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Oracle, Sun To Announce Joint Hardware Product

Larry Ellison, Oracle CEO, is slated to unveil "the world's first OLTP database machine with Sun FlashFire technology" on Tuesday.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is expected to announce a piece of hardware coming out under Oracle's Exadata brand at a joint press conference with Sun Microsystems Tuesday.

The joint press conference is unusual in that Oracle is still at a preliminary stage of acquiring Sun. Companies usually avoid talking about how they will change their product lines or the nature of future products until mergers are completed. Talking too much sometimes brings unwanted attention from the Securities Exchange Commission, which is wary of actions that may influence the value of stock price.

Ellison is slated to "unveil an innovative new product, the world's first OLTP database machine with Sun FlashFire technology" in a Webcast Tuesday, according to the invitation sent to members of the press. A picture of an Exadata server with a Sun/Oracle branding label on it was included.

At Oracle Open World a year ago, Ellison introduced the first Exabyte machine, a joint HP/Oracle database hardware for data warehousing purposes. Sun's John Fowler, VP of server hardware, is scheduled to appear with Ellison.

The Sun board of directors approved the $7.4 billion deal on July 17th, and the U.S. Justice Department signed off on Aug. 20th. But the European Commission's administrative arm launched a second inquiry into the proposed terms on Sept. 3, with one commissioner citing concerns about the largest commercial database vendor acquiring the leading open source database, MySQL. But Ellison is not know for his patience with rule setters and boundary drawers. He appears poised to launch an online transaction processing machine running on a Sun FlashFire server with the Oracle database system built in.

The two companies may have decided, in the face of a 4- to 5-month delay in their planned merger, to proceed as independent companies. The upcoming OLTP server is being assembled from parts that existed prior to April's announcement that Oracle planned to acquired Sun.

Oracle last week ran an ad in some editions of the Wall Street Journal, promising users of Sun's Sparc servers that Oracle "plans to spend more money developing Sparc than Sun does now." It added that one goal of the merger is to "dramatically improve Sun hardware performance by tightly integrating Oracle software" with it. Prospective attendees to the upcoming Oracle Open World have been teased to come to the San Francisco show Oct. 11-15 by advertising that says Oracle will provide "proof" at the show, that Sun hardware will run faster, once Sun is part of Oracle.


InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on Sun's future under Oracle. Download the report here (registration required).

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