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DOJ Gives Oracle Approval To Buy Sun 162

k33l0r writes "The BBC is reporting that the US Justice Department has approved Oracle's takeover of Sun Microsystems. The acquisition gives Oracle control over (or a leading role in), among other things, Java, MySQL, (Open)Solaris, ZFS, OpenOffice, and the NetBeans IDE. 'The European Commission has still to rule on the deal, a step that will be required before it can close. That body has indicated it will issue an initial opinion on Sept. 3, according to the Wall Street Journal. It may OK the deal at that time or launch a four-month probe of it. ... The Justice Department ruling came earlier than expected, a possible response to Sun's declining revenues and precarious business position in a steep recession, as the required reviews proceeded.' We first discussed the deal back when it was announced in April."
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DOJ Gives Oracle Approval To Buy Sun

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  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @09:30AM (#29163023)


    As far as mergers go this is probably a good fit. Oracle and Sun always needed each other for the most part. However I feel both are a dyeing breed. The industry wether you like it or not is moving away from those two companies core competencies.
    High End Servers which are highly scalable with high end software which is highly scalable, is no longer the way it is now. We are moving to more smaller systems and don't need such scalability features as we realize that cost benefit really isn't there, for most situations.

  • What about Java (Score:4, Interesting)

    by yorkrj ( 658277 ) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @09:30AM (#29163033) Journal

    The only thing I'm concerned about regarding this deal is how this will change Java. The way I see it, one of two things will happen: One, current Oracle staff will manage the Java platform development and bad things will happen (all sorts of bad things could happen). Two, Oracle will deem Java an unprofitable product and will spin off a free software foundation, the likes of Mozilla or Apache.

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

    by mikael_j ( 106439 ) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @09:44AM (#29163151)

    Well, I suspect that Oracle will attempt to position MySQL as their "free Oracle-compatible" database offering, less support and high-end features but still feature-complete enough that people will continue using it (and hopefully, in Oracle's eyes, upgrade to their full database suite when need arises).


  • Re:What about Java (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @09:47AM (#29163167)

    But this is Slashdot we expect every company to do the wrong thing. Even if doing the rite thing and making money is compatible. The Java brand is a big success (although I am personally not a big fan of Java), keeping the existing staff makes the most sense. What negative to the community might happen is as the language expands it will be more modified to meet Oracles main interests and less on Sun's more general interests.

  • Re:What about Java (Score:4, Interesting)

    by David Gerard ( 12369 ) <slashdot&davidgerard,co,uk> on Sunday August 23, 2009 @09:53AM (#29163209) Homepage

    Larry Ellison hates, hates, hates Microsoft.

    1. advertised on television.
    2. Java pushed everywhere .NET is now, with auto-conversion tools.
    3. Ellison loudly and publicly calls Microsoft FUDsters re: Linux/OOo software patents and tells them to "bring it on".

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

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @10:13AM (#29163323) Journal
    More to the point, I suspect they will position Oracle as a reliable MySQL-compatible database. MySQL uses a lot of weird extensions to SQL and owning the MySQL front end will make it easy for Oracle to add a 100% compatible front-end to their database. This will make it easy for companies that have deployed various things on MySQL to consolidate them all onto one big Oracle appliance (and, coincidentally, pay Oracle a lot of money in the process).
  • by pipatron ( 966506 ) <> on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:00AM (#29163567) Homepage
    I wonder if this might lead to a dual-licensing for ZFS so it might be possible to use in linux.
  • by davecb ( 6526 ) * <> on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:19AM (#29163697) Homepage Journal

    My leaky memory says that 40% of Oracle's income (profit?) comes from Oracle on SPARC, and another 20% from Oracle on other Unix.

    If IBM had bought Sun and phased out SPARC like they did Sequent, then they'd probably own 50% of Oracle's market.

    It's far better for Oracle to buy their own hardware supplier than depend on others: the Sequent was highly optimized for Oracle performance, and then disappeared in a little puff of greasy smoke when IBM bought it and shut it down in favor of Power. That's got to have been painful!

    As other commentators have pointed out, Oracle is heavily invested in Java, and sees MySQL as a "channel" that brings them customers. You note that Oracle invested in improving the performance of the transactional engine that MySQL uses instead of shutting it down...

    I suspect Sun was a perfect fit: it complemented the things Oracle needed, and didn't have any important products that compete directly. Win-win.

    That in turn could be good for me, as I'm a capacity planner & performance guy, working mostly on large systems, like the ones Oracle and Sun customers use.


  • by Ralph Spoilsport ( 673134 ) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:24AM (#29163737) Journal
    It's a niche product, doesn't and probably can't make enough money to support itself. Perhaps they will sell it to Mozilla, but I don't see any compelling business reason to keep it around except for the sole simple reason that it is a thorn in the side of Microsoft. come to think of it, given how much Ellison detests Gates and Ballmer et al, he might just sink millions into OpenOffice and make it work right and be a true competitor to MSOffice. I guess it depends on Ellison - will his hate of all things MS make him sink millions into OO and make it a true competitor to MSO, or will he head the bean counters and cut it lose?

    It will be very interesting to see how that pans out. I rather like Open Office - it's quirky and kind of ugly, but it does work and its drawing tools are great for business graphics. but its presentation tool (competitor for PowerPoint) sucks even worse than PowerPoint, and PowerPoint is at an advanced stage of suckitude. That said, I hope Ellison sees the promise in Open Office and really runs with it. If he could make OpenOffice presentation better than Keynote, word processing better than Word, and spreadsheet better than Excel, I would pay real money for that.

  • by treat ( 84622 ) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:29AM (#29163775)

    Unfortunately said Pentium 4s also would fail 10x more often.

    I don't know if you've worked (ie, have had direct administrative experience) with any of the larger Sun hardware such as E2900 and above, or even the Ex500's from back in the day, but if you did you'd also know that these servers have a knack for uptime and resiliency that x86 servers, even to this day, have never had. There was a reason for those higher costs.

    At the same time, the application landscape changed to prefer scalability that allowed servers to be down without impacting the whole system. A single machine no longer was so important.

    And up until a few years ago, people still went with Sun when they had a single important node.

    The choice became between more servers that will crash slightly more often with less overall impact to the application, and more servers that will crash slighly less often.

    Larger Sun hardware was never amazingly reliable anyway. What it did have over Intel hardware was a greater chance of indentifying why it crashed. An Intel machine that crashes randomly is not unheard of. I've only had a few Sun machines in my life that required me to change more than a couple parts to stop a random crashing problem. (Except the E10K and Ex500 series, which were particularly bad, and the 420R, which had bad hardware by design).

  • Re:What about Java (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WaywardGeek ( 1480513 ) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @11:40AM (#29163841) Journal

    I've run across some of the ex-wives of top Oracle execs (my mother sells houses in Woodside, and many Oracle ex-wives are quite rich). It's a warped view, third hand through my mother, but they would paint Ellison as being very emotionally involved in taking on Microsoft, and running things very much based on his own ego. I'm not surprised he's buying Sun, and I would be surprised if he didn't shove OpenOffice and Java down MS's throat using Oracle's full backing. I'm surprised he hasn't bought Red Hat yet, just to take on Microsoft in earnest. Remember when he wanted to buy Apple? Everyone worries he'll drop MySQL development, but I think a wait-and-see attitude makes sense. Oracle hasn't been a champion of open-source like Sun and IBM, but maybe buying Sun will bring them into the community. Another huge corporation backing open source would be very welcome.

  • "Data Mining and Business Intelligence doesn't need huge powerhouses anymore."

    My theory about why has Sun Microsystems not done particularly well in the last few years is that the highly reliable hardware Sun Microsystems sells is no longer popular because it is far cheaper to use consumer-grade hardware with software that is fault-tolerant. The excellent 2008 book Planet Google [] describes Google's experiences on page 54: "For about $278,000 in 2003, [Google] could assemble a rack with 176 microprocessors, 176 gigabytes of memory, and 7 terabytes of disk space. This compared favorably to a $758,000 server sold by the manufacturer of a well-known brand, which had only eight multiprocessors, one-third the memory, and about the same amount of disk space."

    But why would Oracle buy Sun? Possibly because there are difficulties in making Oracle database products work with the new consumer-grade hardware with fault-tolerant technology.

  • by Jim Hall ( 2985 ) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @01:02PM (#29164439) Homepage

    Oracle does not have a tradition of giving away much of it's software. Sun by contrast has a lot of open source or free as in beer software. I am worried that Oracle will either kill or start charging for Java, OpenOffice, Solaris, VirtualBox, MySQL and other products based on it's own business interests. It's only natural for it to do so. With this aquisition, Oracle is in a position of great power. It can kill or alter the course of all the products of both companies. Absolute power corrupts.

    Note: I do not work for Oracle, but we are a big customer of theirs. I have watched this very carefully, attended briefings (by Sun and by third party analysts.)

    I am not concerned that Oracle will kill Java, OpenOffice, VirtualBox, MySQL. (I'm a little concerned about them selling off [Open]Solaris, since I don't see Oracle as an operating systems company.) However, I do expect to see a "pro" version of Java, OpenOffice, VirtualOffice, MySQL where Oracle forks the code into a stable branch, and companies can buy into a support contract for it. This isn't materially different from how OpenOffice/StarOffice are related now, or how Red Hat runs their business.

    For example MySQL and PostgressSQL are the only 2 viable open source alternatives to an Oracle DB for many systems. (There are critical systems for which Oracle is absolutely needed, but the percentage that could be served well by an open source alternative is probably significant). It is definitely in Oracle's interest to kill or dillute MySQL.

    I disagree that Oracle wants to kill or dilute MySQL. Quite the opposite, really. Oracle desperately wants to compete with SQL Server at the lower-end databases. Small companies and many mid-size companies feel that Oracle is much too complicated for them to run with [typically] a limited IT staff. Oracle has a lot of buttons, knobs, switches to tune performance (not to mention get things running.) As a result, SQL Server often gets deployed here. And for most internal-office workloads for small or mid-size companies, SQL Server works very well. So Oracle doesn't make money here. Oracle knows that lots of people can (and do) easily deploy MySQL, this is an easy "win" for them.

    My $0.02

Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer