Microsoft Partners See Threats In Oracle-Sun Deal

For example, Oracle's newly acquired ability to build turnkey appliances shouldn't be underestimated, according to Andrew Brust, chief of new technology at New York-based IT consultancy twentysix New York.

"Since [Oracle] now owns server and OS products, in addition to the leading relational database, they have what they need to sell a massively scalable data warehouse in a box," Brust said in a blog post earlier this week.

Brust points to Microsoft's acquisition last September of DATAllegro, an Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based purveyor of data warehousing technology, as evidence that Microsoft has been heading in the same direction. But Microsoft will have to partner with Hewlett-Packard and Dell to get appliances built, while Oracle can now use SPARC and Solaris to do it themselves, he said.

Phil Aldrich, area practice director of Microsoft Solutions for Dimension Data Americas, believes Oracle's acquisition of Sun will have the biggest direct impact on Microsoft's SQL Server business.

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"In the past, Oracle attempted to build an appliance-based database, but was ultimately unsuccessful," Aldrich said. "But with Sun's hardware, Oracle will have a much easier time bundling hardware with database software."

By owning MySQL, Oracle can help control the continued loss of market share from its primary database offering, notes Tim Huckaby, CEO of InterKnowlogy, a Microsoft Gold partner in Carlsbad, Calif.

"SQL Server is an awesome, valuable product for Microsoft, but MySQL is essentially free, and it's hard to complete on the SMS&P [Small to Midmarket Solutions and Partners] side with something free that actually works," Huckaby said.

"There's certainly a lot of MySQL out there," said George Brown, CEO of Database Solutions, a Cherry Hill, N.J.-based solution provider. "Oracle will probably use it as a low-cost entry point for customers, and then drive them to the regular Oracle database."