January 25, 2010    /    by

Oracle, Sun and You

Now that Oracle's acquisition of Sun has been approved by the European Commission , what's next? That is, what does this merger mean for government technology ...

Now that Oracle's acquisition of Sun has been approved by the European Commission , what's next? That is, what does this merger mean for government technology leaders around the country?

Some readers may be thinking that this is old news, but this major deal has been on hold since April 2009 due to competition concerns.  The merger now looks certain to go through in the next few months or sooner.  

This is a very important announcement for the technology industry since:

" Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison said in September that the delay was breeding customer uncertainty, causing Sun to lose $100 million a month as companies held off purchases. The panel had threatened to block the deal due to fears that Oracle might be able to eliminate MySQL as a competitor . "

Going back to the analysis of the announcement last year, Oracle was deemed to be getting a bargain for $7.4 Billion. Experts reported that Oracle, " Ends up acquiring MySQL, the upstart database that has been viewed as Oracle's Achilles' heel." Now we know that Oracle will not only keep MySQL, but they will boost investment in MySQL's open-source licensing platform.

Om Malik, from gigaom.com , wrote this on the merger after to speaking to "inside" sources:

  • "The deal could mean trouble for Sybase, which has a lot of customers on Solaris.
  • It could prove challenging for non-database users of Solaris, for it's not clear how Oracle will treat Solaris.
  • It's good news for Java, as two major corporate giants will be supporting it and will be forced to play nice with each other.
  • Oracle will keep MySQL going mostly because it can act as a funnel for further business opportunities."

 Mr. Malik goes on to quote Miko Matsumura, VP and deputy CTO at Software AG, who had a contrarian take on the merger. He predicts it will be a disaster, with thousands of layoffs.

The Linux Journal posed an open-ended question to readers about the acquisition, and here's what they said about what's next back in April 2009.

Fast-forward back to today, and ask the same question. What are we likely to see as the 2010 progresses? Check out this internal Sun memo from their CEO that was obtained by CNET.com. The theme:   Beat IBM , which comes from the first letter from the first seven paragraphs.

Meanwhile, Oracle announced their plans for Sun last month, and here's a bit of what zdnet.com  reported:

"Ellison also gave some insight to his Sun strategy. In a nutshell, he's staying out of the high-volume, low margin game that IBM and HP play. Simply put, Ellison is taking Sun upmarket with hardware-software devices like the Exadata database machine. Exadata has been a hit, said Oracle executives, who noted that orders have tripled sequentially and the biggest problem right now is manufacturing enough systems.

The future of Sun will rest with high-value systems, said Ellison, who added the computer industry is focused on selling components instead of complete packages."

No doubt, these are interesting times. I can't help but think back to my earliest memories of Sun. I remember buying and playing with a Sun Sparcstation 1 when I was at NSA in the late 1980s.  Over the next decade, we configured hundreds of Sun boxes.

Now, as the Sun CEO stated to his employees:   " Sun is a brand, Oracle is your company. "

I've never worked at Sun, but along with thousands of employees, I'll have a hard time getting used to that distinction.

What are your thoughts on this merger?