Saturday, 2 May 2009

The Oracle - still helping red pills?

Ok, i'm not a massive Matrix fan but a hunt through wikipedia states that in the film "The Oracle" helps the Redpill takers , it states within this page a phrase which is quite a good analogy of how the current acquisition of SUN by Oracle will in my view look within the Virtualisation wars between all of the market leaders (mainly Vmware), it states;

"You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes." Morpheus describes the effects of the two pills to Neo

Maybe i'm bending something to get a bit of spin going here with comparing this to how Oracle will now fair within the Virtualisation space, but with Oracle purchasing SUN they now have a massive amount of Virtualisation technology and development teams on their hands to utilise and grow already great under rated technology. Current SUN Virtualization offerings cover x86 and RISC, they offer management tools which have admittedly under the SUN team lacked lustre and finesse. But when you look at the nuts and bolts of recent acquired virtual technology that Oracle now have under there belt this could be what is probably the biggest threat to VMware's stronghold (and others). Oracle have attempted to lure Oracle customers into using the current Oracle VM as a stable supported stack for current software products but analyst figures show that uptake within organisations suggest this has not succeeded to date. So Enter new acquired SUN toys, with current offerings of LDOM and Containers on the Iron side, and xVM on the Tin side with Solaris running the whole shebang and you have instant synergy which can propel this into more of a reality for Sun and Oracle.

On the profile side when you look at Oracle's business focused model, they inherit have built a reputation within enterprise organisations and have provided C level executives with large business process transformation results in short periods of time and the same can be said for SUN's Iron Business. Lower level technical offerings which have spurted up in Oracle through organisational growth (and I expect through Larry's vision) have probably not provided enough return on investment impact for gaining large amounts of executive buy in and it has also been hard for Oracle to gain popularity to streamline this into an Infrastructure which has large amounts of alternatives already in place. Its also been difficult to introduce what are marketed as business tools to IT departments full of Geeks who like the uber cool technology to fiddle and play with.

Will the SUN purchase now change this? All of a sudden Oracle has not only got the SUN Virtualisation offerings but Hardware to run it on, all and program teams within SUN which are probably more capable of gaining revenue on tech such as RAC, ASM etc. A lot of unknowns exist today with the SUN purchase but one thing is for sure to purchase a company with the amount of cash Oracle used, it will certainly not be to just gain small volumes of customers lost to MySQL!
This latest purchase could (and i say could) stall any dominance of Virtualisation vendors today (namely VMware), and I do think it will make a difference to the vendor market shape. VMware can not ignore this and have to remain competitive, they have grown up from startup originality (not projected through an acquisition as EMC have left them alone up until Diane Greene went) being innovative, IT problem focused and more importantly being able to provide turn key cost savings without having to deal with the ugly black suit and boring tie services arm like IBM make you do. This in comparison is an approach similar to SUN, it has the original silicon valley geek factor within its product range, you have various options which scale heterogeneously so it has to mean competition will arrive once Oracle probably start to push the Virtualisation technology within organisations.

Don't get me wrong I live eat and breathe VMware products, in the last 2-3 years they have grown phenomenally and have enabled massive amounts of vision to be full filled in organisations Infrastructure strategy, they need to be care full though a acquisition has been made by Oracle and I am sure the partnerships that have been in place in the past between Oracle and Sun will mean lots of interesting strategies being employed against the likes of VMware, IBM and HP.


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