HP and Intel refute Oracle

    As it became known last week , Oracle said it would not develop new versions of its software for the Intel Itanium platform. A brief statement from Oracle claims that from conversations with unnamed Intel executives, it became clear that Itanium was nearing the end of its life . Oracle also points out that Microsoft and Red Hat had previously refused Itanium support, and HP CEO Leo Apotheker did not mention Itanium in his long and detailed presentation of HP's future development strategy.

    Here I must say that today more than 140 thousand customers worldwide have chosen the HP hardware platform to support Oracle applications. This is the result of more than 30 years of collaboration between HP and Oracle in a close alliance.

    Therefore, the reaction from HP and Intel was swift: on March 22, the very next day, the president and CEO of Intel Corporation, Paul Otellini, denied this claim by Oracle. According to him, Intel continues to actively develop processors and the Itanium platform, and is now developing several next generations of these processors.

    For its part, HP confirmed that it will “continue to develop Integrity server platforms based on Intel Itanium with the HP-UX operating system as part of its strategic development plan for more than ten years and"will continue to support customers using current versions of Oracle applications for Itanium-based HP Integrity servers (both current and next generations) ."

    Last year, a new generation of Integrity based on the quad-core Itanium (Tukwilla) was released. Intel has officially confirmed that it is preparing to release at least two more generations of Itanium - the eight-core Poulson (it will be produced using 32 nm technology, and mass shipments will begin in early 2012) and the next Kittson. Typically, Intel updates Itanium every three years, so taking into account last year's Tukwilla release, we can assume that Kittson will be released around 2014-15. Thus, at least until the end of this decade, Intel will continue to release new generations of Itanium. It remains only to assume that unnamed Oracle representatives misunderstood the unnamed Intel executives.

    Two more arguments from Oracle also do not hold water. Yes, Microsoft and Red Hat have refused to release new versions of Windows and Linux for Itanium. But because these OSs are rarely used on Itanium servers and Oracle’s claim that it just follows the example of these two companies is incorrect - now many HP-UX customers on HP Integrity servers use its DBMS and applications.

    Leo Apotheker’s presentation, cited by Oracle, focused on HP’s overall development strategy, rather than the company's specific product lines. For example, it did not mention not only Integrity, but also ProLiant and StorageWorks storage systems (of course, this does not mean that these products are nearing the end of their life cycle).

    It’s also worth noting that after Oracle completed the Sun Microsystems purchase checkout at the beginning of 2010, the drop in sales of SPARC servers not only did not stop, but continues at an accelerated pace due to the fact that Oracle has not presented its release plans over the past two years new generations of SPARC processors. The fears of former Sun customers about the future of this server platform have only intensified and many of them are switching to servers of other vendors.

    According to IDC, amid average server market growth of 11.4% in 2010, Oracle server sales fell 14%. According to a press release from HP, “Oracle’s latest misinformation is a desperate attempt to get consumers to buy Sun server hardware to somehow slow its market share.”

    Stay tuned for further developments on our blog!

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