Sun, Oracle VARs Differ Over Future Of Sun Hardware

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Legacy Sun solution providers are more and more likely to be bringing non-Sun hardware to their customer base in the wake of Oracle's acquisition of Sun.

Meanwhile, legacy Oracle solution providers who have not traditionally had a hardware practice are considering adding Sun hardware to their product line cards.

Oracle in January closed its $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun.

The move by legacy Sun solution providers to increasingly embrace servers and storage from competing vendors such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Hitachi Data Systems comes at a time when Oracle is trying to convince partners and customers to consider implementing integrated software-hardware solutions.

At the same, customers are showing concern about whether to continue with the Sun platform into the future.

In a research paper dated June 29, analyst firm Gartner said that a majority of its clients would favor the Solaris operating system on x86-based servers if Oracle would support that OS on non-Sun hardware.

That support is already happening, with Oracle last week saying it signed deals with HP and Dell to sell and support Oracle's Solaris, Linux, and virtualization platforms on their x86-based servers

Gartner also reported that it expects revenue from the Sun SPARC servers to continue to fall compared to sales of similar servers from IBM and HP, and that business users feel the combined Oracle-Sun sales force has been ineffective in selling servers.

That concern is already evident in overall server sales where, despite a strong first-quarter 2010 recovery in server revenue and shipments over the same period of 2009, Oracle is the only one of the top five vendors to show a decline.

And that decline is a major one, according to Gartner. Oracle's total server shipments, which is based Sun's product line, fell 29.5 percent in the first quarter of 2010 compared to 2009, while server revenue for the company dove 38.7 percent during the same period.

Oracle's storage hardware situation is almost as dire as its server business. IDC estimated that the total storage business in revenue terms fell 8.6 percent in 2009 compared to 2008. But of the top eight vendors, Oracle's storage business fell the most, by 29.4 percent in 2009 over 2008.


Next: Legacy Sun Partner Adopting Non-Sun Hardware

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