Oracle to detail delayed Sun roadmap
Start your chainsaws
Oracle's stalled $5.6bn acquisition of Sun Microsystems looks like its finally received approval from European antitrust regulators.
On Wednesday, the database giant said that next week, its chief executive Larry Ellison will outline a strategy for the combined companies and their roadmaps during a webcast.
The event could not happen unless Oracle's acquisition of the fading Sun had finally cleared the European Union's regulatory process. Before approval, the companies must be seen to be operating separately and in a way that's not deemed unfair to their competitors.
Ellison is understood to have wanted the deal closed and announced ahead of the America's Cup, starting in Spain on February 8. Ellison is a keen racer and his Oracle-sponsored boat will be participating. He didn't want any distractions.
Oracle did not respond to requests to clarify whether the EU had approved the deal. But separate reports have said an agreement has been reached.
Next week's event will see Oracle lay-out the plans in hardware and software its executives have spent building in 2009 by carefully combing through Sun's product groups and thinning ranks of employees.
The announcement will also signal an end to the limbo inhabited by Sun's surviving employees, as it will be made clear which people and product groups are unwanted and will be axed. Oracle's deal was expected to close in the summer last year.
Investment banker UBS has predicted that Oracle will cut 13,800 Sun employees, half the workforce. To shore-up morale, Sun has promised workers Oracle will "rely heavily" on them. This month, Sun axed 353 employees in its latest round of water-treading job cuts.
The announcement of the event implies an agreement was reached between regulators and Oracle on the question of MySQL. Either regulators accepted Oracle assurances that there was no clash of interests in owning MySQL, or Oracle could have agreed - as reported - to create a structure that satisfies those concerned about MySQL's future while letting it retain ownership or control.
MySQL co-founder Monty Widenius had argued that Oracle would have far too much control over the open source database and said that other OSS vendors would be unable to compete effectively. He launched a campaign in December that in just a few weeks got 15,000 supporters.
Next Wednesday's event will be classic Oracle: a webcast that combines product strategy down to the minutes details of specific products, plus sales and marketing hype all broadcast from the safety of Oracle's Redwood Shores, California HQ - safe from probing questions.
Oracle's release announcing the event said: "Larry Ellison, along with executives from Oracle and Sun, will outline the strategy for the combined companies, product roadmaps, and how customers will benefit from having all components - hardware, operating system, database, middleware, and applications - engineered to work together." ®
SPARC64 The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated
If you want an M-series server today you will have to wait a little longer than normal as demand is outstripping factory output.
Larry's comments have greatly boosted confidence and growth.
Can I keep my job?
Many Thanks Jesper - Good Points
6. OK, PRIMEPOWER not a Mainframe but certainly there's a clear mainframe design thinking input; cooling, metal, layout, three-phase power, cabling and more of this thinking than SunFire and in practice PRIMEPOWER had good availability. Not mainframe partitioning its true and oher aspects. On my watch PRIMEPOWER performed well in one account zero production errors against around 4% fail rate across 10,000 Sun servers, perhaps SPARC64 was helped by ECC on many paths.
1. Agree also IMHO. Sun's and Fujitsu's problem was a sales one and that ultimately was about effectively getting the message across. At times they were very well placed against competition, IBM, HP and failed to be able to take advantage of this in the market, especially well positioned once Sun had got over Fujitsu's system capability with PRIMEPOWER and the resulting M class systems. Can't comment on M vs. PRIMEPOWER as I don't know the newer machines.
Certainly IBMs Z system appears to be most interesting.
Oracle and Sun uncertainty has not helped in recent months. What's your view on today's clarification? Does this help? You are right about Fujitsu's virtualisation strategy. Again, like many of these things, if there is good growth more resources can be deployed to try and improve. Again is tied in to opportunity and market share.
Separate VM arguably better than Solaris container. Thanks for your performance detail that appears to show the power of POWER6 and POWER7 is very much better.
2. Sure, its a balance. Says who though? I guess IBM and HP with Intel would argue otherwise as they are both market leaders in their respective sections of the market. Overall if they make money on servers, I do not know. Server leadership a key for server vendor survival.
Agree it looks like a two horse race. Oracle and Fujitsu will have to gear shift to compete.
For it to be a three horse race, with perhaps another entrant would help keep the market competitive. It may well be that a new approach gains traction. Markets do tend to a duopoly in many cases with Other often being a large segment, often the largest.
It may already be too late. Agree Venus as is, doesn't look enough to be a game changer. You clearly showed this in your earlier post. Water cooled looks like a retrograde step. We know the problems with distributed arrays. Plus as you pointed out to change fabrication process fraught with risks, costs and difficulties.
Wonder what today's clarification by Oracle has said about this? What Fujitsu's answer would be to this Venus question. How the roadmap and catch-up is now rendered?
SPARC would have to be stronger for it to matter and to make it to the Intel IBM table to compete. Will need radical strategy and action for this to work. Time is clicking on.
Whats your view on Itanium and its future? Eclisped by Nehalem and successors?
What about the google server farm approach versus big centralised servers?
The big boxes appear to fall over in terms of the costs of supporting that type of architecture and maybe moved to water cooled is another indicator. Perhaps Intel architectures are headed that way too?
Its going to be interesting to see what happens as feature sizes shrink, if there is a move to more chip stacking or wsi arrangements.
Its also interesting if it becomes a two horse race IBM and Intel the costs of just staying in the game for both is increasingly astronomical. The margin for error perhaps reducing.
Having read Scott McNealy's 26th January 2010 memo, I can't help wondering and thinking if Sun would have survived and prospered independently had he stayed at the CEO helm. He'd had a long tenure.
Will be fascinating to see if Oracle are able to harness the Sun opportunity. IBM and HP continue to attack the Sun base.
Will need a tightly executed Oracle strategy to secure the base and grow Sun's infrastructure business.
Many Thanks Jesper.