Monday, October 18, 2010

Red vs Blue

A couple of days ago, I had the privilege to listen to a webcast by Hasan Rizvi, Senior Vice President for Oracle Fusion Middleware and Java Product.
Hasan spoke about the new Oracle Exalogic product, and about how this new product is going to revolutionize the datacenter and provide cloud computing capabilities.

Unfortunately Mr. Rizvi's talk was not about cloud computing, public or private. Neither it was about datacenters. All I could see was a sniper rifle targeting IBM's mainframe business.

Oracle and IBM have a long lasting relationship, framed by both intense rivalry and business cooperation. Although they competed in the database market, an Oracle database running on AIX was a favorite enterprise configuration. This stable state of affairs was not heavily disturbed when Oracle started foraging into the enterprise integration business. It's SOA family of products, running off the Oracle Application Server, were mostly used by heavily committed Oracle shops, and were no match for the stability, configurability and performance offered by IBM's WebSphere brand and the other leaders of the pack.

All of this changed since 2007, with the acquisitions of BEA and Sun.
BEA's dowry included the WebLogic server, vastly superior to Oracle's OAS, and the AquaLogic suite, which was a better line than Oracle's own. Both lines offer real competition to the WebSphere brand. BEA's legacy also included Jrockit and Tuxedo.

Tuxedo deserves a special consideration: It is used to offload applications from IBM's mainframe into distributed systems, and combined with Oracle's aggressive marketing organization it may now pose a real threat to IBM mainframe business.
However, not all mainframe shops run CICS. Many modern mainframe workloads are today based on Java, specifically on the WebSphere Application Server for the z/os. Until now, there was no real substitute for the benefits of MIPS, integration and security of WebSphere based Java on z/os.

And then came Sun... With the merging of Sun, Oracle now has full control over Java, and a private line of servers and storage. This doesn't spell like good news for IBM, that is heavily invested in Java based technologies, and is a major storage vendor.
It all culminated in the aforementioned Exalogic webcast. All of the comparisons, benchmarks and jargon used, were aimed at either current IBM mainframe users or mainframe wannabes who want to have the power of a mainframe on distributed systems. Even the price/performance table on slide 21 compares Exalogic with IBM's Power 795 server. Who else is likely to dole out $1,075,000 for a piece of hardware?

And what did IBM do? It ditched its support of the unassociated Java development in the Apache Harmony project, and went into the Java bed with Oracle.

See the recorded webcast and the slides here:

To download only the slides use this link

IBM gives up on Apache backed Java and joins Oracle

Oracle sues Google over Java standards

No comments:

Post a Comment