News travelled quickly at the thought of Big Blue gobbling up Sun Microsystems for a potential deal reaching $7 billion. But after little more than two weeks since IBM walked away, it is Oracle that ends up buying Sun, and doing so at a higher price tag of $7.4 billion.
Oracle's CEO pointed out in a conference call that Sun's Solaris operating system and Java programming language were some of the main attractions to the acquisition.
"The acquisition of Sun transforms the IT industry, combining best-in-class enterprise software and mission-critical computing systems," said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. "Oracle will be the only company that can engineer an integrated system -- applications to disk -- where all the pieces fit and work together so customers do not have to do it themselves. Our customers benefit as their systems integration costs go down while system performance, reliability, and security go up."
This latest move by Oracle is part of a growing trend of technology companies assembling hardware, software, and services for customers. And it puts the company in direct competition with IBM and HP. Heck, even Cisco is talking about getting into the server market with its virtualization-ready servers! All this crazy talk makes me think of Bill Murray's "dogs and cats living together" Ghost Busters' quote. I can't wait to see what gets fused together next.
Sun Solaris, Java, and hardware aside, this is also interesting news for the virtualization market. So what are Oracle's virtualization plans going forward?
Sun offers its own Xen-based platform, xVM Server, still currently in Beta. And Oracle has been shipping its own hypervisor platform, Oracle VM, also built on the Xen hypervisor technology. Does this fact make it easier for Oracle to integrate the two offerings? Oracle VM has for the most part been focused on providing a virtualization platform for its Oracle database software, and the company has been keeping a relatively low profile in the virtualization market. Will that change? Sun also provides Oracle with a way to effectively manage the physical and virtual world with its Sun xVM Ops Center management software -- something that could easily beef up Oracle's offering.