Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, William Schmarzo, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

Oracle-Sun Nice Cloud Computing Fit, But Maybe Not

Will the Merger Just Lead to a New Type of Vendor Lock-in?

It's an obvious point, already commented upon elsewhere, that the respective cultures of Sun Microsystems and Oracle Corp. couldn't be more different.

Sun, although brash and aggressive in the mode of its co-founder and chairman Scott McNealy, has produced numerous "characters of the game" other than McNealy over the years.

Folks such as co-founders Bill Joy and Andy Bechtolsheim, Ed Zander, James Gosling, John Gage, Radia Perlman, Whitfield Diffie, Bill Raduchal, Greg Papadopoulos, and Bernie Lacroute to name just a precious few.

The company was also a famous breeding ground for CEOs, including Zander, Eric Schmidt, Bill Larson, Carol Bartz, current Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz, and in the glory of the dot-com days, Kim Polese.

McNealy was always clearly the boss, but having grown up around powerful people, always seemed utterly at ease in working with high-wattage personalities and letting them shine on their own.

Not so at Oracle. Larry Ellison's company has also produced CEOs such as Marc Benioff, Craig Conway, and Tom Siebel, but there has never been an indication that Ellison is comfortable sharing either power or the limelight. This history is well-documented and needs no further comment here.

Ellison has also seemed to get personal in some of his acquisitions, notably the extended, nasty PeopleSoft takeover.

So the grand meeting of idealistic Sun and hard-boiled Oracle will no doubt be difficult, with an expectation that much of Sun's idealism will ultimately be squeezed out of the combined organization.

If you go to the very southern tip of Ellison's and Siebel's home state of Illinois, you will see the pretty blue Ohio River merge with the dirty brown Mississippi. This is one of the greater river confluences in the world.

The two colors run along side by side for awhile, but all is brown soon enough. After the rivers merge, the river is known simply as the Mississippi. The bright blue Ohio simply disappears.

The technology merger aspect of this deal--presumably why Oracle is paying $7.4 billion--seems more harmonious. Many of Oracle's database customers run on Sun, and most of any hardware company's vendors run on Oracle.

The two companies have been long-time marketing partners, there are oodles of ways the two companies are touting their Java synergy, and this merger seems to create a nice overall platform that should not raise anti-trust hackles in the way an IBM/Sun might have.

Oracle will presumably not croak open-source competitor MySql (now owned by Sun), but use it to hook and reel in new generations of smaller businesses. Sun also is a significant player in the storage arena through its StorageTek acquisition of a few years back.

But, getting to the point the headline of this article makes, is this merger too harmonious? Will it simply represent more vendor lock-in?

Sun has been aggressive in promoting its Cloud Computing strategy, yes...but is vendor lock-in to a major Cloud provider fundamentally different from vendor lock-in to today's IT customers?

Capitalism does not reward that nice spirit of sharing that we all teach our kids when they're fighting for toys in the sandbox. And Ellison seems hell-bent on turning his observation--that Silicon Valley would start to look like Detroit in a few years by dint of massive consolidation--into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Cloud Computing promises new waves of innovation by IT visionaries who will be less encumbered by the same old same old, having delivered enormous cost savings by outsourcing the drudgery to Google or Yahoo or whomever.

Will this promise be broken when, encumbered by precious little vendor choice, cloud provisioners establish pricepoints that simply return IT departments back to the budget jams of old?

Follow the author at ww.twitter.com/strukhoff and at his blog.

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...