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Oracle Sun Microsystems

Oracle To Invest In Sun Hardware, Cut Sun Staff 135

Posted by timothy
from the taketh-with-one-hand dept.
An anonymous reader writes "There's been much speculation as to what Oracle plans to do with Sun once the all-but-certain acquisition is complete. According to separate reports on InfoWorld, Oracle has disclosed plans to continue investing in Sun's multithreaded UltraSparc T family of processors, which are used in its Niagara servers, and the M series server family, based on the Sparc64 processors developed by Fujitsu. However, Larry Ellison has reportedly said that once the Sun acquisition is complete, Oracle will hire 2,000 new employees — more people than it expects to cut from the Sun workforce. Oracle will present its plans for Sun to the public Wednesday."
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Oracle To Invest In Sun Hardware, Cut Sun Staff

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:34PM (#30923944)

    What about all of Sun's software? Solaris? Java? NetBeans? Their C, C++ and FORTRAN compilers? OpenOffice.org?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by five18pm (763804) *
      Solaris, Java, NetBeans, OpenOffice.org, everything is staying according to Thomas Kurian and Ed Screven. Only thing I didn't hear about was OpenSolaris. There is also going to be an Oracle Cloud Office, online docs like Google Docs.
      • I can't see Ellison resisting the opportunity to really fuck Microsoft over with OOo.

        • by omb (759389)
          And all power to his elbow, maybe he can leverage the OOXML debacle into anti-trust, and clean up that mess foe a profit too.

          --
          Der Feind meines Feindes mein Freund vielleicht.
    • by PCM2 (4486) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:24PM (#30924938) Homepage

      All of it was mentioned, with the exception of the C, C++, and Fortran compilers.

      • I don't remember specific plans for Solaris, other than that it will be the OS running a lot of the Oracle appliances they're talking about.
      • Various Java news. Integrating HotSpot with JRocket. Unifying the programming models/API for Java SE and Java ME. Java SE 7 will include support for multi-core and better support for multiple [non-Java] languages.
      • Netbeans goes forward as a "lightweight" dev environment, while JDeveloper is the "strategic" platform. Netbeans will get improved support for scripting, dynamic languages, and mobile.
      • OpenOffice.org will continue as a separate business unit. As with everything, Oracle is bragging that it plans to boost investment in it. They mentioned an Oracle Cloud Office based on OpenOffice.org, which aims to offer the same experience on the desktop, Web, and mobile (as Microsoft is talking about with Office 2010).

      Maybe someone else can fill in more details.

      • Netbeans goes forward as a "lightweight" dev environment, while JDeveloper is the "strategic" platform.

        I don't like the sound of this. It kinda implies that they're going to cut out all J2EE-related features out of NetBeans. And what about Glassfish?

      • by ultranova (717540)

        Java SE 7 will include support for multi-core and better support for multiple [non-Java] languages.

        How do you support multiple cores at user program level besides having threads, which Java already has?

    • Is their C/C++/FORTRAN compiler (I assume they all use the same optimization backend) any good in terms of optimization? Does it beat GCC in any significant way?

      • by hjf (703092)

        A couple of years ago it was still the default compiler in OpenSolaris. But I think it had to do with compatibility, because you couldn't compile Solaris with GNU tools.

        Since then a lot of code has been patched to be compatible with GCC (or more precisely, the whole GNU toolkit. Oracle's Makefiles weren't compatible with GNU's make, for example). I think they still recomended the use of Sun's compiler for this. Also it was a pain to have Sun software compiled against Sun libraries and GNU software compiled

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          http://blogs.sun.com/BestPerf/entry/free_compiler_wins_nehalem_race

          • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @06:27PM (#30926202) Journal

            The most interesting thing about that was that the 'auto parallelization' code used 8 cores to get slightly more than 50% more performance than it got with one core. To be honest, I'm a bit surprised that it got any benefit. It's parallelizing loops which can only be done if the compiler can prove that there are no dependencies between loops (which means that it must be able to see all of the code that executes in the loop, including the bodies of called functions) and it will often result in slowdown because subsequent loop iterations will use data in the same cache line, so you get a lot of churn.

            Compiler performance is very important on the newer UltraSPARCs, like the T1 and T2, because they do not do out-of-order execution. That means that data dependencies between instructions can cause pipeline stalls (which, hopefully, won't be a problem because you've got another thread or seven waiting to run). The compiler needs to know the length of the pipeline and design the instruction stream with this in mind. It also needs to do things like space floating point operations for the T1, which has a much larger floating point latency than most other chips. Moving data between the floating point unit and an integer register (e.g. branch on a comparison between floating point values) takes several cycles, so it needs to be aware of this and shuffle the instructions accordingly.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by David Gerard (12369)

              The killer app for the Niagaras is Java, lots of Java. That's CPU-hungry but of course you can run a separate Java app (in the JVM) on each of your 96 threads. Makes a Niagara server well worth the money in our experience.

              • You don't need a separate VM on each thread. Java encourages you to use lots of threads. It has accurate GC, which means that it can track which threads have references to which locks, so the VM can remove locks when all of the threads that reference them are on the same CPU, and even schedule them so threads that don't contend for the same lock will run. On top of that, a separate thread for the JIT, one or two for the GC, and you've got something that can quite happily use a lot of contexts.
              • by Lally Singh (3427)

                Or (now) Oracle DB threads.

              • by 7 digits (986730)

                Uh ? What prevent you of using 96 separate C++ apps on each of your 96 threads ?

                • Nothing except writing them and learning how to do parallel programming without a nightmare of interacting bugs. Programmers appear on average not to be very good at this one.

                  • I think you misunderstand. It is no harder to write a C++ application that can have 96 instances running concurrently than a Java application that can have 96 instances running concurrently (other than the fact that writing anything nontrivial in a language as broken as C++ is a world of pain).

                    Java is better suited to multithreading than C++, but not as well suited to multiple processes. Each Java app needs its own VM, which needs separate JIT and GC threads before you even start running the app, so ru

            • by 7 digits (986730)

              > The most interesting thing about that was that the 'auto parallelization' code used 8 cores to get slightly more than 50% more performance than it got with one core

              No, we don't know that as there was no benchmark of sun studio with as single core (if I read correctly). We don't know how much //ization gave to sun studio. We just know that "auto-8" core's sunstudio == 2* single core gcc.

              • The 'Tie Another Hand Behind Studio's Back' section has benchmarks for Sun Studio without autoparallelisation. It scored 29.1, while with autoparallelisation it scored 45.0. That's an improvement of just over 50% going from using one core to using 8.
  • by mpapet (761907) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:38PM (#30924026) Homepage

    Sounds to me like he'll axe the long-time Sun employees, instill an environment of fear-based fealty and then replace workers.

    I also wonder if this wasn't part quid-pro-quo for getting the merger approved.

    I see green shoots!

    • I also wonder if this wasn't part quid-pro-quo for getting the merger approved.

      Hruh? Please elaborate. Why would the EC hinge merger approval on replacing Sun employees with new engineers and sales force post merger completion? You really think 2000 jobs would be enough to sway the EC on the monopoly issue? You think all those jobs would be in Europe? Sales jobs would need to be market-location-specific. Engineering... there could be a case there.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:56PM (#30924372)
      As an Oracle employee, I can tell you "fear-based fealty" is not at all how Oracle works. They have a long history of acquisitions, and the strategy is always the same: Keep the best and brightest from the acquired company, and let everyone else go. Heck, they've bought entire companies before specifically so they could get their best engineers (virtual iron). They're practically obsessed with getting the best people, not the best bootlickers.
      • by lawpoop (604919) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:24PM (#30927192) Homepage Journal
        How do they go about determining who the best people in a company are?
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Mod parent up, despite what outsider's think, there is no fear-mongering in Oracle developers. In fact, I can (and have) spoken outspokenly to very senior managers without being "afraid" - they didn't agree to what I said, but there were no repercussions because I said it. Apologies for posting AC, but I like my privacy - and this is personal information.
    • by eclectus (209883)

      Were you watching the same presentation I was? I'm a Sun employee, and I (and others in my office) liked what we saw, and wanted more. I can't speak for others, but I'm looking forward to being part of Oracle. He wants to hire MORE engineers, not get rid of talent. He wants to use the compete stack of hw/sw/apps to succeed and beat a certain 3 letter company that has been spewing the FUD.

  • Employee cuts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mu51c10rd (187182) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:38PM (#30924028)

    However, Larry Ellison has reportedly said that once the Sun acquisition is complete, Oracle will hire 2,000 new employees — more people than it expects to cut from the Sun workforce.

    This is not right from the article. Oracle plans on hiring 2000 employees, but they plan on reducing Sun's headcount by more than that. Hope those Sun employees pick up jobs quick in this rough economy...

    From FTA:

    Ellison told The Wall Street Journal that Oracle plans to take on 2,000 new employees - but that it will reduce Sun's head count by a larger number.

    • Re:Employee cuts (Score:4, Insightful)

      by garyisabusyguy (732330) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:43PM (#30924096)

      Hopefully Oracle will NOT hire the Sun server sales reps.

      They demanded that Sun push high end servers (with their high sales commissions) instead of x86-64 solutions and, IMHO, effectively killed the company

      • by dave562 (969951)

        They demanded that Sun push high end servers (with their high sales commissions) instead of x86-64 solutions and, IMHO, effectively killed the company

        How much of their failure in the x86-64 solution has to do with the fact that they were going up against two entrenched players (HP and Dell)? I wasn't even aware that Sun offered low end servers until I read about it in the WSJ this morning.

        • by Lally Singh (3427)

          A lot of people want good supported Unix servers with a bit more vendor-support (e.g. you want the guy who wrote the code to fix your kernel) than what most linux-server shops can provide.

          Sun's had years with the right products, with some huge gaps, to do well here. But they've had their heads up their asses.

        • I don't think the issue is so much dealing with HP and Dell as it is the lack of marketing. Sun's Startup Essentials [sun.com] program offers some decent pricing on the lower-end gear for smaller companies, but seems to be almost totally unknown. I've been totally happy with the low-end Sun gear I've bought, but with the discontinuation of the X2100 line it seems that they're abandoning the low-end market that they could probably have completely taken from SuperMicro, had anyone actually known they were available.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Courageous (228506)

          That's not the only problem, believe me. Sun has trouble with pricing their x86 solutions. Dell so thoroughly kills them that the quiet cry of silence I've gotten from my Sun rep any time I've forwarded him a Dell quote in response to one of his has gotten to be pitiable. They have a long row to ho. I suspect that killing off the expensive cruft organization may be part of it.

      • by Usagi_yo (648836)
        What is better? An engineering driven company or a Sales team driven company? As much as I hate to admit it (as a systems engineer), the sales team force not only want to sell stuff that generates high sales commission, but they want to sell stuff that actually is in demand. Sun's sales force team was excellent in both knowledge and expertise.

        And

        High ticket items, mean higher profit margins to corporations too. While some do strike it rich with high volume short lived product, Post 1995 sun was not

        • by omb (759389)
          So, so, so like the DEC demise, I like the badge numbers, and the UNLOYAL marker 123B, when you were re-hired!
      • by eap (91469)

        Anyone with knowledge of how hardware sales works knows that's not the fault of the sales reps. Management sets sales quotas and promotions, as well as the sales goals for each item.

        If you expect sales reps to give you an unbiased recommendation, then you are an ideal customer. Sales reps will pursue the strategy that retires the most quota

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by PCM2 (4486)

      I think in this case the Journal is mistaken. Ellison just talked about this issue minutes ago, and he castigated the press for reports the Oracle plans to lay off "half Sun's workforce" (or similar). He says Oracle plans no such thing, and in fact he will be hiring 2,000 new employees, which will be more than it plans to lay off as a result of this acquisition.

      • I wish I could independently confirm that, but Oracle's "Careers" page requires IE. Doh!
        • Well, I was able to access the Oracle careers page (http://www.oracle.com/corporate/employment/index.html) with Firefox (under Linux) no problems.

          From that Page:

          We're Hiring!
          To make Oracle's acquisition of Sun successful, we need more smart and savvy employees. We're hiring sales consultants and sales representatives specializing in servers and storage. We also need first-class chip designers, hardware engineers and software developers. To apply for these career opportunities, please send your resume to oracle-sun-hiring_ww@oracle.com.

          I've never had any issues viewing any Oracle web page because I've not been using IE

          • Sorry about replying to my own post.

            Just to clarify, there is a link at the bottom of the careers page (NOT the careers page itself) marked:

            # Open Positions At Oracle (Please use Internet Explorer)

            However, I was able to follow the link, search for jobs, view their details and get to the "apply for this job" stage with no issues. From there it wanted you to register / login so I stopped.

            The upshot is that not having IE is not restricting you confirming or denying Oracles hiring intentions

            I do agree that the

            • Hmm .. I tried the IE only link with Firefox on linux, but got nowhere. Maybe there is a patch or two I'm missing. Either way, my point was more or less the same as your last one ... there's no good excuse for a large, prominent tech company (not named Microsoft) to do anything IE centric.
    • by owlstead (636356)

      You get that from fucking the article? Curious.

  • by Third Position (1725934) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:43PM (#30924114)

    ...is that the shop I work in is replacing it's Sun, HPUX and AIX servers with Red Hat Linux clusters hand over fist. HP and IBM are making up the lost revenue selling us blade servers, which pretty much leaves Sun out in the cold, given that Sun hasn't really established themselves on commodity hardware. Sun's servers are great, of course, but I'm guessing that without a competitive commodity platform to get their foot in the door, they aren't going to be making most customers A list of vendors when they go shopping for high end hardware.

  • by ErichTheRed (39327) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:44PM (#30924132)

    I wonder what the motivation here is. Oracle isn't exactly known as a warm and fuzzy employer. Every time I've had to deal with Oracle products, it's painfully obvious that the people they have intentionally design their software to be difficult to support...and then they hire armies of low-skill consultants to "help" customers install their systems.

    (And yes, I understand enterprise-grade software is complex. However, needing someone to guide you through all the quirks in the products or documentation just to get a proof of concept going is sad. I think SAP may be the only worse company in this "doesn't work out of the box" category.)

    My guess? Larry is going to wipe out the current long-tenure Sun employees who know everything about Sun's products and replace them with low-skilled, low-salaried n00bs. My further guess would be that these employees would be in lower-wage countries as well.

    IBM has been doing stuff like this for a while, from what I've heard...including offering people permanent one-way transfers to India along with the appropriate salary cut. Every time one of these crazy schemes comes to light, I really wonder what I should do with the rest of my career...I have at least 30 years until I retire!!

    • by Angst Badger (8636) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:30PM (#30925056)

      Every time one of these crazy schemes comes to light, I really wonder what I should do with the rest of my career...I have at least 30 years until I retire!!

      So that would make you about 35, right? Well, take a look around you. How many technical coworkers do you see that are ten years older than you? How about twenty? And thirty years?

      There's age discrimination in every field, but being a 60-year-old programmer is only marginally more likely than being a 60-year-old stripper. You might get lucky and still have a job in this field in ten years if you're really, really good, but as hardly anyone has only one career these days, it might be a good idea to think seriously about what comes next.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by samkass (174571)

        So that would make you about 35, right? Well, take a look around you. How many technical coworkers do you see that are ten years older than you? How about twenty? And thirty years?

        There's age discrimination in every field, but being a 60-year-old programmer is only marginally more likely than being a 60-year-old stripper.

        While you may be correct, I don't think the current status quo is necessarily evidence of it. I'm 36, and am of one of the first generations where it was reasonable to have a microcomputer

        • by starfishsystems (834319) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @06:51PM (#30926666) Homepage
          Having a home computer is only the most recent way that people have been able to gain access to computing resources.

          When I got started 38 years ago, what kids did was to demonstrate sufficient enthusiasm and talent to be granted access to a research computer somewhere. It was a serious privilege, but with it came contact with professionals - mathematicians, computer scientists, systems programmers, and electrical engineers - who very much knew what they were doing, and who actually had time to share their insights. These people were routinely tasked with writing things like kernels and schedulers and device drivers and compilers, and they could always use help with various lesser aspects of design and implementation.

          That's how I got started in the years before you were born. Then I earned my degree and learned the formal computer science to back up that practical experience. And you know what? It's all still completely relevant. I've lost count of the generations of technology and hype that have come and gone. That's all just surface appearance and deserving only of passing attention. The underlying principles haven't changed a bit, and they're as fascinating and challenging as ever.
          • by cpghost (719344)

            I've lost count of the generations of technology and hype that have come and gone.

            Same here. Skilled code monkeys come and go as tech evolves, but real computer scientists and engineers are still very much in demand.

          • by NormalVisual (565491) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @10:45PM (#30929018)
            The underlying principles haven't changed a bit, and they're as fascinating and challenging as ever.

            I'll agree with that, but what *has* changed is the overriding desire to save a buck at most companies, along with a continuing loss of perceived value for the years of experience a senior person brings to the table. I've only got about 25 years of experience (20 of it professional), but even I am starting to run into the situation where experience just isn't considered something valuable anymore - "why should we pay you X thousands of dollars more than this kid right out of college? You both know C++, right?"
            • Mod that man up.

              Of course, the drop in cost of hardware, and its rapid turnover, has a lot to do with that change in perception. People infer (falsely) that everything else must be similarly cheap and disposable. They don't get that most infrastructure design decisions are more enduring, and the payoff of such decisions cumulatively far more significant, than any particular iteration of hardware.

              Some people do get it, even if they're in the minority, and even if their approach is a bit hyperbolic.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by DragonWriter (970822)

              I've only got about 25 years of experience (20 of it professional), but even I am starting to run into the situation where experience just isn't considered something valuable anymore - "why should we pay you X thousands of dollars more than this kid right out of college? You both know C++, right?"

              The question, though, is reasonable -- as long as they are willing to listen to an answer. Years of experience aren't valuable on their own, they are valuable to the extent that you've leveraged them to gain broad

              • Years of experience aren't valuable on their own, they are valuable to the extent that you've leveraged them to gain broader or deeper knowledge and skills that are themselves valuable in the position for which you are being considered

                Very true - it's been said that it's possible to have not had 20 years of experience, but rather the same 5 years repeated 4 times.
        • by fhage (596871) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:01PM (#30928230)

          So that would make you about 35, right? Well, take a look around you. How many technical coworkers do you see that are ten years older than you? How about twenty? And thirty years?

          There's age discrimination in every field, but being a 60-year-old programmer is only marginally more likely than being a 60-year-old stripper.

          While you may be correct, I don't think the current status quo is necessarily evidence of it. I'm 36, and am of one of the first generations where it was reasonable to have a microcomputer around the house as a small child. People 10, 20, 30 years older than me probably got their first computer at a much older age than me and probably don't have that much more experience than me. When I'm 60, I'll likely have decades more software experience than they do now.

          Of course, the younger kids might crush me in networking experience, since the WWW didn't exist until just about when I went to University.

          It's a myth that younger people are "better with computers and technology" because they had access to computers in their house as they grew up. I turned 50 this year and have been doing scientific programming for over 35 years. I started at 14 yrs old in '73, working on time share systems and wire wrapping PDP-11 backplanes. I've been on the Internet since '86 and kids almost always assume they have more "network" experience than I. Some of the recent CS college grads I've worked with can't program their way out of a paper bag without GUI UML tools an IDE and weeks of effort refactoring their work. Young kids take days to do things I'd have it done in several hours because I'd be using use the right tool for the job. 'Awk', 'sed' , bash, csh are still very useful for "fixing" data sets. 'perl', 'php' and 'python' are used for more complex tasks. Compiled languages and libraries are used when performance matters or complexity is high. We had 10+ yr experience software engineers who would spend weeks writing a Java app, when a one line 'dd' would do. They've never heard of 'dd', so they write their own buggy, hard coded program. This old guy was the first one to make use of AJAX and web apps in our 50+ engineering division. Companies should think about this, as they lay off us older guys so they can hire a new cheap, young kid within a month. I'm now doing low-level Linux driver and DSP work for a scientific instrument maker, trying to rescue them from the mess the Java programmer they hired to port their old C, C++ DOS code to XP. "interrupt latency jitter? what's that!?". How come I can't do 5k interrupts/sec on this PC?

          Right now, in many scientific fields, the new software being written have less features and run slower than they did 20 years ago. NCAR has spent over 5 years and many, many FTE's trying to replace a C application I wrote in 1991 with a Java version. This 19 year old C/C++ application is still being used quite extensively, even though it's been "replaced" several times with new the development efforts.

      • Are you sure that the main reason is "discrimination". I don't think so. I think what happens is that as the programmers age, they lose the ability, and they know it, so move into other jobs. Like mathematicians, programmers age rapidly after 30. There are exceptions. Just not many.

    • by Toze (1668155)
      I've thought about this too. I think, once I've got my student loans paid off, and my next couple of degrees finished, that I might look at work in developing nations. Making $15K a year doesn't sound like much, but if you can live well in the area for $10K, it's a good deal; I'd rather have a maid and chauffeur in Bangalore than a 200ft^2 apartment in NYC, know what I mean? The more money I end up making, the more I realize my motivation is to live well and have technical challenges- the actual paycheck i
    • by nomadic (141991)
      Every time I've had to deal with Oracle products, it's painfully obvious that the people they have intentionally design their software to be difficult to support...and then they hire armies of low-skill consultants to "help" customers install their systems.

      From what I remember from my IT days, Oracle made sales by first sending in analysts who would look not at the customers' requirements, but what they thought the customer could afford. While a lot of companies do that Oracle had absolutely no shame ab
  • by (ana!)a (769730) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:51PM (#30924264)
    I can't believe what's happening, first ax the moon [orlandosentinel.com], now cut the sun [slashdot.org], not to mention this thing about mars' spirit being stuck [slashdot.org]. What the hell is going on with our solar system ?
    • With the recent popularity of the books and movies, I'd say we have entered the Twilight Zone.

      Thats why things are so messed up.

  • To Free/Open alternatives.

    I think I like Oracle even *less* than Microsoft, and that's saying something.

    GCJ anyone? [gnu.org]

    • by williamhb (758070) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @06:23PM (#30926116) Journal

      To Free/Open alternatives. GCJ anyone?

      But given that Sun has already GPL'ed Java -- see OpenJDK -- you'd be wasting your time.

    • by rzei (622725)
      Perhaps you were trying to spell out OpenJDK or Apache Harmony. GCJ is not... exactly the way to go -- it might had seem like it was before hotspot, but not anymore. I'd never run any of my java code on other than vm because of all the online optimization support.
    • GCJ anyone? [gnu.org]
      Given that there is now a usable FOSS release of java based on the sun code that is far better than any of the independent implementations I think a better choice would be just to fork that if things go sour.

    • by 2starr (202647)
      GCJ really fulfills an entirely different purpose (compilation of Java to native binaries). If you're looking for an open source alternative, you could look at IcedTea [classpath.org], however Java is open source now so you could just use the original [java.net].
  • Let me guess, they're removing more senior staff and taking on cheap young and or foreign staff.
  • Man, we had a great run. I'll never forget you, old BSD horse.

    Dear Apple:

    Buy ZFS from Oracle right now. Thanks in advance.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Haven't been listening to anything, have you? Ellison (and the other Oracle people) keep talking about Solaris being the Best High End Unix out there and running the most Oracle instances, so they're putting *more* investment into Solaris.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by yttrstein (891553)
        I've been through fifteen buyouts in my career, big and small. I know therefore that absolutely nothing that anyone involved with this purchase should be taken as truth.

        They're likely, based on my experience with all manner of corporate buyout, going to replace the old Solaris silverbacks with their own people, sooner rather than later.

        Are you old enough to remember the Compaq/DEC buyout? Digital Unix will continue, they said. It's DEC's best product, they said. And it did, kind of, when it got its name
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)

          Tru64 was killed because HP bought Compaq, and it competed with HP-UX. Compaq didn't already have their own UNIX, but HP did. They took the bits of Tru64 that they liked, incorporated them into HP-UX, and started pushing their customers to migrate to HP-UX.

          The really depressing thing is that, a couple of years ago, I was talking to someone who did OS research at HP and she'd never heard of VMS...

    • by diegocg (1680514)

      This is what Ellison said [ft.com] before he started his Red Hat clone (unbreakable linux, way before they bought sun):

      "I'd like to have a complete stack," he said. "We're missing an operating system. You could argue that it makes a lot of sense for us to look at distributing and supporting Linux."

      It seems logical that now that they have their own operative system, they will use it. On the other hand, it'd be stupid for them to fight Linux, since maaaany people use it for Oracle. They will probably support both.

    • It appears Apple is rolling their own file system for OS X. At least that's the impression I get from the job postings looking for architects with file system knowledge.

    • I am not sure about this:

      About 2 years ago, I had a government project to migrate a 6 node Oracle database running Red Hat on current x64 hardware to a single Sun SPARC. After doing the migration, I figured out why: The single SPARC utterly annihilated the X64 cluster in performance.

      More recently, look at the Oracle 11g release schedule:

      1. Aug-2009: Linux (all hardware architectures)
      2. Nov-2009: Sun SPARC
      3. Dec-2009: HP-UX, AIX, etc
      4. Windows (not yet released)

      I also had another recent project which involved mi

  • 2 chip desiners, and 1998 support consultants.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by creimer (824291)
      Seriously, dude, I wouldn't want to hire any outdated support consultants from 1998. :P
  • Why are we linking to articles from yesterday about what has happened [oracle.com] today?

  • Larry just said, on the webcast, that they will be hiring about 2000 people, and that "this is twice as many as we will be firing. We're hiring, not firing".

  • Many predictions from the Oracle at Delphi were supposedly inspired [nationalgeographic.com] by escaping gas vapors.

    Will in the future people ask of the 'Sun Oracle' - "What were you guys smokin?".

  • there has been no announcement about cutting staff, internal or external. "analysts" have speculated that oracle make deep cuts (up to 50%), but oracle has flatly denied that.

    hello editor?

  • This happens alot (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Stregano (1285764)
    Whether we like it or not, it happens. Fire the people making a bunch of money and hire younger people or outsource to cut costs.

    I guess I am new to this industry, but I have seen this multiple times. I always thought making more money had to do with delivering good products on a good time, and not firing people to make up the difference. I guess I am still new since I think that idea is messed up.
  • by twmcneil (942300) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @06:03PM (#30925742)
    Go short in where ever My Little Pony ends up next.
  • Sparc is dead (at least I hope so) as far as U.S development is concerned. Sun pissed away too much money developing Sparc chipsets post 1999/2001 -- when it became clear that X86 architecture was coming into its own. Sun should have stuck with AMD and explored more ways to make Enterprise versions of X86. Spending more R&D money in an ever shrinking niche market when off the shelf components were making leaps and bounds was not a good business decision. I certainly hope Oracle doesn't intend on go
    • by rubycodez (864176)

      a little hint might have been Oracle promising UltraSparc users continued "future binary compatibility"....like they may at some point ditch the chip and offer emulation on x86-64.

      • by Rob Riggs (6418)
        That was my thought when reading that statement as well. Modern x86_64 chips have quite a bit more horsepower than SPARC64, so it could work out. The endianness difference might cause some inefficiencies though.
        • by rubycodez (864176)

          The inefficiency is very small, clever construction of emulator means no need to do constant flipping. Consider that the Java Virtual Machine is presented to programmer as big endian though the internals are not implemented that way on x86

    • by afabbro (33948)

      I would like to see Database Transactional off-load processors down to the I/O level .. such as TCP offload engines

      ...which is what Oracle built with their new Database Machines, right?

      • by Usagi_yo (648836)
        That's a quick throw together and a remarketing of an existing product. Lets get down to clustering at the hardware Bus level with crossbar busses and processors distributed further out from the core system. Add dynamically instanced domains for on-the-fly resource management. Built in multi-port network switch and Jbod rack or two.
  • Oracle wants to assume direct sales relationships with the enterprise and government clients of Sun, to get consolidated stack offering and cut out the partner middlemen. Huge (but not unexpected) for some of us who work for value added resellers (VAR), at least my place of employment also sells the other Unix(tm) big iron, Sun becoming ever smaller piece of revenue over the past five years

  • by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:51PM (#30927504) Journal
    Doesn't investing in SPARC processors, at this point, sound a bit ... RISC-y?
  • The Niagara boxes are really all that and more. One chip, 12 cores, 96 threads in a 1U server. My work serves a pile of Java servlet based websites, so these are just the thing for the job. They spend most of their time twiddling their thumbs and barely breaking a sweat - the previous generation is three V240s that are running flat-out. Yeah, we've got capacity for a while. We're about to get a Niagara-based build server as well, to replace the present V210 - only a 32-thread model, but that should still ma

  • Database machines (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tomhath (637240) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:45PM (#30928046)

    The direction seems pretty clear: If you want an Oracle database, you buy the entire stack in one place - proprietary hardware, compilers, operating system, DBMS. That's the product they will sell.

    The rest of Sun will likely disappear within a couple of years

    • by jwhitener (198343)

      Except that Oracle hasn't been limited to databases for years. They sell all sorts of enterprise software, which has, and probably will in the future, run on standard UNIX systems. Solaris being one of them. Solaris runs on the superior Ultrasparc processors or x86. I don't see it going anywhere.

      I expect some merging product lines, but the losses in software will occur both on the Oracle side and the Sun side. Sun has many major enterprise software products that Oracle does not, and those are most like

  • Oracle usually waits about a year before eliminating acquired personnel.

    The 2000 sales people increase is foolish in my estimation for a company that is Oracle's size. Naturally it MUST be short term. Companies the size of Oracle generate sales revenue through channels, and not through direct sales.

    I predict the end of Ellison in less than 3 years. And... it might lead to the death of Oracle in 5 years or so....

    Probably NOT was Larry was thinking. I could be wrong...

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