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back to article Sun admits Oracle didn't want the hardware biz

Oracle's management has been putting a positive spin on its proposed $5.6bn purchase of Sun Microsystems. Chief executive Larry Ellison - a man with an Ahab-like obsession for hardware appliances - has said the deal potentially makes Oracle the Apple of enterprise systems. Elsewhere, management has been dancing around the fact …

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Joke

So ORACLE has negative ambitions?

"has said the deal potentially makes Oracle the Apple of enterprise systems."

Great strategy then, are they really looking for a market share of 0.01%, or less, in enterprise systems then ????

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Happy

And the outcome?

So, IBM and hp got to paw all through Sun's dirty laundry doing their "due dilligence", and so now will know exactly where to punch to make the most damage to the new Oracle hardware bizz. And Larry decided to take on a failed hardware concern he originally didn't want, because his buddy McNeedy asked him to? Wow, great business planning! I bet the rest of the Oracle board are squirming as I'm sure the other journos won't be far behind TPM in connecting the dots. I'm betting there's still plenty of calls going between Redwood, Armonk and Palo Alto as Larry tries to get IBM or hp to take some of the dross at any price.

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Joke

conspiracy?

Sun are to The Register what Princess Diana is to The Daily Express

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Re: So ORACLE has negative ambitions?

"Great strategy then, are they really looking for a market share of 0.01%, or less, in enterprise systems then ????"

Don't forget the 'massively overpriced for what you actually get' angle - think they've got that one pretty well nailed.

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Re: So ORACLE has negative ambitions?

>> "has said the deal potentially makes Oracle the Apple of enterprise systems."

>>

>> Great strategy then, are they really looking for a market share of 0.01%, or less, in enterprise

>> systems then ????

What are you talking about, Apple have 100% market share - there is no one that can compete in the world of overpriced locked in systems.

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Black Helicopters

@Matt Bryant...

Matt,

Knowing the 'dirty laundry' and being able to use 'it' for a competitive advantage are two different things.

Not to mention that there are things like NDAs that are signed and those that know the 'dirty laundry' aren't allowed to talk about it.

Its far easier for a sales rep to create their own FUD for their own advantage.

I'll give you an example...

When IBM did start the takeover process of Informix Software (the database division of Ascential...), the sales reps went out and started telling customers that they should buy DB2 since they were acquiring Informix to remove a competitor and that it would be going away.

(This was the furthest thing from the truth.) The net result was that the customer would end up going with Oracle because they didn't like DB2 and they didn't trust IBM's future in this space.

(Informix reps who covered the accounts would say a different thing.)

The other issue is that even if you know the dirty laundry, it could be a moot point. Its all about spin control.

Customers are used to sales critters bashing their competition so that when company A bashes company B, a good rep from company B deflects the negative talk with spin.

Sorry but the rest of your post is pure drivel.

Oracle will not sell off the hardware business.

The real problem is that Oracle was slow to think this deal through. From the Sun consumer and their resellers' perspective, Oracle is a better option that being bought by the 'borg. From Oracle's perspective, they didn't want to enter in to the low margin game of hardware, at the risk of hurting their current alliances with Sun , HP and even IBM. (IBM is also a very large reseller of Oracle's products.)

But as Oracle thinks the deal through, Sun's hardware could be pretty much a stand alone division, having minimal impact on their existing software relationship. Case in point, IBM as a larger (#2??) reseller of Oracle which they they sell IBM's hardware and services to close the deal.

Add to this the fact that with a hardware platform, Oracle can become a one stop shop and better compete against an IBM which sells hardware/software/services.

Add to this the fact that Sun customers love Sun so that as long as Oracle doesn't rock the craddle too much, their hardware division will continue to make money and they will continue to have access to customers in IBM's 'white space' where IBM really can't sell so its less of a competitor leaving HP or an Intel based solution from Dell or MSI...

The longer you look at the deal, Oracle comes out ahead by getting in to the hardware biz. The real interesting issue is that this deal is a total game changer.

The black helicopter is because I know too much. ;-)

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Full Speed Ahead, LE Cap'n

You may like to consider that Sun is Oracle's Cloud GUI .

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Flame

The Sun-Oracle combo

To an extent, even keeping Sun's kit around and not doing anything special with it would be useful for Oracle. I can't be the only person who has worked in places where it was purely Oracle on Sun kit, presumably with generous revenues for the two companies, and there's now even more of an incentive for Oracle to keep things that way.

Nice to see Mr Bryant keeping the gossip at fever pitch, rather than looking at the actual details. HP doesn't have a great deal to offer in the database space (that they haven't tipped over the side, like most of the stuff the behemoth has acquired over the years), so they'll be squirming at the prospect of Larry not giving them as much attention as they've been getting.

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Happy

RE: Ian Michael Gumby

"Knowing the 'dirty laundry' and being able to use 'it' for a competitive advantage are two different things....." Using it obviously would break the NDA, but using it behind the scenes would be harder to prove. As an hypothetcial example, suppose IBM and hp found amongst the goodies a bit of info such as transactional memory on Rock meant you couldn't use FCOE at the same time. I know, a wildly unlikely scenario (no-one is going to get to use Rock anyway), but just go with it for a moment. The design bods at hp and IBM are given subtle hints by the diligence team along the lines of "I can't tell you about Sun, but have you looked at FCOE recently?" So, when Rock is ready to hit market, hp and IBM announce amazing FCOE performance and then look surprised when Oracle get huffy.

"....Its far easier for a sales rep to create their own FUD for their own advantage....." Oh dear, your fixation with FUD is making you sound like a Sunshiner. There are dozens of other ways to use insider info without going to FUD, in fact it can often be to your advantage to not tell anyone what you know until the right moment. Consider the FCOE example above - FUDing Rock before release would alert Oracle, and they might concetrate efforts on finding a fix which nullifies your market advantage.

"....Sorry but the rest of your post is pure drivel.....Oracle will not sell off the hardware business...." Those statements would look much more convincing if they actually had some factual argument to back them up. A key fact you have overlooked is that the Sun hardware bizz does not make a profit, so merely expecting it to somehow soldier on unchanged in Larry Land is not just drivel but obtuse as well.

"....Add to this the fact that with a hardware platform, Oracle can become a one stop shop and better compete against an IBM which sells hardware/software/services....." Oracle can become a one-stop-shop for a narrow segment of the market, whilst hp and IBM are much more diversified. As it stands it would take a miracle for Oracle to match Power, Integrity, xSeries or ProLiant with the current Sun offerings, as the market figures show. But Oracle's biggest foe is not IBM or hp, it's the companies such as M$, SAP and the opensource community that hp and IBM can bring to the table to undercut Larry's licencing bizz.

"....Add to this the fact that Sun customers love Sun..." And another common and disproven Sun fallacy. Some tech level people inside customers love Sun because it means they don't have to change but can carry on flogging their Slowaris skills. CEOs, CIOs and CTOs don't love Sun, as is shown by the very obvious nose-dive in Sun sales in the last nine years. And it is the CxOs that have the spending power, and both hp and especially IBM have proven more adept at getting in above the tech influencers and selling at the board level.

"....The black helicopter is because I know too much. ;-)" Sorry, but it looks more like you are ignoring far too much of the realities.

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Stop

I wouldn't purchase anything until dust has settled

As I have been saying to my colleagues at work, I wouldn't buy any hardware from SUN until the dust settles. If we need hardware today, we will go to our other vendors (which on UNIX, is ironically enough, IBM). Case in point is that we needed another tape library and we have been mainly a Storagetek customer for years. However, we do have some Quantum devices and we switched from buying another Storagetek library gear to a Quantum i2000 (and yes I know Quantum isn't strong financially either, but there not diversified like SUN so less of a guessing game it they got acquired).

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Re: Re: So ORACLE has negative ambitions?

>> What are you talking about, Apple have 100% market share - there is no one that can compete >> in the world of overpriced locked in systems.

Since when has windows been an open platform???

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Unhappy

Re: amanfromMars and Bryant

Mr. Mars, please stop speaking in comprehensible tones. It scares me a bit.

Mrs. Bryant, please keep the FUD coming. You're very funny to watch. Even though Sun is dead, you still can't help yourself. Like kicking a proverbial dead dog... Of course, now your kicking Oracle, which is actually a bit more fun, though you can't really use your love affair with HP to put down Oracle as Oracle is 10x the company that HP is.

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Anonymous Coward

Who's surprised?

I guess someone should at least feign shock at this news. Oracle buys companies for the technology it wants and buries the rest. Look for them to kill Glassfish and MySQL. Then brace yourselves for the new Java license prices that are sure to come. No doubt, HP's gear will have the lowest form factor.

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Anonymous Coward

@Frank and @Matt

@Frank - Everytime I see somebody mentioning server speed I have to laugh!! The vendors have got you sown up - it like buying a 250km/h car and you can only legaly do 100. And the always faster - lol - linux on IA64 is faster than IBM - given the right performance BS benchmark. It is about the features not the f*&^&^% speed. I hope you have no technical buying decision role in your company.

@Matt

- thanks man - your continous uninformed remarks do make me laugh ... hope you are using a pseudonym

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Happy

RE: The Sun-Oracle combo, amanfromMars and Bryant, & @Frank and @Matt

RE: The Sun-Oracle combo

".....Nice to see Mr Bryant keeping the gossip at fever pitch, rather than looking at the actual details......" Sorry, but which details do you mean? You don't point out any missed details, just wander off into slagging off hp, as though that will somehow hide the issues with Sun/Oracle.

"....HP doesn't have a great deal to offer in the database space...." True, hp do not offer their own enterprise database, and I'm pretty sure they never did. There is - or was - a free database built into hp-ux we actually used to use around hp-ux 10.20. I'm not sure if it's even still in 11i v3, I haven't bothered to look. Instead, hp chose what one hp rep amusingly referred to as "being the software tart of the industry" - making friends and reselling anyones database or software they could. Even partners with products that directly competed got help from hp to ensure other parts of the relationship did not suffer. This "tarting" was very successful - for example, did you know hp is actually IBM Software's largest partner, and that more Websphere is sold on hp kit than IBM's own? It was this successful strategy that made hp overtake Sun in Oracle's affections pre-Sunset.

".....so they'll be squirming at the prospect of Larry not giving them as much attention as they've been getting." Still no argument as to why you think Larry will give hp any less attention. After all, his licencing sales are tied to success with hp, so why would he want to upset his largest partner? At best, he can throw money at the Sun hardware bizz and try and build his own stack or appliances, but his immediate licence stream is largely going to be for hp and IBM servers. It's a symbiotic thing - neither side will want to really rock the boat in the immediate future. Longterm is anyone's guess - if IBM really do go to war with Oracle then hp may take advantage of that to pinch sales from IBM by staying close to Larry.

Come on, it's not like Larry's Sun management, he can actually see beyond the end of his ego. He will have seen how poorly Sun hardware has been doing competiting with hp and IBM (and Dell, et al) far the last few years, he knows his customers can just take his software and put it on other vendors kit because that's how Oracle designed it. Trying to force his customers down the Sun hardware route with the current offerings (or even vapourware offerings) would not work. Does he try to incentivise them by sudsidising his Sun kit by making SPARC Oracle licences cheaper, which reduce his licence stream and risk p*ssing off his customers, or does he just sell the hardware at a loss as Sun has largely been doing for years? If he offers appliances there is nothing to stop hp and IBM building competing appliances, even if he makes their licences much higher, and their appliances will be on better hardware the market has already shown a preference for.

Re: amanfromMars and Bryant

"....Mrs. Bryant, please keep the FUD coming...." Ah, another gender-confused Sunshiner.

"....You're very funny to watch....." Funny to watch? Why is it you Sunshiners are so big with the stalking thing? The poor family bunny is already living in the hutch equivalent of Fort Knox!

"....Even though Sun is dead, you still can't help yourself. Like kicking a proverbial dead dog..." Nope, kicking the Sunshiners. Sun was never the target, it's always been the annoying Sunshiners, both inside and outside Sun, that fed off Sun when it was a success. Now Sun is dying I'm looking forward to seeing a number of those Sunshiners eat crow.

".....Of course, now your kicking Oracle, which is actually a bit more fun, though you can't really use your love affair with HP to put down Oracle as Oracle is 10x the company that HP is." Nice argument, full of detailed argument - not! "10x the company" - how? I'm actually supportive of Oracle, just amazed at Larry's silly talk of making his company the next Apple. It's the equivalent of Michelin's CEO standing up and saying he wants to make Michelin the next SMART GmbH.

RE: @Frank and @Matt

"....- thanks man - your continous uninformed remarks do make me laugh...." Well, you Sunshiners have given many of us years of unintentional humour. Especially your strident denials of any problems at this last year whilst Sun so visibly tanked, so it would seem only fair to give you a few chuckles in return. I take it from your "uninformed" slight that you think there still are no problems, so looks like there will be plenty of pointing and laughing ammo for a while.

"... hope you are using a pseudonym..." Let's just say John Smith was a bit obvious. Why, are you going to hunt me down and make me buy an Oracle on Slowaris licence?

/SP&L

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Anonymous Coward

@Matt

Hunt you down - and be found guilty by stupidty due to association? So you are actually called Matt Bryant, you do work in an IT shop and you do expose your lack of knowledge on a public forum? Wow! When is the last time you looked at hp's Unix related server sales?

Its all in the ink ....

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Happy

RE: @Matt

".....and be found guilty by stupidty due to association?...." No need - your posts are plenty stupid enough.

"....So you are actually called Matt Bryant, you do work in an IT shop and you do expose your lack of knowledge on a public forum?...." Lol, read the line again, moron. Oh, and I did notice your post is just brimming with technical insights and analysis - not! I'm guessing you're one of those poor ickle Sunshiners feeling just a tad threatened now that your little world of Sunshine is going down the pan. Try and be a bit more of a man about it.

".....When is the last time you looked at hp's Unix related server sales?...." Oh dear, here we go again! How many times do I have to remind you guys before it sinks in? Both Gartner and IDC figures not only show hp-ux on Integrity growing in marketshare again (whilst SPARC declined AGAIN), but that hp-ux is also taking marketshare from Slowaris in the enterprise high-end. Now, I'll explain it to you lot once more, but please write it down (in the ink you seem so worried about) and try and remember this; the enterprise high-end is where the margin is best, the services pull-through higher, the support revenues better, and the add-on of associated products such as management software, storage products and training all much, much better. Which all means hp-ux on Integrity is making bigger profits than Slowaris on SPARC (well, that's relative as SPARC hasn't actually made a profit for Sun for years).

Now, if you want to actually contribute to the forum, why don't you try and formulate a post as to which Sun products you think will survive under Larry and why. It will at least raise your perception amongst the rest of us from moronic dribbler (and probably give the rest of us something else to laugh at).

/enjoying the Sunset!

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Black Helicopters

@Matt Bryant...

Matt,

I suggest that you step out for a bit of fresh air and think about the facts of what you see.

Its clear that you've never been in a competitive sales situation, otherwise you'd know that most of the FUD is generated at the street level and while there are competitive teams publishing 'attack packs', they are fundamentally correct to a point.

It seems to me that you rely on stories about Larry's enormous ego as your basis for your beliefs. I rely on the market and overall industry analysis for mine.

Look quite simply, when IBM made their bid, I was surprised that Oracle wasn't stepping up to the plate since they could get more from the deal than IBM. A friend at Oracle thought I was daft until there was a 'rumor' of the Oracle /HP bid that never materialized.

Then Oracle later steps in for the whole enchilada.

Do I know something that my friend who actually works for Oracle knows? Maybe. But not an inside secret.

I just understand the bigger picture and the corporate beast mentality. Sometimes its not all about doing things that will help you, but sometimes you have to factor in things that will hurt your competition.

Purchasing all of Sun does benefit Oracle, including the hardware portion. As I said, the hardware division could be spun off and left alone. In fact, one could even place a bet that Oracle will sell off the hardware division within 5 years to another large firm who's name is more than a set of Initials... (HP, IBM for those as slow as Matt).

You don't have to believe in what I say is true, nor do you have to acknowledge this to be a real possibility. You're just an individual who's spent too much time in the herd and have a herd mentality. (Which is what got Sun into this problem in the first place).

Moi?

I'm just a guy, see... so what do I know?

-G

The black chopper because I really do know more than I'm supposed to. ;-)

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Posters have gone off half-cocked

I have read this article several times and it never comes close to substantiating its conclusion.

What are all these crazy posts about?

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Happy

RE: @Matt Bryant...

"....think about the facts of what you see...." OK, here's a few facts, you try and think about them for a minute; Sun hasn't made a profit in years; SPARC and Slowaris have been losing marketshare for years; and Sun's belated attempts to enter the x64 and storage markets have not produced the necessary profits to be able to fund the Sun business to continue as it is. It is obvious to conclude that simply continuing with the same product strategies with the same Sun people and Sun sales techniques will simply lead to more losses. Therefore, some large changes have to be made for Oracle to make a profit out of the Sun hardware business IF the intention is to keep it.

".....Its clear that you've never been in a competitive sales situation....." Only as a customer. But, did we just get the admission we suspected? Take a bow, sales troll, and then take your astroturf elsewhere.

"....otherwise you'd know that most of the FUD is generated at the street level and while there are competitive teams publishing 'attack packs', they are fundamentally correct to a point....." I'm not sure what you're getting at here, but it looks like you're trying to explain Sun FUD and then saying it is "fundamentally correct", but you Sunshiners scream and whine "FUD" the minute anyone posts something you don't like. Don't tell me - anything from Sun is good and true FUD, but anything from any other source is bad and nasty FUD? Please, grow up!

"....It seems to me that you rely on stories about Larry's enormous ego as your basis for your beliefs....." Yeah, the Gartner and IDC server marketshare figures I talked about are just full of gossip about Larry - not! If you won't accept IDC and Gartner as sources then it really does show your closed mentallity.

"....I just understand the bigger picture and the corporate beast mentality....." Seems more like you ignore facts you don't like and cling to fantasy.

"....Sometimes its not all about doing things that will help you, but sometimes you have to factor in things that will hurt your competition....." I think you'll find the general consensus amongst industry analysts is that lumbering Oracle with the Sun loss-making hardware bizz is not exactly going to hurt anyone other than Oracle. Go do some reading, you'll find the most common view is that precious little of the Sun hardware business will make it long in Oracle. But what am I asking - you won't do that, and you won't want anyone else to do that, so you'll just keep posting vague theorems about mystery Oracle plans and belittle anyone that posts a counter idea. Now, didn't I post a while back that was the classic Sun sales tactics I'd seen Sun use in my business? Might be time for a full confession as to what exactly you do, Mr Gumby.

".....You're just an individual who's spent too much time in the herd and have a herd mentality....." If I was just one of the herd then I'd have bought the Sunshine years ago and be agreeing with your every word. I think it is more of a problem for you that your herd is getting smaller every day, and the coming Sunset could force you out to look for a new herd.

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