Last year, Oracle completed its acquisition of Sun Microsystems. At the time there was much speculation regarding the future of Sun's server and storage hardware business and I heard a number of well thought out opinions. But two seemed to stand out, both in opposition to one another:
1. Sun's hardware business doesn't return the same high net profit margin as Oracle's software business, therefore Oracle will wind it down, sell it off, or otherwise dispose of it over time because it will drag down overall profitability.
2. While the Sun hardware business doesn't offer the same profitability as software and applications, with work it could be brought in line with Oracle's other businesses. Therefore Oracle will keep it and find a way to make it profitable enough so as not to be a drag on overall profitability.
Last week, Oracle outlined its storage strategy and in doing so removed a lingering question mark that has been hanging over the acquisition since it was announced by making the following statement: "First and foremost, Oracle will deliver storage that helps Oracle platforms run faster. Oracle will continue to invest in storage hardware development, so long as that investment propels Oracle platform growth and market acceptance." Personally, it was not the statement I had expected, but I've learned to live with it.
Mark Hurd, former HP CEO and now Oracle's president, began the Oracle storage strategy session with the obligatory references to overwhelming data growth. I say "obligatory" because nearly every storage vendor pitch I see lately frames the discussion of why the market needs product x in terms of voluminous data growth and the opportunity that data growth presents to vendor x for managing it. … Read more