A week after the European Commission gave its blessing to Oracle's $7.4 billion bid to buy Sun, IBM is adding new software to its program designed to lure Sun customers to IBM hardware. The new software is designed to make it easier for Sun users to make the migration to IBM. IBM says that in 2009, almost 550 Sun customers and more than 230 HP users made the switch to IBM.
IBM is stepping up its push to lure Sun Microsystems customers in the wake of Oracle getting the go-ahead
to buy the troubled technology vendor.
IBM officials announced Jan. 26 that they are adding new software to
their Migration Factory portfolio that will make it easy for businesses
to move their workloads off of Sun technology and onto IBM hardware.
The new software automates many of the necessary tasks for making
the move from Sun to IBM, including automatically discovering and
identifying Sun assets, provisioning the new IBM environment and
streamlining workload transitions.
The goal is to ease and speed up the migration from Sun's Solaris
operating system to Linux or IBM's AIX Unix variant, as well as the
movement of middleware and applications onto IBM hardware, according to
Big Blue officials.
OEMs for years have had programs in place that are designed to steal
customers from competitors. For example, IBM's Migration Factory has
been in place for four years, and officials are boasting that almost
2,200 Sun and Hewlett-Packard server and storage customers have moved
onto IBM hardware. For 2009, almost 550 Sun customers and more than 230
from HP have migrated to IBM servers-either its Power Systems, System x
or System z mainframes-IBM officials said.
However, Oracle's announcement last year that it intended to buy Sun
for $7.4 billion spurred Sun rivals-IBM and HP, in particular-to step
up efforts to lure Sun customers onto their respective technologies.
HP on July 16-the same day Sun shareholders voted to OK the Oracle deal-announced its Sun Complete Care program
a bundle of services, support programs and financial incentives
designed to lure Sun customers who might have had concerns about the
future of their Sun hardware products.
At the same time, HP has been working to pick off IBM mainframe users
, promising them high performance at better prices on HP's Itanium-based Integrity systems or on the x86 ProLiant servers.
However, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and other company officials have said they intend to keep Sun's hardware business
and to devote more people to selling and servicing the SPARC/Solaris
systems than Sun has had. Oracle went so far as to run full-page
newspaper advertisements in September to outline their intentions to
challenge IBM as a full-service technology vendor.
Oracle also will become a challenger to Cisco Systems, IBM, HP and Dell in the burgeoning converged data center space.
Oracle's plan is to cede the high-volume, low-margin
of the service market to the likes of HP and Dell, and focus more on
the high-end space, which has fewer sales but higher prices.
Oracle officials are scheduled to further outline their plans for
Sun's technology during a Webcast Jan. 27. That will come a week after
European antitrust regulators OK'd the deal following more than a
five-month investigation that focused on the impact of Oracle acquiring
the MySQL database technology.