Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wither Solaris x86 (again)?

So, there's a message to Sun's customer's in the Wall Street Journal, highlighting some of Oracle's plans should their acquisition of Sun be approved (at this writing, the deal is pending EU approval). The ad states that Oracle plans to:

1. Spend more money developing SPARC than Sun does now;

2. Spend more money developing Solaris than Sun does now;

3. Have more than twice as many hardware specialists selling and servicing SPARC/Solaris systems than Sun does now;

4. Dramatically improve Sun’s hardware performance by tightly integrating Oracle software with Sun hardware.

Notice that mention of Sun's AMD and Intel x86 systems is suspiciously absent (and has been absent from all public words I've seen from Oracle). Does this mean anything? Sun tried to can Solaris x86 (concentrating on big SPARC systems) a few years ago which resulted in a massive backlash which forced them to reverse their decision, so one would hope that Sun's new owners wouldn't duplicate that mistake...

Rhetorical questions are fine, but let me ask a direct question to those in the know: What are Oracle's plans for Sun's x86 hardware support if/when they take over? Given their silence on this issue (as far as I've seen, anyway), I don't think it's an unfair question.

If Oracle has no plans to drop support for x86 (hardware or software), perhaps they should be a bit more vociferous about it.


At 10/9/09 16:07, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the purpose of the ad was to try to stem the flow of SPARC customers abandoning Sun after months of uncertainty and speculation over whether there was any point in buying new SPARC kit. SPARC big iron is where Sun is hurting the most now - they've been drifting in limbo for months and after terrible Q4 results and the announcement of an investigation from the EU delaying things further, Oracle had to stop being cagey about the future and start making some promises. Otherwise there'd be nothing left of Sun to buy.
As for x86 support, I think the OpenSolaris movement would die off without x86, but whether they continue making x86 servers is another matter. They do have some good kit though - maybe with a better marketing team they can actually try selling it for profit.

At 10/9/09 17:51, Anonymous J said...

Aren't the storage appliances x86 ?

I think that fact alone would ensure x86 support well in to the future

( OTOH, Oracle Database 11g still isn't out for Solaris/x86 )

At 11/9/09 07:27, Blogger Jeff said...

Read again.. It says spend more money developing Solaris. No specific platform is referenced in that statement!

At 13/9/09 19:42, Anonymous Ché Kristo said...

Rich I think this is targeted directly at those customers on the high end that are Solaris/Sparc focused...i.e Sun's bigggest and most profitable customers. Although their has been no explicit statement in support of x86 I dont think Oracle would savage a good money maker. Especially when HP and IBM wish their Unix' ran on x86.


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