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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 ...

by / January 25, 2010

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 , 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 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  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?


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Dan Lohrmann Chief Security Officer & Chief Strategist at Security Mentor Inc.

Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist, keynote speaker and author.

During his distinguished career, he has served global organizations in the public and private sectors in a variety of executive leadership capacities, receiving numerous national awards including: CSO of the Year, Public Official of the Year and Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leader.
Lohrmann led Michigan government’s cybersecurity and technology infrastructure teams from May 2002 to August 2014, including enterprisewide Chief Security Officer (CSO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) roles in Michigan.

He currently serves as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) and Chief Strategist for Security Mentor Inc. He is leading the development and implementation of Security Mentor’s industry-leading cyber training, consulting and workshops for end users, managers and executives in the public and private sectors. He has advised senior leaders at the White House, National Governors Association (NGA), National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), federal, state and local government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and nonprofit institutions.

He has more than 30 years of experience in the computer industry, beginning his career with the National Security Agency. He worked for three years in England as a senior network engineer for Lockheed Martin (formerly Loral Aerospace) and for four years as a technical director for ManTech International in a US/UK military facility.

Lohrmann is the author of two books: Virtual Integrity: Faithfully Navigating the Brave New Web and BYOD for You: The Guide to Bring Your Own Device to Work. He has been a keynote speaker at global security and technology conferences from South Africa to Dubai and from Washington, D.C., to Moscow.

He holds a master's degree in computer science (CS) from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and a bachelor's degree in CS from Valparaiso University in Indiana.

Follow Lohrmann on Twitter at: @govcso

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