Oracle-Sun Road Map Will Focus on Bundles

Oracle plans to invest heavily in developing and selling hardware bundled with applications and database software. The company will reveal the plan as it rolls out its strategy for combining the assets of Sun Microsystems at a briefing today at its Redwood Shores, Calif. headquarters.

In what is arguably one of the most significant acquisitions in the IT industry, Oracle cleared the final regulatory hurdle last week when the European Union gave it the green light to acquire Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion, which closed yesterday.

According to several published reports, Oracle plans to hire 2,000 engineers and sales people focused on developing and bringing to market combined systems. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison told the Wall Street Journal Tuesday that he sees integrated systems as a multibillion dollar business.

Already Oracle's first such product, the Exadata appliance, has a pipeline of $100 million in sales, Ellison said in the report. Exadata is a high-end storage server based on hardware from Sun released last year. The move is an about-face for Oracle, which once shunned the hardware business. "It took us a while to decide that we would be better off with all of the pieces, and not working with partners," Ellison told the Journal.

With Sun, Oracle intends to provide integrated databases, app software, servers, storage and network gear, Ellison told The New York Times. "It is odd that the computer industry ships all these separate parts and expects customers to assemble them," Ellison said. "You will now be buying this complete system, and don’t have to hire IBM or someone else to assemble it for you."

As the two companies combine, it is already changing the competitive landscape. Earlier this month, Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft inked a $250 million agreement to develop and bring to market next-generation data center technology. For its part, IBM has also been talking up its integrated offerings. And a growing number of smaller players are also entering the fray.

For example, Netezza, a provider of data warehouse appliances, Monday launched Skimmer, data warehouse appliance. Based on its TwinFin appliance, Skimmer is aimed at providing the technology to the small and medium business segment.

Also today, observers will be looking to hear how Oracle will position MySQL, the open-source database that was the subject of concern by the European Commission and the open-source community and Java. According to the event's agenda, Oracle will also outline its strategy for operating systems and virtualization. How Oracle intends to address cloud computing will also be top-of-mind, according to observers.

See also: Oracle Plans To Take Sun Sales Direct


About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.