Oracle buys Sun...now what will happen to Sparc

Oracle is buying Sun for $7.4 billion a move which Oracle CEO Larry Ellision says, will give Oracle two key Sun software assets: Java and Solaris.  He says, “Java is one of the computer industry’s best-known brands and most widely deployed technologies, and it is the most important software Oracle has ever acquired.

Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle’s fastest growing business, is built on top of Sun’s Java language and software.

Oracle can now ensure continued innovation and investment in Java technology for the benefit of customers and the Java community.”

But what about all the other stuff: Oracle doesn’t need another Java application server; it doesn’t need MySQL and it certainly doesn’t need Sparc-based hardware, given that the whole world is moving wholesale to x86 commodity servers.

Oracle could use Sun servers to power its database applance, but it already has a relationship with HP for that.

Oracle is a software company now dabbling in hardware. Why? Maybe it wants to be like HP and IBM and build a cloud computing service for enterprise software.

$7.4 billion on Sun, doesn’t look good value, given that the hardware market is tough and margins are tight. Oracle spent over $8.0 billion on BEA in 2008 – now that made sense – buying the market leading web application server platform provider.

It would have been better for Oracle to spend the money on boosting Oracle Consulting.

It is possible that it will sell hardware as a loss leader – to ensure Oracle databases on Sun hadware are cheaper than Microsoft.SQL Server on x86 hardware. This is highly unlikely. Only time will tell what happens to Sun’s hardware division now that Ellison has control.

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