Larry Ellison Discusses Purpose of Sun HW, mentions Energy Efficiency

Reuters has an interview with Larry Ellison regarding plan’s for Sun.

Q. Why does Oracle, a company that prides itself on high
margins, want to get into the low-margin hardware business? Are
you going to exit the hardware business?

 A. No, we are definitely not going to exit the hardware

business. While most hardware businesses are low-margin,

companies like Apple and Cisco enjoy very high-margins because

they do a good job of designing their hardware and software to

work together. If a company designs both hardware and software,

it can build much better systems than if they only design the

software. That's why Apple's iPhone is so much better than

Microsoft phones.

Here are the two questions that mention energy efficiency.

 Q. Oracle's done integrated hardware and software design
with the Exadata database machine. But Exadata uses standard
Intel chips. Are you going to discontinue Sun's SPARC chip?

 A. No. Once we own Sun we're going to increase the

investment in SPARC. We think designing our own chips is very,

very important. Even Apple is designing its own chips these

days. Right now, SPARC chips do some things better than Intel

chips and vice-versa. For example, SPARC is much more energy

efficient than Intel while delivering the same performance on a

per socket basis. This is not just a green issue, it's an

economic issue. Today, database centers are paying as much for

electricity to run their computers as they pay to buy their

computers. SPARC machines are much less expensive to run than

Intel machines.

Q. Is your plan to use SPARC to compete by lowering a data

center's electricity bills?

A. No. Our primary reason for designing our own chips is to

build computers with the very best performance, reliability and

security available in the market. Some system features work

much better if they are implemented in silicon rather than

software. Once we own Sun, we'll be able to plan and synchronize

new features from silicon to software, just like IBM and the

other big system suppliers. We want to work with Fujitsu to

design advanced features into the SPARC microprocessor aimed at

improving Oracle database performance. In my opinion, this will

enable SPARC Solaris open-system mainframes and servers to

challenge IBM's dominance in the data center. Sun was very

successful for a very long time selling computer systems based

on the SPARC chip and the Solaris operating system. Now, with

the added power of integrated Oracle software, we think they can

be again.