Talking at Oracle OpenWorld, John Fowler, executive vice president of systems was in the somewhat embarrassing position of having to “clarify” comments his boss made about Oracle’s x86-based server business.
Instead Ellison talked up Oracle’s focus on “engineered systems,” which combine Sun hardware with Oracle software, and high-performance servers such as the recently announced SPARC SuperCluster. He said Oracle is getting out of the x86-based commodity server business dominated by Dell, Hewlett-Packard and IBM.
Ellison ranted that he did not don’t make any money selling those things. Sun sold that stuff and he was phasing out that business.
Ellison’s statements got people a little hot under the collar. A number of Oracle Sun servers are based on Intel technology including its recently unveiled Oracle Database Appliance.
According to PC World, Fowler said that Oracle will continue to build server technology using all the latest Intel processors.
Fowler said Ellison was referring only to the company’s plans to phase out sales of commodity servers.
Oracle had an enormous amount of activities with Intel in the software stack, from operating systems and database software to middleware and applications.
Intel was a key building block for building a full family of systems as it built engineered systems, as well as standalone products, he said.
What Larry was trying to say was that Oracle is not focused on the large-scale, commodity x86 server business running Windows in places where Oracle can’t add value.
Oracle thinks there is only value in enterprise computing built around a higher-level software stack, mission-critical reliability and scale. Of course it is handy if your boss is a little more diplomatic, but you would not work for Ellison if you wanted that.