This is the fourth in my Christmas blogging series: 2005: the missing headlies, in which the scthick is that the headline has to be relevant to IT, and both true and demonstrably false.
Sadly you won't see your Oracle rep come in the door pushing a large handcart with a nicely wrapped Sun server on it - so the headlie is false, as advertised.
More positively, however, a lot of Oracle licensees should be reading their license carefully right now because there's a good chance of finding something that will make theirs a happier new year.
Basically the deal is this: Oracle has revised its multi-core fee downwards for Sun's Niagara line - meaning that if your Oracle license is based on Sun CPUs you probably have the right to move it from your existing Sun machine to two or more of the new CMT servers like the T2000 without incurring new costs and, more importantly, with a consequent reduction in your monthly maintenance and support cost.
Suppose, for example, that you run an enterprise class Oracle operation on a pair of Sun 4800s each with 12 CPUs. Move that to a pair of T2000s and, depending on the additional software you run and the I/O constraints you face, performance is rather more likely to improve than deteriorate while your Oracle license obligation falls from one covering 12 CPUs and a backup to one covering 6 CPUs.
And if you don't have Sun? Well, check what a move will cost you - if yours is a big iron license, chances are you can do a two stepper: pay to convert to Sun, then reduce your costs by dropping the number of CPUs you pay for.
You won't usually get a cash refund or anything, but adjusting your service contract to cover the new licensing level can save you more than enough to pay for those T2000 servers in the first two to six months depending on the machine you start from - and it's not a question of whether you can do that, but one of when the combination of your current contract and your relationship with Oracle lets you do it.
Sounds like a bad deal for Oracle doesn't it? It isn't: in fact, most larger customers will do the logical thing to get themselves the equivalent of a cash refund: apply the freed-up Oracle licenses to tasks for which they would otherwise consider buying new DB2, SQL-Server, or Sybase licenses.
That makes it bad news for the other guys -especially Microsoft and IBM- but good news for you, Sun, and Oracle: and that's gotta be a good way to start the new year, right?