"Oracle will link their software and database management with Sun's systems management solutions so they will have a more complete stack for managing their own environment," says Jasmine Noel, co-founder and principal analyst at Ptak, Noel & Associates. "This means customers can have an integrated management solution for Oracle software on Oracle hardware just as they can for IBM software running on IBM hardware or HP software running on HP hardware."
For some, the Oracle-Sun deal could be seen as an opportunity for management software makers, experts say.
"There is an emerging Oracle 'Red Stack' opportunity now that Oracle offers a stack that extends from storage up through servers, operating systems, database, middleware, applications, and business intelligence. Providing tools that integrate and optimize the Oracle offerings are now a distinct opportunity for these third-party vendors. Vendors such as BMC, CA, and HP are well positioned to provide systems management and datacenter optimization software that wraps the Oracle stack and allows systems managers to automate operations and reduce expenses," according to Technology Business Research.
Meanwhile, industry analysts don't think the vendor is done acquiring management technologies just yet.
"[This acquisition] will slow down Oracle's management software acquisitions, except maybe a few smaller deals -- you can't spend more than $5 billion and not rearrange your other acquisition plans," Noel adds. "But I think Oracle's goal to have a complete stack for managing their own environment hasn't changed because of the Sun acquisition."
And while Sun offers Oracle many technologies, heterogeneous enterprise-level management isn't one of them.
"Do they need more management capabilities? Absolutely. Sun doesn't fill that need for them, despite lots of intellectual property buried within Sun. I still contend Oracle will make a play for either BMC or CA," says Glenn O'Donnell, senior analyst at Forrester Research. "That would beautifully round out the Oracle story for broad-based value to IT. Oracle will force a fit. Its bravado has an upside in such situations."
While application and systems management capabilities at Oracle and Sun mostly complement each other, the vendors will face off in the realm of identity management. Oracle and Sun compete directly with identity management technologies and strategies -- especially since Oracle picked up Bridgestream and Sun bought Vaau -- and the combined company will be tough to beat in that market, industry watchers say.
"Both vendors are leaders in the identity management space, and it remains to be seen how the product overlap will be rationalized," says Scott Crawford, research director with EMA. "The two will make a formidable force, with IBM and CA being the most direct competitors and Microsoft being the wild card in the mix."