The tech industry has been buzzing with this corporate
takeover merger for the last few days. In case the rest of you have not yet heard, or do not yet care, the Sun has been bought up by the Oracle. Sun used to give us the ‘dot’ in dot-com but they have always been a company with great products, but bad management. The new entity will give us another giant in the computing industry.
Let us start with Sun. Sun has an amazing array of technical products. Their UltraSPARC processors are the fastest and lowest power machines operating in the server space. Imagine having a processor that can execute 64 parallel threads in hardware. Now, we are talking some serious computing power. No serious business can do without having Sun machines as their backbone. This is particularly true in the telecommunications industry.
Then, right on top of all that hardware, Sun has Solaris – a mature Unix operating system. Hence, Oracle would be able to optimise and deploy their software on top of their own OS, without depending on either Linux or Windows. Who is to say that Oracle would not actually build new instructions and hardware capabilities into the next-gen UltraSPARC processors to give them an edge over the rest in hardware database acceleration. (hint: If anyone from Oracle is reading this, my PhD thesis is on hardware search acceleration!!)
Next, on top of this operating system layer, Oracle can now host their ever powerful database application. Their databases are universally recognised as the de-facto standard in corporate relational database management systems. There are many other products that compete with them, including from IBM, Microsoft and even some open source offerings. However, Oracle has always stayed ahead of the rest, due to effective marketing and management.
That is where the difference in their culture lies. Oracle has never actually had any technically superior products. However, they had good management. So, if they carefully crafted a path to integrate the best of Sun products with their management practices, they would create a new behemoth that can rival IBM, Microsoft and every other major name in IT.
All hail our new Oracle-Sun overlords!