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back to article Analysts see no Oracle hardware-biz recovery on horizon

The road ahead for Oracle's plucky band of hardware resellers in not certain say analysts. The admonition comes in the wake of Oracle's latest numbers which show that software licensing and support revenues rose in its third quarter but hardware and systems support fell 16 per cent and and four per cent respectively. Commenting …

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Personally, I wouldn't purchase hardware from Oracle.

But then I wouldn't purchase a license to use code from Oracle, either.

Clusterfucks are clusterfucks. The cognizant avoid them.

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Mushroom

Re: Personally, I wouldn't purchase hardware from Oracle.

Oracle are to corporate customers what Apple are to consumers. The arrogance they demonstrate from their misplaced belief they can charge twice as much for what has long been just another mee-too offering will be their downfall.

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I would purchase a licence from Oracle...

But only if I needed it. If I wanted to run a massive and super-powerful and robust system to meet my database needs - if I were in charge of BT's billing system or an airport or something - I would definitely want Oracle powering it and I would pay for the experienced Oracle staff I needed to get the most out of things.

But for most of the world, good enough is good enough. If you're just throwing together something where you need speed and simplish operations, you can just grab MySQL. If you're the sort of person who wants cascading key updates and rigorous constraints, you can get Postgres and this too, will be fine. Oracle for those that need them. Postgres and MySQL for the remaining 98% of the world.

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Re: I would purchase a licence from Oracle...

Wait BT does its own billing? That's highly unusual for a telecom company. They usually outsource it to other companies because those are cheaper.

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Happy

Regional figures?

Be nice to see a breakdown of Snoreacle hardware sales into product ranges for each region, just to see if Oracle has even managed to maintain a chunk of their old SPARC base in the US market. But with today's big growth region for hardware being the Far East, asking CC UK's Mike Norris is a bit like asking an ex-Rover employee about global car manufacturing strategy.

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Re: Regional figures?

Matthew, drop the epithetic sobriquets.

I wouldn't hire you on that alone.

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Re: Regional figures?

Matthew, drop the epithetic sobriquets.

I wouldn't hire you on that alone.

--

I prefer sunacle.

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Happy

Re: Re: Regional figures?

"Matthew, drop the epithetic sobriquets....." Whilst I'm amused by your upset, I'd have to admit there is no originality, the term "Snoreacle" having come to my attention as early as 2004. Fittingly, it was in reference to slow Oracle software (I think it was regarding their ERP software), which chimes nicely with the old Sun Slowaris moniker.

".....I wouldn't hire you on that alone." Well, Jake, I'm not sure you could afford me! Besides, you do seem to be displaying a distinct lack of humour, which doesn't bode well for the happiness of any employee working for you.

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#David Dawson (was: Re: Regional figures?)

I'll put up with "SoLarry's" ... for obvious reasons. Occasionally. In the right place. At least it's descriptive, not a really bad attempt at being insulting.

Personal opinion. YMMV.

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Re: Regional figures?

::sighs::

Remember?

No, not couldn't, rather I wouldn't afford you, Matthew. Grok the difference? It's not humo(u)r when you have to beat it into your victimsaudience ... rather, it's excruciatingly bad prose.

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Happy

Re: Re: Regional figures?

"....wouldn't afford you...." Well, TBH, I'm long past the point of caring if someone says the grass is gold-plated on the other side of the next hill. With all due respect for your experience, you can stay on your side of the hill and I'll happilly stay on mine.

".....rather, it's excruciatingly bad prose." Really? We're in the middle of a global essay competition and I didn't know!?!

Back to the topic - anyone know how the individual product ranges of Larry's Hardware Emporium are coping in the Far East compared to the US?

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Anonymous Coward

Sales focus is selling higher margin 'Oracle on Oracle' products

Oracle have already stated they're not interested in competing for the low-margin server product sales, so its not surprising that hardware sales are significantly down. Just selling servers is not what the sales folks are chasing.

Their focus is on selling higher margin specialty software+hardware stacks. Oracle software on Oracle Hardware. FWIW much of what Oracle acquired in its purchase of Sun is no longer required for this focus, so there are still some pretty big 'adjustments' to be made in those parts of the legacy Sun organization.

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Stop

Re: Sales focus is selling higher margin 'Oracle on Oracle' products

Sorry, but the logic just doesn't follow in your post. Having his own hardware reduces Larry's profits, and would seem a more expensive option to just using another vendor's hardware.

Lets consider x64. If Larry wants to have "finely-tuned hardware" propping up his software stack, then he has to invest in its development. The problem in having a finely tuned stack is you need to get the base from somewhere, and in paying to make his own - unless he pays the same development as people like hp, Dell or IBM - he won't get as good a base product. He could cut his costs by simply using the market-leading base hardware and then developing on top of it, shifting most of the costs to the base hardware provider, which is essentially what he did with the first generation of Exawhatever appliances (all built on hp x64 know-how). Getting rid of your engineers is not going to help you keep up with those other x64 vendors. Of course, he can cut costs by developing only on Oracle Linux (ripping off Red Hat), but then he has no cross-platform compatibility with Slowaris, meaning two sets of development costs if he wants to ever run Exawhatever stacks on x64 and CMT SPARC.

So then we have Larry's option 2 - go with CMT SPARC. This is a walk on his own, with no other vendor helping carry those development costs (even Fudgeitso aren't happy going there without x64 as their main offering). And he needs those engineers even more. But, his expensive development is now taking even more of a slice away from the profits his software is making.

No, if all Larry wanted was "finely-tuned hardware-software", he could have saved himself a lot of time and trouble and let hp shoulder the hardware dev costs, benefiting from hp's massive lead in x64 marketshare. That was his original plan - Larry got the Sun software and hp took on the Sun hardware (only hp didn't want the SPARC albatross in any form). Problem was Larry let himself be talked into the weed-ridden CMT walled garden, probably by Fowler, and then let Hurd run him into a head-to-head with hp. The only winner was IBM.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sales focus is selling higher margin 'Oracle on Oracle' products

Your excessive use of ridiculing names does not make your posts looking more substantial. They are currently just annoying.

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Happy

Re: Re: Sales focus is selling higher margin 'Oracle on Oracle' products

"Your excessive use of ridiculing names...." Hmmmm. Your excessive lack of a sense of humour isn't annoying, it's quite amusing.

"....They are currently just annoying." So annoying that you just can't seem to produce a counter argument. Or is it that you just can't counter the points raised? I could see why that would be frustrating.

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Linux

Oracle didn't buy Sun for the hardware business

They'll probably let the hardware business die on the vine. All the best engineers have left the company. Oracle is not known for treating their employees very well. Their management style is as arrogant as Larry Ellison. Oracle bought Sun to get control of Java and MySQL. MySQL was eating Oracle's lunch.

If you're a very large financial institution or you the need for very large databases. Oracle is where it's at. It's very, very pricy, but is very, very good at handling large amounts of data.

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Stop

Re: Oracle didn't buy Sun for the hardware business

I can tell you that those who have a clue in the financial industry are moving away from Oracle as quickly as possible. The largest derivatives exchange is currently moving everything to MySQL and Postgres. And Linux.

If you have the right software architecture (take Google as an example), almost everything can be done on arrays of cheap PCs running Postgres. Just those who only know the mainframe-style of programming (one large, single-looking system) need Oracle, Db2 or Teradata.

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Happy

Re: Oracle didn't buy Sun for the hardware business

Maybe its you that doesn’t have a clue about where the financial industry is moving to?

http://www.oracle.com/us/products/database/number-one-database-069037.html

Gartner has published their market share numbers for 2011 based on total software revenues. According to Gartner, Oracle

• Is #1 in worldwide RDBMS software revenue share

• Holds more revenue share than its seven closest competitors combined

• Grew at 18.0 percent, exceeding both the industry average (16.3 percent) and the growth rates of its closest competitors.

And sure looks like Oracles hardware is selling quite well in the financial sector.

http://www.oracle.com/us/products/database/exadata-reference-booklet-400018.pdf

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Joke

Heresay

While the information is currently up for discussion, until numbers are readily available the "shrinkage" is merely hypothetical.

However, would anyone really be surprised if Hurd/Fowler and crew really could not figure out sell grow the SPARC and x86 business.

Fowler couldn't do it at SUN, why would he be able to do it at revenue/margin focused company like Oracle.

Hurd, never did it, not at NCR and certainly not at HP. HP server business "growth" stems from the group down in houston... Digital, no Tandem, uh no... Proliant. Well that is close enough. When HP acquired the Proliant company based in Houston, they have been riding the market momentum of that Brand since and will continue into the future.

Tandem, DEC(OpenVMS/TRU64), HP-UX, MPIE - Not since Lou and the few before him have been able to make those groups grow.

Hurd does understand margins, ask any HP investor or HP employee. Investing in engineering and making a product better or coming up with a new product and bring it to the market. Hurd knows little. (NeoView).

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Unhappy

Oracle had no interest in sales of general-purpose hardware

Asa former Sun->Oracle employee in the Java group, and who watched what happened during the takeover, I can tell you this:

Oracle had ABSOLUTELY ZERO interest in selling hardware as General Purpose computing. They bought Sun for the software (primarily Solaris and Java, though MyQSL was a side-benefit), and to have dedicate hardware to create "Super Appliances" on. This was completely obvious in the re-closing of Solaris with the subsequent change in Solaris support (All Pay, All the Time), and the major chopping of the hardware product lines.

Oracle is interested in selling turn-key solutions, which mean tightly integrated Hardware with Solaris with Java or OracleDB, all tuned to the Nth degree. That's what they're selling, and that's it.

Too bad, since Sun kit was actually really nice (the x86 stuff was significantly superior in features to anyone else, and was cost-competitive, while the T-class stuff was interesting for certain niche things), and OpenSolaris actually had a pretty bright future.

If you're running Sun hardware with Solaris nowadays, if you're not looking to move off it in the next year, you deserve what's going to happen to you - orphaned and screwed, and paying a vast fortune to Oracle to "support" that legacy stuff, since there's no (Oracle) replacement.

The Oracle appliance things (Exa* and ZFS Storage) are nice, though. Costly, but nice...

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FAIL

Oracle is mean and they lie

What would be even more interesting would be the breakdown of exadata sales based on even discounts of hw and sw. Oracle has been artificially inflating hw sales by doing a zero % discount on hw and 75% discount on software. This is why hardware has not totally cratered and why software is missing their projections.

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Happy

Re: Oracle is mean and they lie

Ali, whilst I suspect something similar, Shirley that should be "I believe that....", seeing as you have posted no proof of that assumption. Otherwise one might be led to believe you were posting a fact rather than a premise, and that would be borderline deceitful. And you wouldn't want that, would you...?

/What is the feminine of Elmer?

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Go

Not sure what the analysts are smokin'

... but my T4-4 platform cluster is awesome - they are everything anticipated, and more!

Interestingly, not a stitch of Oracle Applications on them - with the exception of Solaris & Java. They are making a great general purpose cluster for telco apps - especially with with the crypto off-loading engines, saving the costs/complexity in deploying additional appliances.

Now, looking forward for the T5 CPU boards, to grant general purpose applications a nice boost via with hardware compression, adding ZFS filesystem throughput (not to mention, double the cores per socket.) The double of sockets per chassis in the next (T5?) systems later this year should be a bonus.

http://netmgt.blogspot.com/2012/02/sparc-road-map-updated.html

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Fighting a loosing battle

In my SI it's all about delivering clouds, and whilst you can do it on SPARC, X86 and VMWare seems to be where it's at. The sales side driving this is looking more at perceived low capital costs and cheap running costs. Any attempts to point them in a different direction are rebuffed.

Oracle's reluctance to play in the commodity market means that we tend to go for IBM on x86.

Our Ops people want all unix out, and just Windows. They have decided that all our customers want Windows, even when they explicitly say they don't.

I doubt we're the only SI with this attitude.

BTW - I actually prefer heterogeneous solutions at all levels, and to avoid lock in. So I like architectures that are WINIX and x86ARC. I remember IBM's behaviour in the 70s, and I firmly believe MS, Oracle and others are beginning to behave the same way again.

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Re: Fighting a loosing battle

I think that sort of behaviour - as IBM was in the early 70s - comes from having essentially expanded into a niche that is all the niche there is, at that price. The game then becomes keeping everyone else out.

MySQL for sure ate into the volume low (or zero) margin game and knocked out the other bit players in the dbM place - who was it? Ingres and?..gone and forgotten!

but that isn't where Oracle want to be is it?

Hardware in the end is just hardware and Linux is really the up and coming player, with Solaris being the last gasp of the 'proprietary' medium to big tin solutions..where you aren't bothered about price, really.

That and visualization is where most of the medium to small scale apps want to nest.

Really: does anyone else WANT oracle's space? I am not sure they do. The action is all in the 'lots of small apps' space, not the huge turgid service contract festooned big suit FTSE 100 Megabases,. I mean great, and all that, national ID database, NHS database...but really a sort of looser cloud linkage of much smaller databases would seem to be a better model. And more cost effective.

Its sad to see Sun go, but really, Ive not had reason to look at a SUN in years, ever since Linux arrived and did the same job nearly as good as Solaris. And with Linux very hardware independent, who actually acres what chips are underneath? Its probably easier to cobble together a load of ARM chips or a bunch of intel crunchers on a PCB, load them up with a customised Linux kernel and build a supercomputer than it is to design a whole computer from scratch, CPU and all.

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Stop

Re: Fighting a loosing battle

I guess FTSE100 will soon discover they don't really need Oracle, DB2 or Teradata. Spend money on engineers and save on capex, like Google does.

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Headmaster

Re: Fighting a loosing battle

Right, but the word is 'lose'

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Bronze badge

Re: Fighting a loosing battle

Well, yes IBM wants oracle space and money, with a thing called "DB2".

It is really a money printing machine.. few costs, lots of money.

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Boffin

Re: Re: Fighting a loosing battle

Hmmmm. So, what about the Cloud? Balmer's great plan B is the OnLive/Office365 service which allows PC users and fanbois to use the latest Windows software, including Office, from anywhere and on just about any Windows or iOS device. A friend actually uses his iPad2 as his home-office workstation using the service, an iPad dock and a wireless keyboard. Ten years ago he would have laughed at using Office at home (he's a diehard fanboi), let alone on an Apple device, but it's simpler for him given that his work setup is Exchange/Office.

Point is, when services like Office365 are getting businesses used to the idea of Clouds, it's easier to get them to accept the idea of external Clouds for enterprise apps. When enough people get used to the idea of my-client-to-someone-else's-server, suddenly the idea of running your large database apps out on the Cloud also becomes easier to swallow. And Oracle is both expensive and not leading when it comes to Cloud, it's lagging others like MS and SAP. Indeed, you could say that building appliances is heading in the opposite direction.

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Go

Re: Fighting a loosing battle

"Our Ops people want all unix out, and just Windows."

I am offering you my deepest condolences. Switch your employer.

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FAIL

Re: Fighting a loosing battle

Have you ever tried "Office 365" ? It is a barely usable product - somewhere between notepad and write.

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Boffin

Re: Re: Fighting a loosing battle

"Have you ever tried "Office 365" ?...." Yes, on a borrowed laptop, and was quite impressed, though I suspect the experience is highly dependent on your Internet connection. I don't have an iPad so can't comment on what that combo is like, but I think it's significant that someone I consider quite a hardcore fanboi is happy to use it. My fanboi friend suggests the problem may be with your Safari and you should look at http://blog.mikehacker.net/2012/01/19/configuring-and-using-an-ipad-with-office-365/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fighting a loosing battle

Office 365 simply is lacking essential features. At least using FF on Linux.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fighting a loosing battle

Agreed, I'm finding myself rather distracted by the improper use of the word loose in this manner as well.

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