RE: 11g 64 bit and Red Hat 4

From: Matthew Zito <>
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2009 12:46:00 -0400
Message-ID: <>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ray Stell []
> Sent: Friday, August 07, 2009 11:59 AM
> To: Matthew Zito
> Cc: Greg Rahn;
> Subject: Re: 11g 64 bit and Red Hat 4
> thanks, yeah, trying to keep it simple here.
> You have to wonder though if Larry won't pull the plug on RH one day,
> the kind of stuff they did with Sun. "Oh yes, we support Sun, we are
> partners." Gag...

With the Sun acquisition, I would say that everything is up in the air now, so I'm sure there will be some surprising things coming down the pike. But, completely dropping support for Red Hat would be a very dangerous move for Oracle.

If you look at the reason Oracle threw Sun under the bus back in the early years of this millennium, it didn't have very much to do with Oracle's desire to kill Sun, it was a lot more about Oracle facing a tough economy, and a world where people were rapidly losing the will to spend big money on hardware+software+HA+backup solutions. Oracle sort of looked at the world and said, "well, we've gotta compete against SQL Server, and these MySQL guys are starting to get a little attention, but we don't want to cut our costs - so how can we protect our margins on the enterprise front?"

And you carve up the cost of a two-node Sun SPARC Solaris cluster, and it goes something like (circa 2001):
2 Sun E4500s w/ 12 processors and 24GB of RAM- $250,000 2 Veritas Cluster Server + Volume manager licenses - $50,000 2 Netbackup for Oracle licenses - $45,000 12 Oracle EE licenses - $240,000

Total cost - $585,000
Oracle's percentage: 41%

And Oracle says, "Well, heck, no wonder no one wants to pay money for Oracle anymore, there's all this third-party software people are buying, plus there's this expensive Sun hardware in the picture". They then saw this picture:

3 Dell servers w/ 4 processors each - $50,000 (and I'm thinking 2001 prices)
3 Red Hat licenses - $4500/year
12 Oracle EE licenses - $240,000
12 Oracle RAC licenses - $120,000
Oracle ASM - free
Oracle RMAN/flashback/dataguard - free
Total cost: $414,000
Oracle's percentage: 86%

So they can provide an overall cheaper solution, while still getting a dramatically larger cut of the money, if they shift to Linux and commodity computing.

Then they threw basically all of their partners under the bus over the next few years - Sun, Veritas, BMC, HP, EMC, Hitachi, Quest, Embarcadero, CA.

So, its not as though Oracle wanted to hurt Sun specifically - they just recognized that Sun only offered a platform that prevented Oracle from competing strongly against Microsoft, and forced Oracle to work with partners who were competing for the same overall chunk of the pie. Hence, they had to cut them out of the picture.

Nothing personal, just business.

Now that they own Sun, of course, I'd be shocked if Oracle keeps the SPARC business around, other than as a legacy platform for long-term support (and even then, I could definitely see Oracle selling that business to Fujitsu).

Going back to the Red Hat argument, though, it's different than Sun, since the cost difference to them is negligible, and it helps provide a bulwark against Windows, which is who they see as their real enemy. And if Oracle hasn't been able to drop support for Windows, there's no way they're going to drop support for Red Hat. Now, they could buy Red Hat, and then put Novell out of business, but that's a big hassle, and other than the OS, Oracle has comparable or better options for Red Hat's other offerings.


Received on Fri Aug 07 2009 - 11:46:00 CDT

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