Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Oracle-Sun deal will be storage 'game changer'

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Oracle Corp. has announced its intention to acquire Sun Microsystems Inc. in an all-cash transaction worth $7 billion. The intention of this merger is to build complete purpose-built hardware and software systems for running Oracle databases, a move that has storage industry analysts forecasting a potential sea change for the storage industry.

Sun's Java programming language and OpenSolaris operating system were the biggest drivers of the deal, according to remarks made by Oracle founder Larry Ellison during a conference call to discuss the merger Monday morning. However, both Ellison and Oracle president Charles Phillips said that systems and storage hardware are big parts of the plan for Oracle-Sun.

Phillips said Oracle's largest customers "are asking us to step into a broader role by delivering highly optimized specs from app to disk based on standards. The general feedback is that they wanted more than standard components—they want standardized deployments and configurations."

Analysts see this trend taking hold in other areas of the IT market, especially with Cisco Systems Inc.'s recently announced Unified Computing System, which Cisco is pushing as a one-stop shop for servers as well as Ethernet and Fibre Channel networking. The Oracle-Sun acquisition may cast vendors delivering one piece of the IT infrastructure in a new light, Webster said. "People who have been delivering separate pieces are now potential acquisition targets," he said. (As told to SearchStorage.)

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