Server Room Management in a Post-Sun Oracle World

By Drew Robb (Send Email)
Posted Feb 19, 2010


More on server room management

What a pleasure it is to bring you a Sun/Oracle snapshot after such a long period of uncertainty. And what a relief it is to learn that Oracle isn't planning to mess with Sun's extensive server lineup.

With Sun now part of Oracle, how much has its server line up changed? Not at all -- at least not yet. We look down the road to evaluate the changes likely to have an impact on server room management decisions.

Currently, there are more or less the same number of servers compared to our previous Sun snapshot — in May 2008. Faster processors and more memory are to be expected over such a period, but little else is new (as the table that follows this article illustrates). While normally this would be a bone of contention, it is reassuring to see Sun hardware products in the real world that will continue as before — at least for now.

The first big change, though, is the Web site location. Oracle has ported all the Sun links over to its own domain. But the Sun name remains — a smart move on Oracle's part.

What is likely to happen over time, though, is a relegation of servers into mere building blocks as part of larger solution sets targeted at specific verticals and packaged with Oracle databases and applications.

"It's been about building complete systems at Oracle," said Charles Phillips, president of Oracle. "Customers are looking for complete integrated and engineered systems."

Oracle's vision is to take much of the manual grind out of IT. By providing pre-packaged modules that can easily be slotted into the data center, it aims to own far more real-estate than before.

Phillips pointed out that the most significant breakthroughs in recent times have concerned the various interactions between the layers of the IT stack. Oracle's logic, therefore, is that instead of having separate companies at each layer that then somehow have to cobble things together, why not have one company that spans the layers?

"Instead of finger pointing, we will take care of the product and can resolve issues quickly," said Phillips.

Oracle now has a big presence in five layers — application, middleware, database, the OS and virtualization. Much of its engineering effort is going into making those layers work well together. Look out, therefore, for packages that certify all layers together for a specific market.

Another aspect of this is continuous monitoring from the vendor to verify everything is running as it should. Customers will be alerted on potential issues.

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