Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, speaking at a large Churchill Club gathering in San Jose, Calif., Sept. 21, emphasized several times the importance of Sun Microsystems' storage franchise to the overall acquisition, which will total about $7.4 billion -- give or take a few hundred thousand or so.
"Oracle will become a storage, software and systems company," Ellison said, specifically mentioning "storage" first. Obviously, Oracle has built its reputation on 32 years of delivering first-class enterprise database software, so that is not going to be displaced as its frontline identity.
But storage is where Ellison & Co. apparently see Oracle moving into new markets to keep the company growing. The Station wrote about this on the day the acquisition was announced, back on April 20, and the thought was backed up by Forrester analyst John Rymer. "Oracle now will be able to provide database servers and storage systems, which will be additional revenue streams for them," he reasoned.
Ellison sounded legitimately excited when discussing storage at the Churchill Club event.
"Sun has great open storage systems. It has the best archival tape systems around [in the StorageTek product line]," Ellison said. "The amount of the world's data continues to grow and isn't going to slow down anytime soon. We see great opportunities in that sector, and we certainly will have the technology to sell into it with Sun.
"We have no interest in the hardware business," Ellison said. "We have a deep interest in the systems business. Great systems vendors ship a hardware-software combination that allows them to be instrumental in the acceleration of the Internet.
"We think that by providing our software with hardware ... we can deliver systems that can be the backbone of most enterprises around the world. It's really a combination of the two."