Oracle claims the company isn’t closing the Santa Clara facility with this reduction in force. Instead, “Oracle is refocusing its Hardware Systems business, and for that reason, has decided to lay off certain of its employees in the Hardware Systems Division.”
Those hardware employees appear to have been Oracle’s failing SPARC hardware department staffers. In mid 2016, Oracle claimed its new SPARC S7 processor would be offered on Oracle Cloud. The cloud is Oracle’s new revenue hope since its new software licensing revenue plummeted by 20 percent in its last quarter ended December 15. At the same time, Oracle’s hardware revenue had fallen 13 percent.
Oracle announced that it’s putting OpenStack into Solaris, which is good fun. James Niccolai asked for my thoughts on the topic for his story. I hadn’t been briefed, so it was just speculation, but here’s the full text of what I sent over:
Solaris was always – and no doubt still is – technically advanced. For example, the zfs filesystem, dtrace, and zones were always tasty looking for Linux folks. At the end of the day, Solaris is a rock-solid UNIX system that got run over by Linux becoming equally rock solid: but Solaris is still what it’s always been, a solid operating system. Layering OpenStack over Solaris is a good step for Oracle who’s always been dodgy all the way up to Larry on cloud. I’m eager to see how the OpenStack community reacts to this – it’ll be all over the map (the first salvo will be to question Oracle’s genuineness, followed by “yeah, but how much will be open source?”), Oracle having a mixed reputation in the open source world, unfortunately. To pick one technology of interest: Docker is of course a darling of the cloud world for the last 6-7 months. Docker is built on Linux containers, which are painfully similar to Solaris zones. And since Docker is OpenStack…you can start to imagine that you’d be able to do Docker/container magic with Linux containers and/or Solaris zones. Then there’s zfs which has all sorts of file system magic: seeing how that gets applied to the OpenStack world will be interesting.
Finally, Oracle’s database and ERP portfolio is widely used in IT departments now. If Oracle gets to the point where you can run its database and ERP apps on OpenStack (even if it’s Oracle “proprietary” version vs. the Red Herring of “OpenStack mainline”) then that’s a big deal for the OpenStack world.