What Sun’s Acquisition Says About the Cloud

image The Oracle Corporation today announced today that they’d make a tasty snack of rival Sun Microsystems for the menu price of $9.50 a share, coming to a total of around $7.4 billion, according to a morning report in the New York Times.

“This combination is a natural evolution of our relationship and will be an industry-defining event,” Scott G. McNealy, Sun’s co-founder and chairman said.

I spoke with John Furrier and Ho John Lee this morning about it pretty extensively. They both offered some pretty interesting insight into the matter that’s brought the whole acquisition into focus, and validates the pretty hefty claim from Sun’s chairman.

“This is all about data now not about servers,” said Furrier. “The database is the platform, not the hardware, so this is a direct competitive move against IBM’s DB2.”

It also explains a bit more why Cisco didn’t go after Sun, despite it being a pretty decent bargain of a purchase. In addition to what probably wouldn’t have been a great culture fit, Cisco is infrastructure, and they’re making moves to get more into the service side of the business. The overall strategy they’re pursuing is certainly image parallel to the one that Sun and Oracle now travel, but doesn’t necessarily need to intersect.

“The network is not the computer it’s the database,” said John. “The database isn’t the old school relational model with a computer -  it’s now a huge index store – the database is the computer.”

If that’s true, it’s the Google model, and this merger is a validation of the new paradigm.