Oracle/Sun: Vastly Changing the Hardware, Software, Services Landscape - Page 2

Rob Enderle

For Dell, this would finally give it a high-end solution and possibly a favored position with Oracle over HP. Dell has probably been one of the beneficiaries of Sun's slide, Getting the Sun installed base would allow it to wrap these customers first with Dell service, enhanced by Sun's own services group, and its vastly stronger (than Sun) X86 portfolio. In both cases, this would strengthen Dell significantly against both IBM and HP and make it the company to displace in a market tightly focused on cost, which is a market Dell was made to play in. The tighter relationship with Oracle gives it a better bargaining tool with Microsoft and further increases its stature when bidding against HP and IBM. Finally, this could do more to change the perception of Dell as a PC company to more of an HP- and IBM-like full service company than most anything else it is likely capable of doing this decade.


For HP, this would be a massive move against IBM on three vectors. First, it would give the company enough additional market share to distance itself from IBM and become the undisputed market share leader in servers, at least initially. Oracle would feel the most comfortable with HP, and HP would be more comfortable with Oracle than it is with Microsoft. Here, the end result could be a massive push not only for HP Services, but Unbreakable Linux, and HP hardware. Done right, this would be the outcome that would hurt IBM the most and create the strongest opportunity for Oracle to actually own enterprise Linux as a platform. Both of these companies have substantial enterprise reach and executives that are in relatively close proximity and share similar backgrounds. In other words, this could become one of the biggest partnerships in the history of technology, were it to reach potential.


Wrapping Up: Bigger Than IBM


While the Sun/IBM deal was interesting and would have helped IBM software substantially, it wasn't that beneficial to IBM hardware and outside of IBM, wouldn't have had that much impact except on HP.


This Oracle deal is vastly more disruptive. Coupled with Oracle's demonstrated expertise in mergers and in making deals, it could actually change the power dynamics in the Linux, high-end server and workstation markets. It will be harder to do right because several players are needed to optimize the result and the timing isn't great for any of the hardware vendors that would need to buy into this effort. It is interesting to note that, with regard to assets, Sun is probably worth more to Oracle than to IBM because it gives the company a position on development platforms. However, for IBM, part of the value would be to deny competitors access to the Sun assets and that cost to IBM may turn out to exceed the asset value, suggesting that IBM may have substantially under bid. That, of course assumes this works out, but given Oracle's success with ventures like this, it wouldn't seem prudent to bet against it.

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Apr 22, 2009 4:12 AM d461515 d461515 d461515 d461515  says:

"it is believed that a substantial amount of code in Linux actually may belong to Sun and"

Tell me please, who believes this?  Jonathan Schwartz?  Larry Ellison? Anyone?  Anyone at all???

The odds that there is any Sun code in Linux (except code Sun may have contributed and released under the GPL) is slim to none, since the OSes are fundamentally very, very different on the inside.

It might be fair to say, " claims that there is Sun code in Linux," if you name the source.  Otherwise this is just hot air.

Apr 22, 2009 4:21 AM Anonymous Insider Anonymous Insider  says:

"... it is believed that a substantial amount of code in Linux actually may belong to Sun and, with this acquisition, could belong to Oracle. While I don't expect a SCO moment..."

Regardless, the list of individuals that obtained">Solaris 8 source code and methods from late 2000 through 2002 is secure now in Oracle's possession.

An SCO moment could have been prevented iF IBM had acquired Sun. Oracle gets to decide now!

Apr 23, 2009 6:43 AM Anonymous Insider Anonymous Insider  says:

"... it is believed that a substantial amount of code in Linux actually may belong to Sun..."

Kernel areas of great interest:

Task scheduling, virtual memory management (VM), communication device drivers, TCP/IP, storage device drivers, web server, kernel locking, kernel preemptibility (SMP only), buffer cache management, IPC (semaphores, shared memory, message queues, and pipes).

Kernel versions of great interest:

Version 2.4.17 and later, all 2.5 tests, early 2.6 versions.

Apr 23, 2009 12:49 PM Anonymous Insider Anonymous Insider  says:

I found a 1997 conversation among BSD developers with the subject line "SVR4.2MP source code has become available recently?"

A copy of the conversation is found at

Some BSD developers were seriously considering taking a look at SCO or Sun code.

In early 1998, many developers asked SCO for ancient Unix source code licenses. A copy of the petition is found at

That petition was signed among others by BSD developers. Notice some of the e-mail addresses from the petitioners.

Two years later, Sun made it easy for everyone to take a look at Solaris source code and methods, see

By June 2001, more the 2000 individuals got to see the Solaris source code and methods, see

In 2002, some Linux developers were concerned about access to Solaris source code / methods and their contributions, see

The data on who had access to Solaris 8 source code is indeed a valuable!

Apr 24, 2009 2:49 AM Anonymous Insider Anonymous Insider  says: in response to Anonymous Insider

Found another conversation from late 1997 held by BSD developers. Some discussed their desire to add reliable SMP to FreeBSD.

Key Quote: "Luckily we only have to compete against Solaris and UnixWare, and not good SMP systems... Dynix doesn't run on commodity hardware, and neither does Unisys's SVR4.0.2 ES/MP (which did the locking the right way instead of the Solaris/SVR4 way)..."

A copy of the conversation is found at this">link.

Two years later on June 15th and 16th of 2000, BSD developers got together at Yahoo headquarters to discuss SMP:" target="_blank">BSD SMP meeting summary" target="_blank">More" target="_blank">Slides 1 [PDF]" target="_blank">Slides 2 [PDF]" target="_blank">Photos

BSD developers already knew Sun had the intention to release Solaris 8 source code, see">link,">link,">link.

Sun released the Solaris 8 source code on December 6, 2000, see">link

Two years later, BSD developers got together on June 11, 12 of 2002 in a" target="_blank">FreeBSD Developer Summit and Alan Cox, prominent Linux contributor, joined by phone.

I bet there are some people anxiously waiting to see who had access to Solaris 8 source code and methods!

Apr 24, 2009 3:44 AM Anonymous Insider Anonymous Insider  says: in response to Anonymous Insider

Where does Solaris come from?

Sun Microsystems released Solaris 1.0 on September 4, 1991, see">link.

Solaris 1.0 was based on SunOS 4.1.1, see">link.

Solaris 2.0 was released on June 23, 1992, see">link.

Solaris 2.0 and later versions were based on Unix System V Release 4.

See Solaris release history at this">link.

See Unix release history in this">link.

Unix SMP development path is found in this">link.

See BSD release history in this">link.

Apr 24, 2009 4:07 AM Rob Enderle Rob Enderle  says: in response to Anonymous Insider

Appreciate your doing all this work.  Thanks!  I'll use many of these links in future pieces. 

Apr 24, 2009 4:19 AM Anonymous Insider Anonymous Insider  says: in response to Rob Enderle

You're welcome Rob. We must also thank Kenneth R. Saborio in Costa Rica for collecting all the documents.

By the way, it'll be cool if you can get from Sun the list of individuals that had access to Solaris 8 source code.


Apr 26, 2009 12:00 PM Anonymous Insider Anonymous Insider  says:;sid=2009042314142049&title=Some+new+FUD+about+Linux+and+Oracle+is+floated&type=article&order=&hideanonymous=0&pid=752625#c752988">vonbrand wrote:

"Even if most of Linux was written by Sun, it is under GPLv2, so they might own a part of it, but they don't control any of it in any meaningful sense.

"The only way to have some control over an open source project like Linux is to participate very actively in it. And even that would give a very limited control, as the others can just leave your work out if they don't like what you are doing. This was learned by IBM, for one."

Solaris 8 source code wasn't released on a GPLv2 license! (see the release date of Solaris 8 in the following comment)

Also, we're interested only on task scheduling, virtual memory management (VM), communication device drivers, TCP/IP, storage device drivers, web server, kernel locking, kernel preemptibility (SMP only), buffer cache management, IPC (semaphores, shared memory, message queues, and pipes).

May 16, 2009 3:28 AM Anonymous Insider Anonymous Insider  says:
Linus Torvalds said in the film Revolution OS (fast forward to minute 4:23 from Free Software goes Free Enterprise, see links below):

"The initial goal was my very personal goal to be able to run a similar environment on my computer that I had grown up used to it at the university computers and I could not find anything that suited me for that, so having been doing computers for all my life basically at that point I just decide I'll do my own. Most of the inspiration early on came from Sun OS which was what I was using at the university at the time..."

2001-02-01" target="_blank">Linux Comes to the Big Screen" target="_blank">More
2001-02-01">What is Linux? What is Open Source [49MB WMV]
2001-02-01">Free Software goes Free Enterprise [52.8MB WMV]
2001-02-01">Free Software and Netscape's big gamble [40.9MB WMV]
2001-02-01">SVLUG, BALUG, LALUG, Linux User Groups [25.7MB WMV]
2001-02-01">The Revolution goes Prime Time [47.7MB WMV]

Note: a discussion is taking place at the">Yahoo SCO finance board. This comment helps enhance some of my comments in that board. Thank you. Reply

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