Well, I was at the long awaited public Oracle/Sun strategy briefing yesterday. A rather long affair that certainly would have been enough time to cover all aspects of where the combined company is heading. They did a pretty good job of it. There were a lot of statements that basically said “we are investing in Sun’s product X and Oracle’s product Y continues to be the strategic direction”, i.e. a lot of “and” and not a lot of “but”. Especially during the software strategy talk. But despite this inclusive theme there were however some glaring oversights and a missed opportunity to provide clarity and state what they will NOT do.
As I told some people I met during lunch, it’ll be interesting to sit down later and ponder over what was NOT said or what was glossed over during the presentations and compare that with the statements that WERE made.
Being an HPC guy, my ears perked up when I heard the Lustre parallel file system mentioned as an example of an important open source project during Charles Phillips opening address. But as it turned out, that was the extent of telling us about the path forward with regards to HPC for Oracle/Sun. It was also the extent of Lustre directions. With nothing explicitly said about HPC, I and others are left to speculate and read between the lines.
What WAS said was that Sun’s x64 systems would be focused on integrated clusters for the enterprise. They emphasized “integrated” and “enterprise”. I guess you can interpret that in several ways, but to me that sounds pretty much like the Exadata system that was launched in the fall and very different from selling general purpose servers (that btw also can be used for HPC). Was that a bone thrown towards Dell?
Oracle’s On Demand centers use Dell servers and NetApp storage as far as I know. I can imagine these will be switched to Sun servers and storage going forward. NetApp got sort of a black eye when Larry Ellison positioned Sun’s ZFS storage appliance as a next generation NextApp, just better, faster and cheaper. There was no further reference to Dell however. The gloves never came off. A lot of Oracle software run on Dell hardware…
HP wasn’t mentioned much either, IBM was used for almost all competitive comparisons. I guess I’d put what happens with the Dell and HP relationships in the “glossed over” category.
Good to hear that they are hiring though. That message wasn’t glossed over.