Oracle's ambitious plans for integrating Sun's technology

Java said to be critical, and Oracle promises to take advantage of Solaris especially for high-demand applications

Oracle has presented an overview of its ambitions for its newly acquired Sun products, focusing on integrated systems offering everything from the application to the database, servers and storage.

"The Sun deal closed yesterday. We're all pumped and excited," said Oracle President Charles Phillips at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, California. Oracle announced its $US7.4 billion acquisition of Sun last April but the merger had been held up by the European Union.

Oracle will keep the Sun name and "reinvigorate it," Phillips said. Looking to prevent the finger-pointing that can go on when systems break down, Oracle intends to be the one person to call for the entire stack, said Phillips. "The bottom line is we want to improve and change the way people buy systems, [the way] they run, the way they manage them," he said.

Oracle will offer a product stack of Oracle and Sun technologies engineered to work together. The stack will be certified, packaged, deployed, upgraded, and managed together, and it will feature middleware, the database, OS, virtual machines, servers, and storage. The products will be supported together as well.

Oracle itself, Phillips said, offers products in OLTP, data warehousing, embedded database, middleware, CRM, human capital management, and enterprise performance management. To this list, Sun adds an enterprise OS, servers for Unix and the Oracle database, enterprise tape storage, and Java, Sun's development language.

Phillips stressed Oracle's commitment to Java. "All our next-generation applications are written in Java. We have a vested interest to see that Java remains successful," Phillips said. JavaOne, the annual Java technical conference historically held in June, will continue but will instead be held as part of the Oracle OpenWorld Conference September 19-23 in San Francisco.

The Sun Solaris Unix OS will continue to scale. "We're the only enterprise OS that scales down to very, very small systems all the way to hundreds of threads," said John Fowler, Oracle executive vice president for hardware engineering and a holdover from Sun. "We're taking Solaris to thousands of threads and double-digit terabytes of memory," he added.

MySQL, the open source database Oracle acquires with the Sun buy, will become part of the company's open source global business unit and maintain its own sales force. "We're going to make MySQL better," said Edward Screven, chief corporate architect at Oracle. MySQL will be integrated with Oracle Enterprise Manager, Secure Backup, and Audit Vault technologies.

Two customers brought onstage lauded the Sun-Oracle combination. "We're really looking forward to Oracle being the only person we have to call when something goes wrong," said David Maitland, director of corporate services and the CIO for the Atomic Weapons Establishment. "[Oracle] will be the first organization that spans the entire technology stack or most parts of it," said Mark Kamlet, senior vice president and provost at Carnegie Mellon University.

In the cloud computing space, Oracle will offer a range of products for building clouds, including the Oracle WebLogic Server application server, Solaris containers, and Sun Oracle servers and storage. "With the merger between Sun and Oracle, Oracle will offer a comprehensive set of building blocks for managing and assembling public and private clouds," Screven said. He did not, however, talk about the fate of the Sun Cloud public cloud platform announced last year that had been due to begin last summer.

Oracle will spend $4.3 billion in research and development in fiscal year 2011, Phillips said.

Phillips also made an apparent brief reference to a situation he endured last week when a former romantic interest embarrassed him by posting billboards about their relationship in several cities. "Hopefully, you've had a slightly smoother week than I've had," he said.

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