Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Sun Rises on Oracle: Day 2

We have all now had some time to step back and look at what the acquisition of Sun by Oracle means to each of us. Everyone seems to have an opinion and I guess your expectations and judgements are based on perspective. Now I have the perspective of an Oracle user. I am someone who has seen many evolutions of the product over the past 20 years. So what makes this a good deal or a bad one and what is important to the Oracle and Sun user communities?

I see that some people think that this could be the worst purchase ever by Oracle, who has bought close to 50 companies in the past 5 years, since it takes them from a database company to a hardware company. I find this an interesting tact; I think of Oracle as an information company, the database and hardware merely enable us to solve business challenges with information. By expanding the mandate of the company, Larry Ellison has enabled Oracle to provide high performance on a platform that is provided and supported by a single organization. Has not IBM been saying that to get the best performance from DB2 you should run it on IBM hardware? This is a formula for success and it was not lost on Oracle. Oracle had already ventured into the hardware space, with the introduction of the Oracle/HP Exadata server, so the genesis of the strategy was already emerging. Sun now allows Oracle full control of their hardware and performance optimization. It provides them with a solid foundation for their middleware strategy and brings the competition into the fold with MySQL.

So you can see I think this ultimately will be a good thing for users. It simplifies things. The concept of a single support organization for the entire technology stack is very advantageous to efficient resolution of issues. Oracle can now provide the soup to nuts type of support. How many times have you had one vendor blaming another for an issue....Oracle is now accountable for the entire stack. For Oracle technology users and the user group, this is an important factor in our efficient use of the technology. If you want to see Oracle’s presentation from yesterday that announced the deal you can find it at: http://www.oracle.com/sun/sun-general-presentation.pdf.

Ultimately the members of the IOUG seem to be excited about the prospects of what this new Oracle company will be and how it will show leadership in the open source community. This is a community that can be quite fickle and Oracle needs to provide the support and guidance to enable people to have the confidence in the product line to spend their technology dollars. Oracle has some serious choices to make in the coming months and the user group looks forward to integrating the Sun community into the Oracle technology community.

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