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Oracle Databases Programming Software Businesses Sun Microsystems IT

DOJ Gives Oracle Approval To Buy Sun 162

Posted by Soulskill
from the nothin'-but-blue-skies dept.
k33l0r writes "The BBC is reporting that the US Justice Department has approved Oracle's takeover of Sun Microsystems. The acquisition gives Oracle control over (or a leading role in), among other things, Java, MySQL, (Open)Solaris, ZFS, OpenOffice, and the NetBeans IDE. 'The European Commission has still to rule on the deal, a step that will be required before it can close. That body has indicated it will issue an initial opinion on Sept. 3, according to the Wall Street Journal. It may OK the deal at that time or launch a four-month probe of it. ... The Justice Department ruling came earlier than expected, a possible response to Sun's declining revenues and precarious business position in a steep recession, as the required reviews proceeded.' We first discussed the deal back when it was announced in April."
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DOJ Gives Oracle Approval To Buy Sun

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23, 2009 @09:31AM (#29163039)

    Sun sucks. Their overpriced hardware got eclipsed by Pentium 4 PCs which could do the same work for 1/10th the price. In the end, the only advantage Sun platforms offer over PCs is the capability to use massive amounts of RAM (64G, 128G, and beyond). But make no mistake about it, Sun got eclipsed by Intel. Moore's law has a harsh penalty for those who don't keep up.

    On the other hand, Oracle having a say in OO, Java, and other projects is a bit scary. I'm not so in love with Oracle's embrace of FOSS or even the concept of FOSS and GNU.

  • Re:What about Java (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Eirenarch (1099517) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @10:16AM (#29163345)
    Do you really believe Ellison hates Microsoft? I do not believe at this level of business feelings matter. We've seen multiple times companies that fight a fierce fight in court over one thing to be first friends and combine efforts in another field. Basically these companies try to do whatever is more profitable to them. If Ellison judges that it is more profitable to make OOo interopable with MS Office and Java interopable with .NET this is what he will do. I can asure you that he is above simple Slashdot-like hate for Microsoft. That being said he may decide that the profitable thing is exactly what you said but somehow I doubt it.
  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @10:19AM (#29163367)
    By "we" you must be referring to whatever market you are in. From my perspective, the amount of data being processed has increased and scalability is more necessary now than ever before. Large companies are increasingly involved in data mining and other large scale statistical analysis, and the need for computer systems that can perform those calculations in a timely is continuing to grow.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23, 2009 @10:28AM (#29163409)

    I am guessing this will mean more layoffs. I wonder if managers will be targeted, or tech workers?

    Yes and yes.

    The IT industry is a mature industry and we'll see negative employment growth as further mergers occur in the near future. After that, expect employment to ebb and flow with the rest of the economy. Aside from the very rare entrepreneurial company that figures out some very small niche in the industry, it is just another cyclical industry.

    It's happened to aerospace, airlines, electronics, computer hardware, etc...

  • by syousef (465911) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @10:34AM (#29163441) Journal

    I have a few concerns.

    Oracle does not have a tradition of giving away much of it's software. Sun by contrast has a lot of open source or free as in beer software. I am worried that Oracle will either kill or start charging for Java, OpenOffice, Solaris, VirtualBox, MySQL and other products based on it's own business interests. It's only natural for it to do so. With this aquisition, Oracle is in a position of great power. It can kill or alter the course of all the products of both companies. Absolute power corrupts.

    For example MySQL and PostgressSQL are the only 2 viable open source alternatives to an Oracle DB for many systems. (There are critical systems for which Oracle is absolutely needed, but the percentage that could be served well by an open source alternative is probably significant). It is definitely in Oracle's interest to kill or dillute MySQL.

  • Re:What about Java (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @10:36AM (#29163447) Homepage

    "Oracle relies too much on java to give it away. Expect it to be forked, and then closed, with the previous open version left flapping in the wind."

    If they could close it, which they can't since open, then they will be the only one using it. Java is used all over the place in Open Source, so the fork will be meaningless and the open version will continue and possibly pick up some highly skilled Open Source developer(s) that would otherwise have invested their efforts elsewhere.

  • by larry bagina (561269) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @10:38AM (#29163461) Journal
    They're competing products in the same way a ford fiesta and a ford super duty truck are competing products.
  • by Spazmania (174582) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @10:45AM (#29163485) Homepage

    It's a bad deal for both companies.

    The acquisition of Sparc and Solaris further estranges Oracle from Microsoft... Most of Oracle's revenues come from windows-based products and the Solaris portfolio isn't likely to change that. Likewise, they now become a competitor in Java vs. Dot-net. It isn't smart to step up from mere competitor to antagonist without gaining a massive new strength, and that didn't happen here.

    Then there's Java. Drains quite a bit of cash without making enough money and Oracle as a company has the wrong temperment to maintain and improve a programming language anyway. Start charging enough to make money on Java and Java dies. Nor does having Java particularly complement Oracle's product line.

    And mysql is a mess too. Improving it drains sales from their flagship database product... but failing to improve it causes a fork which loses Oracle whatever value owning Mysql had for them. Bad mojo all around.

    The Sun/IBM deal would have been much smarter. IBM has a huge market for the likes of Sparc and Solaris. Better yet, they have demonstrated the wherewithal to take code they own and insert it into Linux. There's lots of stuff in Solaris to like, IBM is already weighing heavily on the side of Linux-based products and services and a well supported Linux on Sparc could save Sparc from oblivion and maybe even return it to being a growing market.

    Meanwhile, IBM's database product (db2) never escaped its tiny niche. MySQL would be a great complement to their portfolio, moving them squarely into the mainstream database business.

    Lastly, IBM actually has a need for Java given the breadth of hardware and OS platforms they sell. Write once run everywhere would be a huge benefit to IBM. It strongly complements the rest of what they sell, even if they never make a nickle off of it directly. Sadly, IBM can't rely on Java when it's controlled by a company as boorish as Oracle. It has to remain a minor player in their portfolio.

  • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:27AM (#29163769)

    Exactly. The need for databases has not gone away, but the upper bound for what you can do with cheap, commodity hardware and the likes of Postgres or MySQL is now higher than most projects will ever need. Numerous popular web sites run on a handful of well-specified but basically off-the-shelf PCs. Almost any in-house business admin application can be run this way, too.

    I'd go further than the parent post, though, because I suspect it's just as bad at the other end of the spectrum now. Unless you're working for something like a bank, a government social security department, or a massive commercial outfit like Amazon, you probably don't need the high-end capabilities of software like Oracle any more. However, if you really are playing in that league, it's probably cheaper to buy lots of commodity PC parts and build your own cloud than to use expensive, high-end server kit from the likes of Sun. Likewise, if you're Google or Amazon, you have the resources to develop bespoke software tools to match your needs anyway (and if you're not quite Google or Amazon yet, you can lease resources from those who are).

    It's hard to see how either Oracle or Sun has much of a top-end target market left for its traditional products. It would be interesting if they went for an aggressive mid-range offering though, aiming at providing a complete hardware and software platform for mid-large businesses that are fed up with Microsoft but don't want to outsource everything to the cloud either. Post-merger, they'll have a credible office suite, more database expertise than anyone else, lots of supporting back-end/middleware tools, and a programming language and client-side software platform that were tailor-made for remote deployment.

    If it turns out that the market likes the benefits of centralised admin and remote deployment, but wants to keep control in-house rather than trusting (and paying ongoing fees for) third party services, then an Oracle/Sun combo that invested its resources smartly over the next couple of years should be able to compete very strongly. They might even be able to build a credible long-term business model based on support, consulting and customisation, rather than relying on relatively few sales of expensive hardware and DB licences.

    Thought for the day: if this goes through, I'll be glad I don't have shares in SAP.

  • by trifish (826353) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @12:03PM (#29164015)

    Moderating "-1, Disagree" is simple censorship. Have the guts to post your opinion.

    So you think it's ok to see a total misleading bullshit moderated +5 Informative? Then you must be a crazy person. The moderation system is there to weed out nonsense, garbage and crap and to promote only quality posts to the the +5 level.

    I will continue to mod any incorrect or misleading posts down, because that's one of the reasons why I have mod points.

  • by Macrat (638047) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @12:38PM (#29164273)
    How about changing Linux to use a less restrictive license?
  • by pipatron (966506) <pipatron@gmail.com> on Sunday August 23, 2009 @12:44PM (#29164329) Homepage
    Changing the Linux license is legally impossible without removing a lot of the code.
  • Re:Sun kit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @01:31PM (#29164651)

    CPU usage is not the only constraint you have to think about. Rack space, power, and cooling should be considered as well.

    Sure, when you get to the point of scaling up the hardware that's going to make a difference. But again, I have to ask how many projects today will ever need to scale beyond trivial levels of space, power and cooling? After all, with modern computing power, you can run some pretty serious systems out of a small cupboard in the corner of your office, off a standard power supply, without so much as installing air-con.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @06:19PM (#29166859) Journal
    It depends on how tolerant you need to be. Google doesn't care. They can send every query to two machines, each with slightly different versions of the index, and give back the result from the first one to reply. They can have independent clusters running spiders and maintaining indexes, occasionally pushing new records to their peers. If two consecutive users get different results, no one cares. For most businesses, this is not an option.

    As you say, you can send every transaction to four machines, but that's not the whole story. First, lots of transactions need to be ordered. You need to make sure that query one from client one happens before query two from client two on all four machines. There are some quite simple algorithms that you can use for this, but they generally increase bandwidth usage and latency over just having a single machine. It doesn't take long for the cost of the software and the additional infrastructure you need to dwarf the savings you make by not buying reliable hardware in the first place. Software developers are expensive, and software developers that can write fault-tolerant code that you'd trust your business on are very expensive. A reasonable Sun machine costs a lot less than employing one of these people for a year.

  • disgusted (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23, 2009 @08:30PM (#29167723)

    Way to go. Business-retard Schwarz destroyed Sun, and I hope to God he does not go to work for Oracle in any shape, form or fashion. It's worth millions to keep him away from Oracle. Oracle would love for their competition to have Schwarz. Sun had no chance whatever with Schwarz anywhere near the company.

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