Oracle details Sun merger plans – UPDATED

sunoracle logo

After months of wait, today Oracle can finally disclose its roadmap to integrate the Sun product portfolio, acquired for $7.4 billion.

To introduce this all day online event the company prepared a long introductory video that shows the entire computing stack that the two giants now have in common. Each hardware piece has the new Sun|Oracle logo.

In these months several people suggested that Oracle may want to drop the Sun hardware business to focus on other parts, more in line with its current strategy.
The introductory video does everything but giving this idea. Quite the opposite, it seems to emphasizes the potential that Oracle now has in the hardware market, and the presence of three racks on stage is a further sign of the company commitment in this area.

The event starts with a tagline that tells everything: Software. Hardware. Complete.

Oracle is about to spend $4.3 billion in R&D for the first fiscal year together.
This impacts virtualization too as Oracle plans to invest more on the Solaris operating system and the virtualization technologies that it embeds.

Edward Screven, Chief Corporate Architect, is on stage, ready to discuss about the Oracle plans about operating systems and virtualization.
First of all Oracle is going to continue delivering and investing in both Linux and Solaris.

Oracle VM Server is going run on both x86/x64 and SPARC architectures. Oracle VM Manager is going to manage both kind of hosts side by side, and Solaris will become a fully supported guest OS:


Plus Oracle will continue to have the OS virtualization products Solaris Containers (for x86/x64 and SPARC) and Logical Domains (for SPARC).

Oracle plans to integrate Sun VirtualBox as part of the Oracle VM family and use it as a sort of sandbox, which means that the company may want to integrate its offering with the acquisition of some virtual lab automation companies out there in the near future.

More than that, Oracle plans to support the Sun VDI connection broker inside Oracle VM Server, providing an end-to-end VDI solution. And this means that the current Sun VDI support for VMware may be dropped soon:

Oracle_VirtualBoxAnd about the relationship with VMware, Oracle doesn’t waste time to clarify that it wants to compete with the virtualization player:


The interesting part of this comparison is that Oracle is taking the same approach Microsoft has to attack VMware: both vendors keep saying that they offer physical and virtual management while VMware is limited to its virtual world.

The reality is that while VMware wouldn’t admit anytime soon that it’s turning into an infrastructure management company, there is evidence that virtualization is no more its only focus.
The acquisition of SpringSource, the acquisition of Zimbra, the interest for middleware products, all confirm that the company is not standing still while others are pointing out its limitations.
So Oracle will have to execute very well its virtualization plans, which didn’t detail much today, to become an interesting alternative to VMware for customers.

Update: Chuck Hollis, Vice President of Global Marketing at EMC, published a very interesting insight about the merge, recognizing Oracle as a new competitor that is taking the same approach his company has taken when it decided to create a coalition with Cisco and VMware.

Hollis also suggests that Oracle is now missing the networking component to fully compete against the VCE Coalition, and that this may be its next acquisition target.
This is 100% agreeable. Too bad that HP acquired just acquired 3Com. Maybe Juniper?