For all of the dazzle of its rapidly evolving software portfolio, which includes a self-monitoring and self-patching database that also configures itself, as well as numerous cloud applications, Oracle has begun showing its credibility as a hardware vendor. Hardware has commoditized and will not return to the prominence it had in the early days of the tech era. However, commoditization brings new opportunities simply because price-performance numbers work better. Under Oracle's tutelage, hardware has found a disciplined and important niche.