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Oracle Top Execs Answer Sun Employee Questions 207

The Register writes "Sun invited Oracle president Charles Phillips and chief corporate architect Edward Screven to an employee-only town hall this Wednesday, where they took questions on what's coming. They said they'd be 'crazy' to close Java, that Oracle 'needs' MySQL, and all Sun's processors look appealing. They hedged on OpenOffice — Phillips said he couldn't comment on any product line — and on Sun's work in high-performance computing. Screven made it pretty clear the Sun vision of cloud computing does not fit with Oracle's; Oracle sees itself as a provider of infrastructure like virtualization to make clouds, not a provider of hosted services. As for who's staying and who's getting cut at Sun: Phillips said Oracle needs Sun, but warned 'tough decisions' will be coming. Don't forget, this is the company that couriered pink slips to the PeopleSoft staff it cut following that acquisition."
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Oracle Top Execs Answer Sun Employee Questions

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  • by twidarkling ( 1537077 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @05:33PM (#27707031)

    an obscenely bloated, broken, overpriced software package that has caused havoc and pain across the continent.

    Hey! My company uses Peoplesoft software! I'm... I'm...

    Yeah, you're right. God forbid anything goes off the rails here. The only way to fix it is pretend nothing went wrong, and then fake the next thing to compensate.

  • by Browzer ( 17971 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @05:36PM (#27707067)

    Sounds like what a typical politician or an administrator would say.

    Nonetheless, here are "Oracle's Technical Contributions to Linux" [contributions sounds so much better than develop] []

    and a link to Oracle's "Free and Open Source Software" []

    looks extensive

  • by rackserverdeals ( 1503561 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @05:42PM (#27707133) Homepage Journal

    Have you looked into Nexenta []. Solaris Kernel with a userland more familiar to Linux users. I've heard people refer to it as the Ubuntu of Solaris.

    OpenSolaris Nevada (the distro from Sun) led by Ian Murdock (the Ian in Debian), is supposed to be more gnu-y too.

  • Re:Here's praying... (Score:2, Informative)

    by DaleGlass ( 1068434 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @06:03PM (#27707341) Homepage

    Btrfs is supposed to be the Linux FS that will be comparable to ZFS.

    ZFS can be had through FUSE as well.

    And for an alternative to dtrace there's systemtap.

  • Re:Here's praying... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 24, 2009 @06:29PM (#27707615)

    I'm a sysadmin for a government contractor and we support many Linux distributions and some real Unix, but most commonly deploy RHEL boxes. My experience with RHEL has been lackluster: yum is retarded, the package selection is silly (Debian does much better at this), software compatibility between versions is awful, and its init scripts and management tools are ridiculous.

    Solaris offers solutions to a lot of these problems. The solaris systems management agent is well-designed and extremely helpful; there is nothing like this in the "enterprise" linux distributions I've seen. The solaris package management tool is simple and effective. The solaris backwards compatibility guarantee is invaluable, and the kernel contract system gives me a superior way to make sure essential services stay up. And these are smaller features.

    Add to the above a superior IP stack, ZFS, zones (I have customized Xen and deployed it in a production environment and it's great, but doesn't replace zones), dtrace, etc., and you have a truly enterprise OS. No current Linux distro offers this. I'm sad to think that the great project that is Opensolaris might be canned.

  • by crazybit ( 918023 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @06:46PM (#27707775)
    With PostgreSQL you can write stored procedures in different languages, and they will run as fast as if the function was run from a shell script. -- There's more info
  • Re:Here's praying... (Score:3, Informative)

    by rackserverdeals ( 1503561 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @06:58PM (#27707879) Homepage Journal

    ZFS on Fuse is not production ready.

    Btrfs came from oracle and I think they're still the largest contributor.

    Now Oracle will hve ZFS on an operating system they have a large financial interest in (most oracle deployments are still on solaris/sparc according to ellison) and now they own it.

    I'ts going to be interesting to see what Oracle does. They could possibly use ZFS to get btrfs further along, but it's beneficial to their bottom line to keep some goodies all to Solaris.

  • Re:How It Went Down (Score:5, Informative)

    by Clandestine_Blaze ( 1019274 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @07:27PM (#27708123) Journal

    Disclaimer: Oracle employee

    No, they didn't fire everybody. There were layoffs, but there were also many PeopleSoft employees that became Oracle employees. The current client engagement that I am on has two such people.

    Maybe you meant "they fired a bunch of people", which is inevitable with any merger or takeover. But they didn't fire EVERYONE.

  • Re:Here's praying... (Score:3, Informative)

    by ( 653730 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @07:41PM (#27708253)

    Porting dtrace would be useless, Linux has pretty much catched up in that front - the only piece missing is the merge of utrace in the main kernel. In distros like Fedora, which include utrace, you already can use systemtap to probe both the kernel and userspace without problems (sure, it lacks the "final polish" of dtrace, but all the hard has been done)

  • by Tiger4 ( 840741 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @07:59PM (#27708367)

    You guys are talking past each other. But in essence that is how MySQL is set up. They will license you a proprietary source copy, or you can use the Open Source one under a differing set of terms. Of course the packages themselves are somewhat different too.

  • Re:How It Went Down (Score:4, Informative)

    by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @08:06PM (#27708409) Homepage Journal

    They laid off a lot of people. They never laid off everybody. In fact, they've actually laid off a lot fewer people than you expect. Several times they've acquired companies that were basically competition, and everybody predicted they'd just fold them up, fire everybody, and move all the customer to Oracle products. But they haven't done it. Didn't do it with PeopleSoft. Didn't do it with RDB.

    Also, they were dumb enough to buy Sun in the first place.

    Right. They're only the second-largest software vendor on the planet. They couldn't possibly walk and chew gum at the same time. I'm sure Larry just told his underlings, "Hey, we have too much cash, and I'm bored. Take $7 billion, buy Sun, then fire everybody."

    BTW, have you every managed anything more complicated than a beer run? I suspect not.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 24, 2009 @08:10PM (#27708451)

    There are some nice new features coming with the 8.4 release of PostgreSQL. Particularly noteworthy: windowing functions, and recursive queries (aka common table expressions). It's good to know there are some sane managers out there; you'll be happy with yours.

  • by CALI-BANG ( 14756 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @08:21PM (#27708529) Homepage

    i think it's shortsighted idea from your boss if the reason alone were based on this.

    remember that there are quite few forks on this etc. percona and others.

    if you're familiar with mysql .. why not try exporting the data from sun mysql and try to load it up on percona's mysql or monty's mysql and see how it works.

    if you're already familiar on administering mysql( and quite good at it ) -- that alone sometimes is worth not to switch.

  • Re:Here's praying... (Score:3, Informative)

    by afabbro ( 33948 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:07PM (#27709131) Homepage

    BSD and Solaris at least have a common ancestry, while Linux isn't related to anything else.

    No, they don't. SunOS was BSD-based. Solaris is based on Sys V AT&T Unix. Solaris couldn't be further from BSD.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:45PM (#27709345)

    Sun hardware has great margins. Sun makes money selling hardware and support. SPARC especially is a very profitable business that actually has nice growing revenue with their new CMT stuff. x86 is x86. The company hasn't been profitable recently because the management hasn't been willing to make cuts in other parts of the company. The big 6000 person layoff they announced last year is only now being completed. The company has some ~40k people. I'd bet the amount of people working on hardware projects is less than 5k.

  • Re:The big question (Score:5, Informative)

    by wbren ( 682133 ) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @12:35AM (#27709903) Homepage

    Oracle is much larger than Sun in virtually every way, and is much more than just a database company. Anyone who thinks Oracle is only about databases hasn't done their homework.

    Furthermore, Oracle buying Sun makes much more sense than IBM buying Sun. Oracle wants to offer the full package to their customers--from servers and storage, to middleware and database software. IBM already has most (if not all) of those bases covered, so their would have been a significant amount of overlap. The parts of Sun that survive the acquisition will turn Oracle into a force to be reckoned with, for better or worse.

  • Re:Here's praying... (Score:3, Informative)

    by slamb ( 119285 ) * on Saturday April 25, 2009 @07:32AM (#27711331) Homepage

    I'm looking around a bit, and this LWN article on utrace [] doesn't make it clear to me what actual functionality exists today.

    Ahh, the SystemtapdtraceComparison [] answered my question: systemtap can do nothing.

    Systemtap lacks the following features dtrace has:

    • trace user-space stack backtraces
    • statically inserted probe points, user side
    • trace Java programs
    • trace Java stack backtraces
    • statically inserted probe points, Java
    • trace script language programs (specifically Ruby, JavaScript, Perl, Python, PHP, APL, Bourne shell, ksh, zsh, Tcl)

    DTrace has had most of these features since at least 2005, and SystemTap still doesn't have them in 2009. People who say SystemTap is equivalent to DTrace are just disconnected from reality.

  • Re:Here's praying... (Score:2, Informative)

    by p1r4t3 ( 1139441 ) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @08:00AM (#27711423) Homepage
    You can also add the fact that Solaris has better threading support for SMP and CMT. I mean Sun's T5440 shows 512 CPUs when you pull the stats due to the way it threats. And the new Rock chip will have out of order processing for better thread times.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 25, 2009 @08:01AM (#27711427)

    Yes. And then Oracle attended the PS User Group meetings and tried to convince customers to switch over to Oracle products, most of whom had just gone through major ERP implementations in the last few years. Oracle pissed the user community off so badly that we started looking for ways to disallow them in the meetings. Sometimes we even held customer-only user group meetings and didn't tell Oracle about them until afterwards.

  • Re:Here's praying... (Score:3, Informative)

    by NotBornYesterday ( 1093817 ) * on Saturday April 25, 2009 @03:54PM (#27715541) Journal

    Zones != VMware / xen.

    VMware and Xen run separate instances of OSes. Zones isolate virtual servers within a single OS instance. The requirements (especially memory) for zones tend to be significantly less than for hypervisors.

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev