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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 jellomizer (103300) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @09:30AM (#29163023)

    Apollo.

    As far as mergers go this is probably a good fit. Oracle and Sun always needed each other for the most part. However I feel both are a dyeing breed. The industry wether you like it or not is moving away from those two companies core competencies.
    High End Servers which are highly scalable with high end software which is highly scalable, is no longer the way it is now. We are moving to more smaller systems and don't need such scalability features as we realize that cost benefit really isn't there, for most situations.

    • 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 jellomizer (103300) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @10:29AM (#29163419)

        Data Mining and Business Intelligence doesn't need huge powerhouses anymore. A low end server can easily handle the Millions of records Databases now. The Mid Range can handle Billions. What is left for Oracle and Sun are the Trillions of records DB. Which most sectors don't use. Also with advances in distributed computing we rarely need to go high end for the Trillions of records.

        • 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.

          • Sun kit (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            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.

            A lot of Sun kit is highly parallel, so whereas you can buy one non-SPARC low-end system to handle things just fine, it may be better to purchase something like a T2000 or T5120 and use virtualization to split things up. For the same rack space and power usage you can run a bunch of hostnames with less overhead than something like VMware.

            Of course Solaris runs just fine all all Tier 1 OEM systems (HP, IBM, Dell, Sun, etc.), so if you want to run x86 you can do that just fine and still get all the features

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              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.

              • 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.

                Businesses grow (hopefully), and the amount of data, processing & reporting increases with that. You honestly don't have to be very large to outgrow closet computing. The next step is outgrowing your colo cage, and the next step, well, you've hopefully figured out the importance of space/heat/computing efficiency by then because it's all YOUR problem now.

        • "Data Mining and Business Intelligence doesn't need huge powerhouses anymore."

          My theory about why has Sun Microsystems not done particularly well in the last few years is that the highly reliable hardware Sun Microsystems sells is no longer popular because it is far cheaper to use consumer-grade hardware with software that is fault-tolerant. The excellent 2008 book Planet Google [amazon.com] describes Google's experiences on page 54: "For about $278,000 in 2003, [Google] could assemble a rack with 176 microprocessors,

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by davecb (6526) *

        If you're somebody like eBay, you really really need scalabaility, as you're doing hundreds on non-idempotent transactions a second.

        One of my much smaller customers needs 128 cores to reach a reasonable rate of speed committing sales transactions for a single line of business, so this isn't limited to very large companies or those with large data, just anyone with reasonable sales volumes.

        --dave

        • If you're somebody like eBay, you
          really really need scalabaility, as
          you're doing hundreds on

          What does non-idempotency matter in the eBay's case?

          Is it because if your transactions are idempotent, you can get away with simpler recovery mechanisms, and that lets you get away with less powerful servers?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      um....
      apparently you have never worked in a business that needs large amounts of related data that is generated by hundreds of systems across a geographic area.

      • Ummm.... Most organizations don't need that....

        I never said the High end stuff doesn't have its place... But it is much smaller market.

    • Cloud? What about the cloud? Isn't it going to depend on scalable servers and scalable software? I can't see a push toward smaller systems, myself. Every Tom, Dick, and Dilrod on the planet is pushing the advantages of cloud computing. Seems to me that the core expertise of both Sun and Oracle are going to be in demand if everyone goes to the cloud.

      Note, I'm not one of those people who places their faith in the cloud - I'm just pointing things out here.

    • by mrops (927562)

      You must be bonkers and probably had experience with less critical small volume data.

      Try processing 100 million records a day in a telecoms or a medium sized bank on those so called smaller systems.

      Oracle and Sun are primarily catering to Enterprises, not necessarily start-ups. I have been in development for 12 years now.

      Small companies always prefer open source and these smaller systems, and rightly so, who wants to pay couple of tens of thousand per CPU when Linux and MySql will do.

      Enterprises where trans

      • Try processing 100 million records a day in a telecoms

        I agree, and your example would be a small telecom at that, if that's all it's processing! Power Point Lecture notes [columbia.edu] on telephone resilience based around incidents like on Sept 11, 2001 by Prof. Jonathan Liebenau (Columbia University) give the number of telephone calls per day for AT&T in 2001 at 300 million. There will be several usage record writes for each call, but let's be conservative and say only 2, one at the start of the call, and one at the

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by hlge (680785)
      Think you are missing one important point, yes the world is moving to smaller systems. But if you have a look at a four socket system with 8 core CPUs in there and add hyperthreading, you end up with a system that to the OS and the application looks like a 64way smp with a bit of numa. And lets see, that looks very much like a "large scalable" system, say 5 years a go. So the hw is getting smaller and cheaper, which allows us to build cheep "large scalable" systems, but as nice as it sounds now you will nee
  • What about Java (Score:4, Interesting)

    by yorkrj (658277) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @09:30AM (#29163033) Journal

    The only thing I'm concerned about regarding this deal is how this will change Java. The way I see it, one of two things will happen: One, current Oracle staff will manage the Java platform development and bad things will happen (all sorts of bad things could happen). Two, Oracle will deem Java an unprofitable product and will spin off a free software foundation, the likes of Mozilla or Apache.

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

      by javacowboy (222023) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @09:33AM (#29163065)

      Oracle's middleware business basically runs on Java. Why would they abandon it?

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      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.

      • 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.

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

      by MouseR (3264) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @09:37AM (#29163105) Homepage

      Disclaimer: I work for Oracle.

      When Oracle buys a company, they keep that company's staff to keep on working on whatever product they acquire. They dont shove that down the hall to whatever commando team. Based on personal observations of 4 companies that were absorbed and whose location merged in my area.

      Also, as far as Java is concerned, Oracle has the best interest in keeping Java alive and well, as well as further push it. It's got a sizeable investment in Java for server-side stuff and even some client-side applications.

      And from my perspective, all I can say is that more is to come.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jellomizer (103300)

        But this is Slashdot we expect every company to do the wrong thing. Even if doing the rite thing and making money is compatible. The Java brand is a big success (although I am personally not a big fan of Java), keeping the existing staff makes the most sense. What negative to the community might happen is as the language expands it will be more modified to meet Oracles main interests and less on Sun's more general interests.

      • 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.

        • by Jim Hall (2985) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @01:02PM (#29164439) Homepage

          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.

          Note: I do not work for Oracle, but we are a big customer of theirs. I have watched this very carefully, attended briefings (by Sun and by third party analysts.)

          I am not concerned that Oracle will kill Java, OpenOffice, VirtualBox, MySQL. (I'm a little concerned about them selling off [Open]Solaris, since I don't see Oracle as an operating systems company.) However, I do expect to see a "pro" version of Java, OpenOffice, VirtualOffice, MySQL where Oracle forks the code into a stable branch, and companies can buy into a support contract for it. This isn't materially different from how OpenOffice/StarOffice are related now, or how Red Hat runs their business.

          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.

          I disagree that Oracle wants to kill or dilute MySQL. Quite the opposite, really. Oracle desperately wants to compete with SQL Server at the lower-end databases. Small companies and many mid-size companies feel that Oracle is much too complicated for them to run with [typically] a limited IT staff. Oracle has a lot of buttons, knobs, switches to tune performance (not to mention get things running.) As a result, SQL Server often gets deployed here. And for most internal-office workloads for small or mid-size companies, SQL Server works very well. So Oracle doesn't make money here. Oracle knows that lots of people can (and do) easily deploy MySQL, this is an easy "win" for them.

          My $0.02

          • by MouseR (3264)

            Oracle has put a great deal of effort into optimizing their server and net application platforms to Solaris.

            While Oracle still maintains their "Unbreakable Linux" distro, I wouldn't be surprised should they keep and push Solaris in one way or another.

            Mind you, it's totally not dept. So who knows what they'll do.

        • It is definitely in Oracle's interest to kill or dillute MySQL.
          I'd say thier best bet would be to hold it down (don't let it get any better but don't kill it either) and use the mysql code (which they now own) to make a mysql compatibility mode in oracle.

          If they kill it they risk it being replaced by postgresql or a mysql fork which they have no control over.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by awpoopy (1054584)

        ...When Oracle buys a company, they keep that company's staff to keep on working on whatever product they acquire. They dont shove that down the hall to whatever commando team....

        Tell that to the Virtual Iron Team

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by mrjohnson (538567)
        new String2();
    • by Rockoon (1252108)
      Three, Java development stagnates. Does new Java development make any money at all for Sun right now? I don't think so. I think supporting the existing codebase is whats been bring money in.
      • Re:What about Java (Score:4, Interesting)

        by David Gerard (12369) <slashdot AT davidgerard DOT co DOT uk> on Sunday August 23, 2009 @09:53AM (#29163209) Homepage

        Larry Ellison hates, hates, hates Microsoft.

        1. OpenOffice.org advertised on television.
        2. Java pushed everywhere .NET is now, with auto-conversion tools.
        3. Ellison loudly and publicly calls Microsoft FUDsters re: Linux/OOo software patents and tells them to "bring it on".

        • 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.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by WaywardGeek (1480513)

            I've run across some of the ex-wives of top Oracle execs (my mother sells houses in Woodside, and many Oracle ex-wives are quite rich). It's a warped view, third hand through my mother, but they would paint Ellison as being very emotionally involved in taking on Microsoft, and running things very much based on his own ego. I'm not surprised he's buying Sun, and I would be surprised if he didn't shove OpenOffice and Java down MS's throat using Oracle's full backing. I'm surprised he hasn't bought Red Hat

          • Do you really believe Ellison hates Microsoft?

            When talking about MS you sometimes think he posts here.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssX4RL24HT4 [youtube.com]

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8g_tcdR_pQU [youtube.com]

          • Do you really believe Ellison hates Microsoft? I do not believe at this level of business feelings matter.

            Do you really believe he doesn't? At his level of wealth, I don't believe that he's motivated by strictly business-oriented goals.

            Keep in mind we're talking about someone who spent $200M to have a bigger boat than the MicroSoft guy.

        • I thought Ellison was just buying Sun, not Scott McNealy's failed business plan. McNealy's disproportionate focus on Microsoft instead of Linux is the key reason why Sun is for sale.

          • I think a lot of that had to do with McNealy's hate-on for Linux - witness Sun's funding to SCO just in time for the lawsuit. Schwartz went furiously open-source as pretty much a Hail Mary pass.
      • Three, Java development stagnates. Does new Java development make any money at all for Sun right now? I don't think so. I think supporting the existing codebase is whats been bring money in.

        Is this a joke? Of course Sun makes some money off Java related technologies, they sure as hell are constantly improving it, and Oracle made truckloads more money off Java long before the acquisition.

        • by Rockoon (1252108)
          Do you understand that devloping *in* Java is not the same as developing Java?
          • Do you understand that devloping *in* Java is not the same as developing Java?

            Whether Sun made a significant amount of money directly from Java or not it did not prevent them from improving it. I dare you to prove otherwise.

            So what is your point, Sun was not improving Java, Oracle will not improve Java, or Oracle does not make money off improving Java?
            What does Sun not making money directly from Java have to do with Java development stagnating given the above?

            Nice try.

    • The head of Oracle and 3rd richest man in the world visited the lowly Java developers conference last month and gave full support [cnet.com] for Java inside the new Oracle.
  • by javacowboy (222023) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @09:32AM (#29163047)

    For those wondering why the merger wasn't simply rubber stamped, it has to do with the licensing of Java:

    http://www.jroller.com/scolebourne/entry/no_java_7_us_doj [jroller.com]

    From what I read, it wasn't a *huge* deal, but enough of a concern that the DoJ had to work with Oracle instead of simply approving the merger right away.

    The EU probably has similar concerns.

    • Interesting blog post - but I don't really understand his complaint about the java 7 spec. Doesn't the ISO C spec cost money too?

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @09:32AM (#29163051) Homepage Journal

    Or something like that.

    A sad day.

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

  • 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 davecb (6526) * <davec-b@rogers.com> on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:19AM (#29163697) Homepage Journal

      My leaky memory says that 40% of Oracle's income (profit?) comes from Oracle on SPARC, and another 20% from Oracle on other Unix.

      If IBM had bought Sun and phased out SPARC like they did Sequent, then they'd probably own 50% of Oracle's market.

      It's far better for Oracle to buy their own hardware supplier than depend on others: the Sequent was highly optimized for Oracle performance, and then disappeared in a little puff of greasy smoke when IBM bought it and shut it down in favor of Power. That's got to have been painful!

      As other commentators have pointed out, Oracle is heavily invested in Java, and sees MySQL as a "channel" that brings them customers. You note that Oracle invested in improving the performance of the transactional engine that MySQL uses instead of shutting it down...

      I suspect Sun was a perfect fit: it complemented the things Oracle needed, and didn't have any important products that compete directly. Win-win.

      That in turn could be good for me, as I'm a capacity planner & performance guy, working mostly on large systems, like the ones Oracle and Sun customers use.

      --dave

      • by treat (84622) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:50AM (#29163911)

        My leaky memory says that 40% of Oracle's income (profit?) comes from Oracle on SPARC, and another 20% from
        Oracle on other Unix.

        I did the migration of the last Oracle Sparc to Oracle Linux system at my previous employer a couple years ago. Before this migration, it had moved to Fujitsu from Sun several years previous. (Oracle on Linux just wasn't there yet, a high-performance 8-CPU Intel machine monopolizing a whole SAN for performance reasons was full of race conditions because driver developers never had seen a machine or storage that powerful).

        Sun just couldn't compete. For Sparc stuff, we would have needed a $5 million machine to outperform the $500k Fujitsu. The diminishing returns from the supposedly scalable Sun systems meant we had to skip two entire product lines. Unfortunately we couldn't test the next level up, and our experience with the E10K (64 CPUs underperforming 12) was that Sun machines don't always scale like this.

        When we went to Intel hardware, we would have needed a $250k Sun machine and $250k SAN storage to perform comparably to a $50k Intel machine including internal storage.

        We gave Sun a really good chance to compete each time, everyone involved had a strong personal attachment to making it work and had not yet accepted that Sun had failed as a business. We allways talk about that initial revelation that if Sun couldn't compete for our setup, they probably couldn't compete anywhere unless this is just a temporary gap in the product offering.

        The Sun machines were the least reliable compared to the Fujitsu and Intel solutions. Random were weekly events on the Sun machines (e.g. [456]500s, E10Ks), every few months on the Fujitsu Primepower 850 machines, and hasn't happened ONCE after two years on the Intel machines. And I'm comparing it to a MUCH larger population of Intel machines (we added dev, qa for each of app groups, sysadmins, DBAs, "yesterday's data" for support people, added another server for performance, and then duplicated the entire 5-server setup when we took over another business unit's almost identical application.

        Although I could say in theory I miss being able to identify and replace failed hardware components easily, the reality is that the HP servers identify the part that caused a crash with a fault light most of the time. Sun needed a case to be opened with them to explain a complicated error. This changes the hardware fix from under 5 minutes - a datacenter tech can do it himself - to hours at minimum, and days if their support screws you around.

        Being able to do the hardware replacement faster also means no second downtime to do the actual fix. And the confidence level from a clear fault light is huge versus a vendor's first line support that is known for lying when decoding an error message based on what looked "obvious", not based on the real complexities involved.

        • by GaryOlson (737642)
          Thank you for posting some real facts about Sun hardware, performance, maintenance, and support. The Sun zealotry around here needs a balanced perspective.
          • When we went to Intel hardware, we would have needed a $250k Sun machine and $250k SAN storage to perform comparably to a $50k Intel machine including internal storage.

            Thank you for posting some real facts about Sun hardware, performance, maintenance, and support. The Sun zealotry around here needs a balanced perspective.

            Yah, fair and balanced, or it supports what you want to believe?

            • by treat (84622)

              When we went to Intel hardware, we would have needed a $250k Sun machine and $250k SAN storage to perform comparably to a $50k Intel machine including internal storage.

              Thank you for posting some real facts about Sun hardware, performance, maintenance, and support. The Sun zealotry around here needs a balanced perspective.

              Yah, fair and balanced, or it supports what you want to believe?

              Are you telling me that you suspect I may have fabricated those performance comparisons?

              I was actually generous. I included FusionIO cards in the cost I quoted, but not in the performance comparison. Adding those cards results in a solution that is so much faster, I did actually worry people would think it is a fabrication.

        • by davecb (6526) *
          Odd, one of my customers reports the very opposite: they were constantly replacing Intel components during the eight months I was there at the very least weekly, and had one Sun board die. They said the disk failure rates were lower on the Sun too, but I don't know by how much.

          --dave

          • They said the disk failure rates were lower on the Sun too, but I don't know by how much.

            You should be aware that neither Intel nor Sun make disk drives. The most likely explanation for this is manufacturer lot variance, or just luck.

            C//

            • by davecb (6526) *
              Indeed, or selection biases (;-)) I know both the Sun and Dell systems were using the disk vendors' "enterprise" lines, but I don't know about the rest of the Intels.

              --dave

              • It's possible to have whole bad lots, even from the enterprise lines. I'm hearing this doesn't happen so often now, but when you're the person experiencing the bad lot, this can give one hell of a bad impression. Supposing this case, the phenomenon would be sampling bias.

                I still avoid WD like the plague, even though I am aware they have long since fixed the quality problems that led to the bad lots in the 90's... can't help myself. Lost like 3 drives on a personal system in a row...

                C//

            • by treat (84622)

              They said the disk failure rates were lower on the Sun too, but I don't know by how much.

              You should be aware that neither Intel nor Sun make disk drives. The most likely explanation for this is manufacturer lot variance, or just luck.

              C//

              The most likely explanation is the difference in how controllers handle a marginal drive. For example, 10 years ago it was rare to have a RAID solution that re-wrote a bad block rather than just failing out the whole drive.

              I have pulled a lot of 'failed' drives out of RAID arrays to check the SMART data, and even in modern arrays, a good portion of those drives are mostly OK.

              Sometimes it's a controller that is too quick to kick out a drive, other times it is a controller that decides a drive is no good if i

          • by Spazmania (174582)

            Sun classically built machines in which the airflow is better than the then-standard, substandard cases you get everywhere else.

            Keeping drives alive is easy: just move lots of air past the top and bottom. But case designers don't... They pack them right on top of each other, attach sheet metal directly bottom screw holes and locate them somewhere in the case where the air doesn't move.

            Dell circa 3 years ago was one of the worst offenders while HP's DL series products circa 3 years ago was best of breed. Now

      • by Spazmania (174582)

        It's far better for Oracle to buy their own hardware supplier than depend on others

        Perhaps, but if so they've just dived down a blind alley. The Sparc platforms are designed for general purpose computing. Oracle's competitors in the $250k+ database appliance market, like Netezza, have designed their hardware from the ground up for a database load, not general purpose computing. As a result, they run rings around Oracle for those specialized database loads.

        Sparc fits a niche that Oracle has classically shied

    • by speedtux (1307149)

      I agree that Sun would have been a better fit for IBM than for Oracle.

      But IBM wasn't sufficiently eager (or desperate) to acquire them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by trifish (826353)

      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 kuhneng (241514)

      From where I stand, either IBM or Oracle were good matches.

      Regarding Microsoft - as far as I know, the majority of Oracle's database revenue is coming in on Solaris/sparc and Linux/x86 platforms. Oracle was already squarely in the Java / Linux camp before the acquisition - their applications and middleware stacks are almost entirely Java (or moving there), and they have their own Linux distribution.

      The Java acquisition is an imporant defensive move - there are too many free languages and tools out there to

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ToasterMonkey (467067)

      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.

      http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/jrockit/index.html [oracle.com]

      This page is getting funnier by the minute. There are people who's last experience with either company is from ten years ago, people who think either company is 'not big enough for X', and people who are only familiar with one facet (if any) of the companies businesses.

  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:24AM (#29163737) Journal
    It's a niche product, doesn't and probably can't make enough money to support itself. Perhaps they will sell it to Mozilla, but I don't see any compelling business reason to keep it around except for the sole simple reason that it is a thorn in the side of Microsoft. come to think of it, given how much Ellison detests Gates and Ballmer et al, he might just sink millions into OpenOffice and make it work right and be a true competitor to MSOffice. I guess it depends on Ellison - will his hate of all things MS make him sink millions into OO and make it a true competitor to MSO, or will he head the bean counters and cut it lose?

    It will be very interesting to see how that pans out. I rather like Open Office - it's quirky and kind of ugly, but it does work and its drawing tools are great for business graphics. but its presentation tool (competitor for PowerPoint) sucks even worse than PowerPoint, and PowerPoint is at an advanced stage of suckitude. That said, I hope Ellison sees the promise in Open Office and really runs with it. If he could make OpenOffice presentation better than Keynote, word processing better than Word, and spreadsheet better than Excel, I would pay real money for that.

    • by treat (84622)

      It's a niche product, doesn't and probably can't make enough money to support itself.

      Openoffice was sadly never any good. It was never even good enough for them to have leapfrogging MS Office as a goal, they just had to play catch-up from years behind.

      Look how much better Excel 2007 was than the previous versions. (I don't know what version exactly had the tremendous UI change). This looked like a new product, the usability was greatly enhanced. Any other spreadsheet manufacturer could have done this. All were so caught up in playing catch-up with Excel that they never thought to sit down a

    • by westlake (615356)

      I guess it depends on Ellison - will his hate of all things MS make him sink millions into OO and make it a true competitor to MSO, or will he head the bean counters and cut it lose?

      The geek sees an office suite.

      Microsoft sees an office system that scales to a business of any size:

      Microsoft, Google, and VMware redefine the OS [cnet.com], Microsoft's SharePoint Thrives in the Recession [nytimes.com]

      100 million seats for SharePoint.

      This is the market in which Ellison must compete - and throwing a few more pennies into OpenOffice.o

  • by Zakabog (603757) <john.jmaug@com> on Sunday August 23, 2009 @12:15PM (#29164107)
    I just woke up and on reading the title I thought they meant Oracle was actually purchasing the sun...

We are Microsoft. Unix is irrelevant. Openness is futile. Prepare to be assimilated.

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