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Ellison: Sun Losing $100 Million a Month

sunBummer!  Oracle CEO Larry Ellison expressed increasing frustration over extended European anti-trust reviews that have delayed the acquisition of Sun Microsystems.  He partially points the finger the ongoing “reviews” for the $100 million monthly loss.  He’s also been careful to note that US anti-trust investigators have already approved the deal.

The longer this takes, the more money Sun is going to lose, and that’s not good for anybody,” Ellison said while speaking to an after-dinner audience at the San Jose Fairmont Hotel, in an event organized by the nonprofit Churchill Club.

Many analysts and speculators have been pointing the financial finger directly at Ellison for not being wholly clear about what direction Sun will take post-acquisition.  Many have indicated that Oracle wanted Sun in order to eliminate open source database competitor MySQL and corner market share with existing Solaris-based Oracle customers.  Many have also speculated that out of their core businesses, Sun would no longer sell hardware.  However, Ellison went public with a carefully constructed message that, indeed, Sun hardware [especially Sparc] will live on.  He even went so far as to take out a front page ad in the Wall Street Journal’s September 10th edition. The ad clearly states:

Oracle Plans To:

  1. Spend more money developing SPARC than Sun does now
  2. Spend more money developing Solaris than Sun does now
  3. Have more than twice as many hardware specialists selling and servicing SPARC/Solaris systems than Sun does now
  4. Dramatically improve Sun’s hardware performance by tightly integrating Oracle software with Sun hardware

We’re in it to win it.  IBM, we’re looking forward to competing with you in the hardware business.”

What does this mean for you and I in HPC?  Well, there is obviously no mention of x86_64, blade servers, high performance interconnects or Lustre file systems.  [Oracle has their own file system].  Will these portions of the business die out or go up for sale?  Too early to tell.  However, rest assured the folks at IBM, Cray, HP and SGI are keeping a close watch on what pops out on the other side.

We have no interest in the hardware business. We have a deep interest in the systems business,” he said, suggesting that Oracle will focus on high performance computing systems rather than on lower-cost standardized components that have been a growth sector for the computer industry in recent years.

For more info, read the latest article on the Oracle/Sun shakeup here.


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