Oracle's surprise announcement today that it will buy Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion is a good news/bad news scenario for the Wall Street technologists who have Sun servers in their data centers, according to Guillermo Kopp, Executive Director at TowerGroup.
"The good news is, Sun has found a home," he says. "The bad news is that's it's not necessarily the best place for Sun's hardware business."
Oracle is a software company with strengths in middleware such as the BEA technology it acquired and the Fusion platform, Kopp notes. Sun's major assets are Java and Solaris. "The fit is good from a Java perspective and it's okay from a Solaris perspective," he says. He envisions Sun's open software and Oracle's Fusion platform making a strong combination.
On the hardware side, "there's no real fit," Kopp says. Oracle may wish to develop a database appliance, but Kopp calls that a long shot. More likely, Oracle will spin off Sun's hardware business.
One bright spot for the merger, Kopp believes, could be cloud computing. "For cloud computing, this could be a fantastic universe," he says. "If you combine the [two companies'] storage, open systems, simple databases, integration, access to top of the line application suites and modularity, that's cloud computing." Some Oracle applications may be delivered into the cloud as software as a service, using some of Sun's tools.