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Gone in a flash: Oracle lays off hundreds as the biz formerly known as Pillar Data is shuttered

The conference call equivalent of being taken round the back and...

Oracle is shuttering its flash storage division and laying off at least 300 employees, according to various sources.

Employees were told of the mass redundancies on 15 August by Mike Workman, senior veep of Storage at Oracle via a conference call.

A middle ranking outgoing staffer at Oracle, told The Reg last night: "Today, Larry's band of storage misfits, aka Pillar Data, was quietly let go and the product discontinued. A small number of people were kept [on to] take the product to the grave."

He estimated the number of departures to be "approximately 300 people".

Word of the job cuts also filtered onto, with a number of now ex-employees confirming the changes. One claimed all but 12 people on Workman's org chart had been released, "essentially the entire Flash Storage division. 12 were retained. Over 400 jobs cut."

Pillar Data, headed by Workman and funded by then Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, was acquired by Oracle in 2011. It subsequently became part of the Oracle Flash Storage division, based at Broomfield, Colorado. Oracle employed some 2,000 people overall at the facility last year.

Oracle flash storage products have included the FS1, a redesigned Pillar Axiom array. The hardware was integrated into Oracle systems, the components of which are architected and co-engineered with Oracle software, integrated, tested and optimised to work together for supposedly better Oracle Database performance.

Engineered systems include the Exadata Database Machine, Big Data Appliance, Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance, Private Cloud Appliance and Database Appliance. The Exadata Database Machine X8 was announced in June.

Oracle is focusing heavily on its public cloud business, with less emphasis for on-premises deployments of its software and hence hardware. It now looks as if Oracle is stopping building its own flash storage hardware and software.

A spokeswoman at Oracle sent us a statement:

"As our cloud business grows, we will continually balance our resources and restructure our development group to help ensure we have the right people delivering the best cloud products to our customers around the world." ®

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