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back to article Oracle spikes HP's Solaris OEM contract

Solaris shops running that Unix operating system on x64-based servers from Hewlett-Packard have been notified that Oracle has spiked HP's OEM contract to distribute and sell support for Solaris on HP's ProLiant x64-based lineup of tower, rack and blade servers. Oracle, as usual, was unwilling to comment on the matter, but a …

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2004?

"HP was not the only company that inked a Solaris distribution and support sales agreement during the reign of Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's president and chief executive officer since 2004 and the man who tried to sell Sun to IBM and then did the deed with Oracle."

Schwartz was CEO since 2006, not 2004.

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Unhappy

2004? 2006?

It was still too long. :(

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Dead Vulture

Too Long

He was El Presidente of Software before that driving Sun into the ground.

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WTF?

Scratching head icon needed!

OK, if you want your OS to be winning in the x64 arena, surely you'd want it on the most common server range? Is this a case of Larry killing off Slowaris x64, or is it merely that hp weren't willing to pay to renew the OEM agreement? Did Larry bump the price up to a point where Hurd blinked? If so, you have to ask whom is the biggest loser - hp with plenty of alternatives, or Snoreacle with half the x64 market less to play with?

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Stop

Who woke Matt up?

Seemed like a loss for Oracle and HP until I had to read Matt's mindless FUD and rants. Then again was I reminded why I'd never buy anything from HP. Matt B = HP's sales guy's worst nightmare.

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Happy

RE: Who woke Matt up?

".....I reminded why I'd never buy anything from HP...." And here was me thinking it was because you didn't actually work in computing! By the way, do you have an anonymous but hopefully more interesting view on the future of Slowaris x86 if Larry doesn't have the largest x64 server vendor onboard? Maybe you're thinking he's going to take on Dell head-to-head with an online shop for Sunray? Or that those 25 Exedata sales he's made will actually bankroll development of a new (but non-AMD) x64 server range for Soreacle?

/SP&L

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Troll

And you want chips with that?

Deary me. 100 years from now our descendents will be looking back on these stories and having a laugh about how the IT arena went thru serious growing pains in order to reach maturity. This is lesson 101 in how to treat and respect customers.

I'm afraid that these tiff's between IT companies are about as exciting as watching Wayne Rooney spend 90 minutes doing nothing of value, and then moaning about disloyal fans. Speaking of Rooney, where's the picture of Rooney for us to choose then? Paris doesn't work in this situation, she's got her uses, whereas Rooney....

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Alert

It's an open secret...

...that there will still be support for Solaris x86 on HP in the future.

Many large customers have complained. Oracle is working it out currently, how it will be done.

Which means Oracle is learning fast...

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HP-UX on x86

--"Pity HP-UX doesn't run on x64 iron, though"--

It's a good job it doesn't. Apart from tempting some of it's customer base off Itanium, which would be very bad for HP, that would bring it into direct competition with Linux and the BSDs where it would get eaten alive. Red Hat for example is already a far more capable o/s with a wealth of apps and vendor support that no proprietary unix can match today. And the gap is soon to get even wider with RHEL6. HP need HP-UX Itanium exclusivity to promote it's Itanium sales message.

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WTF?

RE: HP-UX on x86

Whilst it's always good fun having a laugh at Macka's anti-hp FUD, this latest rant is just so odd I feel compelled to share in just how silly it is. For a start, hp-ux has always been in direct competiton with Linux on Itanium, with full support from companies like Red Hat, for years. The problem for Macka here is that us customers chose hp-ux over Linux to such a degree that companies like Red Hat gave up and went back to x86/64. And Macka has this strange idea that it hp-ux couldn't face Linux on x86 due to "a wealth of apps" - one of the reasons I had such a hard time getting management to look at Red Hat on Itanium was because hp-ux had a much better range of fully-supported applications. Even when we had equality of support, such as with Oracle RAC, I still had a really hard time getting the board to look at Red Hat as opposed to hp-ux. The board just preferred the rock-solid confidence they had in UNIX.

And then we have to look at x64. I'm a big backer of Red Hat, but take a look at the installed base and it is still masively playing catch-up to M$ Windoze Server! Moan about M$ all you like, but it still has a bigger supported app base and support model than Linux, even if it does cost so much more. If hp did port hp-ux to x64, their biggest opponent would be Windows, not Linux.

/SP&L

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RE: HP-UX on x86

--"For a start, hp-ux has always been in direct competiton with Linux on Itanium"--

Correction: Red Hat was only ported to Itanium in the first place because like everyone else at the time Red Hat believed Intel's marketing message that Itanium was going to be the volume server chip in the 64bit space. Microsoft also believed this message and did the same. Neither Red Hat or Windows have ever been in real competition with HP-UX on Itanium for the simple reason that the majority of Itanium systems sales over the years come in proprietary packages to enterprise customers via proprietary vendors. The majority share of those sales come from HP, so by default are HP-UX solutions. The customer has to explicitly ask for something else (OpenVMS, Non-Stop, Windows, Red Hat) or (s)he gets HP-UX, and you know as well as I that most customers will take what HP recommends. So don't try and pretend there has ever been a competitive marketplace on Itanium, because we all know that's rubbish.

--"The problem for Macka here is that us customers chose hp-ux over Linux to such a degree that companies like Red Hat gave up and went back to x86/64"--

Correction: Red Hat gave up on Itanium because like Microsoft they made a sound business decision not to throw good money after bad and waste resources propping up an architecture that does not return a profit (for them). SGI was probably the only good reason for Red Hat to continue and when they abandoned Itanium and moved to an x86 roadmap what was the point? None.

--"And Macka has this strange idea that it hp-ux couldn't face Linux on x86 due to "a wealth of apps" - one of the reasons I had such a hard time getting management to look at Red Hat on Itanium was because hp-ux had a much better range of fully-supported applications"--

Nice try at obfuscation, but I'm not comparing Red Hat apps to HP-UX apps on Itanium, I'm talking about the x86 market. If HP-UX were ported to x86 its starting app portfolio would be zip, nada, nothing. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that none of its IA64 apps would run without a port and recompile, or perhaps a Transitive style emulation wrapper. What app vendor in their right mind is going to waste time and money on that unless HP paid them to do it. Solaris on x86 had a much better chance at cracking the x86 market and taking on Linux, but hasn't been a big success, and certainly hasn't slowed the Linux juggernaut one jot.

--"Moan about M$ all you like"--

Are you trying to put words in my mouth? I haven't moaned about MS or even mentioned them. They're the biggest player in the x86 game, what else is there to say.

--"If hp did port hp-ux to x64, their biggest opponent would be Windows, not Linux"--

Maybe. Some of the previously loyal HP-UX customers would use the opportunity of an architecture change to switch to MS, but look at the history of Linux: where has it gained most of its market share from? Some of is has been at the expense of MS, but it's been far more damaging to proprietary Unix. Either way, your point just re-enforces my point: whether its competition from MS or Linux, an HP-UX port to x86 will never be in HP's best interests for HP-UX or Itanium.

--"Whilst it's always good fun having a laugh at Macka's anti-hp FUD"--

Just to put you straight I'm not anti-HP, I really like their products and the company. I'm just a realist. I don't see any performance, cost or productivity advantage in choosing an HP-UX Itanium solution over Red Hat and x86. Quite the opposite in fact, as Red Hat on x86 is cheaper, faster and offers customers a larger choice of solutions. Plus if I were to bet which one has the best chance of still being actively developed in 5 years I know where I'd put my money.

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Boffin

hp-ux on x64?

".....Neither Red Hat or Windows have ever been in real competition with HP-UX on Itanium...." Wrong! There are a wealth of common applications for all three on Itanium, such as Oracle or SAP applications. I have benched solutions on Superdome using all three OS so that the board could see which offered the best performance and bang-for-the-buck with a particular app stack. There have only been two Itanium projects I can think off where we were tied to one OS, and those were both because the underlying database was M$ SQL Server and therefore Windows, not hp-ux.

".....the majority of Itanium systems sales over the years come in proprietary packages to enterprise customers via proprietary vendors...." Not so. For example, we deliberately use multi-vendor resellers even though the main vendors maintain a direct relationship with us, so that we don't just get the "my-brochure-only" view. In the UK it seems quite common, with the vendors saving costs by relying on the channel. From what I recall, it's quite similar in the US. So the idea that hp pushed out RH and MS on Itanium by just pushing hp-ux solutions misses the fact that hp weren't leading the sale on most deals, it was the resellers.

"....If HP-UX were ported to x86 its starting app portfolio would be zip, nada, nothing...." For about five minutes, and those five minutes would be years before the launch, because hp have a long history of planning OS launches, plugging money into developers, and getting key apps ready BEFORE launch. When hp-ux 11i v1.5 came out on Itanium it already had a large app base, and when the v2 and v3 launches happened hp could also show the key apps from many key vendors were ready to go. If hp ever do switch hp-us to x64 (and personally I'm not convinced they ever will), they would do so as part of a careful and comprehensive plan, with money that RH can't match being used to get vendors onside. This is where hp-ux beat RHEL on Itanium - hp was simply able to fund more developers and thus gave us customers more app options at an earlier date.

".....but look at the history of Linux: where has it gained most of its market share from? ..." Webserving and fileserving, whch is not really an hp-ux on Itanium market, it's more where Sun SPARC and x86 Windows Server were centered. Sure, Linux has eaten some hp-ux, but we're not talking the major inroads seen in the Slowaris base or the Windows base. And M$ has fought back quite well. I still smile when I recall giddy Novell reps telling me in 1999 that the Y2K spree meant Windows would be extinct by 2010. Windows survived by clever marketing, development, and by shovelling cash at developers in a scale that neither Novell or RH could match. In a smaller scale, hp have done the same with hp-ux, and if they decided there was money there for hp-ux on x64 then you can be sure they would be using hp's rep, marketing clout and cash to push hp-ux in a manner RH or Novell can't match.

".....an HP-UX port to x86 will never be in HP's best interests for HP-UX or Itanium...." I agree in that hp really doesn't want to go head-to-head with Linux on x64 because hp is the leading Linux server vendor, and pushing hp-ux on x64 could drive Linux customers to other vendors such as IBM (unless IBM port AIX to x64, that is). But for hp to port hp-ux to x64 would sound the deathknell for Itanium unless the Itanium version retained some advantage that could generate a large enough customer interest and therefore a business case (such as the current advantage of scale). As I've said before, the real crunch could be if UNIX goes 128-bit, effectively re-establishing the performance advantage that 64-bit UNIX used to have over 32-bit x86 solutions. But, will any of the UNIX vendors be bothered as that would also require 128-bit CPUs adn serous investment in code development.

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Re: hp-ux on x64?

--"Wrong! There are a wealth of common applications for all three on Itanium, such as Oracle or SAP applications"--

Not as many proprietary vendor apps for RHEL on Itanium as HP-UX. Plus, most top vendor apps on RHEL x86 are Tier 1, that was never the same situation for RHEL IA64. There was just no incentive for vendors to invest in it. A classic chicken and egg situation.

--"I have benched solutions on Superdome using all three OS so that the board could see which offered the best performance and bang-for-the-buck with a particular app stack"--

Is that supposed to fill us with a sense of even handedness and fair competition? You are after all potentially the UKs biggest HP-UX fanboi ;)

--"So the idea that hp pushed out RH and MS on Itanium by just pushing hp-ux solutions misses the fact that hp weren't leading the sale on most deals, it was the resellers"--

I have a long history of mixing it with resellers, and my experience has _always_ been that when a reseller pitches an Itanium solution they _always_ pitch HP-UX unless the customer specifies otherwise. There is always more money in it for them, and you don't bite the hand that feeds you. You're being deliberately disingenuous Matt.

--"This is where hp-ux beat RHEL on Itanium - hp was simply able to fund more developers and thus gave us customers more app options at an earlier date"--

Ah, so at last you agree with me: that there was never a truly competitive market on IA64 between RHEL and HP-UX, because HP stacked the application deck in their favour by funding more development themselves. RH don't do this -- their pockets are not deep enough to spend money like that chasing proprietary apps on a platform where there are hardly any players representing their interests in front of the customer. HP had to because for their Unix business it was a matter of survival.

--"Webserving and fileserving, whch is not really an hp-ux on Itanium market"--

Rubbish. I know of several large $1M+ bids involving Telco, Biotech and Finance customers where proprietary Unix on proprietary hardware have lost out to RHEL x86. I only see a tiny fraction of what's going on out there, but there are lots of big business success stories for RH.

--"and if they decided there was money there for hp-ux on x64 then you can be sure they would be using hp's rep, marketing clout and cash to push hp-ux in a manner RH or Novell can't match."--

You forget two things. 1) RH don't have that hill to climb, they've already done it. hp-ux on x86 would have a competitor that is already in its prime. 2) Do you seriously think any amount of marketing money is going to make a proprietary unix with the licensing costs HP-UX is encumbered with competitive with RHEL? HP would have to completely rethink how they finance development and expect to retain a profit. Seriously, proprietary unix only makes business sense on proprietary hardware sold at proprietary prices to rich customers prepared to buy into the belief that they are getting something special. It cannot survive in the commodity system market. Sun tried and failed to make a profit despite having a bigger customer base than HP-UX and more ISVs in their pocket. HP-UX would do no better.

--"I agree in that hp really doesn't want to go head-to-head with Linux on x64 "--

So what are you arguing for then? ;)

--"As I've said before, the real crunch could be if UNIX goes 128-bit"--

There's no market or reason for that to happen in our working life time. The move from 32bit to 64bit was a no brainer as the 4GB limit is easy to hit. But there's a ton of leg room left in 64bit.

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Boffin

RE: Re: hp-ux on x64?

".....Not as many proprietary vendor apps for RHEL on Itanium as HP-UX...." Yeah, companies like Oracle are just so third tier, right? Truth is hp-ux already had a large base of enterprise apps on PA-RISC hp-ux, whereas Linux was coming in from the edge solution area AKA the Windows Server space, so hp had a lot easier time getting existing app vendors to port their apps to the new Itanium flavour of hp-ux, especially as hp made it easy for them. Companies like Red Hat had to go chase those app vendors as new prospects. Now, I know hp helped RH out as I worked with an app vendor to get one of their apps working on RHEL4 on Integrity for us, and we were getting hp Labs bods helping out, so it's not like hp left RH high and dry, it's just RH were always chasing hp-ux in the enterprise space. In that case, the same app was already available and supported on hp-ux, it was just my stubborness that meant we ended up with a full RHEL stack as an option.

"....You are after all potentially the UKs biggest HP-UX fanboi ;)...." We run RAC on RHEL on Integrity, which replaced some expensive PA9000 hp-ux kit, a project I kicked off as a cost-saving exercise because I wanted to prove that RHEL was ready for prime-time mission critical tasks. I may be an hp-ux fanboi, but I'm also a RHEL fanboi too.

"....and my experience has _always_ been that when a reseller pitches an Itanium solution they _always_ pitch HP-UX unless the customer specifies otherwise...." I can't comment on the limits to your experience, just that it is at odds to my own. For example, we had a project that grew up in our old NT team as a Windows-only app with a very large SQL database. When it outgrew the x64 offerings, we decided to look at Windows on Integrity. We already had a reseller supplying us with the Windows solution who weren't BCS accredited, which means hp had to give them an exception to sell us the Integrity kit. They didn't push hp-ux, they didn't even know how to spell it!

"....I only see a tiny fraction of what's going on out there, but there are lots of big business success stories for RH...." Yes, they asked us if we could be a case study for RHEL on Integrity but our board declined. But we also have shed-loads more hp-ux on Integrity (and AIX on Power), and there was no management inclination to move away from UNIX even before RH pulled the plug on Itanium development. From what I hear talking to other companies, it looks like RH just couldn't win as often as they needed when they went up against hp-ux on Integrity.

"....You forget two things....." I'm sure I've forgotten a lot more, but not the two you mention.

".....1) RH don't have that hill to climb, they've already done it. hp-ux on x86 would have a competitor that is already in its prime....." With apps designed to compete against Windows in the traditional Windows space, not enterprise UNIX. If hp ported hp-ux to x64 they would be using x64 for those same large-scale enterprise solutions that they currently use hp-ux for, not for competing against Windows and Linux on webserving or file-and-print. RH would have to get those app vendors onboard or provide comparable offerings, and it just currently doesn't for a large number of the cases. M$ knows this, which is why they are pushing Windows up into the enterprise so hard with stacks to compete with SAP and Oracle. I know there are some comparable Linux offerings, but to the board they all seem a bit hodge-podge compared to polished offerings from SAP, Oracle or Microsoft. And to be frank, after a while you get tired of trying to beat the Linux message into their heads and just go the easy route of UNIX and Windows.

"....2) Do you seriously think any amount of marketing money is going to make a proprietary unix with the licensing costs HP-UX is encumbered with competitive with RHEL?...." Yes, for the same reason that hp-ux wasn't eaten by RHEL on Itanium and Windows hasn't been eaten on x64, even when RH could offer the same app stack at a lower price-point. In those situations, it seems many companies, like my own, simply felt more comfortable with hp-ux or Windows. I had a really hard time persuading our people that RH could offer as good support, for example. Put it down to prejudice if you like, but it's the same with M$ products - companies just think they're getting a more polished and professional product, even if that is just an illussion. It's the same reason people buy a Mercedes over a Toyota. At the end of the day, if hp ever did port hp-ux to x64, people probably would pay more because hp-ux on x64 would be coming from "that big company that also does all our PCs, servers and storage", whereas their perception of RH might be a tad less impressed.

"....So what are you arguing for then? ;)..." Your assumption that hp-ux couldn't compete with Linux. It could, it's just a fight hp doesn't want to happen, they prefer keeping them apart as much as they can in two seperate, profit-making areas.

"....There's no market or reason for that to happen in our working life time...." Maybe. I can still remember the days when people were asking why we needed to go 64-bit. The technology is hammering along at real pace with the size of memory footprints already well-beyond those we would have expected even ten years ago. The real question is whether there is the desire for the vendors when it is simply going to be cheaper for them to look at x64 scale-out. I did think for a while that Sun might be the company to try and leap ahead by going 128-bit, but they got too enrapt in the idea of CMT. I'm not sure hp or IBM have the will to go to an 128-bit UNIX - hp simply because they are winning in the x64 bizz, and IBM because an 128-bit UNIX would kill their mainframe bizz.

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FAIL

Larry: FAIL

Maybe the secret mission of LE is to destroy all Stanford University Network heritage completely. Some Freudian hatred against the partner he depended on for so long or something.

x86 is clearly the only hope of Solaris, as SPARC simply can't compete, so this is exactly the opposite of the right decision.

If they had quarrels with HP, they should at least have told their customers that they tried to extend the support agreement and told them that all installed copies will be supported for at least 7 years. In this kind of enterprise installations you can't end-of-life a server in three years time. Too many custom applications depend on Solaris and the port to Linux could be a major headache.

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