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Oracle HP Businesses Hardware Technology

Oracle To Sell Sun's Hardware Business To HP? 76

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the playing-hard-to-get dept.
Underholdning writes "With the DOJ approving Oracle's Sun buyout, the question arises what Oracle might want to do with Sun's hardware business. It's no secret that what Oracle wanted was the software part. Now The Inquirer is running a story claiming that Oracle will sell the hardware business of Sun to HP. This will give Oracle a juicy check while HP can increase its services. Larry Ellison denies that it will take place, but a source for CNN claims otherwise."
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Oracle To Sell Sun's Hardware Business To HP?

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  • Sparc and Solaris (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Powys (1274816) on Friday August 28, 2009 @04:28PM (#29235697)
    Since Sun made Sparc cpus, and used Solaris for their OS, will they sell Solaris to HP to match their hardware?
    • Sell or License? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by itomato (91092)

      Would they sell it out-right, or license it?

      It runs on more than SPARC, and Sun makes x86-64 boxen too..

      Who gets OpenSolaris?

    • by Fred_A (10934)

      Since Sun made Sparc cpus, and used Solaris for their OS, will they sell Solaris to HP to match their hardware?

      No, apparently they'll have to run Oracloris.

      • Oracloris, so you are "ready" for those intimate moments.
        Apparently Larry is interested in hardware after all.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      And then HP can kill the Sparc cpu and Solaris os lines like they did DEC Alpha and OS1... While focusing on Itanium and HPUX... Yuck!
  • Not official but they where under the impression that sun would as a hole be run as sun a Oracle company idea as a hole. some software goes to Oracle but rest stays one whole company. Thats what was submitted to EU and DOJ so selling off would possibly be a deal breaker. Now this is just what they heard internaly so never know but still to be honest I don't see them selling it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Keeping Sun whole is unlikely given the way Oracle has dealt with its acquisitions in the past. They've tended to take what they like, integrate it into Oracle's offerings, save some support and development staff for those product lines, and jettison everything else.

      Having said that, this whole article is wild-ass speculation. For every source you can find saying Ellison doesn't want to be in the hardware business, you can find another just as credible source saying the hardware business is a key compo
    • The rules of the Internet always caution you when taking inside info from someone calling himself "Vegeta" or anything else Dragon Ball Z related, but I'll take your lower ID to indicate that both of us might have made poor choices about our online identities in our youth :) .

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by R2.0 (532027)

        I'd be more concerned about his use of the word "hole" for "whole" - twice.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Would you like to translate that into English so that most of the readers can understand it?
    • by glwtta (532858) on Friday August 28, 2009 @05:26PM (#29236367) Homepage
      sun would as a hole be run as sun a Oracle company idea as a hole

      Could you do me a favor? Just take a minute to read that sentence to yourself three or four times. Maybe even read it out loud - people say that helps.
    • Sun has been run as a hole by all kinds of people - even people without ponytails!

      A hole for people to put money into, as well as a hole for investors to throw money down - 1:4 split, anyone?

  • Buy it, bury it, PROFIT!
    • Re:Hey, why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ThePhilips (752041) on Friday August 28, 2009 @05:58PM (#29236807) Homepage Journal

      No no. You got it wrong. HP's model is "buy it, burry it, write off losses."

      Frankly, having seen what HP did to DEC (acquired as part of Compaq; the ill-fated Alphas and Tru64), acquisition of SPARC and Solaris would spell rather quick death to both. In its current shape, HP unlikely to be allowed to do the trick again. (Nor Solaris customers would want to migrate to HP-UX, which is probably most POSIX-incompatible POSIX-certified OS I have seen to date.)

      As a UNIX seller, HP is probably most backward company you can find out there. And their upper management who are forgetting at times that they still have UNIX business doesn't help to improve the image.

      • by RedK (112790)
        We're actually in the middle of migrating all our Solaris boxes to Itanium HP-UX boxes. Seeing Veritas Cluster Service being replaced by McServiceguard is sad indeed.
  • Sweet! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by symbolset (646467)
    Oracle needs to unload the hardware hot potato and HP is a natural buyer for this.
    • Oracle must hold on to the hardware division at all costs. The financial future of the computer industry is in hardware, not software. Software will be extremely cheap because necessity is about to unleash a revolution in software construction methodology that will turn every computer user into a programmer whether they know it or not. The future of profits in this industry is going to be strictly about who has the baddest, fastest and most energy-efficient parallel processors. The software will just sprout

      • Software has no manufacturing cost. The margins are like 80%.

        Instead they should keep the parts that are made of stuff you have to buy, in an expensive factory, with union labor?

        • My point is that software is about to become practically free and software companies will not be able to compete. Why? Because the next computer revolution will make it possible for customers to very cheaply construct their own software from freely available parts. Oracle is bound to suffer as customers begin to migrate to free applications. By the way, Intel would be surprised to find out that hardware is not profitable.

          • by symbolset (646467)
            Oracle relies on a vast network of OEM partners and their sales partners to recommend, service and sell their product. These partners are likely to look at a software vendor that tries to compete with them on the hardware as well as a threat. Think of the row that would arise if Microsoft were to try to build and sell their own desktop and laptop PCs. Hardware vendors would consider it a matter of their corporate survival to deprecate Windows and other Microsoft products.
            • It does not matter. Anybody or organization who comes out with the right solution will start a revolution and the others will be caught by surprise and forced to go along. All it will take is a few kick-ass products like say, a smart phone that instantly translates a japanese restaurant menu into a chosen language, at the click of a button; or one that recognizes somebody's face whose name you had forgotten; or a portable translation service, etc.

              Any processor that can support such advanced products will bl

  • Not happening (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the linux geek (799780) on Friday August 28, 2009 @04:37PM (#29235809)
    HP had a hard enough time last time they tried to support multiple processor architectures simultaneously (for a while, they were selling x86, PA-RISC, Alpha, and Itanium.) I don't think they're that interested in adding Yet Another OS and Processor Combination into the mix, or they wouldn't have axed PA-RISC and Alpha, both of which had real futures. They've implied strongly in recent times that they're committed to Itanium, and I think that's where it will stay.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DiegoBravo (324012)

      I remember when HP got the Compaq tru64 Unix business; they (supposedly) tried to maintain both Unixes for a while, and ended with a big (forced) migration to HP/UX servers.

      In the end, I think the business was good for them: more corporate clients. It's reasonable to expect the same with the (bigger) Sun/Solaris case.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Axing PA-RISC was the right thing to do, but Alpha was killed off because that's what Intel wanted. Intel promised big with Itanium and everyone but HP was smart enough to abandon ship when it became clear that Itanium was going to suck the big one, but HP are so slow on the uptake these past couple of decades, they went ahead and killed their only real alternative and put all their eggs in one Intel shaped basket.

      The idea of a company so apparently brain dead as HP taking control of SPARC doesn't fill me
    • Wouldn't Solaris have to go along with the Sparc hardware business as well?

      I mean what good is a new Sparc without Solaris to run on it?

  • Their own PA-RISC, Alpha from DEC via Compaq, and now(possibly), SPARC from Sun via Oracle....
    • Wrong. They sold Alpha's IP to Intel early in the IA64 days, maybe PA-RISC's as well.
    • HP will keep this and keep it in maintenance mode. The simple fact is, that OS's normally are unprofitable UNTIL they go into maintenance. The obvious exception is the monster monopoly.
    • by Stonent1 (594886)
      I thought MIPS was in that mix as well. Didn't the "NonStop" series run on MIPS?
  • If Oracle does not want Sun hardware, what Sun software does Oracle want?

    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, 176 gigabytes of memory, and 7 terabytes of disk space. This compared favorably to a $758,000 server sold by the manufacturer of a well-known brand, which had only eight multiprocessors, one-third the memory, and about the same amount of disk space."

    It's true that Sun hardware is more reliable than consumer-grade hardware. However, neither are completely reliable. Both require fault-tolerant software. Also, consumer-grade hardware has become very reliable.

    • If Oracle does not want Sun hardware, what Sun software does Oracle want?

      I'm guessing all the Java stuff ... and MySql.

    • by blind biker (1066130) on Friday August 28, 2009 @06:09PM (#29236947) Journal

      I am sure Google made the right decision. I am also sure, however, that an 8-way MP computer with loads of contiguous RAM will excel at some tasks where a cluster will not. A cluster is not always a direct replacement for a Sun M8000. Each has its uses and its rightful place in IT.

    • Synopsis from the article...

      HP bought EDS, EDS sells a lot of Sun hardware. By purchasing Sun hardware business, HP can satisfy EDS clients while maintaining a broad profit margin.

      Not all companies are as 'with it' as Google and many subscribe to the 90's-ism, 'The Internet runs on Sun'.

      There is still a lot of money to be made selling Sun servers and that is a BIG reason that Sun failed to commit to 'commodity' processors

    • ...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...

      You'll note that Google started building their cluster when oil was roughly $10/bbl and only the Sierra club and Greenpeace were concerned about global warming. Oil rose to more than $150/bbl, it's currently headed upwards of $70 and many countries (including the U.S.) are considering carbon taxes. Sun made a wise investment in Niagara chip multithread processors. No one else comes close to their throughput/watt and using a cluster of X86 boxes where your application needs throughput computing is like

      • Thank you for your response.

        You said, "No one else comes close to their [Sun] throughput/watt..." Could you supply some evidence of that?

        You said, "Consider the I^2R loss in the cables between PCs, ..." The resistive loss is trivial, because the current is very small.

        You said, "... consider the heat generated by 1000 power supplies..." Google does not use separate power supplies for each computer. Also, the power supply loss is the same, per watt of delivered power. Sun and Google both have highly
  • by InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) on Friday August 28, 2009 @04:47PM (#29235931)
    Breaking news from the Twitter feed?
  • by oldhack (1037484)
    HP seems to be swallowing all the failed majors.
  • by idontgno (624372) on Friday August 28, 2009 @04:56PM (#29236025) Journal

    IT services arm.

    The Inquirer [theinquirer.net] (the IT news website, not the tabloid) has some words about this:

    HP, on the other hand, wants Sun's hardware to boost its services business. HP bought outsourcing player EDS. EDS was Sun's best customer. By owning Sun technology, HP will improve its profit margins on many EDS deals.

    HP told CNN that the EDS integration process has gone well and the subtext is that the maker of expensive printer ink is fine with writing a big cheque to Ellison.

    So, HP bought EDS, and EDS has a historical habit of recommending or BOM'ing Sun hardware. Solution? HP buys and manufactures Sun hardware. That way, EDS is eating HP's own dog food. That's the "x) PROFIT!" stage.

  • by fm6 (162816)

    It's no secret that what Oracle wanted was the software part.

    Not a secret because it's pure pundit bullshit. I've shot down the sloppy thinking behind this assumption before--more than once. Since nobody seems to hear me, I'll just wait a few weeks for the facial egg to set.

  • by twasserman (878174) on Friday August 28, 2009 @05:29PM (#29236407)
    While I think that it makes good sense for Oracle to sell off the hardware business that they acquired from Sun, I find it hard to imagine H-P as a potential buyer. I'd be much more likely to believe the story if the buyer were Fujitsu, who has been involved with Sun and SPARC since the 1980's.

    Here's why I think that H-P is unlikely to do this:

    • They are trying to focus more on their services business, having recently spent $14 Billion acquiring EDS
    • The SPARC line and the Solaris operating system would go head-to-head with HP's high-end servers (Itanium-based) and HP-UX operating system. While it would take a strong competitor off the table, it would also create uncertainty with the large SPARC installed base, especially in the financial community.
    • H-P's acquisition of COMPAQ wasn't exactly a roaring success. The only good thing that came of it was that it led to the downfall of Her Worship, La Fiorina, who viewed the acquistion as her crowning achievement, even though it led to firing 30000 people. Today the COMPAQ brand is fading away and mostly is used for inexpensive PCs.
    • Mark Hurd is extremely cost-conscious and very focused on quarter-to-quarter results for Wall Street. A big acquisition like this would be very disruptive and require some significant writeoffs and future earnings impairments.

    I would not be at all surprised to learn of talks between Oracle and HP, but I would really be shocked if this deal happened.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rubycodez (864176)

      desktops???? hp's x86 server line is very successful, and those DL and ML lines are Compaqs

    • by downix (84795)

      I could see it going to Fujitsu or TI, both of which could leveredge it far better than HP could, with less cross-platform competition.

    • * They are trying to focus more on their services business, having recently spent $14 Billion acquiring EDS

      See the dog food argument, above

      * The SPARC line and the Solaris operating system would go head-to-head with HP's high-end servers (Itanium-based) and HP-UX operating system. While it would take a strong competitor off the table, it would also create uncertainty with the large SPARC installed base, especially in the financial community.

      There is no longer a need for 4 distinct architectures in non-specialized high-end computing. HP could be in a comfortable position to weigh the options for cost/profit, per platform, and for a relatively minimal investment, weigh what had been a primary opponent against their own assets. In light of their services business, the systems with the most attractive service projections would be the cards to keep.

      H-P's acquisition of COMPAQ...

      Compaq isn't a solid comparison, and neither is the reign of Fiorin

    • H-P's acquisition of COMPAQ wasn't exactly a roaring success. The only good thing that came of it was that it led to the downfall of Her Worship, La Fiorina, who viewed the acquistion as her crowning achievement, even though it led to firing 30000 people. Today the COMPAQ brand is fading away and mostly is used for inexpensive PCs.

      The Compaq acquisition was a great success. Pretty much every HP PC product today has more Compaq heritage than HP heritage.

      Compaq had better desktops, better laptops, and better

    • Sun's competition is pushing real hard to get customers to defer or cancel Sun sales in favor of their products. One way is FUD, suggesting that, for example, Oracle will cancel the Sun hardware lines. I see this as an another FUD effort, suggesting that H-P, who only buys companies up to cancel their hardware, would buy Sun from Oracle.

      Another tactic is to start rumors that the U.S. DoJ and the EU will have to investigate.

      The longer they can get people to defer Sun purchases, the better chance they ha

      • by rubycodez (864176)

        since when is Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt about risky undertakings a bad thing? A company that is buying big unix iron isn't going to risk buying from a vendor that isn't going to be there in a year. There is no way of knowing whether the Sun hardware line will exist in a year.

  • They're saying "Oracle says it won't, but *I* think they will! And so does some other unnamed source!"
  • itanium (Score:5, Funny)

    by turgid (580780) on Friday August 28, 2009 @05:47PM (#29236645) Journal

    What would HP want with that old SPARC junk when itanium is quite clearly the future?

  • by azrael29a (1349629) on Friday August 28, 2009 @06:28PM (#29237167)
    Why in hell would they want to sell the Sun hardware business to HP when they have just started to advertise it? See http://www.oracle.com/features/sunoraclefaster.html [oracle.com]
    • Announcer: The robustness and performance you have come to expect from Sun and Oracle is now backed with names with robustness and longevity to match. Run Oracle on SPARC, now from Hewlett Packard.

      Sun and Solaris provide a "preferred" environment for Oracle.

      "Oracle has based entire our middleware strategy on Java and J2EE integration," Ellison said. "Our approach is all built around Java." He said the move was sparked by requests from customers.

      That Oracle would tout the performance of an ally is no surprise, regardless of whether an acquisition was in the works.

    • Why in hell would they want to sell the Sun hardware business to HP when they have just started to advertise it? See http://www.oracle.com/features/sunoraclefaster.html [oracle.com] [oracle.com]

      Especially if, as Cringely supposes, that the whole point of the deal was to use SPARC to get a few more years out of the traditional database market (vs. Google/Hadoop-style methods).

  • Hold up what if (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Orion Blastar (457579) <orionblastar@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Friday August 28, 2009 @08:50PM (#29238435) Homepage Journal

    Oracle is just licensing the Sun hardware to HP so that HP becomes a Sun OEM and Oracle can outsource the Sun server and Solaris work to HP and save money?

    HP is looking for a way to earn more income, if they make a deal with Oracle to make their Sun hardware they can boost their server profits by selling SPARC and Intel servers.

    Also didn't Sun at least make Intel based servers as well as SPARC based ones?

    Sun had a deal with Next, Inc. to make OpenStep [wikipedia.org], maybe HP is buying out the Openstep IP that Sun owned along with the Sun server sale/license? Maybe HP can develop the OpenStep API and GUI into something better for SunOS and Solaris as well as OpenSolaris. HP might want to use all OpenStep IP to make a Mac OSX type server OS that is easier to use and configure to help it compete with Apple's XServers.

    • Maybe HP can develop the OpenStep API and GUI into something better for SunOS and Solaris as well as OpenSolaris. HP might want to use all OpenStep IP to make a Mac OSX type server OS that is easier to use and configure to help it compete with Apple's XServers.

      I don't like using CDE either, but installing Gnome would seem the easier way to accomplish this.

    • Is this the HP Oracle Exadata Storage Server [oracle.com] Round 2? Let's see Oracle OpenWorld and wait for Q1 2010 for more news..
  • And also we should keep in mind that a time ago Oracle used Solaris to develop its database on. Solaris and Oracle once were "the" platform to run a database on.
  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Friday August 28, 2009 @10:07PM (#29238843) Homepage Journal
    As someone who has used both Alpha and SPARC chips in high-performance computing environments, I was a bit saddened when the Alpha went away for good. Seeing the SPARC also go the way of the Dodo would be a shame as well.
  • This is mucho strange. Why would HP want to support a competing platform when it can just sit back and watch it die. Perhaps to get to Sun customer base, or to get hold of hardware patents etc. If so will SPARC come with Solaris ? HPUX for SPARC ?

    As per Wikipedia the latest PA-RISC processor was released in 2005 ?. thatâ(TM)s like 400 years ago.....
    hmm interesting rumor.

  • Selling the hardware business to HP would invalidate Oracle's Solaris aquisition, because one of the advantages of running Sun software is running it on Sun hardware. I know other OS runs on Sparc, as does Solaris run on other hardware, but Solaris/Sparc is a known good entity.

  • I find it had to believe they would lay off the hardware department. Oracle would love to have full control over the whole computing stack, from hardware, to OS, to middleware, to the development of the final software public. Suits would love to have an all-in-one package, optimized, from the catalogue, solution. Order, receive it, turn it on, it's working.

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