Oracle has axed its Sun Ray Software (SRS) product and exited the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) space, dividing opinions of channel onlookers and VARs.
The vendor announced it was ending new feature development for SRS, VDI Software, VDI Client Software and Sun Ray Client hardware this week, but insisted customer support and support renewals would continue uninterrupted. It claimed the move was to "more tightly align Oracle's future desktop virtualisation portfolio with Oracle's overall core business strategy".
From now on, Oracle claims it will focus on its Secure Global Desktop and VM VirtualBox software instead.
Oracle reseller CWL Systems, which claims to have one of the biggest pipelines for the SRS product in Europe, said it was only alerted to the product axe via a client with which it was on the cusp of signing a multimillion-pound SRS deal.
The VAR's managing director Andy Griffiths said: "There was no communication [from Oracle]. We found out after we'd been working on a project for a year with a large financial services company... for 6,000 users in the UK and 20,000 in Europe.
"We had just sent a server to their headquarters to run a final pilot and they were very keen to do the deal. Oracle cancelled a professional services meeting [with the client] and said they no longer had a product to offer – it's a dead deal and killed a few million from our pipeline, and that's just one project."
Griffiths added that selling SRS differentiated his firm from other resellers, but that his dedicated SRS staff can be redeployed either elsewhere on the Oracle portfolio or with another vendor's products instead, and insisted that the move has not put him off working with the vendor.
Alastair Kitching, group operations director at Esteem – which used to sell SRS products – said he was not surprised by Oracle's announcement and he thought SRS got lost in Oracle after it acquired Sun in 2009.
Clive Longbottom, founder of analyst Quocirca, said the move to exit VDI was surprising, but that it was good it left the channel with clearer options.
"SRS never really took off in the channel," he added. "For the channel it is actually good news. It now means there is less messing around on... getting forced by customers to go down a route which customers then blame the channel for getting them down.
"The argument [now] is just is it VMware or is it Citrix? It makes a lot more sense. It is so alien that Larry Ellison would make such a sensible decision."
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