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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 Anonymous Coward on Friday April 24, 2009 @05:19PM (#27706907)

    What about these?

  • by markdowling ( 448297 ) <mark.dowling@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Friday April 24, 2009 @05:20PM (#27706911)

    Now that Lotus have integrated OpenOffice into Notes 8 Standard and are also pushing Symphony, they are the ones with the incentive to ensure the OO momentum is maintained (not to mention ODF).

  • by damn_registrars ( 1103043 ) <> on Friday April 24, 2009 @05:21PM (#27706923) Homepage Journal
    In the case of Sun, you have a company that makes (some) useful and reliable products. In the case of peoplesoft, you have a company that makes an obscenely bloated, broken, overpriced software package that has caused havoc and pain across the continent. Peoplesoft was the most similar thing to Microsoft available for takeover for less money than the contents of Fort Knox, and Sun did to them what so many of us would love to do to Microsoft.
  • by reSonans ( 732669 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @05:27PM (#27706969) Homepage

    So, Oracle admits they 'need' MySQL, which may or may not complement their core business, but then ducks a question on the future of OpenOffice, saying they can't comment on any product line. Isn't MySQL a product line, too? Why comment on the future of one and not the other? Sun employees, start twisting in the wind...

  • by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @05:30PM (#27706991) Journal
    Peoplesoft was the most similar thing to Microsoft available for takeover for less money than the contents of Fort Knox, and Sun did to them what so many of us would love to do to Microsoft.

    Just so you know... Sun did nothing to PS. It was Oracle who bought PS and canned the staff (just as they've done for many acquisitions).

    FWIW, it's now several years later, and the "PeopleCode" (seriously, that's what they called it at Peoplesoft) is just as borked as ever... the JDEdwards/PS integration is no closer... I think Oracle's strategy is to move PS clients over to Oracle Apps and drop PS.

    Now if only they can unbork Oracle Apps...

  • by Philip K Dickhead ( 906971 ) <> on Friday April 24, 2009 @05:48PM (#27707199) Journal

    PORT to HURD! C'mon! I have GNUsletters that were MAILED to me in '89, promising the GNU OS! They had STAMPS on them! I could order TAPES of the EMACS sources from them!

  • Re:Uh Cloud? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rackserverdeals ( 1503561 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @05:50PM (#27707213) Homepage Journal

    I think that's the direction sun want's to go with their private cloud stuff. It was called N1 but I'm not sure what's it's called now.

    As a large public company, you may not be able to put everything in the cloud like you said, but some stuff you could.

    Imagine your public website gets a predictable amount of traffic but every other press release brings a huge spike in traffic, so you have built out your system to handle the peak times so your hardware mostly sits idle.

    You could have your own cloud provision spares, but since it's not sensitive data, you can provision computing power from public clouds, like amazon ec2 and just pay for what you need.

    OK, maybe not the best scenario but I wanted an excuse to post this link to this Sun HPC software demo [] that shows Grid Engine sending jobs to private servers, then going to private spares, then pulling in Amazon EC2 instances to handle the load.

  • by rackserverdeals ( 1503561 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @05:59PM (#27707309) Homepage Journal

    The day the sale was announced Sun/Oracle had a conference call where Larry Ellison said two of the main reasons they were buying Sun were Solaris and Java. Solaris was the best Unix technology out there he said.

    Selling the hardware business to HP was part of a different deal in the bast where Oracle and HP were going to buy different parts of Sun but IBM blocked it according to the article.

    Nothing in the recent sale, other than some bloggers speculation, indicates they will be selling off the hardware units.

  • by ColeonyxOnline ( 966334 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @06:10PM (#27707423)

    I talked to my manager today, he said we were going to use Postgres instead of MySQL for out next web project.

    In his opinion, the latest stable release had poor support for stored procedures and now this acquisition puts further development into question. He wants to move everything out of MySQL at some point.

    Since I have never used Postgres before, I couldn't comment on anything, but from my perspective, MySQL had been moving forward with their database. Even if the stored procedures were not on par with the other DB's out there, they would mature in time.

    I was ready to speak up, until I thought about MySQL passing hands for the second time, talks about forks, and finally the developers leaving the company. All those things cannot be good short term, and long term will depend a lot on the parent company.

    So for the time being, I think my manager is correct and I did not protest his decision.

  • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @06:36PM (#27707693) Journal

    I thought that most commercial MySQL installs used InnoDB (owned by Oracle) as the back-end anyhow. Does owning the free front end wrapper to InnoDB change anything?

  • by Cow_woC ( 174453 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @07:12PM (#27708017)

    Read every word of it. It's sad but true. I hope that Google finds a way to buy Java off Oracle.

  • by MouseR ( 3264 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @07:33PM (#27708179) Homepage

    Many PeopleSoft employees moved into our Montreal office.

    As someone whose been through an Oracle acquisition, I can say that Oracle actually handles that nicely. It's a bit of a culture clash, coming from a small vertical market company, but they dont savagely trash acquisition content.

    They do get rid of non-essential personnel but they give you a chance to move on to current products, and they not only support acquired products for many years, they also keep staff around to make sure these products aren't just backed by paperwork and a web page.

  • Re:How It Went Down (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ( 653730 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @07:50PM (#27708319)

    Peoplesoft was competing with Oracle and oracle killed it to get rid of them, sun in the other hand was not competing with oracle - except for mysql, but why would them waste 7000 millions to get rid of mysql? In fact, sun as a company was dying. So this seems a completely different move. Either they were interested on not letting IBM/HP get bigger, or they are really interested in Sun. I think that both options are possible

  • by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Friday April 24, 2009 @08:08PM (#27708435)
    and Sun Grid Engine, VirtualBox, ...
  • The big question (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nicopa ( 87617 ) <nico.lichtmaier@gmai l . com> on Friday April 24, 2009 @10:46PM (#27709359)

    The big question is if Oracle will keep being Oracle. This company has swallowed something bigger than him. Oracle might be more firmly sat on top of a revenue generator product, but Sun is a much larger operation, involving a dektop presence pretention, mobile, high end hardware design, high end software (Solaris), etc. (That's a reason IBM was a less conflicting buyer for Sun). In turn, Oracle sells a databse, and some enterprise programming tools, they have a much narrower scope (even the name implies this focus).

    Perhaps, Oracle should rename themselves to Sun, and just sell a database called Oracle. =)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 25, 2009 @12:24AM (#27709871)

    As someone whose first job out of college was as a programmer at Sun, I can honestly say I will never again work for such an academic, transparent company, and that's sad.

    I'm not hating myself for it. It's more like the feeling you get when you think back on a time in your life that you know will never come again. It makes you wish you had appreciated it more at the time, because when it's over, it's over forever. Perhaps a bit too romantic and sentimental, but that's just how I feel about the whole Oracle-Sun deal. There really isn't another company quite like Sun, and I mean that in the best way.

    Some people laugh at Sun due to its poor business performance, but it really has contributed more to the industry than any other company out there today.

  • by ChunderDownunder ( 709234 ) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @04:25AM (#27710795)


    I worked with Oracle recently. There were several former JD Edwards staff around, from a previous acquisition. They were kept to support JDE 'legacy' but also given training to cross-skill on other Oracle offerings.

    So the immediate response to the acquisition of Oracle should not be to panic. Oracle may eventually ditch some offerings aren't going to make them money (javafx, Sun's speculative gamble, springs to mind) while others will be fused into Oracle's flagship offerings (e.g. weblogic replacing oc4j)

    In the case of some of Sun's tech, they're open source and the value is in supporting those products, not the IP. In the case of MySQL, the horse had probably bolted already given the community forks. Still if Sun were making money off consulting, Oracle could do likewise in the same way they rebranded Fedora. In which case those same MySQL --> Sun --> Oracle staff might still find themselves in work as long as the work turned a profit. Bottom line, Oracle would prefer business not to be lost to competitors.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson