Ellison Ain’t No Sun King

  1. Introducing Gestalt IT Industry Confidential
  2. What Are HP and Hurd Up To?
  3. What’s Keeping Me Up At Night
  4. The Dell Opportunity
  5. A Personal Word From Plain Old Joe
  6. Ellison Ain’t No Sun King

That arrogant Larry Ellison has just become the Sun king. We knew it was going to happen and now Oracle is our newest competitor. We need to respond appropriately to this. We’ve been having a tussle with Oracle over running RAC under VMware and Oracle doesn’t like its customers doing this because, as we’ve known all along, it wants to control everything so it can strip the cost out and keep pricing for its core apps high.

Now it can ship Solaris/SPARC/Sun Storage stacks underneath its database and other middleware and use Solaris virtualization features. Where does that leave us, wanting as we do to sell storage and our software into Oracle shops?

I’ve had an exec group working on this for some months and I’m gonna let you in on our game plan.

For those Oracle shops that run Oracle software on third-party servers, it’s the same story as now, for now. We pich the UCS vBlocks against the servers there and our Symmetrix/CLARiiON/Celerra against the storage alternatives there; basically no change.

In the longer term, though, we have to weaken Oracle in those accounts because Ellison’s crew will be selling the integrated Oracle stack story, what I call blowing Sun shine up their asses. That cuts us out, it’s a door-closer. The first way we counter this is to start making friends with SAP and Microsoft SQL. We’ll look for joint-selling type deals because we now have a shared enemy so we better be friends, right? This is my kind of fun.

The second way is for us to extend vBlocks up the stack. Customers are going to want integrated stacks from their applications right through to their disk spindles and flash drives. Larry may be a weird west coast cookie with a taste for things outside normal family life but he’s no flake when it comes to business. He’s right on the nail over this integrated stack thing. We’re going to have to talk to people like SAP and SQL and Terradata and Netezza and say, let’s build our own integrated app stack, let’s build a SAP vBlock, a SQL vBlock, whatever. Integrate your software onto our vBlock hardware and let’s bite Larry in the ass.

The third thing we have to do is push our aquisition horizons up a bit more. Oracle buys Sun and heads our way. Okay Larry, you want a fight, you got a fight. Let’s buy into his middleware market core, let’s stick a stake right in his heartland. Could we buy SAP? Would this be a better idea than buying Dell? I’m having our acquisitions team look around Larry’s software territory and spy out the possibilities.

Where Larry sells Sun storage separately, into Oracle shops using third-party servers and into non-Oracle shops if that’s what he’s going to do, then we should do well. The 7000 is obviously not mission-critical and not tested for that kind of work in enterprise data centers. It was put together by too-clever Sun engineers with open source software, so how can you rely on it? That systems organization at Sun was run by a guy that couldn’t comb his hair and he reported to a guy with a pony-tail. These people were flakes, they still are flakes, and you can’t trust them or their products.

Now joke time; the mid-range and low-end Sun storage arrays are not even on the same planet as CLARiiON and Celerra. We’ve been busting their chops and will continue doing that. The hybrid storage servers, Thumper or whatever the thing is called, is probably doomed but I’m having a team look over the possibility of putting a few UCS blades alongside bladed CLARiiON stores into an appliance and then we’ve got a Thumper-buster if we need one.

What about the StorageTek tapes? Two words: Data and Domain. If that’s not enough we can do a deal with Spectra, as Belluzzo isn’t talking to us anymore. That’ll give us a big enough tape library until Atmos clouds can do the business.

Larry E is just a wildly successful big mouth who’s going to over-reach himself. His golden goose is his software profitability through commoditizing everything else. We’re going to chip away at that by doing deals with SAP and the others and cut this over-grown Silicon Valley playboy down to size. He’s disrespectful but we can’t yet make him an offer he can’t refuse. Trust me, we’re going to be working on it, and Larry’s going to regret the day that he ever let McNealy soft soap him.

About the author

Don Joey

"Don Joey" is the imagined CEO of a well-known company that ain't just about storage, got it?


  • Haha well if this was really Tucci it wouldn't be all that independent. But considering that it ain't him, I guess we can still call it independent.

    Or maybe you were objecting to “best”? Well I suppose you have a point there! Hahahaha

  • Haha well if this was really Tucci it wouldn't be all that independent. But considering that it ain't him, I guess we can still call it independent.

    Or maybe you were objecting to “best”? Well I suppose you have a point there! Hahahaha

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