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Oracle's Mark Hurd vows to return SPARC to glory

01 Nov 2012
SPARC Enterprise M3000 Server

Oracle has committed to making the Sun SPARC processor the most powerful server microprocessor on the market.

Speaking at an event to mark the 25th anniversary of the first SPARC system's release, Oracle president Mark Hurd said that the company would be investing its resources in reinvigorating the platform and challenging IBM.

"At one point many of you remember SPARC had microprocessor leadership in the world, and that position has waned," Hurd said.

"We will take the microprocessor lead from IBM. You have my commitment on that and, more importantly, [Larry] Ellison's."

Hurd said that Ellison has become a 'chip zealot' since Oracle acquired the platform in its 2009 acquisition of Sun. With the company and its hardware holdings integrated, Oracle executives now want to put the company's research and development behind SPARC.

Oracle has made the newly acquired hardware operations a key component of its systems strategy. Sun hardware has been paired with Oracle's own firmware and database platforms to create fully integrated systems for database, big data analytics and private cloud deployments.

The company has argued that such systems offer better performance, manageability and reliability over the traditional best-of-breed datacentre approach.

"It is more than just silicon; we're now putting software on to the silicon," Hurd said. "The ability for us to invest in the technology, to sustain the technology, to integrate the technology with software, and to turn those into systems, can change the world."

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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