Back to the Future

Bob Evans provides an in depth review of Oracle’s direction for Sun hardware, the Oracle stacks, and Oracle applications in his InformationWeek (8/9/10) GlobalCIO article “Larry Ellison Rocks the Tech World”. The key graf is a quote from Oracle VP John Fowler:

The proposition to the customer is very straightforward: Capital acquisition isn’t always a very substantial portion of the budget. Rather, what’s substantial is the operational cost. So if I can say, “I can stand up your new system in a month instead of six months,” then boom! – big budget savings.

Thus Oracle’s stunning future which rocks the tech world is to copy the IBM i (formerly known as the AS/400) – a fully integrated hardware / software stack introduced in the 1980s and still vibrant today. That is not to say that Oracle’s announcement is a bad thing. John Fowler is absolutely correct about the savings of an integrated application system – IBM i customers continue to reap these savings after realizing them yearly for over two decades. The IBM i exists today, Oracle’s delivery on the future remains to be seen.

In the same issue of InformationWeek, Charles Babcock highlights Zend Technologies new “unlimited user” subscription providing unlimited server instances of the Zend PHP product and unlimited end users for a fixed annual subscription. ISVs typically offered “enterprise licenses” in the 1980s with the same features before detouring into miasma of user-based licenses in the 1990s. This is a big plus for Zend’s customers – no more user counts, user audits, or emergency needs to purchase more seats. Zend’s product already exists so this is pure paperwork and cost reduction.

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