Larry Alisson Interview on Acquisition of Sun. Part one

Original author: Larry Ellison
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Why does Oracle, a company that prides itself on high profitability, want a low-profit hardware business? Would you like to enter the market?

Now, we definitely do not want to enter a new market. While the hardware business is scarce in profit, companies like Apple and Cisco are enjoying very high returns because they are developing their hardware and collaboration software. When a company develops both hardware and software at the same time, it creates systems much better than when it only develops software. This is why the iPhone is much better than Microsoft phones.

Well, Apple and Cisco have proven that they can, but what is Oracle's experience in co-developing hardware and software?

Oracle started developing hardware and software a few years ago when it launched Exadata, a data warehouse suite. Some of our competitors, Teradata and Netezza, for example, supplied pre-configured hardware / software while we only delivered software. The combination of hardware and software has performance advantages for storage applications. We had to answer with our own combination of hardware / software - Exadata. Oracle Exadata, a complex for storing data, is much faster - at least 10 times than the work of Oracle software on ordinary hardware. All software and hardware, databases are included. You just take and use - no integration is needed.

Great, Oracle integrated software development with hardware in Exadata. But Exadata uses standard Intel chips. Will you stop the production of SPARC chips?

Not. As soon as we acquire Sun, we will increase our investment in SPARC. We believe that the development of our own chips is very, very important. Even Apple is developing its own chips these days. At the moment, SPARC chips do certain things better than Intel and vice versa. For example, SPARC uses much more energy efficiently than Intel produces the same performance on a single socket. This is not only an environmental problem, it is also an economic problem. Today, data centers pay as much for electricity consumption as they do for computers. SPARC computers are cheaper than Itel computers.

So here is your plan to use SPARC to reduce electricity bills in data centers?

No, our main goal is to develop our own microchips in the production of computers with the best performance, reliability and security available on the market. Some system actions work much better if they are performed in silicon than in software. By purchasing Sun, we will be able to plan and synchronize new opportunities - from silicon to software, just like IBM and other major system providers. We would like to partner with Fujitsu to develop state-of-the-art technology in a SPARC microprocessor aimed at improving Oracle database performance. In my opinion, this will present the ability of SPARC Solaris to mainframes and servers to challenge IBM's dominance in data centers. Sun has been very successful for a long time in selling computers based on SPARC chips and Solaric OS. Now,

Your management has no experience with the supply of equipment. There is some risk when entering an unfamiliar business.

Obviously, we want to retain an experienced team of first-class hardware engineers from Sun. For years, Sun has been a leader in the development and delivery of innovative systems. For example, Sun was the first company to provide systems built on multi-core processors - Niagara, followed by the industry. Oracle has a good track record in retaining technical talent in merged companies, with Sun it will be the same. In addition, over the past few years, Oracle has gained a lot of experience in developing and supplying our integrated hardware and software systems - Exadata. We have a lot of hardware experience at Oracle. Hundreds of Oracle engineers have come from companies like IBM and HP. Even I began my career in Silicon Valley with a company that worked for Futjitsu to design and build the first IBM compatible mainframes.

Well, that means you have engineers with experience both in software development and in hardware, but Oracle outsourced Exadata to HP. You have no experience in production.

The fact that we are acquiring Sun does not make Oracle a manufacturer. Sun transfers almost all of its production to companies such as Flextronics and Fujitsu. With one small exception, Sun produces nothing, and it will be with us.

There was a lot of speculation in the press that Oracle was planning to sell a certain part or all of Sun's hardware business. From your previous answers you can see that you will not do this. Will you continue to own a data warehousing and backup business?

Oh sure. We believe that the best experience for users is when all the "pieces" of the system are designed to work as one. Information storage and backup are critical components in high performance, high reliability and high security of database systems. We plan to develop and supply these “pieces” too. Clearly, many Sun customers opt for third-party storage systems. This is the principle of open systems - the user chooses what to use. But Oracle will continue to compete in the storage market after purchasing Sun.

Will Exadata Move to Sun SPARC Solaris?

Exadata is built by HP based on Intel microprocessors. We have no plans for a SPARC Solaris version for it. We have a great relationship with HP, which we will continue. Exadata provides high performance at a lower cost than ordinary iron. Customers adore her. This is the most successful Oracle product in all 30 years of history. The acquisition of Sun does not cancel our commitment to Exadata.

This text was prepared and translated by Eugene aka jeje . If you liked the text, then thank Eugene, he himself cannot publish the translation due to the limitations of karma.

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