With ... the phone lines at Oracle's conference call system all snarled up, I was spared the often condescending yet always dulcet tones of Larry Ellison, co-founder and chief executive officer of Oracle, and Jonathan Schwartz, president and chief operating officer at Sun, for which I suppose I am grateful.
I am also grateful that the month-long saga between IBM ... and Sun is over. It was painful to contemplate the crashing of the East coast IT giant with the upstart West coast former giant ... Sun and IBM mixed like oil and water. Oracle and Sun ... will mix something more like vinegar and oil - you can whip it up into a colloid, at least ... Sun is a much more natural fit inside Oracle, but ... if anything, looking back a decade ago, Sun should have acquired Oracle.
While the major reason may be Java, it makes Oracle a major hardware player - an "applications to disk" player. That was Larry Ellison's vision 10 years ago.
I am not optimistic. Oracle's numerous acquisitions over the last few years have not been rationalized and there has been little new or innovative stuff coming out of Oracle ... while the executives continue to brag about the margins they squeeze by consolidating ... It is a sad commentary on the state of the industry that Sun's only other home would have been IBM, which in its own way has also become a graveyard for once innovative technology companies.
Oracle's move looks good for Oracle ... Whether Oracle's move is good for enterprise buyers generally is another question, and here there is a mixed picture...
- Oracle now commands a larger percentage of the IT budget in many organizations, especially large companies. Although there may be some small benefit in CIOs having fewer vendors to deal with, many organizations have been trying recently to reduce their total spend with Oracle, not increase it...
- Oracle's ownership of mySQL is particularly troublesome, as it competes with Oracle's database at the low end. Don't expect Oracle to make the sorts of investments needed in mySQL to allow it to move up market where it will be more of a threat.
I'd thought about Oracle buying Sun. But, then I thought, "Larry Ellison isn't that dumb." Well, I was wrong ... [This] may be the most moronic technology acquisition of the 21st century.
I don't see any upside to this deal. And, on top of that, Oracle, which spent $7.4 billion for Sun, vastly overpaid for the company. This deal will make money for Sun's executives and stockholders, but it will prove to be a disaster for Sun's users, developers, and employees.
The technology landscape is about to radically change and quite possibly, Sun hardware is now dead ... What Oracle does best is manage a team of million dollar Ferrari driving sales guys in direct contrast to Sun which is best at managing teams of highly innovative technologists.
The software aspects of the deal actually makes a lot of sense. It certainly seems like a very obvious fit, Oracle is buying Java. Whether Larry Ellison admits it or not, Java is the key to enterprise focused cloud computing.
Everything which isn't Java, MySQL or Solaris is probably now dead.
Expect maintenance costs to skyrocket as per previous Oracle acquisitions.
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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 24 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email: firstname.lastname@example.org.