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Oracle Buys Sun 906

bruunb writes "Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ: ORCL) and Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) announced today they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Oracle will acquire Sun common stock for $9.50 per share in cash. The transaction is valued at approximately $7.4 billion, or $5.6 billion net of Sun's cash and debt. 'We expect this acquisition to be accretive to Oracle's earnings by at least 15 cents on a non-GAAP basis in the first full year after closing. We estimate that the acquired business will contribute over $1.5 billion to Oracle's non-GAAP operating profit in the first year, increasing to over $2 billion in the second year. This would make the Sun acquisition more profitable in per share contribution in the first year than we had planned for the acquisitions of BEA, PeopleSoft and Siebel combined,' said Oracle President Safra Catz."
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Oracle Buys Sun

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  • What about MySQL? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kaffiene ( 38781 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:15AM (#27643893)

    Well well well. I can see this working well for Oracle - they use Java a great deal... and it should be good news for Sun's open source projects like Netbeans - which would, I think, be maintained under Oracle.

    I guess it's a little sad to see Sun unable to continue by themselves, but the writing was on the wall and I think Oracle will keep all the Sun products working, but of course the big question is what does this mean for MySQL?

  • Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rackserverdeals ( 1503561 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:15AM (#27643897) Homepage Journal

    This is a big surprise.

    Wonder if Solaris will become their main development platform again.

  • by Chlorine Trifluoride ( 1517149 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:16AM (#27643907)
    Is this the end of MySQL?
  • Well, crap. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JerkBoB ( 7130 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:19AM (#27643941)

    Is 8am too early to start drinking?

    I am deeply disappointed by this turn of events.

    IBM would have been a much better buyer, if the deal had to be done.

    Oracle? Bleah!

    Well, I'll bet the suits at IBM are kicking themselves hard, now that Oracle has control of Java.

  • by egghat ( 73643 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:20AM (#27643955) Homepage

    Oracle+Sun has the power to seriously harm IBM. IBMs big plus was the combination of good hardware + OS + DB + consultants.

    Oracle + Sun can now deliver exactly the same.

    bye egghat

  • Re:What about MySQL? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Kr0m ( 900780 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:21AM (#27643963) Journal
    Worse! What happens to development of Solaris!? Will it be downgraded to a minimal UNIX for an Oracle appliance?
  • Re:What about MySQL? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ByOhTek ( 1181381 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:26AM (#27643993) Journal

    Oracle already has Linux (a re-branded RHEL) for it's *NIX platform.

    My guess is they'll relegate either their Linux, or Solaris to the back (either way, I wouldn't be surprised if Solaris went completely open source, no non-open-source Solaris).

    Since Oracle likes primarily using "their own thing", my guess is they'll move to Solaris, and their Linux distro will take a bow, since it's based off of someone elses work, that they've not yet acquired.

  • by Kr0m ( 900780 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:26AM (#27643999) Journal
    I wonder what will be the next big buyout? Novell seems the next likeliest candidate that would be up for grabs (By Microsoft?).
  • by hal2814 ( 725639 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:27AM (#27644005)
    Oracle was wanting its own OS. Not the worst way to get one and not the worst OS to have.
  • by downix ( 84795 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:30AM (#27644029) Homepage

    What we have here on one hand is Oracle, a company that is incredibly well run, but with products that don't cover a complete spectrum, and Sun, a so-so run company with a wide range of product lines. This can go two ways, Suns platform quality goes down while Oracles management goes down with it, *or*, and this is the scenario I hope for, Oracle cleans out the dead wood in Sun management, and adopts the Sun technology in force. I've worked on Oracle machines, and Sun machines. I've also delt with both companies sales forces. If the synergy can be hammered out, this can really shake up the business world.

    One suggestion tho, keep both names. Use Sun for the hardware, Oracle for the software.

  • Re:What about MySQL? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Alain Williams ( 2972 ) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:39AM (#27644119) Homepage

    Probably the same thing it means for OpenOffice. Or Java.

    I don't know what that is, though...

    Remember: Larry hates Bill. Bill earns a lot of $$ from MS Office. This may result in more funding for OoO.

  • I doubt it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shis-ka-bob ( 595298 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:45AM (#27644165)
    MySQL is in a very different niche than Oracle. When is the last time you saw Oracle used as the back end for a Wiki or a large company use MySQL for an enterprise ERP system? It may happen that somebody uses a product outside of its niche, but like a lungfish on land, it just isn't as effective as something that has evolved to better fill that role.
  • Good-bye MySQL (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PhotoGuy ( 189467 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:45AM (#27644167) Homepage

    Thankfully, I have recently switched myself (and my clients) over to Postgresql.

    It was a sad day when Oracle got the rights to the InnoDB engine, but at least MySQL itself was in the hands of Sun.

    With Oracle now owning all the rights to what is probably the biggest free competitor, I think the open source world shouldn't put much stock or investment into MySQL.

    I've been quite impressed with the performance and straight-forwardness of PostGres, and will continue to happily use it. I was alawys keeping MySQL in the back of my mind, to try out now and then, but with this announcement, I doubt it'll be worthwhile.

    Is there any anti-trust factors to this? Oracle, being a dominant database player, and buying up the biggest open source database?

    Aside from that, I find this all very sad. Sun was one of the Unix innvators from the earliest days. Even when they grow large, they still seemed like a "cool company." Healey used to personally answer emails I would send him. Oracle seems to be the antithesis of this; major, corporate, gouging, monster... One can only hope that some of Sun's culture and products will survive.

  • Re:Wow. Just Wow. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:46AM (#27644171) Homepage Journal

    You're right. I just don't get it. MySQL makes sense for Oracle. The hardware business makes no sense whatsoever.

    Java really doesn't make much sense for Oracle, either. A lot of databases might get use Java front-ends, but so what? Oracle hasn't been in that business.

    In the end, I think goes down like this: This is about two things: Red Hat and MySQL. Oracle's RHEL variant has been a a complete bust; Oracle customers have been sticking with Red Hat. Read Matt Assay's column over on C|Net if you don't understand the whol;e Red Hat/Oracle rivalry; he makes pretty good sense of it.

    Oracle may have always wanted MySQL, but it's also been desperate for an OS to compete with Red Hat's, and it just got one in Solaris. It also has Sun's Linux offering (Java Desktop), but I don't think that's a real prize for Oracle, who has always been on the server end.

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

    by Angostura ( 703910 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:46AM (#27644175)

    I agree that Oracle will kill off Sparc, but I would expect it to retain a Sun-branded hardware business, based on Intel. That will be a key part of the soup-to-nuts stack strategy, I would have thought.

  • Bad news for MySQL (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jonnyj ( 1011131 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:55AM (#27644259)

    MySQL is worth far more to Oracle than to any other company. To anyone else, MySQL is simply worth the present value of its future revenue stream but, to Oracle, it's also worth the impact that it has on its own database revenue streams.

    The anti-MySQL ranters who keep posting on /. miss the point that for many, if not most, commercial projects, MySQL is good enough and has a very low total ownership cost. Oracle knows that too, and the mere existence of MySQL puts an effective price cap on Oracle for low-end projects. It's not the number of users who actually switch to MySQL that bothers Oracle; it's the number who threaten to and get a discount as a result.

    Look out for some significant changes to MySQL licensing and pricing. It's my guess that databases just got a whole load more expensive.

  • Re:Wow. Just Wow. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kestasjk ( 933987 ) * on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:56AM (#27644283) Homepage
    I would have considered a Sun/Apple merger more likely
  • by shis-ka-bob ( 595298 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @08:56AM (#27644285)
    We are entering an era where energy conservation is going to be critical. Niagara2 can provide 32 threads for 72 Watts. This is a great CPU for a hypothetical Oracle on-site enterprise database appliance. Add a hot-failover-to-cloud, and you can have a database that doesn't even stop for upgrades or floods.
  • by Micah ( 278 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @09:01AM (#27644345) Homepage Journal

    At last, InnoDB and MySQL owned by the same company. I guess that's a good thing.

  • by jotaeleemeese ( 303437 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @09:01AM (#27644349) Homepage Journal

    Didn't get that impression last time I attended one of their seminars a few weeks ago.

    The multicore stuff Sun is doing is miles ahead og anything anybody else is doing,. I hope Oracle do not axe that.

  • Re:What about MySQL? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BlackCreek ( 1004083 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @09:03AM (#27644373)

    I have many co-workers that use Eclipse everyday, but that never got hold of point of the joke in the name.

    "Eclipse" is when the Sun is blocked/hidden/occulted by something else. It makes IBM's reasons for funding Eclipse dead obvious. Turn one of your competitor's product niche into a commodity.

  • Re:Sad end (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rackserverdeals ( 1503561 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @09:07AM (#27644417) Homepage Journal

    Why would oracle ditch Lustre?

    Lustre is a great file system for HPC clusters and is being more integrated with ZFS. I think something like 50% of the top supercomputers use Lustre.

    It operates in a different space than Oracle's filesystems and doesn't directly compete with it, but is important for Sun's hardware business.

    It wouldn't make sense to put Lustre on the back burner. Even if they did, it's open source.

  • by philj ( 13777 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @09:08AM (#27644425)

    I wonder how long it will take Oracle to pretty much give the middle finger to HP and Dell hardware partnerships in favor of the soon-to-be-released OracleFire "product-in-the-box" line...

    It already exists... In partnership with HP :)

    Oracle Exadata [oracle.com]

    I imagine that'll soon go the way of the dodo, and get replaced with some Sun kit.

  • Re:Java 8 Preview (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CynicTheHedgehog ( 261139 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @09:14AM (#27644473) Homepage

    Seriously, anyone who has taken a close look at what Oracle has done to Java with JDeveloper and Oracle AS knows that this will not be good for Java. Oracle is famous for not implementing standard API calls and instead providing proprietary methods and super classes to implement basic functionality (JDBC BLOBs, web services, etc.) Vendor lock-in is one thing, but their ideas and designs are just ugly and unwieldy.

    They had started to play nice with EJB3 and TopLink, but now they have absolutely no reason to keep doing so. They now have much more weight in the JCP process (if the JCP even continues to exist) and they can now push out better ideas from competitors. I'm very apprehensive about the future of Java.

  • Re:I doubt it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Capitalisten ( 102859 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @09:17AM (#27644493) Homepage

    Depends on the definition of "large".
    One of the leading Danish Banks, Jyske Bank (4.145 employees, 122 offices), recently announced that they would be switching their online banking system to MySQL - the announcement (in Danish) is here:

    http://dk.sun.com/sunnews/press/2009/090226.jsp [sun.com]

    I fear that we'll see a standstill in MySQL development until one of the recent forks gain enough traction for it to be accepted across Linux distributions and see an uptake in development efforts from third parties.

    Oracle developing MySQL? How many open source projects does Oracle maintain today (except from a ripped off OS)? How many small and medium sized customers does Oracle have today? Exactly...

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

    by slashdot_commentator ( 444053 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @09:21AM (#27644551) Journal

    No, what would Oracle gain from selling customized PCs? (I exaggerate, but that's what it is.) It costs money to invest in hardware development and marketing to get companies to buy the hardware package over a cheaper competitor. Companies didn't buy Sun equipment for its hardware. They bought it as a component of an enterprise high-availability system. Sun didn't sell a database product. They sold a platform product to run your database product on. Sun depended on OS lock in to move their hardware product. Sun couldn't survive on that model, and you expect Oracle to perpetuate it?

  • by Tanktalus ( 794810 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @09:28AM (#27644629) Journal

    Why would you buy a company for billions of dollars and ditch it's most popular product?

    Simple. You bought it for the profitable parts and/or the parts you think you can make profitable. Hardware margins are so low that even giants like IBM have been transitioning away from them, leaving it all to Intel, AMD, and others who are completely focused on that market. Oracle may abandon it, may try spinning it off and selling that unit, or may try making a go of it. Given Sun's decreased attention on SPARC prior to this, I'd have to guess that Oracle will continue the trend and try to get rid of it. Meanwhile, Oracle will have to concentrate on the real value adds for them, which is probably a) customer lists and b) software, probably in that order.

  • Re:I doubt it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @09:28AM (#27644635) Journal
    And, because they now own all of the MySQL code (remember, MySQL requires copyright assignment for contributors) they can now incorporate bits of it into Oracle. This may not sound like something you'd want to do, but remember that a lot of small applications rely on oddities in MySQL's support for SQL, including various bugs and non-conforming behaviours. If Oracle take the front-end code and run it on an Oracle back-end then they can sell appliances that can be used as drop-in replacements for MySQL and can also run important databases. Or, if they are using Solaris Zones then they can sell an appliance that has both installed in separate zones, and if you want to enable Oracle then you just start the second zone and send them some money.
  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @09:29AM (#27644653)

    I remember seeing Oracle rebranding high-end server hardware recently, and tweaking Oracle to run ultra-fast on that particular configuration. Now they have a hardware platform (Sun's x86 and Sparc lines), a software infrastructure (Java) and a marketing lock (Sun hardware and Oracle database purchases seem to go hand in hand, even now.)

    So it's a good move for them. We'll see how well it works out for everyone else. Oracle hasn't been known for developing products that don't require an army of Oracle consultants to get working. If they use the Sun acquisition to build their "database in a box" product, then customers face lock-in on the hardware and software fronts, just like back in the mainframe/midrange days.

    It might be the cynic in me talking, but Oracle has been one of the major causes of large-scale IT failures you read about in the industry press. It's helped along by bad requirements and idiotic lowest-bidder consulting firms, but Oracle is sometimes forced to pay large settlements for running a project over budget. That's just a natural side effect of designing products that are so complex that you have no choice but to buy support. Also, you have to wonder what Oracle's going to do with MySQL now...

    Oracle consumed J.D. Edwards, PeopleSoft and BEA. Let's see how well they digest this one!

  • by ElvenSmith ( 555236 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @09:29AM (#27644655)
    hmmm...the "cultures" are so different at Oracle and Sun...will Oracle let stand Sun's culture that is quite unique, I would say...I doubt it...
  • The day MySQL died (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MBCook ( 132727 ) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday April 20, 2009 @09:30AM (#27644669) Homepage

    A long, long time ago...
    I can still remember
    How queries could run for a while.
    Adding more memory would help
    But performance would still make us yelp,
    Still the price was cheap and always made us smile.

    But April's news made us shiver
    Oracle would our DB deliver
    DBAs on the doorstep;
    Large checks we'll have to schlep.

    I know that our CEO cried,
    When the new price he spied.
    Our low cost hope now are fried.
    The day MySQL died.

    (continue on your own)

  • Re:Wow. Just Wow. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @09:33AM (#27644707) Journal

    A Sun/Apple merger would have made sense ten years ago, when Apple had a great desktop UNIX but with an ageing kernel and running on CPUs from a company that couldn't meet their demands. Sun had a decent server UNIX, with a nice kernel, but no real presence on the (corporate) desktop. OS X on a Solaris kernel, on SPARC would have been very nice, and could have scaled right down to the SPARC v8 systems designed for handheld systems up to the v9 cores designed for massive SMP servers. Steve Jobs still hasn't forgiven Sun for abandoning OpenStep though, so it was never very likely.

    The real shame is that, in the mid '90s, Sun put together an incredible hardware and software stack for mobile devices. A few bits of it made it into Java, but most of it never went to market. If Sun had licensed the software and sold the hardware to ODMs then they would almost certainly not have been looking for a buyer now.

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <.moc.cam. .ta. .rcj.> on Monday April 20, 2009 @09:33AM (#27644719) Journal

    I think Oracle's underestimated the cost of integration between companies with such dissimilar cultures. Not to mention, by jumping into the hardware business, they've given all of the other hardware makers a very strong reason to steer their customers away from Oracle.


  • by upuv ( 1201447 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @09:41AM (#27644847) Journal

    I'm sorry ( rant mode )

    IBM is possibly one of the most over blown Enterprise companies on the planet. IBM buying SUN would have been a huge dis-service to IT and the evolution of the industry.

    Note that IBM has become the new CA. Buy and pillage the corp resources. If it looks shiny and possibly something that will gen new money then brand it Tivoli. If we can milk the old name till it dies a death of agony brought on by starvation and dehydration we will. The best known near dead corpse we know as Rational.

    I'm sorry but IBM is possibly a worse choice for buying SUN than Microsoft.

    Don't get me wrong Oracle is no poster child of virtue out there. Oracle is definitely going to milk this all ribs and bones cow that is SUN microsystems. But at least the landscape at the end of the pillage will most likely still have a free Java and a free RDBMS. There is zero chance IBM would have left a potential cash flow alone like those two.

    OK Here's one to put in the Calender. Google buys Microsoft. Feb 2012. I put one Aussie penny on it. :) :)

    But thank the corp gods that IBM did not buy Microsoft, Err I mean Sun. If you have dealt with IBM GSA you are then invited to tell me I'm wrong on this :)

  • Re:What about MySQL? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rackserverdeals ( 1503561 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @09:46AM (#27644903) Homepage Journal

    I, as many programmers, like Netbeans more then Eclipse, so changes are big Netbeans will get (more) support of Oracle.

    I hope so. I've been using Netbeans exclusively since 5.0 or 5.5. I find it to be better/cheaper than using eclipse. Everything I need comes with it and I don't need to buy any commercial plugins.

  • by Optic7 ( 688717 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @09:50AM (#27644971)
    What I'm surprised about is that no one (especially the Slashdot editor) has yet linked the story from a few days ago [slashdot.org] predicting this.
  • Dear Slashdot (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Godji ( 957148 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @09:50AM (#27644973) Homepage
    I have two questions for you:

    1) What happens to ZFS now? Is it more or less likely now to see it come to Linux (the kernel) one day?
    2) In general, is this a better outcome than IBM buying Sun?
  • by mzs ( 595629 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @09:55AM (#27645031)

    The rumors are that the IBM deal fell through when IBM balked at the size of the golden parachutes that Sun expected. My guess of what happened is that Oracle was scared of IBM+Sun as their competitor. So they bought Sun so IBM wold not. Oracle does not really believe all of the stuff they stated (about financials) and others are inferring (like they were interested in MySQL, Java, sparc, etc). They simply saw that if they offered a better deal to the Sun execs they could prevent the creation of the most serious competitor they had ever faced. The Sun execs cared more for themselves than the long term good of Sun's products and employees.

  • Re:What about MySQL? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Unordained ( 262962 ) <unordained_slashdotNOSPAM@csmaster.org> on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:07AM (#27645219)

    I expect these IDE's to converge in one way or other to a single winner, and some small hang-on-tight communities fervor's for their champ remaining intact.

    Is this where we should put our vi/Emacs messages?

    On a more serious note: the idea of a "single winner" had seemed true for a while of MySQL, but I wonder if this (on top of Oracle's previous acquisition of innoDB) might put a dent in that, and give the runner-ups (in terms of popularity) a chance to shine? PostgreSQL and Firebird (and others) have been waiting in MySQL's shadow for a while, quietly and effectively serving their particular markets. Was MySQL's position intrinsic, or the result of mob mentality -- and could a corporate purchase like this one shake that mentality, if that's the case? What other software would that apply to?

  • deja vue, DEC (Score:4, Interesting)

    by omb ( 759389 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:14AM (#27645349)
    This has been almost 10 years overdue, when Scott McNealy started behaving like Ken Olsen, c. 1978-80, SUN was doomed, and makes the "No Computer Company makes two full generations" law up there with Moore's and Bell's laws.

    The get to have a death wish, and wont adapt to market conditions:

    Use VMS/Bliss not Unix and C, Unix is Snake Oil


    It is soo sad, and in some ways the better the product they the worse the delusional thinking is. If HP/Intel had got the Itanium right this would have been over 10 years ago.

    The other sad thing is how the aging Solaris sysadmins still insist that Lintel is less reliable than SPARC+Solaris. As one who worked extensively with the Solaris core kernel let me tell you the Linux code is far better than its Solaris counterpart. As some Intel hardware vendors, HP, Dell & IBM were forced to 86_64 when the Itanic sunk, one got similar high quality engineering for servers that SUN did, hot-swap, ECC ram carefully designed boards with diagnostic capability, good ground plane, equalised clock distribution, quality thermal design ... as SUN.

    It is so easy to get blind sided by prejudice, I remember the first DEC ethernet controller, for the Unibus, with AMD2900 bit-slice and loadable u-code, wonderfull engineering, but it drew 7A of 5V, and you often needed to install an additional backplane and PSU to cope with the heat and +5V drain. Madness!
  • Re:Java 8 Preview (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CynicTheHedgehog ( 261139 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:15AM (#27645369) Homepage

    I think completely open source. But that doesn't matter. Supposing it forks, you would in essence end up with 3 different dialects of Java: Oracle, IBM, and RedHat (FOSS) which may or may not remain binary compatible. Having Sun as an external arbiter with no direct commercial interest in the success of one stack versus another meant that you had agreement among the major interests and a unified direction. (Sun does/did have an app server stack, but it's always been more of a reference implementation.)

    EJB3 was almost a carbon-copy of Hibernate, which was the most advanced, feature-rich ORM implementation at the time. Had Oracle been in charge at the time, the scales might have tipped in favor of TopLink, which would have left the OSS community playing catch up trying to implement a less elegant solution geared toward one vendor's RDBS. Granted, TopLink has essentially been open-sourced (it is the EJB3 implementation used by Glassfish), but that may not have happened either if Oracle had control over the reference app server stack.

    Oracle doesn't have the commitment to open standards and open source that Sun does. I don't trust them to continue to open up new technologies and allow much community participation. I expect closed, buggy extensions that will ultimately be imitated by 1001 open source knock-offs , leading to fragmentation like we've never seen before.

    The market is converging on stack-oriented development, so perhaps this is inevitable. It seems now that instead of simply knowing a language you have to know a particular IDE, DB, and app server as well. This is just another step in that direction.

    And one last point. I've always found the Sun Java forums to be helpful, but I've never had much luck with Oracle forums. I think this is bad news for the community all around.

  • Re:What about MySQL? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jon Peterson ( 1443 ) <jon@nospAm.snowdrift.org> on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:21AM (#27645443) Homepage

    "On paper, Rock and the T2 look like they'd be a very good match for Oracle's workloads, but since Oracle's license prevents publishing benchmarks and I don't have the hardware and software to hand to test them, I can't tell how they do in the real world."

    I do have the hardware and software to hand :-). We moved to T2 architecture (T5240s) at the beginning of the year for Oracle and for a bunch of other apps. In the case of Oracle it does what you expect - scales massively well for large numbers of fast queries (i.e. typical webapp situation), but of course if you have a single huge query, it's going to run on a single execution thread, slowly. A simple performance test showed Oracle scaling linearly until our test *client* ran out of steam - by then we were far about any expected load so didn't test further.

    The key thing is licensing. We run Oracle 10g standard, and it works out very well. Oracle have insane licensing with fine distinctions about when a core counts as a CPU blah blah blah. Right now, with T2 we get 64 parallel execution threads for 1 Oracle CPU license, which works for me :-)

    I'll be interested to see what Rock offers, but with the virtualization capabilities in Solaris, the T2 gives us a lot of room to be flexible and split stuff up. If you've been paying attention for the last 20 years and have designed your software on the principles of atomicity, asynchronicity, and statelessness, it does let you scale very very nicely.

  • by guacamole ( 24270 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:39AM (#27645757)

    Education has been switching to Linux/Windows/Macs away from Solaris and SPARC for about a decade now, at least definitely on the desktops, both research and instructional. Many IT servers and most high performance computing servers had been switching to x86 based solutions (usually Linux) too. When Sun introduced the dreadful Ultra 5/Ultra 10 family it was a clear writing on the wall, that the party is over, that the SPARC workstations won't last for long in the places they they to be common place in the 90s. There are still a few system administrators in the academia who insist on inflicting the Sun Rays upon their users but they are the minority. Yes Sun flip-flopped on Solaris x86 and waited too long with the introduction of x86 hardware. At the same time all the academic software vendors (Matlab, Mathematica, etc), dropped the support of Solaris on x86 because even before Sun's flip-flop this platform saw pretty weak sales of their products. When Sun changed course, it was too late. Most academic/research/technical users started the process of switching to Linux or other non-sun solutions.

    Likewise, defense contractors, such as the aerospace companies, had been moving their engineering desktops from Sun and other proprietary workstation vendors to Linux for a long time now. I suspect the situation is similar in the oil industry.

  • Re:What about MySQL? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by McKing ( 1017 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:48AM (#27645877) Homepage

    I concur with this assessment. We recently moved from a $300,000 SunFire 6900 (a system the size of a standard full-size 42U rack) with 12 dual core CPU's and 48 GB of RAM that drew massive amounts of power and cooling, to a $30,000 T2 blade with 64GB of RAM that runs cool and sips power. Our DBA's were amazed at the improvement. We need to upgrade the front end systems now to keep up with the increase in performance of the backend! We were able to trade in the 6900, and the savings on *support* for the 6900 offset the purchase price of 2 blade chassis, 10 blades and a SAN!

    For our workload, the massive parallel architecture of the T2 really suits Oracle. For any type of multithreaded or multiprocessed throughput-based app (web serving, front-end app servers, LDAP server, database server), the T1 and T2 design is perfect.

  • Re:What about MySQL? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by segedunum ( 883035 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:51AM (#27645931)

    ...but of course if you have a single huge query, it's going to run on a single execution thread, slowly.

    You've described > 90% of the workload use cases that > 90% of organisations have and why businesses have been moving from SPARC to x86 for a vast number of jobs where they simply want to process single jobs faster, or increasingly large single jobs. As a result, you've also described why Niagara won't save SPARC.

  • by McKing ( 1017 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:53AM (#27645981) Homepage

    It's interesting that you speak about that of which you have no idea. For the CoolThreads servers (T1 and T2), Sun redesigned every part of the server to be more energy efficient, from the fans to the power supplies. That then carried over to more efficient x86-based Sun servers as well. I know from experience that in our data center, a fully loaded Dell web server generates *far* more heat than a fully loaded T2 Oracle server. I've stood behind a rack of Dells and then a rack of Sun gear and the Dells are *insanely* hot.

  • Re:What about MySQL? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Forge ( 2456 ) <kevinforge.gmail@com> on Monday April 20, 2009 @11:34AM (#27646665) Homepage Journal
    No he is correct.

    They are under no obligation to accept any contributions. What they cannot do is prevent other people from distributing their own modified versions.

    Just as Linus rejected my Kernel mod claiming "this piece of $#!7 doesn't even compile and from my reading of the changes if it did the machine wouldn't boot."

    So the grand parent is entirely correct. If you don't like the official version go fork it yourself.
  • Re:What about MySQL? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rackserverdeals ( 1503561 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @11:56AM (#27647009) Homepage Journal

    Some of Sun's PostgreSQL contributions [archivum.info] can be found in that link.

    More importantly, Sun provides PostgreSQL support on Solaris [sun.com].

    According to Larry Ellison, Solaris/SPARC is the leading platform for Oracle deployments.

    Oracle has been lagging with Solaris/x86 support so it would have been a great opportunity for sun to do more with PostgreSQL on Solaris and increase their revenues by making a more affordable alternative to Oracle.

    PostgreSQL/Solaris/ZFS/DTrace could really eat into Oracle's market if there was more effort put into it.

    I think they should have done more with pgsql, and missed a big opportunity, but I wouldn't belittle their contributions.

  • Re:What about MySQL? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by theshowmecanuck ( 703852 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @12:24PM (#27647489) Journal
    I know I will be ridiculed for this, but the only really bad thing MS SQL Server has going for it is that it only runs on Windows boxes. As an RDBMS, it is pretty decent. It is not the best, it is not the worst. I find it interesting that it was one of the first RDBMSs that had almost full support of SQL-92 as far back as version 6.5 (mid/late 90s). In my work I have used a number database systems, a couple very extensively and the rest in at least non trivial applications (Oracle, MS SQL Server, Postgres, MySQL, and to a small degree DB2). From my experience I'd say that for anything up to very large databases (amount of data stored, number of tables, etc.), SQL Server works and performs quite well (v6.5 was only good up to medium large). It supports the SQL standards quite well, is one of the best documented database systems out there, and is quite robust. If they could find a way to run it on anything other than a 'Windows' machine, given its much lower pricing, I think it could probably cut into Oracle's and IBM's market share quite a bit.
  • Re:What about MySQL? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tixxit ( 1107127 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @02:12PM (#27649379)
    I don't think we should make the assumption that Oracle would willingly kill of either MySQL or Solaris. IBM still fully supports Informix, despite it being a direct competitor for DB2 (and there is much more direct competition between DB2 & Informix, then MySQL and Oracle). Most importantly, as long as people are using MySQL, they'll support it. If they killed it off, there is 0 guarantee they will just jump ship to Oracle. Given we are talking about MySQL, people would most likely go over to Postgres or one of the MySQL forks instead, long before even considering a DB like Oracle. The same could be said about Linux vs. Solaris. There are still customers using both. Killing one off would be foolish, unless they could ensure most users use the other. Also, don't know about you, but if some company I was giving lots of money too just killed off our product, forcing us to spend even more, I may take a much longer look at the competitors.
  • Re:What about MySQL? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by metamatic ( 202216 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @02:13PM (#27649391) Homepage Journal

    Bertrand Model [wikipedia.org] predicts that a duopoly pushes costs and profits down to marginal levels and is the ultimate result of any sufficiently competitive marketplace.

    Disclaimer: I'm not an economist.

  • sparc and oracle (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Gary W. Longsine ( 124661 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @02:25PM (#27649609) Homepage Journal
    Sun's multicore sparc work is basically custom designed to run giant database servers, and giant web servers with giant database back ends. Doing so at lower power draw than the competition has the potential to be a market winner. That alone will not be sufficient, however.
  • Re:Split the company (Score:3, Interesting)

    by swordgeek ( 112599 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @02:27PM (#27649657) Journal

    Mostly I agree with you. However...

    Workstations are necessary as a platform for developers/admins. Even as a loss-leader, they support the health of server sales. Be that as it may, Sun workstations are all PCs now anyways. No more SPARC on the desktop.

    The super high-end servers are a big profit area, even at a low volume. The same computer power sells for a MUCH higher margin, even after the higher costs are factored in. Also, they (again!) support the low-mid range sales. If you have a monster Sun system in your data centre, the most obvious gear to support it is more Sun gear.

    Solaris is open. If you don't like the CDDL license, too bad for you. The fact that it doesn't meet the requirements of an aging anti-commerce hippie doesn't make it less open. Hearing "change the license" is automatically a flag that some Linux fanboy is determined to paint the world in HIS colour, and EVERYONE ELSE must comply.

  • by eliot1785 ( 987810 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @02:44PM (#27649949)

    While this is obviously a problem for FOSS, as somebody who works for startup companies, I am also very concerned about potential changes to the pricing structure. Startup companies and SMB's use MySQL instead of Oracle because they can't afford to pay for a database on top of all of their other costs. Cheap/free database software is part of what makes entrepreneurship possible for so many people.

    If Oracle slowly kills MySQL through neglect, it could have ramifications for the broader economy, unless another database software (e.g. PostgreSQL) can fill the void.

    Fortunately, it's all based on the SQL standard, but there are still differences between RDBMS's that developers will need to learn to switch.

    And yes, why is there no antitrust attention when Oracle tries to buy the owner of MySQL?

  • by Dragonslicer ( 991472 ) on Monday April 20, 2009 @03:14PM (#27650469)

    Can anyone give an example of another common modern environment where "=" (or "==" as appropriate) is case insensitive?

    The SQL standard. I'm not saying it's good, but it is the standard.

You are in a maze of little twisting passages, all different.