More on server room management
The company plans to spend billions of R&D dollars in realizing this goal. A big part of this is earmarked for Sun.
“We will make Sun the gold standard for computing servers underneath our product for servers and storage,” said Phillips.
If this all goes to plan, expect to see plenty of announcements from Oracle about new performance and transactional records on the various benchmarks. The Sun hardware influence is already coming through — Oracle is incorporating technologies such as InfiniBand and SSD to reduce database latency.
Sun’s Netra servers, which appeared to be a low priority item in the past, are being given fresh gusto under Oracle. Netra is aimed at the telecom sector, a market in which Oracle is also strong. Thus, immediate synergies in that market are being worked on to own that market.
Otherwise, Oracle appears to be giving more focus to SPARC than its x64 line. It likes the basic UltraSPARC/Solaris package, and it said it plans to invest a good share of its R&D dollars into that area.
According to Pund-IT Research Analyst Charles King, Ellison’s enthusiasm for Sun hardware should be considered in the context of client management.
“Oracle is the database of choice in a large majority of Sun-populated data centers,” he said. “The last thing Oracle wants is for Sun customers to believe that UltraSPARC is on a short road to nowhere.”
As for its Intel/AMD x64 solutions, Oracle appears to be reversing the trend of recent Sun strategy. In the past few years, Sun has steadily expanded its x64 line and even began calling it “industry standard,” inadvertently implying that its SPARC products did not meet industry standards.
Oracle may well be scaling back x64 and plans to focus on clustered offerings in this category, according to recent announcements. Thus, Oracle/Sun may not be taking on HP, Dell and IBM with lower-end x86 boxes and blades for much longer.
What’s to Come?
It’s been nice to take another look at Sun’s hardware. However, right now there is little more than a holding action by Oracle to demonstrate it cares about Sun servers. The next time we look at hardware form Oracle/Sun it will be really interesting. Big changes are no doubt coming, and they will likely happen sooner rather than later.
Oracle-Sun Server Line Up, as of February 2010
Drew Robb is a freelance writer specializing in technology and engineering. Currently living in California, he is originally from Scotland, where he received a degree in geology and geography from the University of Strathclyde. He is the author of Server Disk Management in a Windows Environment (CRC Press).