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Oracle Takes Next-Gen Data Center Push on the Road

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Oracle is ramping up its push to get its hardware and software systems front and center to prospective IT buyers.

Next week’s event will tout Oracle’s systems approach, Sun hardware and the benefits of private clouds.

With Sun Microsystems now firmly in Oracle’s (NASDAQ: ORCL) fold, the database giant is kicking off a series of “Next-Generation Datacenter: Optimize with Oracle events” starting next Tuesday in Palo Alto, Calif.

The event kicks off with a keynote by former Sun exec John Fowler, now Oracle’s executive vice president of systems, titled: “Business Driven IT using Appliances, Systems and Private Clouds.”

The news comes at a time when Oracle looks to rebuild Sun’s business that was faltering before the acquisition, and make the case that Oracle’s more integrated approach is a worthy alternative to competitors like HP (NYSE: HPQ) and IBM (NASDAQ: IBM).

Analyst Charles King said reassuring Sun customers should be Oracle’s first goal.

“It wouldn’t surprise me to hear a lot of rhetoric directed at how life is going to be better for Sun customers. Whenever a big vendor goes out with an event like this, the strategic messaging should be to the main customer base,” King, principal analyst with research firm Pund-IT told “You want to make sure those customers are happy and being paid proper attention to with a roadmap that’s believable to reduce the potential attrition as much as possible.”

More broadly, King expects Oracle to hit on some of the same themes its main competitors have been addressing. “I would expect Oracle to hammer on cloud computing and things like workload optimization and systems integration,” said King.

Other topics scheduled to be discussed at the Oracle event include sessions on architecting the modern data center; powering new generation cloud implementations; maximizing data center resources and efficiency; and consolidation and virtualization on Oracle Sun Servers.

King said Oracle has to perform a delicate balancing act in touting its integrated solutions, because it also has significant business selling its software to other hardware platforms and its database software to competitors like SAP.

“IBM has handled this very skillfully by mainly staying out of the applications business,” said King. “It will be interesting to see how Oracle does.”

David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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