Oracles Linux Lead and
Project Fusion"> But at this point, Oracle has a growing lead over IBM in this subsection of the market, with growth of 155 percent, according to Gartner. The Stinger database was optimized for the Linux 2.6 kernel. Whats the uptake been in the Linux market, and will Stinger help IBM in this market section? When you look at the whole size of the database market, what was published was that Oracle had about $600 million in [Linux] revenue. Look at what Oracles been running, and youll see they were pushing their Unix customers to Linux.These were not new customers; they were Oracle Unix customers. Oracle was moving them to Linux, and selling RAC [Real Application Clusters] on top of the Oracle database. Thats where the revenue was coming from, and thats where the tremendous growth came from. At the same time, Oracle had a decline in Unix [revenues] and growth in Linux. So what they did was displace some Unix with Linux, and sold RAC along the way. Read details here about how integration between Oracle and IBM products may shake up the applications market. And they ran that play very successfully. What you saw for a year was double-digit database growth. It just wrapped around, and they just announced earnings a few weeks ago for the quarter, and database business slowed. You say, What happened there? Id say their wraparound play has wrapped around. They sold their RAC, they moved their base, and now they have to grow the old-fashioned way and get new customers, instead of leveraging their incumbent Unix base to grow on Linux. For IBM, we havent had the enormous Unix base Oracle has had. Any new sale on Linux is a new customer for us. We grew at double-digit growth last year. On Linux. For us, any customer is a new customer. Let me ask you about the apparent Oracle-IBM rapprochement, with Oracle shifting to this new stance of supporting WebSphere in Project Fusion as they tie together all the technologies theyve acquired this year. Is that significant, or is it marketing hyperbole? Whats happened here is Oracles customers, their application customers, are saying Were committed to WebSphere. Were committed to WebSphere as our middleware platform. And Oracle has come to the realization that an application strategy that doesnt have strong support for WebSphere isnt going to work. Its a loser. Customers have demanded that. Customers have voted. Now Oracle, if theyre serious about the applications business, which they must be seeing as how they spent billions on it, to meet customer requirements, are going to have to do a very big job of supporting WebSphere, because that is the infrastructure. Theyre hearing also on the database side that DB2 is a standardized platform for them, a standard part of the infrastructure, and youre starting to hear Oracle saying, We will continue to support DB2 with their Siebel and PeopleSoft and JD Edwards acquisitions, and we may support DB2 with Fusion as well. As the market votes, as the customer votes, Oracle is noting more and more how prevalent WebSphere is. Looking back, what are you really proud of? The Informix acquisition? The self-managing database? Thats a tough question over a 30-year period. The thing, the most sustaining achievement, is the team you leave behind. Its the people. The people really make this business what it is. When I look at it I look at the technical team, the sales team, the executive team that Im leaving behind that will carry this on, not only on behalf of IBM but on behalf of customers and partners. Thats truly the legacy: Can what youve built sustain itself? Im very proud of the team, the organization, Im proud of the business weve built together. Weve taken it from a business of less than $1 billion to a multibillion-dollar business. Weve significantly increased the size of the team. And moving from a database technology to where we are today with information integration, content management, and master data management, to all the acquisitions weve done, and our ability to integrate all the companies weve acquired through the years. Thats tough from many perspectives: from people coming in, to people who were here, who continue to embrace new teammates, new colleagues. For me its about the people who are here and their support and the culture of dedication. That Im the most proud of. And that does result in good business. At the end of the day, thats what its about. Thats what it is. And the relationships Ive been able to build with customers and with partners. At the end of the day people buy and do business with people. Transactions are done between people. You want particularly in an area like database technology, these are bet-your-business decisions in a lot of cases. And you want to do business with people you can count on, and whom you can trust and who will be there and who are dedicated to your success. Everybody can say that, but not everybody can deliver. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.