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4/23/2009
03:32 PM
Bob Evans
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Oracle Purchase Of Sun Yields New Competitive Advantages

Oracle's grab for Sun is "an astounding move" that will enhance Oracle's ability to compete against Microsoft, VMware, IBM, and others, a new analyst report says. The three gems are infrastructure, channel-partner ecosystem, and the missing ingredients to offer robust cloud and virtualization solutions.

Oracle's grab for Sun is "an astounding move" that will enhance Oracle's ability to compete against Microsoft, VMware, IBM, and others, a new analyst report says. The three gems are infrastructure, channel-partner ecosystem, and the missing ingredients to offer robust cloud and virtualization solutions.The analytical overview offered by Pierre Audoin Consultants offers seven boosts the deal will give Oracle, but of those seven three appeared to be particularly insightful and are highlighted below.

And for further strategic analysis of the deal, see the superb work from my colleague Charlie Babcock, "Oracle's Alternatives Dim Without Sun".

Sun's infrastructure software includes "four fantastic assets" that address "several competitive issues in the short term," according to the report. Those four are:

--Java, "used by many of Oracle's partners and competitors (such as IBM!)," gives Oracle over its Fusion middleware and database technology stack, "even if the Java community wall balance any despotic ambitions from Redwood City," the report said. It also noted that Oracle will try to turn Java into a revenue-generator, "a task at which Sun has not been very successful." --Solaris represents a "blow to another shared villain of Oracle and Sun: Microsoft! In addition to open access to a vast community of developers, having a rock-solid operating system as an alternative to Windows Server could be a very decisive component for Oracle," wrote PAC managing director Oliver Nguyen Van Tan. --"Following the same logic, let's not forget that Sun also has expertise and strong involvement in OpenOffice.org on top of its own collaboration tools. Thanks to Oracle's sales power, it could be a game-changer for these solutions, especially at a time when Microsoft's leadership is being brought into question." --MySQL open-source database: "PAC believes that, like Java, Oracle can take this business to the next level by putting the right resources behind it. This would be another blow to Microsoft" by being positioned as a direct competitor to Microsoft's SQL Server. The tricky part, PAC said, will be how Oracle positions MySQL within its existing fleet of database products.

The second gem is the newly combined network of third-party solution providers that the acquisition will create. "The preliminary feedback of channel partners seems very positive, because many can see additional opportunities to sell integrated Oracle+Sun solutions, especially in the data-center space," the PAC report says.

And the third gem predicted by the consultants is Oracle's acquisition of some key ingredients that could make it a force in the emergent and still unsettled field of cloud computing, while also giving it the means to begin competing against VMware in the white-hot virtualization sector. "In this space, Sun has some interesting solutions (mixing software and hardware) that could fit right into Oracle's stack. Oracle is claiming to be able 'to go to the next phase of computing' with improved integrated or bundled solutions (from CPU to enterprise applications). Of course, as far as virtualization is concerned, VMware remains the uncontested leader, while Microsoft is entering this market very aggressively (as usual), but Oracle+Sun could surprise us in the future as virtualization and cloud computing gain more and more traction. Not only does it help companies to make the most out of their IT investments in the current economy, but it will keep growing because cloud computing and the data centers of the future in all flavors (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, etc.) will be largely based upon these technologies."

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