appropriate solution. Supposedly the project budget is around $50M/year...

Re:Bullshit! (3)

HBI (604924) | more than 3 years ago | (#36238126)

Even the government has cut way back on Sun purchases, in some areas. For instance, Sun was the only vendor for a certain server stack (made up of x4100 M1/M2 and x4600 servers) that the Army uses heavily in deployed or deployable units. There are hundreds of these stacks out there, created from 05 to about a year ago. They dropped Sun as a hardware source effective about a year ago. Oracle policies, mostly, had to do with this. Switched to Dell. That one contract alone was worth quite a bit.

Re:Bullshit! (3)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36238228)

Agreed. In my experience, the US Government has increasingly shifted away from Sun toward either IBM humongous iron (pSeries or zSeries) or Dell commodity x64 stuff. The middle ground is where most of Sun's catalog could have been, but it's too easy to set up server partitions or VMs on the big boxen to cover those needs, or else a few x64 blades.

Now, the US Government would be happy to keep shoveling money at Oracle, but that's for their RDBMS product and its associated bells, whistles, licenses, and maintenance.

Re:Bullshit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36249086)

That is scary that our government uses Dell. Dell was reported here some time ago as having back doors in its hardware put in by China chip makers.

So now China has control of our Military.

Be afraid be very afraid.

Re:Bullshit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36238798)

Yep sure they do, this is the same Federal Government that when it buys Dell servers for Redhat systems, buys a Redhat media pack per server plus support, because they can't seem to understand the license vs. support model. So I would not expect this brain trust to understand how any marginal benefits of a SPARC architecture are negated buy the simple fact that it is non commodity architecture.

Re:Bullshit! (1)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 3 years ago | (#36242350)

I might argue that the US government is running away screaming as fast as they can too. Governments are notorious for their momentum, and I can't imagine that they're capable of turning on a dime. Honestly if it weren't for the government demands and requirements, I suspect that HP would have killed off HP-UX almost a decade ago. Similarly, they'll probably keep Solaris/Sparc alive for another decade or so, before they can migrate away.

But looking at our case as an example, the first thing we did to eliminate Oracle from our environment was to renew our software contracts for two years, followed by buying more hardware. We're a fairly large contract, so I suspect slower than average at vendor replacement. Thus, by the time we don't renew our Oracle contract next fall, I predict that the Oracle/Sun 'growth' curve will be on a fairly steep decline which started in Q4/11 or Q1/12.

Everyone who has dealt with Oracle since the Sun buyout seems to have the same story: Oracle is making it as expensive and difficult to keep using Sparc, Solaris, and (especially!) Sun's software suite as possible. Switching to different software on a different OS running on different hardware is a massive and unpleasant undertaking, but it's still better than the alternative of staying.

Re:Bullshit! (3, Informative)

Kyusaku Natsume (1098) | more than 3 years ago | (#36238132)

Since most high end servers last in service at least 6 years, I guess that most sales come from the fact that Oracle touts the Oracle DB/Sparc combo as the fastest combination for running Oracle DB. That coupled with the fact that migration is "relatively" easy with Solaris 10 containers, for customers used to a system that only want it to be faster, that makes sense. Fujitsu, the fourth largest server seller, also manufactures a lot of Sparc equipment under its own brand and for Oracle itself.

Re:Bullshit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36238364)

Don't know about other companies, but we've stopped and are deploying on Dell hardware for some stuff and HP for the higher end gear.

Re:Bullshit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36238518)

Oh, well there you go everyone. Swordgeek doesn't know of anyone buying Sun hardware so therefore no one is buying Sun hardware. Sounds open and shut to me.

Oh Larry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239612)

The only people buy sun now are replacements for apps that are locked into sun.

Nobody new is moving to sun, that is unless they're retarded.

They were good then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36237822)

probably still are now, no matter what the disposable smartphone crowd says

Sun's still alive? (1)

tiddlydum (1943210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237886)

I thought it was Oracle's intention to kill the Sun name, as they've certainly removed it from OpenOffice and Virtual Box, and I seem to remember hearing about moves to sell sun.com?

I have to say, Sun had the best logo in IT that I've ever seen.

Re:Sun's still alive? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36238214)

I have to say, Sun had the best logo in IT that I've ever seen.

*googles* looks like a bunch of worms to me. Sure, it spells Sun from a few angles, but yuck.. to be typically contrary, I'd say it's worse than the other big IT players.. various Linux distros, Apple, even MS, Dell etc have nicer logos..

Re:Sun's still alive? (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246742)

Well, if they did that, someone else could come along and sell Sun servers, right? I mean, they have to actively use a mark in trade (hence trade-mark) to be able to claim it.

support to expensive (2)

murple (28187) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237930)

If they would have other support options then 24/7 premier support we would at least consider to continue buying Sun.
For our HPC we only need something like next-business hardware-only.

Re:support to expensive (3, Interesting)

Nevo (690791) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239056)

I'd be happy if they'd just provide competent support, at any price. We have ~10,000 SUN servers and Oracle is happy to let my servers sit out of production for weeks at a time when they can't figure out the cause of a problem. If my software platform didn't have redundancy built in at the application layer I'd be losing millions of dollars a month to this. Dell, HP, or IBM would replace a server if they couldn't get it back into production. Not Oracle. Oracle will "research" the problem for weeks on end while my server sits, powered up, but out of production.

Re:support to expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36241082)

Usually when a case languishes for that long, it's because we're waiting for you (the customer) to provide us with some data we need to properly diagnose the issue by.

We do not just replace hardware willy nilly. Not only is that extremely stupid from a business standpoint, but there is absolutely NO guarantee that doing so is going to magically fix whatever the problem is.

Anyone who does that is simply incapable of diagnosing the issue properly.

Re:support to expensive (1)

cpghost (719344) | more than 3 years ago | (#36248646)

I guess Oracle's dismal support is due to a lot of talented Sun engineers quitting. Actually, if Oracle doesn't do more to acquire new talent, they'll end up with a huge problem. And how do you get net talent? By withdrawing from the EDU sector? By NOT providing reasonably priced SPARC machines for students and amateurs with tight budgets? By being elitist to the bone, so that the price of entry to their ecosystem is prohibitively high to young people who might be interested in joining them? Way to go Larry!

linguistic info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36237948)

probably irrelevant, but informative nonetheless : "LUL" is dutch for "penis"

Re:linguistic info (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36238016)

Thanks. I can now say "penis" in 5 languages!

Re:linguistic info (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241090)

How to say "penis" in five languages:

1. English: Larry Ellison
2. Spanish: Larry Ellison
3. French: Larry Ellison
4. German: Larry Ellison
5: Chinese: Rally Errison

And Oracle/Sun Down from Previous Quarter (2)

BBCWatcher (900486) | more than 3 years ago | (#36238168)

According to IDC, in the 4th quarter of 2010 [idc.com] Oracle/Sun had $883 million in server hardware revenue. Thus, on a quarter-to-quarter basis, Oracle was down substantially in the 1st quarter of 2011 [idc.com] (to $773 million). Oracle had what's called an "easy compare" -- very easy. I'd really like to see the unit shipment numbers, though, because I strongly suspect Oracle had to raise unit prices substantially to even make that $773M.

IDC also reports that IBM's System z mainframe hardware (only) revenue was $1.0 billion in the first quarter of 2011. From IDC's report it seems that counts only the z/OS machines and not the mainframes running other operating systems (e.g. Linux). Year over year, the IBM mainframe grew the fastest of any server type, up 41.1%. In other words, IBM's mainframe hardware business alone was about one third larger than Oracle's entire hardware business. Impressive and not impressive, respectively. I think IBM is more or less the Apple of the server industry, the only one left doing any substantial R&D and concentrating on qualities of service, which helps to explain why IBM mainframes contain 5.2 GHz CPUs, for example, when nobody else can get into the 4's. (Mainframe folks used to have to explain clock speed discrepancies, with justification. Now they don't even need to do that.) Sun used to be a big innovator, but, very sadly, that was long, long ago.

Re:And Oracle/Sun Down from Previous Quarter (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36238574)

I think IBM is more or less the Apple of the server industry, the only one left doing any substantial R&D

Check out the Cisco UCS, while my company is an IBM shop, the integration of the networking stack and something called service profiles (like a profile that controls what the hardware on the blade is) are interesting innovations in recent years. I have to admit tho HP and IBM have been doing the same things int he x86 (rackable and bladecenter) for many years (more CPU, RAM etc..)

Re:And Oracle/Sun Down from Previous Quarter (1)

javanree (962432) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239080)

UCS looks nice on paper, but for instance the CPU (core) density/rack UCS offers doesn't compare favorably compared to other platforms. And the initial investments are way too high for most small to medium companies as well.

Re:And Oracle/Sun Down from Previous Quarter (1)

BillyGee (981263) | more than 3 years ago | (#36238620)

All true and agreeable, except that in the real world, or the vast majority of it where cost IS an object, all of this doesn't matter. What good is 5 or 10GHz when it costs many times more than 3GHz? IBM's gear costs so much more than Sun gear which costs so much more than HP gear (initial purchase + support) that for anything but tech startups rolling in VC dough or Fortune500 giants don't usually give much consideration to IBM.

Nevermind that Oracle with its draconian license terms (e.g. have to license an entire VMware cluster if an Oracle DB is running inside a single virtual machine in that cluster) and ever increasing costs is probably doing most of the damage to its own server business on that aspect alone. IBM is probably going to have its mainframe-high end enterprise customers for the next 50 years as well, things just don't change much in large corporations where money is no object.

Re:And Oracle/Sun Down from Previous Quarter (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239466)

I think IBM is more or less the Apple of the server industry,...

That comparison seems so bizarre, considering that IBM had overwhelming market dominance for business computers of any sort (which were mostly servers of one kind or another at the time) when Apple was founded.

IBM is the antitheses of Apple (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#36247452)

I think IBM is more or less the Apple of the server industry, the only one left doing any substantial R&D and concentrating on qualities of service,

It's really sad that you think that.

You've been taken in by the marketing, Apple develop very little themselves (Thunderbolt == Intel, Retina == LG) and their customer service is crap (_I_ have to go to a an apple store where they might look at it... some time next week). Seriously, MS and Red Hat do a lot more R&D then Apple does. Not even considering the amount of stuff that comes out of Google, the difference being Google, Red Hat or even MS wont patent the crap out of everything they invent, let alone the stuff they didn't invent (like rounded corners and a grid of icons)

IBM is the complete opposite of this. When I buy an IBM X series server, I know I can depend on it and in the off chance it does fail, I can depend on IBM. I describe the IBM X3650 as the Aston Martin DB9 of x86-64 servers, well worth the extra $K or 2 you pay over a Dell x64 server. They are fast, powerful, functional, reliable and an absolute pleasure to work with, IBM tapes all the important info you'd need to work on an X3650 to the lid of the server.

That sort of openness, adaptability and user friendliness is the antitheses of Apple lock down policies.

Re:IBM is the antitheses of Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36248320)

You are a "hater".

smoke and mirrors (1)

delorean (245987) | more than 3 years ago | (#36238252)

I know some companies had a hell of a time getting in large orders (over half a million $$). It was like Oracle didn't want money for their hardware. I'm thinking this was by design, so that one quarter would look better/worse than others.

Re:smoke and mirrors (1)

graffix01 (973350) | more than 3 years ago | (#36238492)

As an ex-VAR engineer who focused on Sun I can tell you we called Oracle the sales prevention dept. They changed the T's&C's to the point you were basically saying that if there is something wrong with an order it was your fault. State/Local gov had a very hard time with this. Also, as someone else mentioned they removed all support levels except for 24/7 Premium. If you decided not to buy support but wanted to get it a year or two later, say you decide to move a server from dev to prod, you have to back pay for support from the day the server was purchased! They also cut the product line substantially and did raise prices some but nothing outrageous, it was mainly the support that got you. I wouldn't say that most of our customers ran screaming from Sun hardware, we still sold a lot of it, but people are rethinking something they were quite comfortable not thinking about.

Re:smoke and mirrors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246980)

I argued with them about back-paying support and they caved. I only have 4 x4600s and 2 storagetek2530s. Shame, I really like these boxes but I wouldn't buy hardware, software or maintenance from Oracle ever again.

I also had to sign a monsterous equipment provision T&C - I mean 30+ pages so that I could order two replacement batteries for disk controllers. Not only was it totally insane, but it was full of errors. I emailled them to tell them I would happily exchange a million Australian dollars for a billion US dollars in Oracle assets - company stock would be fine. Several colleagues joked about putting a syndicate together to finance it. Obviously we heard nothing back from Oracle!! That's something they are really good at.

Prices went up, sortof (3)

Sandman1971 (516283) | more than 3 years ago | (#36238440)

Having recently had a hand in buying new Sun/Oracle hardware, I can attest that prices did not directly go up, BUT the discounts offered to corporations have gone down. For example (using fake numbers) we used to get a 20% discount on hardware purchases, but now only get 10%.

Re:Prices went up, sortof (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36238558)

For us the Sun/Oracle's prices (hardware, software) has gone up from 50% to 1000%. No more new hardware and software from Sun/Oracle.

Re:Prices went up, sortof (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36238608)

In the EDU sector all 'published' discounts have been gone for 15 months. Subsequently 99.99% of my customers are also gone. The Oracle sales reps are eating themselves and pooping on the partner channel. The only HW sales Oracle makes are on the golf course with people that do not know any better. Thanks Larry!

Re:Prices went up, sortof (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36242722)

yup, working as employee for VAR with many partners (HP, Dell, IBM, Sun, etc.) , can affirm Oracle threw their partners under the bus, trying to muscle them out at customer sites, and it only doesn't matter much because the customers are pissed off with Oracle and delighted to be given alternative solutions

Creative Accounting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36238468)

There is nothing one sufficiently creative accounting department cannot achieve :D

easy, with the few servers they were selling (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 3 years ago | (#36238570)

They were selling almost nothing. 80 million more revenue per quarter wouldn't mean anything significant to IBM, Dell or HP. For Oracle it's about 10 percent growth.

This is hard to believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239006)

Given the utter awfulness of Oracle's support for the SUN hardware, I can't imagine anyone buying these machines. This is hands-down the worst server support I've ever received.

Hardware contract expiration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239042)

The extra sales may be due to Oracle changing the hardware support expiration on a lot of older servers. With Sun it used to be that you could keep a server up and running for a decade and continue to get parts under a support contract. Not anymore. A lot of shops probably have to upgrade, right now, whether they like it or not. It also seems that Oracle is making progress with being less Troll like about selling things. For the last 6mo it seems like I could approach them, cash in hand, and they would refuse to negotiate.

Note to Oracle. I've been a rabid Sun fan for many years, but I ain't buying from Oracle any more. They make it too difficult. HP and IBM will be very glad to take my money.

can't resist the comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36239340)

Oracle: bought Sun (Java, Solaris, MySQL, server hardware business, SPARC processors, SAN/mainframe storage business) for $7.4 billion.

Microsoft: bought Skype for $8.5 billion.

Which would you rather have under your Christmas tree?

Agressive marketing is another reason (1)

fullmetal55 (698310) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239774)

Where I work we run oracle, since we run Oracle, we've got an Oracle rep. our Oracle rep has been calling us nearly once a week asking if we want to buy a server, we keep telling him no. My manager is getting angry at them, and has asked them several times to stop calling.

Re:Agressive marketing is another reason (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 3 years ago | (#36241794)

I get the same thing. The last time he called. I flat out listed all the reason that they could expect to never see another dime from me, or any company where I worked.
Hudson
OpenOffice
OpenSolaris
MySQL (I admit I only expect them to kill it.)
Solaris updates no longer free

I'd believe increased prices (1)

whitroth (9367) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239872)

Having wasted over a *month* in getting support on a less-than-one-year-old server the beginning of this year, and that included being handed off to an engineer in Chile for two weeks, whose manager kept putting him on other jobs, so that frequently it was a day or two or three before he could respond to my emails, I would NEVER advise buying Oracle/Sun to anyone... and I've joined my manager and my co-worker in that attitude.

Wait till Oracle dumps Sun, the way they've dumped some of Sun's OSS projects.

                  mark

Re:I'd believe increased prices (1)

cpghost (719344) | more than 3 years ago | (#36242246)

Wait till Oracle dumps Sun, the way they've dumped some of Sun's OSS projects.

Wouldn't it be great if Oracle let SUN go, and SUN was then acquired by a UNIX/OSS-friendly company? After all, SUN used to be cool blue, now it's a red herring^WOracle. Imagine SUN being acquired by big blue IBM, or maybe by Google. I'm afraid it won't happen. Oracle's Larry won't let his SUN people go. *sigh*

IBM Bid for Sun (1)

BBCWatcher (900486) | more than 3 years ago | (#36246774)

According to press reports, Sun didn't accept IBM's best and final offer, which was only a couple pennies per share below Oracle's eventual winning bid. With hindsight, it appears IBM smelled a rotting corpse. Sometimes losing honorably is the big win.

Just a better economy (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#36239882)

The title is misleading. People are not switching because they love Oracle. I bet you the majority of customers are those who cut back on I.T. from 2007 and just tried to squeeze the existing equipments' life until 2011. This is just pent up demand as Oracle and Sun customers had 2002 era machines that need to be upgraded that are dying. So they purchase newer Oracle servers and maybe update their Java 1.3 software with a java 6 while they are at it too while the companies have cash to burn. IBM, Intel, and even Microsoft are seeing growth too mostly from existing customers updating their very old servers and desktops as well.

Nothing else to see folks move along.

To Larry: (1)

h8sg8s (559966) | more than 3 years ago | (#36242024)

You've lost that looovin feelin, Oh that loovin feelin.. ... Gone, gone, gone.

They ARE Atrocious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36246904)

It took me 3 months to get replacement batteries for my disk arrays, 2 months to get MyOracleSupport enabled and my equipment registered on it so that I could download patches which were previously available for free. If Oracle thinks this is how to support customers it's going to have a very low ROI on its Sun acquisition. It's almost the worst customer service I've ever experienced.

Re:They ARE Atrocious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36285038)

But they are balls deep in party sluts down at the isle-of-blue-penises so they don't give a fuck:
Whoooooooooo! Exploding fight bumps all around my brohams, I just forced some sucker to buy 3 years of back support to get a 1 year platinum support contract and they were whining like little bitches "why do I have to buy platinum, why do I have to buy the back support???" and I was like "because 'fuck you' that's why, and pimpin' ain't easy or cheap and mainly, mostly, definitely, absolutely cause I gotz to get paid, heeeeeeeeey, wat?" Oh, look at me now, look at me now, I'm gettin' paper. God, I love working at Oracle in sales, it is like I never left the frat house.

Zounds! (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36249092)

Do you know what this means? PHB's are still idiots! Stop the presses!
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