Oracle announced today that they are buying up Sun, just weeks after the Sun/IBM deal fell through. While I was cheering on the IBM deal, I can’t say I’m very happy about Sun being bought up by Oracle.
Unlike IBM, Oracle has no history of embracing open source. Sure, one can argue that because Solaris, Java, and MySQL are open source, Oracle doesn’t really hold all the leverage with Sun’s open source products. One of the main tenants of the open source model is that anyone can take the existing code, and start their own version. However; in the case of Solaris, Java, and MySQL it would be very difficult to have a viable fork that advanced at their previous rate of development.
From a hardware perspective, it will be interesting to see what Oracle does with Sun’s products. Do they put more money in high-end hardware? Do they sell off most of their hardware business? Oracle wanted to get in the hardware business, but do they really want all of Sun’s baggage?
With the Sun acquisition, Oracle will realize their dream of selling the whole application stack. (hardware, OS, Language, Database) Given Oracle’s track record, why would anyone want to go that route? Sure, Oracle will do some tricks to speed up things, but at what cost? Your locking the entire application stack to one vendor. Is that really worth it?
Its a great move for Oracle, but Sun and especially MySQL customers have to be really nervous. If I worked for Sun, I would be busy updating the resume tonight. One thing is for sure, Postgres is going to get a big boost.