REDWOOD CITY, Calif.-Oracle CEO and co-founder Larry Ellison took turns discounting rumors, chiding IBM, and extolling the speed and scalability of combined Oracle-Sun data center products Jan. 27 before a packed auditorium here on the bayside campus of the world's second-largest software maker.
Actually, Oracle from today on will need to be described as a full-service IT products and services provider, along the same lines as IBM and Hewlett-Packard.
The $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems, a nine-month-long legal headache for Oracle that ended earlier in the day, now qualifies Oracle to make a complete change in its business model.
Ellison addressed a crowd of about 500 analysts, media members and assorted guests at the event for about an hour. For simplicity's sake, here are some Ellison quotes.
On a Jan. 13 advisory to clients by UBS tech analyst Brent Thill saying Oracle would likely lay off about half of Sun's 27,600 employees: "Some very bad stories in the press recently reported that we were going to do a massive layoff after the acquisition. That story is completely false. We are not planning such layoffs. Those who wrote this should be ashamed of themselves. Sun went through enough angst without having to deal with this. The truth is, we are going to hire about 2,000 new people to beef up the Sun businesses-about twice as many as we will let go."
On how Oracle's enterprise database competes directly with IBM's DB2: "IBM BD2 is good on mainframes, the best in the world. Oracle is good on everything else-x86 and all others. It's too bad DB2 can't run on modern machines. Can't scale either-the most [instances] you can have of DB2 is one. I can't understand why IBM has never come out with a database machine. DB2 doesn't cluster, doesn't scale, nothing. You cannot run an OLTP [online transaction processing] application on DB2, because it doesn't scale."
On Oracle's new stewardship of the open-source MySQL database and its international community: "MySQL is a good database, but we will make it better. We have the money to invest in its continued development, and we will retain its sales and development teams."
Oracle eventually will bake features like encryption and compression "right into the silicon" with Sun's SPARC processor IP in hand, Ellison said. "By having all the pieces of the stack, from the silicon right up to the application, we'll be much faster, more fault-tolerant, more cost-effective, much more secure and much easier to use than we ever could have demonstrated by simply delivering a database."
On product integration: "Because everything we do-databases, middleware, applications-runs on Java, we instantly have the best-integrated software stack in the world, because it's all under one roof, it's complete and it all works together. It's the fastest database stack in the world-benchmarks have proved it. Here's a real-world recent example: A Teradata/Netezza deployment recently took 30 hours to do a particular project. Our stack did the exact same job in 4 hours. Who does SAP use for their database? Oracle. Who does iTunes use? Oracle."
On how to make money with Java, something Sun wasn't able to do very well: "We're not that concerned about making money on Java itself. We're concerned with making money on our products that run on Java. We know how to do that very well, and have been doing it for a long, long time. In fact, we will focus on growing our Java-related businesses."
On cloud computing: "That name drives me crazy. The name is the only thing new about it; the rest of it has been around forever. It's just computers connected to the Internet. We've had this for years. Is Hotmail cloud computing? Yes. Is Amazon S3 cloud computing? Yes. Is iTunes cloud computing? Yes. What's the big deal? Private cloud is computing within your own data center, a public cloud is something you subscribe to. That kind of computing goes back to like World War II."
On what he says to potential customers who are being wooed by IBM and HP, competitors that often pointed out that no one really knew if Sun was going to continue in the business after losing billions of dollars in the last 10 years: "The uncertainty is now over."
On whether Oracle will ever get into consumer products: "We're not good at doing 100 different things. We want to do a small number of things well. I don't see Oracle ever competing with Apple or Google in phones, for example."
When urged by a Golden State Warriors fan to buy the floundering NBA team: "I've been trying, I've been trying."
For more detail on how Oracle plans to make use of Sun in the new combined company, click here.