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Businesses Oracle Sun Microsystems Hardware

After a Lull, Sun Server Business Grows Under Oracle 84

Posted by timothy
from the was-it-foretold? dept.
itwbennett writes "For the first time since the 3rd quarter of 2007, IDC is reporting an increase in sales of Sun hardware. Oracle logged $773 million in server sales during the quarter, up from $681 million the year before, according to IDC's estimates."
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After a Lull, Sun Server Business Grows Under Oracle

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  • by BBCWatcher (900486) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @07:36AM (#36237806)
    In other words, IDC is reporting that Oracle raised prices. That strategy works for a quarter or two, maybe. But it's a going out of business strategy.
    • by Migala77 (1179151) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @08:06AM (#36237970)

      In other words, IDC is reporting that Oracle raised prices. That strategy works for a quarter or two, maybe. But it's a going out of business strategy.

      Where did you read this? Nothing about the price is mentioned in the article, apart from that sales of pricier servers have increased in general. Oracle sales are more or less matching overall market growth, so neither a higher market share nor higher price is necessary for Oracle's revenue to go up.

      • by Rob Riggs (6418)
        Anyone buying Sun hardware knows where the increased revenue is coming from...
      • by cthulhu11 (842924)
        Oracle required Sun VAR's to enroll in their own, more-rigorous VAR program in order to sell the newer products. Many Sun VAR's didn't bother, which has caused us no end of grief given a requirement that we have to come up with three quotes to buy stuff. They added restrictions to the the quoting process and the automatic 20% (or whatever) discount that one would get through just about any VAR on systems is no longer the case. That's effectively a price increase. They've also substantially increased the
        • by rubycodez (864176)
          well hello 1990. Serial port is ok, but a management board with network interface that can take ssh AND can put virtual devices in a browser are better. Sun's competitors give you a virtual high-resolution screen, mouse, keyboard, power buttons, DVD drive that can map to local drive or ISO file......The VAR I work at has responded to Oracle's abandoning us and trying to muscle us out in another way, *we steer our clients to alternative hardware solutions* FOAD, Oracle, those our OUR customers and clien
          • by cthulhu11 (842924)
            ILOM does those things too - hello 1982! Which do you think is more responsive over a transpac link -- a high-bandwidth video interface, or a low-bandwidth textual one? Also, you're completely missing the point about the network management interface -- how does IP get configured on it? Telepathy?
  • Bullshit! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by swordgeek (112599) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @07:37AM (#36237812) Journal

    IDC can say what they want, but the only way Sun hardware sales are growing is because Oracle bumped up the price on the hardware, and companies are buying their last Sun gear to give a two-year buffer to migrate away from.

    I don't know of a single company ANYWHERE that is actively growing their Sun server farm. Everyone is running away screaming as fast as they can from Sun/Oracle.

    • by Denogh (2024280)

      I don't know of a single company ANYWHERE that is actively growing their Sun server farm. Everyone but the U.S. Government is running away screaming as fast as they can from Sun/Oracle.

      FTFY.

      Seriously. The federal government still thinks there's some advantage to running Solaris on Sparc. My project tosses a few million of government money at Sun/Oracle every 1-2 years for "support" and new hardware.

      • by HBI (604924) <kparadine AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @08:26AM (#36238126) Homepage Journal

        Even the government has cut way back on Sun purchases, in some areas. For instance, Sun was the only vendor for a certain server stack (made up of x4100 M1/M2 and x4600 servers) that the Army uses heavily in deployed or deployable units. There are hundreds of these stacks out there, created from 05 to about a year ago. They dropped Sun as a hardware source effective about a year ago. Oracle policies, mostly, had to do with this. Switched to Dell. That one contract alone was worth quite a bit.

        • by idontgno (624372) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @08:42AM (#36238228) Journal

          Agreed. In my experience, the US Government has increasingly shifted away from Sun toward either IBM humongous iron (pSeries or zSeries) or Dell commodity x64 stuff. The middle ground is where most of Sun's catalog could have been, but it's too easy to set up server partitions or VMs on the big boxen to cover those needs, or else a few x64 blades.

          Now, the US Government would be happy to keep shoveling money at Oracle, but that's for their RDBMS product and its associated bells, whistles, licenses, and maintenance.

      • by swordgeek (112599)

        I might argue that the US government is running away screaming as fast as they can too. Governments are notorious for their momentum, and I can't imagine that they're capable of turning on a dime. Honestly if it weren't for the government demands and requirements, I suspect that HP would have killed off HP-UX almost a decade ago. Similarly, they'll probably keep Solaris/Sparc alive for another decade or so, before they can migrate away.

        But looking at our case as an example, the first thing we did to elimina

    • Re:Bullshit! (Score:4, Informative)

      by Kyusaku Natsume (1098) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @08:27AM (#36238132)

      Since most high end servers last in service at least 6 years, I guess that most sales come from the fact that Oracle touts the Oracle DB/Sparc combo as the fastest combination for running Oracle DB. That coupled with the fact that migration is "relatively" easy with Solaris 10 containers, for customers used to a system that only want it to be faster, that makes sense. Fujitsu, the fourth largest server seller, also manufactures a lot of Sparc equipment under its own brand and for Oracle itself.

  • I thought it was Oracle's intention to kill the Sun name, as they've certainly removed it from OpenOffice and Virtual Box, and I seem to remember hearing about moves to sell sun.com?

    I have to say, Sun had the best logo in IT that I've ever seen.
    • I have to say, Sun had the best logo in IT that I've ever seen.

      *googles* looks like a bunch of worms to me. Sure, it spells Sun from a few angles, but yuck.. to be typically contrary, I'd say it's worse than the other big IT players.. various Linux distros, Apple, even MS, Dell etc have nicer logos..

    • by Paul Jakma (2677)

      The SGI logo was cooler: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nqf6TjE49N8 [youtube.com]

    • by Compaqt (1758360)

      Well, if they did that, someone else could come along and sell Sun servers, right? I mean, they have to actively use a mark in trade (hence trade-mark) to be able to claim it.

  • If they would have other support options then 24/7 premier support we would at least consider to continue buying Sun.
    For our HPC we only need something like next-business hardware-only.

    • by Nevo (690791) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @10:07AM (#36239056)
      I'd be happy if they'd just provide competent support, at any price. We have ~10,000 SUN servers and Oracle is happy to let my servers sit out of production for weeks at a time when they can't figure out the cause of a problem. If my software platform didn't have redundancy built in at the application layer I'd be losing millions of dollars a month to this. Dell, HP, or IBM would replace a server if they couldn't get it back into production. Not Oracle. Oracle will "research" the problem for weeks on end while my server sits, powered up, but out of production.
      • by cpghost (719344)
        I guess Oracle's dismal support is due to a lot of talented Sun engineers quitting. Actually, if Oracle doesn't do more to acquire new talent, they'll end up with a huge problem. And how do you get net talent? By withdrawing from the EDU sector? By NOT providing reasonably priced SPARC machines for students and amateurs with tight budgets? By being elitist to the bone, so that the price of entry to their ecosystem is prohibitively high to young people who might be interested in joining them? Way to go Larry
  • by BBCWatcher (900486) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @08:33AM (#36238168)

    According to IDC, in the 4th quarter of 2010 [idc.com] Oracle/Sun had $883 million in server hardware revenue. Thus, on a quarter-to-quarter basis, Oracle was down substantially in the 1st quarter of 2011 [idc.com] (to $773 million). Oracle had what's called an "easy compare" -- very easy. I'd really like to see the unit shipment numbers, though, because I strongly suspect Oracle had to raise unit prices substantially to even make that $773M.

    IDC also reports that IBM's System z mainframe hardware (only) revenue was $1.0 billion in the first quarter of 2011. From IDC's report it seems that counts only the z/OS machines and not the mainframes running other operating systems (e.g. Linux). Year over year, the IBM mainframe grew the fastest of any server type, up 41.1%. In other words, IBM's mainframe hardware business alone was about one third larger than Oracle's entire hardware business. Impressive and not impressive, respectively. I think IBM is more or less the Apple of the server industry, the only one left doing any substantial R&D and concentrating on qualities of service, which helps to explain why IBM mainframes contain 5.2 GHz CPUs, for example, when nobody else can get into the 4's. (Mainframe folks used to have to explain clock speed discrepancies, with justification. Now they don't even need to do that.) Sun used to be a big innovator, but, very sadly, that was long, long ago.

    • I think IBM is more or less the Apple of the server industry, the only one left doing any substantial R&D

      Check out the Cisco UCS, while my company is an IBM shop, the integration of the networking stack and something called service profiles (like a profile that controls what the hardware on the blade is) are interesting innovations in recent years. I have to admit tho HP and IBM have been doing the same things int he x86 (rackable and bladecenter) for many years (more CPU, RAM etc..)

      • by javanree (962432)
        UCS looks nice on paper, but for instance the CPU (core) density/rack UCS offers doesn't compare favorably compared to other platforms. And the initial investments are way too high for most small to medium companies as well.
    • by BillyGee (981263)

      All true and agreeable, except that in the real world, or the vast majority of it where cost IS an object, all of this doesn't matter. What good is 5 or 10GHz when it costs many times more than 3GHz? IBM's gear costs so much more than Sun gear which costs so much more than HP gear (initial purchase + support) that for anything but tech startups rolling in VC dough or Fortune500 giants don't usually give much consideration to IBM.

      Nevermind that Oracle with its draconian license terms (e.g. have to license

    • I think IBM is more or less the Apple of the server industry,...

      That comparison seems so bizarre, considering that IBM had overwhelming market dominance for business computers of any sort (which were mostly servers of one kind or another at the time) when Apple was founded.

    • I think IBM is more or less the Apple of the server industry, the only one left doing any substantial R&D and concentrating on qualities of service,

      It's really sad that you think that.

      You've been taken in by the marketing, Apple develop very little themselves (Thunderbolt == Intel, Retina == LG) and their customer service is crap (_I_ have to go to a an apple store where they might look at it... some time next week). Seriously, MS and Red Hat do a lot more R&D then Apple does. Not even considering the amount of stuff that comes out of Google, the difference being Google, Red Hat or even MS wont patent the crap out of everything they invent, let

  • I know some companies had a hell of a time getting in large orders (over half a million $$). It was like Oracle didn't want money for their hardware. I'm thinking this was by design, so that one quarter would look better/worse than others.
    • by graffix01 (973350)
      As an ex-VAR engineer who focused on Sun I can tell you we called Oracle the sales prevention dept. They changed the T's&C's to the point you were basically saying that if there is something wrong with an order it was your fault. State/Local gov had a very hard time with this. Also, as someone else mentioned they removed all support levels except for 24/7 Premium. If you decided not to buy support but wanted to get it a year or two later, say you decide to move a server from dev to prod, you have to bac
  • by Sandman1971 (516283) on Wednesday May 25, 2011 @09:09AM (#36238440) Homepage Journal

    Having recently had a hand in buying new Sun/Oracle hardware, I can attest that prices did not directly go up, BUT the discounts offered to corporations have gone down. For example (using fake numbers) we used to get a 20% discount on hardware purchases, but now only get 10%.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      For us the Sun/Oracle's prices (hardware, software) has gone up from 50% to 1000%. No more new hardware and software from Sun/Oracle.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      In the EDU sector all 'published' discounts have been gone for 15 months. Subsequently 99.99% of my customers are also gone. The Oracle sales reps are eating themselves and pooping on the partner channel. The only HW sales Oracle makes are on the golf course with people that do not know any better. Thanks Larry!

      • by rubycodez (864176)
        yup, working as employee for VAR with many partners (HP, Dell, IBM, Sun, etc.) , can affirm Oracle threw their partners under the bus, trying to muscle them out at customer sites, and it only doesn't matter much because the customers are pissed off with Oracle and delighted to be given alternative solutions
  • They were selling almost nothing. 80 million more revenue per quarter wouldn't mean anything significant to IBM, Dell or HP. For Oracle it's about 10 percent growth.
  • Where I work we run oracle, since we run Oracle, we've got an Oracle rep. our Oracle rep has been calling us nearly once a week asking if we want to buy a server, we keep telling him no. My manager is getting angry at them, and has asked them several times to stop calling.
    • I get the same thing. The last time he called. I flat out listed all the reason that they could expect to never see another dime from me, or any company where I worked.
      Hudson
      OpenOffice
      OpenSolaris
      MySQL (I admit I only expect them to kill it.)
      Solaris updates no longer free
  • Having wasted over a *month* in getting support on a less-than-one-year-old server the beginning of this year, and that included being handed off to an engineer in Chile for two weeks, whose manager kept putting him on other jobs, so that frequently it was a day or two or three before he could respond to my emails, I would NEVER advise buying Oracle/Sun to anyone... and I've joined my manager and my co-worker in that attitude.

    Wait till Oracle dumps Sun, the way they've dumped some of Sun's OSS projects.

    • by cpghost (719344)

      Wait till Oracle dumps Sun, the way they've dumped some of Sun's OSS projects.

      Wouldn't it be great if Oracle let SUN go, and SUN was then acquired by a UNIX/OSS-friendly company? After all, SUN used to be cool blue, now it's a red herring^WOracle. Imagine SUN being acquired by big blue IBM, or maybe by Google. I'm afraid it won't happen. Oracle's Larry won't let his SUN people go. *sigh*

      • According to press reports, Sun didn't accept IBM's best and final offer, which was only a couple pennies per share below Oracle's eventual winning bid. With hindsight, it appears IBM smelled a rotting corpse. Sometimes losing honorably is the big win.
  • The title is misleading. People are not switching because they love Oracle. I bet you the majority of customers are those who cut back on I.T. from 2007 and just tried to squeeze the existing equipments' life until 2011. This is just pent up demand as Oracle and Sun customers had 2002 era machines that need to be upgraded that are dying. So they purchase newer Oracle servers and maybe update their Java 1.3 software with a java 6 while they are at it too while the companies have cash to burn. IBM, Intel, and

  • You've lost that looovin feelin, Oh that loovin feelin.. ... Gone, gone, gone.
  • Do you know what this means? PHB's are still idiots! Stop the presses!

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