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back to article The curious incident of Oracle and HP-UX on Itanium

When I saw the news on Wednesday morning, I thought I had picked the wrong week to give up sniffing glue. Or maybe Oracle did. Either way, Oracle’s announcement that it is halting development on HP-UX/Itanium versions of its products touched off a firestorm of phone calls, emails and tweets that just won’t let up. TPM covered …

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Coat

Is it just me ...

... or is Ellison starting to look more and more like Rolf Harris every day???

... it's the one with the wobble board in the pocket ... OK, OK, I'm going...

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Coat

Oracle's strategy.

Can you see what it is yet?

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Anonymous Coward

An old American magnet...

TIE ME DATABASE DOWN

There's an old American magnate lying, ... um ... still lying. He gets himself up on to one elbow and 'e turns to his developers, who are all gathere around and 'e says,

-----

Tie me database down, sport,

Tie me database down.

Don't let our customers scram, sport.

Tie me database down.

Al-to-gether now!

-----

Get the money in quick, Rick.

Get the money in quick.

Lock 'em in is the trick, Rick.

Get the money in quick.

(CHORUS)

Watch the DBA's feed, mate,

Watch the DBA's feed.

They're a dangerous breed, mate,

So watch the DBA's feed.

Altogether now!

(CHORUS)

Make the punters see red, Fred.

Make the punters see red.

Mi'll 'em 'till they're all dead, Fred.

Make the punters see red.

(CHORUS)

Gotta mimick Big Blue, Drew.

Gotta mimick Big Blue.

Drive 'em nuts 'till they sue, Drew.

Gotta mimick Big Blue.

(CHORUS)

Keep the server room cool, Curl.

Keep the server room cool.

This 'ain't no April Fool, Curl.

Keep the server room cool.

(CHORUS)

(there were some more versus which rhymes with "duck" but I was too "chicken" to put them in.)

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Troll

Rolf harris?

More precisely, an evil cross of (zombie) Bob Ross & Rolf Harris?

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Anonymous Coward

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Nooooo...... I can't do that!!!

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FAIL

Danger, danger

You can put up with Apple-style paranoia and vindictiveness from a company that supply your media player or phone but it is a completely different matter when they supply the software that drives your primary business systems.

I vote for backlash. Look at alternatives just-in-case.

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FAIL

What is it about black polo neck jumpers...

That brings on such megalomania?

Inquiring minds etc. etc.

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Happy

Cuts the blood flow to the brain!

Larry and Steve J are "best buds", so hardly surprising they would start dressing like each other! Larry seems have the whole CEO-in-a-jacket-with-polo-neck thing sown up, very '90s!

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Coat

Oh dear...

Tie me database down, Sport.

Tie me database down.

Let me customers drown, Sport,

Tie me database down.

Lock me customers in, Sport,

Lock me customers in.

Get their money in quick, Sport,

Lock me customers in.

... come on, someone can do better than this!

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Anonymous Coward

@ Oh dear

Well, it made me laugh out loud and I still have a smile on my face :)

As for backlash, I sincerely hope so - a severe one too.

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Pirate

What About...

Microsoft? I think Oracle is looking at them as "best practice," not IBM, who still gets more hard science patents every year than anybody, let alone Microsoft. IMHO, of course.

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Silver badge

Lock in

Linux might yet drop a breeze block through Larry's rowing boat. The open systems/FOSS genie is well and truly out of the bottle. I don't think it will ever go back in.

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Alert

Hardly a surprise...

Most people in the business have been well aware of where Oracle is headed for the past decade or so. Oracle now owns virtually all aspects of sites that used to have 3-4 major vendors. Ellison was known to be much more hardcore about his business than either Apple or Microsoft execs...but the media just focused on those two since the average Joe doesn't know anything about Oracle anyways.

And, yes, Oracle support of Sun hardware, OS and Java has taken a very notable dive. Not that Sun was perfect, but the updates coming out of the Oracle shop are several notches below what I would expect from any vendor...which would be in sync with my understanding that a lot of the Sun talent left when Oracle took over.

With the takeover of Sun, several alternatives disappeared (or will soon enough) including the one decent open source database. It turns out Sun did a lot more to hold Java together than most people imagined, and we are probably less than 2 years away from paying for Java except for a skeleton version that will exist.

What happens with the next merger?

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Happy

@"Hardly a surprise..."

"several alternatives disappeared (or will soon enough) including the one decent open source database"

What you talking about, PostgreSQL is still open source and doing just fine. You can even get some support from EnterpriseDB if thats what you require.

Or are you tlaking about some other DB that caught the hype wave?

;)

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VA

The curious chronology of events surrounding the announcement

17 Mar: Delaware judge orders HP to unseal the Jodie Fisher's letter (in 10 days)

22 Mar: Oracle Stops All Software Development For Intel Itanium Microprocessor

23 Mar: Hurd Seeks to Keep Fisher Letter Sealed During His Appeal

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I'll be part of the backlash!

Having first used Oracle on VAX/VMS in 1986 and finding an SQL query that could lockup a VAX (as Oracle found out) I've been using Oracle on and mostly off for a while.

I'd be hard pressed to recommend Oracle as a platform to anyone who wants any control over their IT destiny. I'm not even an Itanic fan!

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What next for Oracle and the rest of the industry?

As far as I can see there are five corner stones to the enterprise industry.

Hardware

Enterprise Software

Tools

A database

A consulting force

Now lets look at the three main players

IBM have

Hardware

Tools (websphere, etc)

A database

A consulting force

But are missing a big ERP package

HP have

Hardware

A consulting force (EDS)

Some minor tools (load runner)

But are missing a Database and a big ERP package

Sun have

Hardware

Software

Tools

A DB

but are missing a large consulting force.

Now there is one company out there that could fill HPs and IBMs gap very nicely

SAP who now own Sybase and they also own what was Adabas (MaxDB) which is already opensource

Now if HP were to buy SAP they'd have the DB and the software and could stand up to Oracle.

But they probably just can't afford it without getting rid of EDS.

If IBM got SAP they'd complete their stack for HP out of the market alltogther and stand up to Oracle

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Bronze badge

Nasty game for customers...

A lot of Oracle customers are going to be very unhappy with this little game. It's very clear that this is Oracle using FUD to damage HP's big-iron business and try and protect their own big-iron (or should that be Fujitsu's big-iron) servers. For those running the sort of large-scale mission-critical applications that run on these sort of DB servers, then there will be nothing but groans from IT managers as they contemplate the costs and complexity of migrating an existing application onto a new hardware architecture with all the mess of duplicating testing environments, regression testing and trying to come up with a low-risk strategy for the actual migration that minimises downtime.

It can be done, but it's expensive. However, Oracle may yet have shot themselves in the foot - it you are going to have to change hardware platforms, then if your DB will fit, there are massive savings to be had by moving to x64 where HP are, of course, very strong. Oracle (or Fujitsu's) M series servers are nice enough, albeit not leading-edge machines, but expensive on price/performance even compared with the HP BL8xx i2, and are absolutely slaughtered by x64 machines. Of course if you are going to jump DBs as well, then that's a much trickier job, but it might just be enough to trigger some customers into a complete redevelopment on a new, and much more cost-effective architecture.

Unfortunately one of the few options for doing such a migration (GoldenGate) is expensive and owned by Oracle. If I was HP then I might be looking are ways of easing Oracle migrations to x64.

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Anonymous Coward

IS it Oracle's Fault

Let us analyze this press release of Oracle From different point of view. How will this be viewed if Oracle had not Bought SUN ? Just as the same way the world had moved on when Microsoft or Redhat stopped Developing on Itanium Platform . How did everyone react when all other developer Partners of Itanium gave away on that Processor ?

It is quite unfortunate HP has taken a path no one else want to GO . ORACLE DID NOT SAY THEY ARE STOPPING SUPPORT FOR HP-UX , THEY SAID THEY ARE STOPPING DEVELOPMENT ON ITANIUM. Sorry if HP is the only vendor with Itanium

If we look little further , the way the Itanium Architecture is going , sharing same Sockets , Sharing same Chip set with X64 , it is obvious there is a X64 on its way which will emulate Itanium or something like that. Even the new Superdomes from HP share the same Blade enclosure Architecture used for X64 .

Sure Intel & HP is trying to find a way out for long time now and Mark knows that .

Instead of HP crying Foul play why not port the HP UX to X64 ? - Easy isn't ? And what is the % of Server Market for Big iorn Compared to X64 line up .

Also It was never Oracle's intention to Make Big Iorn machines or Oracle never favored Big Iorn , Try doing some maths for a 12 Processor M8000 Vs a 12 Processor RAC Node . Why would Oracle take all the trouble with manufacturing , shipping , Installing etc etc while u can sit in your desk & Bill the same Money by generating email which has few characters (called Entitlement ) .

Come on HP !!!! Be a Sport !!!! Port that HP UX to a X64 Box and move on with life or even port it to the T3 Chips. That way the customer has better choice and HP can still benefit from a HP UX core Licenses (by the way it is not cheap).

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Flame

Let HP Burn

HP-UX is crap compared to Tru64 & OpenVMS anyways. Let the fools burn.

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FAIL

Quite dishonest comments re roadmaps

Public Oracle slides and webinars on Oracle site clearly show the *next* 3 generations of SPARC. That is *3 generations*, in public with no wooly language. I've watched them

Dan can you supply the links showing the next 3 generations of Itanium on either Intel or HPs site? As a journalist covering this space you and TPM both know and have seen the Oracle public roadmaps so why imply that Oracle are not showing their roadmaps in public whilst Intel is.

Of course you could point to the Intel road-map to verify your statement, oh and list all the Itanium talks at the last Intel Developer Conference ;). Go on I dare you, otherwise it seems your peddling a message as opposed to real journalism.

Bring back Ashley Vance, El Reg has become predominately a mouth piece for IBM (via Blue Boy TPM) and journalists other favorites. At least Ashley was harsh but fair with everyone.

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Grenade

Dare me? Dare taken, dare completed

First, I'm an analyst - not a journalist. As an analyst, I get briefings from vendors on road maps and a fair amount of it is under NDA. However, I'm incredibly skilled when it comes to ferreting out info from vendors. I somehow managed to find a PDF document titled: "Intel Public Roadmap, Desktop, Mobile & Data Center" (http://download.intel.com/products/roadmap/roadmap.pdf) that very clearly shows the upcoming Poulson and Kittson Itanium processors. I hope you can find it, since it was the THIRD result yielded from a google search of the terms "intel itanium roadmap". It's dated 1H2011, btw, so it's current stuff.

So that's two generations....and all that I can talk about without violating NDA (I'm checking into that now, things might have changed given Oracle's actions). Is that good enough? Straight from Intel's corporate website?

For my part, I haven't written anything in these pages about SPARC roadmaps, so you can take that up with TPM. Suffice to say that roadmaps in the Sun days, particularly towards the end, were constantly morphing and hard to pin down.

Now I double dog dare you to go out and do some actual research...

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MoreObjectivityInElReg ?

Actually I have to defend The Register and TPM a bit her. Cause you are being unfair.

The reason I do read my news at this site is that it doesn't have that 'Oh, been a long time since company XXX had a commercial on our webpage, lets hammer them until they bribe us with some ad money.'

To use a Matt B. term then many of the 'sunshiners' that write here are so damn religious that they your average Mac Fanboi seem like atheists . The idea seems to be that If you aren't hailing Solaris as the greatest invention since boiled water, then you must be stupid.

Now I am no HPUX or Itanium fanboi, but I respect the platform for what it is capable of. And no matter how you turn it then the Oracle attack on that platform is not good for any customers nor does it any good for the *NIX marked.

// Jesper

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Paris Hilton

Dare you to be bold about predictions

Dan,

Hope all is well.

I know you have to be cautious with vendors as they pay for you research, but

Mark knew Poulson is a significant investment for Oracle to use the double wide.

Mark knews Kittson is nothing more than a simple die shrink

Mark knows there is nothing after Kittson as Intel has no interest in spending good talent on such a low ROI product.

So Oracle has come out and said make it public that Itanium is dead and there is no reason to spend $100M to support Poulson if the product is on a death bed already.

Now the announcement this early and the day before HP's annual shareholder meeting is pure evil, but after all everyone knows Oracle has "Customer's over a barrel" why not treat their new competitor and Hurd ex-employer the same way.

Obviously the relationship with IBM is different thanks to DB2 but also the growth, investment and future of Power technology. Not only does IBM have big plans for future Power chips, but it is a big ROI platform.

SPARC64 is in the same boat with Itanium as Fujitsu has cancelled all future chips, funny that Oracle does not want to admit that. Hello where are you on calling out Oracle about the death of the SPARC64 chip and try9ing to pretend the "M-class" system on the Oracle roadmap is not a T-chip.

Power now becomes the anti-monopoly platform to Intel as AMD has disappeared from the enterprise space and Oracle dropped all AMD support.

HP will buy Sybase ASE and IQ from SAP in a vain attempt to solve this crisis but will find it just makes it worse, just like Sun found out by buying MySQL

HP will announce this before the end of April.

P.S. I where to I apply to be an Oracle tradeshow girl?

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Sybase to HP? Never

SAP will never sell Sybase.

However a SAP HP merger I could see coming

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FAIL

re: Dare me? Dare taken, dare completed

Really? Poulson (with little detail) and "Future Kittson Processor" counts as a road map to you? Their public road map goes out to 2011 and "future". Now, I am not a big fan of how Oracle keeps things close to the breast, but they have been the most open about future SPARC road maps -- you'd have to be blind and naive to think otherwise, or just biased.

Hell, Oracle even provided TPM, a long time Oracle/Sun protagonist with access to the roadmap:

http://regmedia.co.uk/2010/12/03/oracle_sparc_roadmap.jpg

You may reply back "HP has a better NDA roadmap!" As you know, vendors generally feel that they can change a NDA road map as they see fit. A public road map, while still not a contractual obligation, has more standing as they must publicly stand by it... IBM is notorious for pushing out release dates on the NDA road maps and then creating a public road map when the date is actually set in stone (TPM falls for this all the time setting the impression that IBM is better at meeting their time lines...).

Sun/Oracle will need to meet a hell of a lot of road map goals to make up for ROCK, but Itanium has been a total joke when it comes to meeting time lines.

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Alert

Dare to be bold..or something...

Allison, I hope things are going well with you too....we don't talk nearly enough....lol

First, I don't have to be nearly as cautious as you might think with vendors. With the research I do, there are always winners and losers and I've found that if I do the spadework to figure out what's really happening and then I 'call 'em like I see 'em' that things generally work out pretty well.

You seem to have a fair amount of information about what Hurd does or doesn't know, more than I do. He and I have never been as close as I would hope - not even one candle light dinner.

First, on the Oracle porting issue. For years and years, Oracle has solicited and received funds from vendors to defray Oracle's porting costs. Sometimes this is in the form of advance license purchases, but that's not the only way it happens. In my opinion, HP would have been happy to pay for it. Did Oracle ask them to? Or did Oracle just drop the bomb out of the blue? That would be something to ask Mark if either of us get the chance.

As for Intel investing in future Itaniums, from what I hear from them, it's a profitable business for them and there is increasingly good synergy between the IA and Xeon teams. IBM is a bit of a different deal, due to DB2, but why wouldn't Oracle make the same move with AIX at some point down the road? Particularly if they (Oracle) thinks that DB choice trumps system and o/s choice? In other words, if the latest/greatest Oracle DB only runs on Oracle gear, then, at least in Oracle's mind, that should cause customers to scamper to them.

I don't know that Fujitsu has completely abandoned SPARC - they're pushing the SPARC64-VIIIfx processor in HPC systems and this could be extended into commercial systems.

Interesting predictions on HP, btw...not sure I see it and I really doubt it could happen before the end of April.

And, finally, many vendors have outsourced their 'tradeshow girl' vetting processes to The Reg. You simply need to send photos of yourself in tradeshow girl trim and performing the duties, along with a frank and candid letter outlining your qualifications. Keep in mind that you can't be shocking enough - they've seen it all....good luck

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Server and volley

Yes, there are more details in NDA presentations - not just to analysts, but to big customers and some in the press as well. Oracle has finally provided some detailed roadmaps, which is a good thing, I agree with you on that. I also agree that public roadmaps are better than private roadmaps,

As for your point about IBM being 'notorious' for pushing out release dates on NDA roadmaps? I haven't seen much of that on the areas I cover. I might be a bit more forgiving on slight slips, but they were pretty much on time with POWER 6 and 7 at least as I remember it.

Itanium has had a LOT of schedule slips in the past, absolutely true. And with Poulson, they both have to deliver on schedule and on specification this time. It's certainly possible, both companies have the resources to do it and, right now at least, it looks like they will. Time will tell...

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Happy

re: Server and volley

I'll forgive you for not paying attention ;). Sun screwed the pooch big time on US-V and ROCK, but this is now Oracle and I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt -- at least with regard to SPARC roadmaps. Now for IBM's misses:

2003 - Power6 was originally scheduled for 2006

2004 - Power6 now 2006-2007

2005 - Power7 first discussed and scheduled for 2008-2009

and Power6+ in 2008-2009 (different roadmaps)

2006 - Power6 now 2007-2009 and Power7 2010-2011.

2007 - First Power6 system and just the 570.

2008 - Full rollout of Power6

2009 - Power6+ reannounced... Lots of confusion with Power6+...

2010 - Power7 finally released?

They've been late with every version. I can point you at the docs that show these dates... I still have them all...

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...Errr...Larry, you might want to rethink that...

Let's see, The Oracle master plan for customers with Oracle systems running on Itanium servers is to present them with the choice of replacing their hardware or replacing their software....

...And the customers who have been presented with this choice are now pissed off with Oracle forcing them to make that choice....

They are probably the same customers who are looking at virtualisation, in which environment you don't want to change the hardware under your virtual machines...

If I were an Oracle shareholder I think I'd be dumping the shares and buying into whatever other DB company has the best migration tools....

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I told you so

Sun had 35.000 customers. Oracle has 350.000. Oracle will try to make them switch to Solaris. Solaris has a bright future indeed, with lots of it's award winning techiques such as DTrace, ZFS, etc. Also, SPARC and Niagara has several records. For instance TPC-C with 30 million. Or TPC-H. Or other world records that Niagara has, just read the wikipedia article for references.

:o)

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Flame

how you can fight back using Firebird on that

Oracle is abandoning HP Itanium customers as usual (like they did with MySQL) and there is a mehod to fight Back : use an open source “oracle like” RDBMS engine : Firebird

http://firebirdsql.org/

Posted by on his blog Paul Beach:

For those who are curious, Firebird V2.5 builds just fine on Itanium HPUX (IA-64). See prefix.hpux_aCC and prefix.hpux_ia64 in the builds/posix directory. The only issue we have in providing such builds, is access to the relevant hardware/operating system to do a build, and bringing upto date the HPUX installer.

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