Larry Ellison, Oracle's chief executive officer, told financial analysts in late January that the company plans to replace its Hewlett-Packard Unix servers with clusters of Intel-based machines running Linux. The Oracle chief also predicted the demise of large servers.
Ellison's comments exposed a possible conflict with Sun, a long time ally and major vendor of powerful servers. The two companies have a joint development initiative and work together to try to persuade users of Microsoft SQL Server on Windows NT to switch to an Oracle database running on Sun's Unix-based operating system, Solaris.
McNealy said Larry Ellison told him that he had been misquoted.
"I would say 95% of Larry's revenue is coming on very large single-instance, vertically-scaled SMP [symmetrical multiprocessing] machines and is significantly at risk if that revenue went away so I would not take that statement very literally." McNealy said.
Asked if Ellison had explained what he intended by the remarks, McNealy said: "He said we believe there will be a horizontal scaling architecture and he knows he is going to be selling, certainly through the end of his career, very large single-instance implementations both in the database and applications environment. I'll be very surprised if he retires after there is a complete transition to horizontal computing. It just won't happen."