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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 mpapet (761907) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:38PM (#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!

  • Employee cuts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mu51c10rd (187182) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @03:38PM (#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 @03:43PM (#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

  • Re:Bye bye, SunOS (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:09PM (#30924644)

    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:Bye bye, SunOS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by yttrstein (891553) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:16PM (#30924794) Homepage
    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 changed to Tru64.

    Then they ignored it until it pretty much died. Oh, it's still around and will be supported until 2012, so HP says. Then the lights get shut off and that's the end of it.

    When was the last time you actually saw a Tru64 machine?
  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:30PM (#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.

  • by samkass (174571) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:45PM (#30925354) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • This happens alot (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Stregano (1285764) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @04:51PM (#30925470)
    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 williamhb (758070) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:23PM (#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.

  • Re:Bye bye, SunOS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:35PM (#30926362) Journal

    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 starfishsystems (834319) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @05:51PM (#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 lawpoop (604919) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @06:24PM (#30927192) Homepage Journal
    How do they go about determining who the best people in a company are?
  • Database machines (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tomhath (637240) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:45PM (#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 fhage (596871) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @08:01PM (#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.

  • by turbidostato (878842) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:34PM (#30928950)

    "It's a myth that younger people are "better with computers and technology""

    It doesn't make any difference as long as those hiring believe the myth.

  • by NormalVisual (565491) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @09:45PM (#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?"
  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Thursday January 28, 2010 @12:24PM (#30936160)

    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 broader or deeper knowledge and skills that are themselves valuable in the position for which you are being considered (which its quite possible to fail to do much of while still accumulating years of experience -- I'm sure we've all met people who spend years basically marking time in a job, and manage to stay employed and even get promoted within an organization. Would you want a hiring organization to automatically see someone like that as more valuable than you if they happened to have more years of experience than you do?)

    OTOH, oftentimes the people hiring may have an excessively narrow view of the relevant skill sets for the job they are hiring for, or be subject to short-term pressures that lead them to overvalue saving personnel costs and undervalue talent.

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