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Server peddlers and their reseller partners the world over are breathing sighs of relief as their first-quarter bonus checks now seem safe and sound, according to a report by the box counters at IDC. In the first quarter, worldwide server revenues rose by 12.1 per cent to $11.9bn, the fifth consecutive quarter of revenue growth …

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FAIL

Oracle "eked" out some growth?

Wow TPM, your bias knows no bounds. Oracle has been bleeding for so long, and now that they have the second highest growth of all the major server vendors you say they "eked" out some growth? Since when is double digit growth defined as "eked"? You have officially lost all credibility.

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Blades

For non X86 blades, HP has replaced all of it's lowend and midrange servers with "blades". Even the SuperDome2 is made out of blades. So if they sell anything they're almost bound to be blades.

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Happy

RE: Blades

"For non X86 blades, HP has replaced all of it's lowend and midrange servers with "blades"...." Almost correct. There's one new gen rack server - the rx2800i - and you can still buy the previous generation of racked servers if you wish. But there is no way you can pretend the massive lead in blades held by hp is all down to Itanium blades (and the SD2 chassis is a different part to the general C7000, though they share many components, but you can't put general blades into the SD2 chassis). I remember when hp and IBM were running neck-and-neck in blades, not sure how long a go it was, but for the last several years it seems that IBM have lost large amounts of share to hp blades. I'm not surprised TPM skates over that to concentrate on IBM mainframe sales.

I'm curious as to which areas Fudgeitso have lost share - was it x64 specificall,y or are they seeing a drop off in SPARC64 and/or CMT kit? Be interesting to see if the Snoreacle pick up is churn of Fudgeitso bizz or is truly incremental, but 13.6% growth is hardly "eked out", even if it is a smaller cash amount than IBM or hp.

Big thumbs up for the Linux boys - $2bn! Who said that no-one would ever make money out of that "hobbie OS"? Oh, that would be a certain Scott McNealy.

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Unix and mainframe growth....their demise was greatly exaggerated

IBM is hitting on all cylinders and HP is doing well on x86.

I am floored that Oracle was able to grow the SPARC business as the Oracle reps only want to talk about Exacrap. The next IDC report will show the HP Unix crowd in complete shock from the Oracle announce. HP's latest earnings announce foreshadowed the forthcoming numbers.

What I am waiting for is when IDC will finally publish unit numbers for Exadata. The Oracle reps have the DBA's here all excited about "taking back their IT and this new multi-billion dollar business Oracle had created" and as much as we show them the facts they want bring in yet another unsupported platform which will cost 4X the cost of aquisition in support costs. I am looking for real IDC numbers to show how much Oracle is lying to the end users.

I heard that while Poulson is "targeted for 2012 the actual systems wont show up till 2013"...and Fujitsu is about to announce a speed bump to the SPARC chip....but its still the same chip.....Oracle and Fujitsu are really good at making big announcements without content.

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Allison Park

"...Oracle and Fujitsu are really good at making big announcements without content...."

At least they have substance, which IBM does not have.

When the Mainframe cpu is much slower than a Nehalem-EX, how can IBM claim that a 20cpu Mainframe can consolidate 1500 x86 servers? That is just not correct. Some would say it is a lie.

Also, IBM claims that their new Mainframe Z196 cpu is the "worlds fastest". It has impressive specs; 5.26 GHz and almost 300MB of cache (L1+L2+L3+L4). But actually, it is much slower than a cheap Intel Nehalem-EX - as I have proved earlier. So how can it be "the worlds fastest cpu" when any modern x86 cpu is faster, and cheaper? Is this also a lie?

http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/32414.wss

Can you quote lies from Oracle? I want to see them? I have quoted lies from IBM, you do the same now.

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Regarding the new Intel 32nm server cpu Westmere-EX. It seems that the POWER7 could be something like 15% faster. But the POWER7 costs 3x as much, or more.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4285/westmereex-intels-flagship-benchmarked

IBM has made hefty price cuts for the POWER7, beacuse IBM is afraid of the competition. IBM knows POWER7 will be caught up on performance, very soon. IBM cut the price, because they know there is no incitament to buy slower but 10x expensive IBM gear like in the old days. Now IBM only costs 3x as much (entry level).

In the future, IBM will be forced to cut prices even more to compete with others. Soon POWER will costs as much as the competitors. This will happen - we see the trend, POWER is becoming cheaper. Because it is not faster nor better than x86. Then why should IBM continue development of POWER? It will be easier to buy an x86 which will just as powerful as POWER, at the same price (which will be very low). No more high margins for IBM POWER. Margins will be very low, and compete with the huge x86 market. When that happens, IBM will just drop POWER.

It seems that my prediction comes true: future x86 will catch up on IBM POWER cpus in terms of performance, because x86 develops much faster than POWER. When x86 is faster (very soon) then IBM will officially kill off AIX - just as the IBM executives officially said:

http://news.cnet.com/2100-1001-982512.html

IBM AIX development has slowed down, for a reason: IBM is preparing for the killing of AIX. Of course, POWER will also go down the pipe.

But IBM customers dont need to worry, even if Itanium is killed off today, HP has promised to support it for another 10 years or so. IBM will support AIX and POWER for another 10 years - even though development has stopped.

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Regarding Solaris, it already runs on x86 and does it well. If SPARC is killed off, Oracle will just continue to sell x86 servers with Solaris - just as today. But, Niagara is many times faster in it's niche, so x86 can not compete in the niche. Niagara will be there, as it delivers (in the niche). IBM CELL did not deliver, it was killed off. POWER to follow in a near future. IBM AIX is not ported to x86, it does not run there. And IBM has said it will be killed off.

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Happy

RE: Unix and mainframe growth....their demise was greatly exaggerated

"IBM is hitting on all cylinders...." Well, maybe some cylinders, but not in blades, where hp has handed them their a$$ on a plate yet again! TPM says there is no mainframe on blades and the reason is because IBM know that would kill the margins in their little mainframe monopoly. Whilst hp might argue that the NonStop kit does the same job on blades, the real mainframe-on-blades option was killed by IBM when they bought PSI.

Fot those that don't remember them, PSI (platform Solutions Inc) had a neat idea of taking the old hp Superdome and running new firmware and an emulation layer, and then plonking IBM's mainframe OS and apps on top. The result was a system that was faster than an IBM mainframe at a fraction of the price, so IBM bought up PSI and killed the product. The same PSI tricks would have made the current SD2 and blades a real IBM mainframe killer.

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Anonymous Coward

nice 2004 article

Kebabbert......you sound like you work at redwood shores.

wow quote a 2004 article from shankland...who doesnt even work for thereg anymore...i heard he got hit by HP's pretexting fiasco.....and a few things have happened in the last 7 years....hmmm...sun is no more....sparc V didnt happen, rock didnt happen...oracle is putting all their money into x86 appliances....hmmm

and the article says the following...

Nick Bowen, vice president of Unix and Intel server software development at IBM. "Over time, Linux and Intel and Windows will catch up to where we were yesterday (with AIX). When they catch up, we'll be two steps down the road."

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Headmaster

Record stuck in the same loop....

"But IBM customers dont need to worry, even if Itanium is killed off today, HP has promised to support it for another 10 years or so. IBM will support AIX and POWER for another 10 years - even though development has stopped."

First what makes you claim that AIX and POWER development have stopped ? Or even Itanium and HPUX for that matter ?

That is simply not true, and that is a pretty low even coming form you.

Well, before you get all excited about the relative growth of Oracle.. there are perhaps a few things that you need to look at..

Sure it's nice that Oracle had a1 13.6% increase in sales. But it's always easier to boast good growth numbers when you are one of the smaller players in the marked. Still in real money HP grew 4 times that of Oracle and IBM grew 7 times that of Oracle in absolute numbers.

And if you combine the HP and IBM growth numbers, then those corresponds to almost 75% of the combined total Server revenue of Oracle and Fujitsu.

This is increasingly becoming a marked dominated by HP and IBM with a lot of smaller players.

// jesper

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Correction

"...IBM will support AIX and POWER for another 10 years - even though development has stopped..."

Of course I meant "even IF development has stopped". I do not mean that development of AIX and POWER has stopped. My entire post talk about the future, "when IBM kills off AIX and POWER". It is pretty clear that AIX and POWER has not been killed, if you read my post. I talk about the future to come.

When IBM finally do what they say they will do and kill their AIX and POWER, I will write it in every post. In big letters, so no one miss that. But not yet, it is in the future.

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Headmaster

The big difference..

between you and many others here is that you are all black and white. SUN (now Oracle) Good, the rest are EVIL and must die.

And I am sorry your whole AIX is going away is getting tiredsome.. what is the next Watsons, "We only need one computer per continent ?" to try to prove some lame point ?

// Jesper

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About time

About time Oracle got some growth in the server space.

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WTF?

re: About time

I don't think that's fair. If you were referring to Sun from a year ago, I would agree, but the fact that Oracle seems to have turned around Sun's business in only a years time is nothing short of miraculous. I hate it when it happens, but I have to agree with MB's comment about if Oracles growth is from displacing Fujitsu, or if it is "real" growth...

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Yet more Fanboism...

Kebabert - Give it a rest mate. You are meant to be a IT professional are you not...we are not in a one size fits all industry, some kit is better at some stuff than other kit, you obviously do not realise this. You need to.

You are no different to Matt B and his fanatical HP obsession.

Anyway, back to the subject of the article, yes we have bought a whole lot of M9000 upgrades to the VII+ and a host of M5000's for other projects, we are spending so I assume others are to...

How on earth can they get accurate linux figures? Our Red Hat deployment is going through the roof as is everyone's, they are just estimates at best.

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Happy

RE: Yet more Fanboism...

"....some kit is better at some stuff than other kit..... You are no different to Matt B...." Strange, because I've been known to say exactly that, so are you disagreeing with yourself or just admitting you don't actually read my posts before frothing up?

"....How on earth can they get accurate linux figures?...." These are from IDC's vendor figures, as in servers shipped from the vendors with Linux licences as part of the deal. The reality is a lot more get Linux installed seperately, but how many of those also go onto support agreements and generate revenue for either the server vendors or the Linux disties is hard to gauge, so the real Linux picture is probably even sweeter than the tasty $2bn reported. The interesting bit is the UNIX and mainframe sector did $4bn, which means it is likely Linux as a whole generated more than any individual flavour of UNIX (Slowaris, AIX or hp-ux).

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@Splitbrain

I do not try to hide or conceal that I am an Oracle supporter. But I dont like all the FUD from IBMers. I try to counterbalance that. I have been accused of providing too many links and articles - well that is a good thing from me. If I did not provide links, I would be accussed of FUDing and making up things. But I do not, which is proved by all my links.

IBM was the first company to systematically employ FUD:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt#Definition

It is natural that the IBM supporters FUD a lot, with such a master...

If you disagree with my posts, how about you try to argue with facts and links, that I am wrong? I have noted many times, in many debates, that I provide lots of links and proofs of my view point - whereas the opponent never provide any links at all, they just yell at me. Sometimes they provide links, which is good. But not always.

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Regarding if Sun/Oracle FUD and lie. Someone said that Sun canceled Rock, canceled this and that. Well, that is not a lie. IBM releases a product, and claim it is 100x faster than it actually is. THAT is a lie. IBM claims that their mediocre hardware can virtualize 100s of other servers. If you read the foot note, the other servers are typically 1GHz cpu with 256MB RAM or something like that - and they all idle. Now THAT is a lie. Very typical from IBM.

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Holmes

Hmm have you ever read...

Well at least the IBM commercial states in small what is being compared, not like the Oracle commercials, which are well, at best misleading.

http://online.wsj.com/media/sunoraclefaster_DV_20090930103247.jpg

Now where does it actually give a performance number ?

Now where does it actually says that it's not a server but a cluster that is being compared ?

Now cay you really buy this product unless it is a 'do it yourself' kit from Oracle ?

While IBM might have been the 'Big Evil' of the past.. then there is no doubt who is the spreader of FUD now..

// Jesper

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@Jesper Frimann

I dont understand what you mean. Oracle say something like this "On october 14th we will show you how fast we are and give you the exact numbers. Just wait some more"

Where is the FUD in that? Oracle revealed the exact numbers and performed better than IBM - just as Oracle promised. Oracle did not break any promises. Oracle did not lie. Oracle did not say "we will show you a non clustered result that is faster than IBM" - no, Oracle said nothing about clusters vs non clusters. Oracle has not lied about that - because Oracle said nothing about that.

The Oracle poster would be FUD if it turned out that IBM was faster, because then Oracle would have lied. That Oracle poster is not FUD. You dont know what FUD is. FUD is basically, when you lie. If you have negative things to say, it might be a valid point and important to know. Negative critisicm is not FUD.

Negative lies is FUD, just read the article again; IBM said negative things which where not true - THAT is FUD. If IBM had said negative things that were true - that would be valid criticism and that would be important for the customers to know. Then IBM would be right in telling their customers no to use non IBM gear. But it was not valid criticism, it was lies. Ergo, FUD.

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Trollface

Well..

Ok, lets then just agree upon that not telling your clients the whole story, hence leaving out important facts is technically not lying. I can agree on that.

Btw you seem to forget that Oracle got fined by the TPC for that commercial, as it was deemed misleading.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/09/29/tpc_slaps_oracle/

// Jesper

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Not a very civil discussion...

1) Mainframes are not supercomputers. They are high-margin ($$$$) machines that surround themselves with high-margin components to deliver ultra-efficient, high-uptime systems. It really doesn't do Mainframe systems justice to compare GHz to Intel chips. 40 MHz Mainframes used to run 200-person applications. Windows software just isn't written the same way.

2) PSI was a clever extension of the Hercules mainframe emulator for x86. It didn't run the 64-bit stuff and was only successful in one-man, two-man development shops. They had hung their hat on Itanium's special instruction facility to speed their processing.

3) Mainframes have better-addressed 'cache stalling/starving', 'cycle-stealing', 'processor-to-processor communications' and other problems that prevent x64 from realizing their full capability. It certainly isn't cost-effective for single users, but that is why single user machines outsell mainframes by a factor of a hundred-thousand (or so).

4) Whenever someone says that a company is in trouble because of what a blogger wrote, one has to remember that bloggers can write whatever they want. God bless free speach!

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@Beachrider

IBM Mainframes are not supercomputers? So you, too, admit they are not suitable for number crunching, and in fact, they are very weak in that area? Any x86 cluster would outperform a Mainframe by far. So it seems we all agree that cpu performance is not the strength of Mainframes. (How in earth can a low performant z10 Mainframe virtualize 1.500 x86 servers? I dont get it, imagine if 10 of the x86 servers start to do some heavy cpu work)

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Other touted strengths of mainframes, are the reliability and I/O.

Regarding the reliability, I am doubtful. For instance, in Scandinavias largest IT site, there was an article of a big company whose Mainframe crashed, and the managers said "unfortunately our IBM mainframe crashed, it never crash usually. Last time it crashed was six years ago".

http://www.idg.se/2.1085/1.363240/stordator-i-oslo-bakom-sjs-stora-problem

And the purpose of the software emulator TurboHercules is that companies that can not afford another IBM Mainframe, can use TurboHercules for failover when the Mainframe crashes. The thing is, the x86 servers using software emulation (which is 5-10x slower) still rival the IBM Mainframes in terms of cpu performance. 8-socket Intel Nehalem-EX gives 3.200 MIPS - which is a decent sized Mainframe. For a fraction of the price. You can emulate a Mainframe on your laptop.

Now, if Mainframes never crash, why would IBM try to stop TurboHercules? There should be no market for TurboHercules. If the Mainframes are superfast, then software emulation could never give decent Mainframe perfomance - so IBM would not try to stop TurboHercules. But IBM is vigorously fighting TurboHercules. IBM is afraid of TurboHercules. Founder of Hercules describes what IBM does to his company:

http://herculesvsibm.wordpress.com/

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Regarding the massive I/O. Sure, Mainframes have good I/O. They have like 296.000 I/O channels or so. One Mainframe can handle 500.000 logged in users. That is impressive.

But IBM claims that one z10 Mainframe can virtualize 1.500 x86 servers. In the foot note, IBM assumes they all idle. So... if a Mainframe can handle 500.000 users, maybe the vast majority idles? Maybe only 1% does actual work? I would not be surprised if IBM marketing lied about this too.

Regarding finance and algorithmic trading and superfast HFT. Mainframes are never used. They are good at batch work. High throughput. But crappy latency. In algo trading, etc, they typically all use x86 servers with Linux/Solaris.

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To recap about the Mainframe virtues:

1. Superfast. No, they are not. They are slow - when we talk about cpu performance.

2. Reliable. Why do they crash every 5 year? Why do people want failover software emulation?

3. Good I/O. Maybe 95% of all users idle?

4. Backwards compatibility. I know too little about this. But I suspect this is true. Enterprise tend to focus on backward compatbility. And Mainframes are Enterprise.

5. High price. Sure. This is true. But any POWER7 machine is faster than a IBM Mainframe. Let alone decent x86 server.

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Pint

re: RE: Yet more Fanboism...

"Strange, because I've been known to say exactly that, so are you disagreeing with yourself or just admitting you don't actually read my posts before frothing up?"

SplitBrains comment had little to no froth that I could detect. You, on the other hand, have a bit of spittle on the corner of your mouth Matt. You may say what SB said, but then you go on with your rants and FUD anyway. You can't have it both ways. You're either a fanboi or a thoughtful IT professional.

I cringe whenever Keb comments, as he is unabashedly a fanboi. At least he's honest about it.

A beer, cuz we all have our preferences (mine is all beer in general), and I think Matt needs to chill a bit.

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The cnet reference is from 2003!

I was just chasing down the reference that kebabbert made to a cnet article. The article was written in 2003. It would be good to review a 2003 perspective with today's perspective.

First, cnet DOES say that IBM expects (long term) that Linux will catch up with AIX. It just doesn't look like Linux has been 'catching up' much from 2003-2011.

Linux kernel 2.6 came out in 2003. It is at 2.6 (RHEL 6 is at 2.6.32, 5 is at 2.6.18). AIX was at 4.3 in 2003, it has had 3 major releases since that time. AIX 7.1 has bitten off a much larger amount of improvement work in the past 8 years.

Windows will be replaced, someday. Perhaps by someone working on code in their garage, today. AIX is likely to be replaced by Linux, someday. That day has not inched closer in the past 8 years, though.

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Stop

RE: The cnet reference is from 2003!

".....It just doesn't look like Linux has been 'catching up' much from 2003-2011...." Did the Linux revenue figure even register? Please go read the Gartner report article http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/26/gartner_q1_2011_server_numbers/ that Bill refers to, it shows the total UNIX server revenue as $2.6bn for the quarter, with IBM UNIX server revenue as $1.19bn, whereas the IDC report shows that Linux capped $2bn in the same quarter. Linux hasn't just overtaken AIX in terms of revenue, it has almost overtaken UNIX as a whole!

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Thumb Up

Gartner shows even better numbers for Oracle

I'm sure TPM is well along on another article comparing and contrasting the numbers for IDC and Gartner, but in the mean time check out what Gartner is saying:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gartner-says-first-quarter-server-shipments-rise-2011-05-26

Oracle increased Revenues by a staggering 34%. More than all top 5 server vendors.

Just glad to see some real competition in the server market again. Welcome back Oracle/Sun!

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