Oracle's integration of Sun Microsystem's product suite will offer medium- to large-size Australian organisations with a highly attractive vertically integrated solution, according to IBRS advisor Dr Kevin McIsaac.
This week, Oracle outlined its intentions for a raft of Sun's technologies in a new roadmap after receiving approval from the EU for the multi-billion dollar acquisition.
IBRS' McIsaac was one of a dozen analysts from around the world invited to the roadmap announcement in the US this week.
"The Oracle acquisition of Sun is, in the infrastructure, servers, storage space, probably the most significant thing to happen in the last 10 years," McIsaac said. "It is probably the most significant thing since VMware got going."
To outline his argument, McIsaac points to the vendor's new breadth of potentially integrated offerings from the servers and storage, to the middleware and right up to the applications.
In particular he highlighted Oracle's Exadata Storage Servers as a portend of things to come.
"Oracle's vision is to build a fully integrated end-to-end solution starting at the storage and servers, going right though the database in the middle and then the applications," he said.
Instead of the multilayer approach dominant in the industry in recent times where organisations have different vendors for different aspects of their architecture – one for storage, one for severs, one for the database, etc – McIsaac argues there will be many that see the new Oracle approach appealing for its simplicity in terms of integration.
"You get to a point where the innovation rate slows and the commoditisation means the end user, a systems integrator, putting it all together becomes the major challenge," he said. "We've reached that stage. Storage is quite a commodity, Intel servers are a commodity, and operating systems – Windows and Linux – are very high volume. In all those layers there is not a lot of value now in selecting best of breed at each layer. So what you start to see is vertical stacks being built. Oracle have done theirs; they did it in the database and applications first and now they are doing it with the hardware as well – great idea."
Compared to its competitors' offerings - IBM, HP, and Dell to name a few – the new Oracle approach is the most complete and integrated, McIsaac claimed.
And it will be an approach targeted at a sweet spot in the Australian landscape – the mid-size enterprise market.
"It will be in shops where you have one guy running severs and storage, has a bit of an Oracle database and is really stretched," McIsaac forecast. "They just want to be able to get something in there that works and is easy to do."
This, he says, will happen over the next 12 to 24 months.
IDC analyst, Matt Oostveen, however, said in spite of the flurry of announcements made there were still many unknowns regarding Oracle's acquisition of Sun.
"After the announcements it is looking increasingly likely we will see Oracle software appliances in the market. If this is the case, then Oracle has cleverly devised a method for reducing the overall cost of owning applications or a high end database by slashing the amount of services required to implement, administer and manage the appliance while simultaneously maintaining Oracle revenue," he said.