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Oracle sheds light on its Sun plans

Tuesday 02 March 2010 by

Earlier this month the European Commission anti-trust investigation came down in favour of Oracle, rejecting claims that the database giant’s acquisition of Sun, and thereby the open source MySQL database, would be anti-competitive.

Last week Sun was delisted from the Nasdaq and the acquisition completed. Oracle then announced its road map for integrating Sun hardware and software into its offerings at a gruelling five-hour presentation from its Redwood Shores headquarters in Silicon Valley.

Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison was upbeat throughout and waxed lyrical on the benefits that integrating Sun technology with Oracle’s would bring: “It’s the 2010 version of IBM’s 1960’s strategy. This strategy made IBM the most important company in the history of the planet… Having all the [infrastructure] pieces delivered from one company will give us a huge advantage.”

Software 
MySQL was tackled early in the presentation. Oracle’s chief corporate architect, Edward Screven, said the company would integrate MySQL into Oracle’s software stack because many of Oracle’s large customers use both databases. “I think Oracle will do a better job of developing MySQL than has been the case over the past five years,” he added.

Screven said that MySQL will become part of Oracle’s Open Source global business unit (GBU), but added that Oracle would retain Sun’s sales and development organisations.
Desktop productivity suite OpenOffice will also be managed as an independent GBU. Again, Oracle plans to retain Sun’s development and support teams.

Oracle said it would also deliver a web-based productivity suite called Oracle Cloud Office, integrating desktop, web and mobile technology.

Hardware 
Perhaps most nervous regarding Oracle’s plans were Sun’s server customers, particularly following analyst speculation that Oracle would focus on software going forward.

However, Oracle said it would continue to invest in Sun’s multithreaded UltraSparc T processor family, used in its Niagara servers, and its M-Series server family, which uses Sparc64 processors developed by Fujitsu. Sun’s Solaris operating system would also continue to be developed and enhanced to provide high-end enterprise scalability.

Oracle’s plans for programming language Java are focused on increasing the technology’s potential to help its enterprise software portfolio.

Oracle has no plans to integrate the Glassfish Java application – a lightweight, open source technology – with its enterprise-level WebLogic products, but it will continue with development.

Regarding the Netbeans integrated development environment, Oracle plans investment, but not in terms of building enterprise-level Java applications, which it said would be serviced using its own JDeveloper IDE.

To compete with Microsoft and VMware on the virtualisation front, Screven said Oracle would provide “the industry’s most complete virtualisation portfolio, including storage, server and finally desktop virtualisation.”

Virtualisation 
Screven outlined how Oracle would use Sun’s Sun Ray thin-client hardware to give access to server-located virtual machine (VMs) operating system images.

On the server virtualisation side Oracle plans to provide two platforms. One will use Sun’s Sparc hardware and Oracle VM Server to deliver virtualised Solaris operating systems; the second will use Oracle VM Server for x86 systems to allow x86 and x64 hardware to be used to deliver Solaris, Linux and Windows operating system VMs.

As for research and development overall, Oracle said it would ramp this up, and invest $4.3bn (£2.6bn) in financial year 2011, almost triple Oracle’s 2005 figure of $1.5bn.

Managing Sun and Oracle infrastructures will continue as before, with Sun Ops Center software being used to manage Sun’s systems, while Oracle Enterprise Manager would be used as the strategic management tool for Oracle software.

Oracle also said that the My Oracle Support portal would be made available to all Sun customers.
In terms of reducing incompatibility problems, Oracle president Charles Philips said: “Oracle will build, test, and certify specific configurations of hardware and software [thereby ironing out problems with integration].”


Written by Dave Bailey - Article originally posted on www.computing.co.uk