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Oracle Ropes In Sun

By Richard Adhikari
Jan 27, 2010 12:01 PM PT

Oracle announced on Wednesday the completion of its US$7 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

Oracle Ropes In Sun

At a briefing on its plans, Oracle pledged to reenergize Sun's brand name, products and other assets.

Further, Oracle said it will continue its commitment to open systems and Java.

"We'll invest in Java One; it'll just go global," Oracle Copresident Charles Phillips told an audience at the Oracle conference center in Redwood Shores, Calif. "It'll be colocated with Oracle Open World, and we'll add Brazil, Russia, India and China. We can afford to invest in things that Sun couldn't."

Oracle OpenWorld will be held in San Francisco Sept. 19 through 23. It is expected to have more than 40,000 attendees, and there will be more than 1,500 sessions spanning applications, middleware, databases, virtualization Sun servers, storage and SPARC.

Shining On With Sun

Oracle plans to leverage Sun's servers and storage properties. "The No. 1 product beneath our installed database is Sun's SPARC," Phillips said. "We'll make Sun the gold standard for computing for servers underneath our products."

Sun's products will also help Oracle penetrate new vertical markets. For example, Oracle will integrate its software solution for telecommunications companies with Sun's Netra carrier-grade server. "This gives us a whole new dimension and presence in an industry we didn't have before," Phillips said. "The telco business will be a much bigger product line now."

Other industries for which Oracle expects to be able to leverage Sun's technology include the financial industry and the public sector.

The Sun-Oracle combination will focus on developing differentiated high-value technologies. "We're not interested in focusing on standard Windows x86 products," Phillips said. "Let other people do that."

Open Systems and Java

Oracle will continue its and Sun's work in the open systems area, Phillips said. "Nothing changes in our commitment to open standards," he affirmed. "This area is still going to be important to us. We have an entire open source division." Where open standards exist, Oracle will use them, he said.

"We've always focused on a design philosophy of openness," said Thomas Kurian, executive vice president of product development at Oracle. His definition of openness is building systems around standards and interoperability and across architectures.

Oracle will also continue to back Java. "We have a vested interest in wanting to see Java be successful," Phillips pointed out.

However, Toffer Winslow, chief marketing officer at dynaTrace, is not so sure. "Sun was at least the devil you know; Oracle has a well-deserved reputation as a more closed, less open source-inclined company," he pointed out. "If Oracle does some of the things that the Java community has asked it to consider, like open source the Java Test Compatibility Kits or even the Java Virtual machine and put them under the control of an independent board, for example, then the Java community should stay vibrant," Winslow told the E-Commerce Times.

There's also been concern about the future of the open source MySQL database. In December, Oracle made a commitment to MySQL users, developers and customers.

Oracle will continue to support MySQL, IDC analyst Al Hilwa contended. "MySQL operates in a completely different space from where Oracle makes most of its money with its premier database," he told the E-Commerce Times. "As the industry shifts to more of a cloud model over time and Oracle begins to shift with it, it will help Oracle to have the MySQL technology to support many customers who have built Web apps with a MSQL Web-tier database."

Further, Oracle can maintain multiple database codebases and slowly infuse congruent features in both, Hilwa said. "Oracle did that with RDB many years ago and likely will do that with MySQL."

RDB was a family of database management system products developed by Digital Equipment. Oracle purchased RDB back in 1995.

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