28 August 2009

Larry, Darryl, or Darryl

Remember Larry, Darryl, and that other brother Darryl? The question, from our point of view, is: are we looking at Larry or one of the Darryl's? The question comes up again in an article in Fortune yesterday. The article argues that this is Darryl (one of them, anyway) we're dealing with, the one who cares only about software.

What's interesting is that among the commenters (by my count, the heavy majority agreeing with my thesis that Sun's value is the hardware business) is this link. In sum, Larry is calling IBM/DB2 out into the street for a gunfight. Which is the sheriff and which the bad guy?? Depends on which coast you live, I guess.

Larry has known for a long time that Oracle is faster than DB2, in the arenas he cares about. And that it is better adapted to the web world.

As I've said a few times: Larry has always wanted to bury the 370. With Sun's hardware business, he now has the equivalent of IBM's infrastructure. They've had that infrastructure, in one form or another, since the mid 1950's when Univac took months to decide on a name for their machine. That infrastructure has always been based on CPU's, files, and COBOL (on the mainframe, DB2 is just a veil over VSAM, which is one reason Oracle is a dog there; the notion that the 360 could do the full circle of computing from scientific to business didn't last very long ending with an early 370 one-off - it's a COBOL machine). Larry now has an infrastructure based on CPU's, a database, and java. IBM is facing the first threat to its mainframe cash cow, ever. Armonk, you have a problem.

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