Oracle will keep Sun’s hardware, claims chief exec

Larry Ellison

Concerns that Oracle would be binning Sun Microsystems' hardware endeavours have been laid to rest today by Oracle's chief executive.

Larry Ellison told Reuters in an email interview: "We are definitely not going to exit the hardware business."

Oracle bought Sun for a reported $7.4 billion last month after IBM pulled out of negotiations with the firm. There has been mixed opinions about the acquisition but the main concern was Oracle would dismantle the hardware section having bought the company for its software products.

Ellison outlined previous integrated hardware and software product Exadata to answer what Oracle knew about creating them both to work together but the main focus seemed to be around SPARC.

Ellison said: "Once we own Sun we're going to increase the investment in SPARC. We think designing our own chips is very, very important."

He detailed what he considered to be the pros to having SPARC rather than Intel and stated: "Sun was very successful for a very long time selling computer systems based on the SPARC chip and the Solaris operating system. Now, with the added power of integrated Oracle software, we think they can be again."

He also guaranteed the company would be holding onto Sun's hardware engineer team as well as quashing rumours that the disk storage and tape backup products would be sold off saying "We plan to design and deliver those pieces too."

"We what have to drill home is that the different aspects of hardware from Sun are multifaceted. All of the individual platforms, such as storage, T-class, SPARC etc, still need a bit more clarification for clients. For example the relationship with the N-class and Fujitsu is in doubt as Oracle will not need them," said Phillip Dawson, vice president of research at Gartner.

"Just because Larry says there is a future for hardware doesn't mean he won't change the ball game. This is a firmer commitment than before but as I said we still need more individual clarification across the platforms."

When approached for further comment on the story by IT PRO, Oracle merely provided a link to the Reuters interview.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.