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Oracle Acquires Sun. OpenSource, First. SaaS, Next.

Posted on Monday, Apr 20th 2009

The media chattered and twittered about the mega players HP, Cisco and IBM following the news of IBM’s desire to acquire Sun. No one talked about Oracle as one of the mega players in data centers. Larry Ellison’s ego apparently didn’t like that very much!

Well, as of this morning, Oracle will be acquiring Sun in a confirmed deal for $7.4 billion. I had earlier recommended that Sun should roll up OpenSource around MySQL. Now, as part of Oracle, this may still be a good strategy. Some like Larry Dignan believe that Oracle will can MySQL to stop the margin erosion in its core database business. I don’t think they should do that. Instead, it would be better for Oracle to jump on the OpenSource bandwagon, and buy into the future, rather than trying to halt a movement that has become a major positive force in terms of technology proliferation.

At any rate, large chunks of Sun are going to be shed in the merger integration process, but one thing is clear: Ellison will not let go of the data center opportunity stemming from the rise of cloud computing. And I still believe, Oracle will be getting into SaaS in a very big way soon. SaaS is the application layer of cloud computing, and given its scale of ambition, SaaS a vital component of Oracle’s future.

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One subtext of the deal is the long standing Ellison/McNealy friendship. They were probably talking even before IBM’s overtures became public.

As for merger integration, blood will be shed. It will be interesting to see exactly what Oracle decides to keep of Sun. Oracle has to be careful not to overdiversify.

Doug Park Monday, April 20, 2009 at 1:45 PM PT

Well, this is an interesting and unexpected acquisition. My sense is that the first casualty could be MySQL. I have blogged about the implications here: http://subbaiyer.wordpress.com/2009/04/20/oracle-acquires-sun-unexpected-and-interesting/

Subbaraman Iyer Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 7:31 AM PT
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