Oracle Sun: Good News, Bad News for Google and Microsoft
April 20, 2009
Sun Microsystems is now part of Oracle. You can read the financial details here. The CNet story is interesting because it floats the Oracle hardware angle. I want to take a slightly different view based on my research for Google: The Digital Gutenberg due out before the Kentucky Derby.
Oracle is an important partner for Google Apps and the Google Search Appliance. My sources in Harrod’s Creek tell me that Oracle engineers use Google’s tools to unlock Oracle data. Easier and it works. The customers love the idea of a big outfit like Oracle using Google. This is also good news because it may blunt the push back about Google’s implementing some of the Java language. Think of Google’s support for Java and why Google did not support the full range of things Java. The reason is that Google wants to run one of those Walt Disney one way only lines for Thunder Mountain. The “one way street” is wide and shady. Getting out the same way is going to be tough because of Google’s engineering. Forget that SquareSpace.com “export” function. Not at Google. With Oracle a Google partner, the Google may have some breathing room to lock down its approach to Java with lots of Equal and soy milk. I learned in 2001 that at that time, Google had quite a few former Sun engineers on its staff. Eric Schmidt is a Sun alum, and he knows the upside and downside of the company’s technology and its cost burdens.
Oracle is a big problem because it sits in most big enterprise data centers. The Oracle DBA is a cross between a Navy SEAL and a electrical engineer. Not only are these folks tough to understand, they can kill you or a company with a data “problem”. Better be nice at budget time. With Oracle choking on petascale data flows, the Sun technologies for whizzy machines and zippy storage is a great opportunity to slash the cost of a CPU license as long as the organization opens the capital budget and buys iron. At some point, Oracle Sun might become a serious cloud provider of Oracle analytics or other data management services. This means that in the enterprise, the folks in Redmond have to deal with Oracle here and now and a loose federation of Google Oracle and Sun at some point in the future. Oracle may have more forces to deploy to slow down the proliferation of Microsoft SQL Server. And, now that Oracle “owns” MySQL, there’s a pricing and upgrade path to consider. The Access and SQL Server tandem may face a MySQL and Oracle database upgrade tactic.
Google is still the go to solution. SES10g is a non starter. Sun bought some search technology from InfraSearch here years ago but never did much with it. The search picture could change if Oracle invests in Secure Enterprise Search, Triple Hop, and even the really old linguistics technology it acquired in the early 1990s.
Stephen Arnold, April 20, 2009