Sunday, January 31, 2010

Oracle unveils its plans for Sun

Last week, Oracle held a series of webcasts to communicate details on their product strategy with regards to the Sun acquisition.  They unveiled plans for hardware, software, systems, industry solutions, and partner strategies.  The webcasts were delivered by some of the most senior folks in Oracle and Sun, and they disclosed a lot of specific information, which was necessary for both customers and partners after nine months of uncertainty and speculations.

The webcasts followed a similar format.  First, they began with Oracle’s strategy and approach to acquisition.  In this section, they emphasized the following points:

  • Oracle’s strategy of providing complete, integrated “systems” based on open standards
  • Oracle’s commitment to protect and enhance existing customer investments
  • Fast transition and integration of systems, processes, and relationships to better serve customers

Next, they reviewed existing Oracle assets and product strategy in the specific technology domain, and Sun’s relative fit.

The following provides a summary from Oracle’s software strategy webcasts.

Java Strategy: Hasan Rizvi (Oracle SVP Fusion Middleware)  & Jeet Kaul (Sun VP of Software Group)

There were no surprises here. The importance of Java (JVM platform, Java language, dynamic languages, Java SE, Java EE, Java ME…) including some interesting facts/figures vis-a-vis industry adoption rates and usage were highlighted. 

Key points:

  • Continued support for Java, JCP, and developer community
  • Continued investment in Java across different servers and devices
  • Sun Java HotSpot & JRocket will continue to be strategic JVMs
  • GlassFish will continue as a reference implementation and open source project
  • Oracle plans to offer GlassFish as part of multiple commercial Java EE server offerings
  • JavaOne will be co-located with Oracle OpenWorld, and will also be offered in Brazil, Russia, India, and China

Operating Systems: Edward Screven (Oracle Chief Corporate Architect) & John Fowler (Sun VP of Systems)

As of a year ago or so, Oracle started offering its own Linux distro.  The Oracle Enterprise Linux is positioned at the bottom of Oracle’s integrated stack, the infrastructure layer, sitting next to its Oracle VM.  with the acquisition of Sun, Oracle now adds another operating system to its portfolio (Solaris) running on SPARC or X86 hardware. 

N.B. Solaris also has some unique virtualization capabilities that will be integrated/consolidated in Oracle VM solution.

The key points in this webcast were as follows:

  • Oracle’s commitment to Oracle Enterprise Linux and community
  • Oracle’s commitment to Solaris and community
  • Platform choice and flexibility ==> customer value
  • Long history of collaboration between Sun and Oracle.  Now united as one, they can work more effectively, share IP and accelerate innovation

Virtualization: Edward Screven (Oracle Chief Corporate Architect)

Back in May of 2009, the acquisition of Virtual Iron enabled Oracle to enter the server virtualization market.  Now, with the acquisition of Sun, Oracle expands its portfolio to new technologies in server virtualization, desktop virtualization, and storage virtualization.

In this category, Oracle plans to consolidate/integrate virtualization technologies from Sun with Oracle VM.  It will continue investment and support for Solaris virtualization (i.e. logical domains, containers).  It will enhance Oracle VM Manager to monitor and manage virtual Solaris environments. (In the future, the plans are to fold Ops Center with Enterprise Manager).  In addition, Oracle VM hypervisor will be enhanced to support Solaris guests on X86 platform. 

In terms of provisioning support, Oracle VM templates will be enhanced to support Solaris virtual images. 

On the desktop side, Sun’s VDI solution will be renamed to Oracle VDI.  Oracle VM will be updated to support Oracle Virtual Desktops.  Also, Oracle plans interoperability enhancements between Oracle VM and Sun VirtualBox (Oracle VM VirtualBox).

The key points in this webcast were that Oracle plans to integrate and rationalize virtualization technologies from Sun with Oracle VM.   It will continue investment in Solaris and SPARC virtualization, but plans to consolidate virtualization management on Oracle VM as a strategic product.  Finally, Oracle VM is the only certified and supported server virtualization platform for all Oracle software.

Cloud Computing: Richard Sarwal  (Oracle SVP Enterprise Manager)

In this webcast, Richard Sarwal described Oracle’s view of Cloud Computing, and their strategy.  Here are the key points in this webcast:

  • There is an enterprise maturity model or approach to Cloud Computing:
    • Siol’d: Physical/Dedicated Resources
    • Grid: Virtual, shared services, dynamic resources, standard appliances
    • Private Cloud: Self-service portal, policy-based provisioning and resource management, chargeback
    • Hybrid Cloud: Federation with Public Clouds, interoperability, bursting…
  • Oracle is a technology provider to customers to enable Cloud journey
  • Oracle is also a technology provider to service providers
  • Sun’s Public Cloud (Project Caroline) is terminated immediately, but some of the assets will be rolled other products (i.e. Q-layer into Enterprise Manager)

Enterprise Manager & Ops Center: Richard Sarwal  (Oracle SVP Enterprise Manager) & Steve Wilson (Sun - VP Engineering, Ops Center)

In this webcast, Richard Sarwal & Steve Wilson laid out the integration strategy and consolidation of Oracle Enterprise Manager and Ops Center.  Here are the key points:

  • There is little overlap between two products
  • Oracle Enterprise Manager is Oracle’s strategic product
  • In the short-term, Oracle plans to support and maintain both products and provide connectors to integrate the two.  Over time the products will be integrated into one systems management offering (Enterprise Manager)

Application Server: Hasan Rizvi (Oracle SVP Fusion Middleware)

Here are the key points:

  • GlassFish will continue as the Java EE reference implementation & open source project
  • Oracle will continue to support GlassFish for an extended period
  • Oracle’s strategic app server is Oracle WebLogic
  • GlassFish Enterprise Server and WebLogic are expected to share core components
  • Oracle plans to license GlassFish Enterprise with WebLogic Server Offerings
  • Oracle Web Center is Oracle’s strategic portal offering
  • Oracle will continue to support GlassFish Web Space Server and Sun Portal Server, but plans to provide an upgrade path for Sun Portal Server and Web Space Server to Web Center
  • All existing customers will be fully supported according to their existing support agreements

N.B. In one of the slides, it seemed that Oracle was positioning GlassFish for development and testing, and WebLogic for production environment.

SOA and integration strategy: Hasan Rizvi (Oracle SVP Fusion Middleware)

Here are the key points:

  • Oracle SOA Suite continues as the strategic product
  • Sun JCAPS will be supported and maintained
  • GlassFish ESB continues as an open source project
  • Oracle will port some of the capabilities of Sun SOA products to SOA Suite
  • From an MDM/Data Integration perspective, Oracle Customer Hub, Oracle Product Hub, Oracle Site Hub, Oracle Supplier Hub, and Oracle Data Integrator continue as strategic products 

    Identity Management: Hasan Rizvi (Oracle SVP Fusion Middleware)

    In the area of security, there were a lots of changes:

    Directory Server

    Access & Identity Management

    • Oracle Access Manager is the strategic product for SSO
    • OpenSSO continues as an open source project
    • Oracle Identity Federation combined with Sun’s Fedlet is the strategic product for federated SSO
    • Sun’s Secure Token Service is added to Oracle Access Management Suite
    • Oracle Identity Manager is the strategic product
    • Oracle plans to enhance OIM with Sun Identity Manager, and plans to provide upgrade path to OIM
    • Sun Role Manager is the strategic product for identity governance, and will be renamed to Oracle Identity Analytics

    Developer Tools: Ted Farrell (Chief Architect & SVP)

    In the area of developer tools, Oracle has two offerings: JDeveloper & Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse.  JDeveloper is Oracle’s primary developer platform across all Oracle solution.  With the acquisition of BEA, Oracle has had to support Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse to support its Java developer community.

    With the acquisition of Sun, Oracle gains additional developer tools.  The main developer tool is NetBeans.  Oracle will continue support and investment in NetBeans as well as NetBeans community to foster innovation (plug-ins, dynamic languages etc).  Sun also has other development tools such as Keani.  Oracle intends to use Kenai internally, and will discontinue its public interface.

    StarOffice: Michael Bemmer (Sun VP StarOffice)

    Finally, in terms of StarOffice suite, it will be supported and folded under Oracle applications division. Renamed to Oracle Office Product, it will be integrated with other Oracle products (i.e. developer tools, content management, BI…)


    Overall, the webcasts offered a lot of specific details about Oracle’s product plans except for MySQL.  With the Sun acquisition,  besides hardware, Oracle has picked up a lot of complimentary software assets in the area of virtualization, systems management, security, and of course Java.  There still remain some gaps in their offerings (i.e. systems management). It will be interesting to see how quickly they can make all the necessary technology integration and consolidation and transform to a “systems” company.

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