Is Oracle building its own software stack?

If you spend much time in a CIO or CTO's office, you'll have heard the phrase "software stack" a million times. It usually means a suite of operating system, utilities, and applications designed to deliver various services. For example, the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl/PHP/Python) stack is what lies behind many Web sites, and the combination of Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Exchange, Windows 7 and Outlook is what powers many office e-mail systems.

I begin to wonder if Oracle is beginning to build its own stack. What brings this to mind is the announcement by Edward Screven, chief corporate architect, that Oracle wants to give companies access to a world where data centers have become "service centers."

Oracle has long had many of the parts: an operating system, Unbreakable Linux, and now Solaris; a DBMS, of course; and with the acquisition of Sun, Java and all the middleware you could ever want.

That sure sounds like a cloud plan to me. Screven also said that customers would get a taste of this with the forthcoming beta release of OracleVM 3.0. This is Oracle's enterprise VM (virtual machine), which is based on the open-source Xen VM hypervisor.

It seems Oracle plans on layering its clustering technologies; Oracle Enterprise Manager, its virtualization manger; and its jRockit Java virtualization implementation on top of OracleVM. The bottom part of this stack would be Unbreakable Linux.The result would be a pure Oracle cloud/VM server application stack.

If I were VMware or Microsoft, I'd be worried. VMware, in particular, already faced enough threats with Red Hat and KVM on one side and Microsoft on the other with Hyper-V without adding Oracle to its enemies list.

Actually, I think anyone in the enterprise software business should be watching Oracle even more closely than they have before. Larry Ellison is doing more than feeling feisty and suing Google and dumping OpenSolaris. I think he has even bigger plans in mind -- hear that VMware, Microsoft, and, yes, even IBM.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon