back to article Ellison: 'There'll be nothing left of IBM once I'm done'

Oracle has pulled the rug out from under Hewlett-Packard's Intel's Itanium processor by yanking support of its database, middleware, and application software on future "Poulson" and "Kittson" Itaniums. It looks as though Larry Ellison wants to take on IBM in microprocessors for data center systems, man-to-man, head-to-head. "I …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ellison comes across as a bit of a dick sometimes, doesn't he?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sometimes?

      If Oracle offered people on the street the opportunity to slap Larry Ellison for $10 they'd double their cash holdings overnight.

    2. DJV Silver badge
      Megaphone

      What do you mean "sometimes"?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Sometimes?

      How about ALL the time. He's a dirtbag of the highest order.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You've insulted the dirtbags

        We dirtbags prefer to call him a douchebag.

    4. Anomalous Cowturd
      Thumb Up

      @ Robert Long 1

      Bloody megalomaniac, more like!

      ;o)

    5. Kebabbert
      Happy

      Que?

      Could someone explain why Larry is an asshole for wanting to compete with IBM? I mean, when IBM trash talked HP and Sun some time ago, no one here complained. Instead, they rejoiced and agreed and talked about how bad HP and Sun was. Why are there lot of complaints when Oracle are doing the same thing to IBM, as IBM does to others? I dont get it?

      When IBM does something to Sun or HP - that is great and Sun and HP should be killed!

      When someone does the same thing to IBM - he is an asshole.

      Why?

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Huh?

        It you don't think that everyone and the barber's cat haven't taken every opportunity to mention how much of a jerk Ellison is, you simply haven't been paying attention. Even longtime Oracle users will happily jump on the pile.

        No. Ellison has always been an asshole.

        Recognizing this is by no means new or "trendy".

      2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
        Stop

        @Kebabbert

        It isn't *what* he says, it is *how* he says it. He is one of those utter shitheads who could wish you happy birthday and make you want to drown him in a barrel of cat piss. For that reason alone, I believe that he is the wrong person to be heading up a company that really needs to be looking at it how it is perceived by the public.

      3. Asgard
        Thumb Down

        @Kebabbert

        @Kebabbert, "Could someone explain why Larry is an asshole for wanting to compete with IBM"

        Larry is an asshole. Its not about who he is competing with today, its about how he behaves all the time. He behaves like a billionaire version of a thug. He treats business more like Fight Club. He is the 5th richest person in the world, so he isn't short of money. Yet for him, business is less about money and more about the need for him to keep fighting and winning battles. He is behaving like a billionaire version of a thug.

        He doesn't need to be so ruthless. He has made it, he's one of the richest people in the world FFS. But no, he wants to behave like a thug endlessly seeking to bully and control others and it wouldn't at all surprise me if he was loving every minute of it, because lets face it, if he wasn't loving it, he doesn't need to do it, because its not as if he needs the money. So I can't help thinking, what a sad narcissistic bastard (as in someone with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder and they can be evil bastards). Why doesn't he just do the world a favor and retire and enjoy his money, rather than endlessly behaving like a relentless fight seeking thug. :(

        1. Kebabbert

          @Asgard

          Well, let me put it this way

          "IBM is one of the largest companies on the market. There is no need for IBM to act like bastards, using foul play and FUD all the time. IBM should enjoy it's position as a key player, instead of acting like a Enterprise version of a thug".

          Can I be much clearer? Why is it ok when IBM does like this, but it is not ok when Larry does like this? IBM has been on the market for a longer time than Larry, and IBM used FUD even before Larry was born (not quite, but).

          So again, when IBM acts like this - everyone rejoices. When Larry act like this, everyone gets furious. Hey, I once just posted an x86 benchmark in a discussion of POWER vs x86 and an well known IBM supporter got really upset, claiming that I "insulted his intelligence" for posting a single benchmark. I dont get it. When Larry is doing something, everyone gets upset and furious. When IBM FUDs everyone is happy and cheers and fill these posts with FUD. IBM attacks everyone and everything. I remember all the IBM FUD in the thread about Itanium.

          I dont get it. Is there one rule for IBM, and other rules for the rest?

          1. kolo

            Because people hate other people, not companies. And there is not Mr IBM like there is Mr Oracle. Heck, 95% of people here don't even know the name of the current IBM CEO...

    6. zen1

      If you must know

      the only reason he wears a tie is to keep the foreskin from sliding up over his face.

    7. Shannon Jacobs
      Holmes

      Does Ellison invest in politicians?

      Just asking. I don't recall having heard, and he might be too cheap.

      However, the businessmen who do invest in the professional politicians are the worst ones. The large (probably vast) majority of good, honest, ethical businessmen are just willing to play by the rules of the game. It's the other businessmen who want to game the system--and the result is laws that encourage or even require companies to become evil.

      Maybe Ellison will "win" on those terms. I'm willing to consider the possibility that Oracle is distinctly more evil than IBM.

      1. Kebabbert

        @Shannon Jacobs

        "...I'm willing to consider the possibility that Oracle is distinctly more evil than IBM..."

        You must be kidding. IBM has always been the big Evil company, until MS took all attention. But IBM has never stopped being Evil, IBM continued.

        You maybe dont know that IBM is the company that popularized and systematically used FUD? Read the FUD article on wikipedia and see. And also, you can see all the IBM supporters FUD a lot in almost every thread. Why are there no Oracle FUD in the comments here? No, we only see IBMers attack HP, Sun and now Oracle. And best of all, most of these attacks are "anonymous". Real cowards are what IBMers are.

        With such a master spreading FUD, the pupils are the same. "More evil than IBM" - what a joke.

        1. Rob Dobs
          Devil

          IBM takes the crown

          IBM did make deals with Nazi Germany... thats hard to top.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        more the opposite

        Who do you think supplies Big Brother with his database software ?

    8. Tom 13
      Flame

      what do you mean "a bit"?

      I think others have already covered the "sometimes" part.

    9. Bullitt
      Thumb Down

      He doesn't do black very well and he's no Steve Jobs either.

  2. cloudgazer

    Also, once he's finished with IBM and HP his death=ray will be complete and he will destroy Metropolis!

  3. boltar Silver badge

    What is ellison smoking this week?

    "If you think companies do a lot of arithmetic, "

    Uuuh , yeah! What does he think banking systems do - send the sums to special maths pixies to work out with pencil and paper?? There is plenty of integer arithmetic going on specifically because floating point can cause equality test issues and other inaccuracies.

    1. Chris L

      I would love to have enough in my bank account that FP would have equality test issues.

    2. Kebabbert

      @boltar

      In the banking world, the problem is not doing fast integer arithmetic - that is easy to do. Anyone can update accounts with the new salary fast. There are other problems, such as quickly fetching enough data to feed the cpu.

      cpus have fast integer performance enough to do banking workloads.

      1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

        LPOD fanbois

        I can't understand why Kebabbert got downvoted for his/her comment. Maybe the truth hurts.

        One of the defining characteristics of big iron is the throughput it can handle, I have worked on a Parallel Sysplexs of 14 mainframes that was quite happy to chug through 30 million transactions in slightly less than an hour. On two other separate sites I have also seen DB2 database tables with over 25 Billion records.

        Mainframes do this by having channel controllers to control I/O devices leaving the CPU free to do the unsexy things like adding 8p to your bank accounts accumulated charges because you used your bank card in an ATM.

        It’s horses for courses; I can’t imagine a mainframe doing complex ray-tracing calculations to create the reflections on the silver surfers body, that’s not what it is designed for, it was designed for data processing and up-time reliability, and on that it certainly beats the crap out our latest oracle based toy which has to be rebooted regularly because it is leaking memory.

        Sadly for LPOD, it is not sufficient for oracle to win, but the opposition must be totally vanquished, however, the mainframe and Mark Twain have one thing in common, its the statement “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”

        Mainframes, still kicking ASCII

        1. Kebabbert
          Happy

          @Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

          "...I can't understand why Kebabbert got downvoted for his/her comment. Maybe the truth hurts..."

          This down voting is because there are lot of IBM supporters here, and as we all know, IBM and IBM supporters use foul play and FUD. It doesnt matter what I write, the IBM supporters down vote it. I once asked a simple question not related to IBM, and guess what? Even that single question got lot of down votes!

          And when I ask why lot of people here are mad at Larry Ellison, I draw even more furious anger from the IBMers here. They are worse than cockroaches, actually. Everywhere, spewing out the FUD and attacking everyone that questions IBMs foul play. :o)

          .

          But we all agree on that Mainframe have better I/O than any other server. This is a well known fact, and nothing to dispute. Just as you explain.

          1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
            Stop

            Hey!!! watch it dickwad (Kebabbert)!!!!!

            I'm an IBMer as well.....

            As far as I am concerend <insert derogatary name for supporter of particular platform> all sprerad FUD and <insert name of company> engage in some sort of foul play.

            Here's another Mark Twain quote for you "All generalizations are false... including this one".

  4. steeplejack
    Holmes

    There seems to be a market here,

    for a sensible, customer-focused, value-conscious Unix-linux-and-database company.

    1. Tomato42 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Surely you aren't talking about a company that offered $30000 server to small businesses?

      1. -tim
        FAIL

        They offered us one for $18,000 to replace a bunch of old sun hardware that costs us $1,000 per machine when they were new and would work fine if they didn't have a bug in their hardware that keeps them from working with drivers bigger than 128 gig. We already found a solution to fix the fans. Their new box would have taken more power too but might have been faster but I don't need faster.

  5. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Meh

    I would get out the popcorn again, but there have been so many willy-waving goons like this lately, that I've had to go on a diet!

  6. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
    Devil

    Speed Kills

    And so does crystal meth. :-)

    Seriously, do you expect customers to keep tossing out $$$ for faster and fast performance when they already have fast enough performance? That is to say, a potential customer who just built out a DW solution isn't going to need to re-invest in that solution, (sans maintenance), for at least 3-5 years.

    Ellison is preaching to the customers in IBM's 'white space'.

    But outside of that... All Ellison really has to do is to sit back and watch IBM crumble from rusting our from the inside. IBM has already cut as much fat as they could by offshoring back room jobs to lower cost countries. They also have off shored most of their delivery staff too. This goes only so far before their customers either negotiate IBM in to oblivion or revolt and join IBM's 'white space'.

    Sure it will take some time. But its happening.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Agree 100%

      I agree that IBM is definitely in decline; I left IBM only recently (voluntarily) and the management is way too stupid to see how their short sighted actions are damaging the IBM brand.

  7. DJV Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Sigh... if only we could lock both Ellison and Ballmer into an escape-proof (and soundproof) room and throw away the key.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      You forgot someone ...

      ... Jobs (I know he's retired or whatever, but he deserves to be in there too).

      1. DJV Silver badge
        FAIL

        Betcha feeling sorry for that comment now...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Oh, Larry, Larry ...

    What a nasty ambition.

  9. Outcast !!!

    ORACLE

    One Rich Arsehole Calls Larry Ellison

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      but

      I wish I were rich enough to be such an arsehole...

  10. Steven Jones

    The real gainers

    This is going to keep a lot of lawyers in work and make not a few even richer than they are now. I can just imagine the lobbying going on with the regulatory authorities at the moment. That's assuming the regulators have the stomach for such a fight.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So is Java on Oracle as fast as c++ now?

    We shouldn't laugh at Larry; we should take him seriously and we should move everything away from all of anything Oracle owns or controls (even Java). He will increase his prices until he chokes his customers.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: "Java on Oracle as fast as c++ now?"

      Exactly. What are we calling Java here? Is it the JVM?

      If you have a Java compiler that produces native code, I imagine you could get within a factor of two or three of C++, just as you can with most other languages. If instead you are targeting the JVM, then you obviously aren't concerned with performance, so neither you nor I care how close you get.

      That's fine. For many applications, performance isn't important. However, when it is, you don't target some intermediate ISA, whether that be the JVM, the CLR, or OS/400. There's a reason why all the key server applications for both Linux and Windows, as well as the kernels, are still compiled as native code and it isn't the need to hit hardware because 90% of even kernel mode code doesn't actually get to touch hardware these days.

      1. Kebabbert

        @Ken Hagan

        Theoretically, Java can be faster than C++. Because of adaptive optimization. C++ just optimizes once, upon compilation - whereas Java optimizes continuously, every time it runs the program.

        1. Kebabbert
          Happy

          LOL!

          Look at this! I am down voted again! Hilarious!

          Research shows I am correct on this. My friend from my uni where a cofounder of JRockit, before BEA bought it, before Oracle bought it. And adaptive optimizing compilers ARE faster in theory.

          Even researchers supports me on this. But still I get down voted. Very funny. It shows the desperation of the IBM supporters. Attacking everything I write. No matter what. And trying to discredit me and spew out FUD about me, about Oracle, about HP and Itanium, about everything.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        There is this thing. It is called JIT compilation.

        Your performance comments about the JVM are a decade out of date. The optimizing JIT compilers in the mainstream JVMs are now very good, and JVM performance for many applications quickly converges on the performance of similar implementations in compiled-to-native languages.

        Of course, the execution environment is rarely the dominating factor anyway. JVM performance will only be relevant to CPU-bound portions of applications in the first place. And within those, performance is often limited primarily by poor use of resources, inefficient algorithms and data representations, and bugs.

        A few months back I was taking a course on natural language processing and had to write a part-of-speech tagger. This is a largely CPU-bound exercise (the dataset was relatively small, some tens of thousands of sentences) with a lot of floating-point calculation (basically an HMM driven by n-gram probabilities with Katz backoff). My Java implementation, which only included basic optimizations like memoization, averaged 1ms per sentence on commodity x86 hardware. A fellow student wrote his in C++ and had worse performance - by a couple of orders of magnitude.

        Does that mean Java is 100 times faster than C++? Of course it doesn't. But similar sweeping generalizations about Java performance are equally vapid.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          I refer you to my sweeping generalisations about the prevalence, or not, of JIT compilation in OS kernels and server software.

          I'd also point out that "in theory", compiling to an intermediate ISA discards information that is then not available to a JIT compiler.

  12. Ralthor
    Childcatcher

    Strange....

    ... I hadn't heard of his appointment as IBM CEO?

  13. Smoking Man

    Only a matter of time!

    ..'til Larry thinks POWER processors aren't fast enough anymore and by this don't deserve his wonderful software any longer.

    So when does he pull the plug on POWER, AIX and Linux on POWER?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm actually wondering when your only option to get an Oracle database is on the SMB appliance for low end or Exadata on high-end... It does seem to be the way they're going, anyway.

  14. bazza Silver badge

    Ambitious

    I admire the corporate ambition on display. But I think that there's a lot more to IBM than just integer performance. I think that Ellison is underestimating IBM and their appreciation of their customers' needs.

    There's plenty of hardware out there (Sparc, Itanium, x64) that should theoretically mean that IBM's hardware offering is lacking in appeal in one way or other (performance, cost, or whatever). But apparently that's not reflected in IBM's sales figures.

    I think that IBM are actually quite subtle as to what they put in to their hardware designs. My favourite example is the decimal arithematic hardware acceleration on the POWER processors. That's absolutely perfect for massive banking applications having to process international transactions. As Boltar rightly points out in the post above, ordinary floating point is not accurate enough. Almost no one outside that niche knows that it's in there. But it shows that IBM have really thought about banking applications all the way down to the CPU design. And guess what - IBM sell to a *lot* of banks and financial processing outfits.

    Whether or not Ellison understands that point I don't know, but it is important. IBM clearly has means of offering cost effective systems to their customers in ways where individual benchmarks are irrelevant. The customer ultimately cares about only service-per-dollar. This has allowed IBM to sell a surprising amount of mainframe gear for many decades now. So much so that everyone seems to have given up saying that the mainframe is dead.

    Anyway, whilst Ellison may witter on about Java, there's a shed load of COBOL out there, new and old.

    Having said that, I do like what they've done with SPARC.

    1. Kebabbert

      @bazza

      "...My favourite example is the decimal arithematic hardware acceleration on the POWER processors. That's absolutely perfect for massive banking applications having to process international transactions. As Boltar rightly points out in the post above, ordinary floating point is not accurate enough. Almost no one outside that niche knows that it's in there. But it shows that IBM have really thought about banking applications all the way down to the CPU design...."

      Again, if you are doing it right, you never use floating numbers in finance. Every calculation is done with integers, and you keep track of the number of decimals separately. No rounding will occur. No floating numbers are needed. As I said, I work in a large finance company.

      .

      "...And guess what - IBM sell to a *lot* of banks and financial processing outfits..."

      I agree that IBM sell lot of gear to banks. The banking world relies heavily on Mainframes. Banking world updates an account with the new salary, decrease the account with rent, mortgages, etc. Those are trivial calculations, done in COBOL on Mainframes. Not very sexy. I see old dusty rooms with old men sitting with monochrome terminals doing COBOL.

      In the finance world, Mainframes are never used - they are too slow. Here we typically use Linux/Solaris and C++ and do High Frequency Trading, algo trading, quant math, risk analysis etc - now THAT is sexy! Banking world is boring. Finance is cool. I see sky scrapers, suits, MBAs, Quants, Traders, HFT, algorithms, Hedge Funds, Wall Street, etc.

      Traditionally, Solaris has been used in Finance and Telcos. I have never seen an IBM system in finance. I work in finance, not in banking. It is always Linux or Solaris.

      1. bazza Silver badge

        @kebabbert

        "Again, if you are doing it right, you never use floating numbers in finance. Every calculation is done with integers, and you keep track of the number of decimals separately. No rounding will occur. No floating numbers are needed. As I said, I work in a large finance company."

        Hmm, well I'm not sure that you've wholly understood what that part of POWER is. As you say, floating point is no good. I gather that the *decimal* accelerator (not the FPU) in POWER is doing the sort of arbitary precision sums you've outlined. Hardware acceleration of that is obviously going to bring benefits, or so IBM would have you believe. And it's difficult to disagree with the evidence of their sales figures.

        "Those are trivial calculations, done in COBOL on Mainframes. Not very sexy."

        Not sexy, but clearly very profitable. Profits don't have to be earnt in a sexy way, they just have to be big! I'd say that on an absolute scale skyscrapers, suits and MBAs are not really significantly sexier...

        Yes, I'm familiar with the technology that the high speed trading world uses, and I'd certainly agree with you on the inappropriateness of mainframes in that role! But generally I think that Solaris/Linux on even top end server and network hardware is behind the curve when it comes to low latency, largely because they're stuck with stodgy sluggardly interconnects like Ethernet, Myrinet and Infiniband.

        The high performance embedded signal processing world has been much more focused on low latencies than the mainstream server world. The 'unconventional' interconnects found in that domain (VXS's and OpenVPX's sRIO, and external interconnects like sFPDP) are all about low latency. That's because it's a key driver in the sorts of applications (radar, etc) implemented using such hardware. If you've not done so already, it's worth a bit of investigation.

        Anyway, hurry up and earn your profits. There's a good chance that the whole high speed trading thing will get banned soon, especially if it gets fingered for causing a major market wobbly. I'm pretty sure that no one in the finance industry could say whether or not it meets the Nyquist stability criterion, but those of us who know what that means generally think that it doesn't and don't believe that anyone's checked to see either.

        Even if it doesn't fall over it's doomed stagnate, eventually. As soon as you've all bought premises as close as possible to the stock exchange and have all chosen the optimum hardware and algorithms for the job, you'll all be as good at it as each other at it and there won't be any technological advantage left to exploit. Anyone started checking to see if they're plugged in to port number 1 on the Exchange's Ethernet switch?

        On the otherhand if stagnation spurs the finance industry into developing even lower latency kit (the mainstream IT industry won't, they care merely about throughput) then I would be quite grateful.

        1. Shannon Jacobs
          Alert

          FORTH now!!

          Back to FORTH!!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            What do you mean "back to"? I still use it most weeks.

          2. fch

            Both Power and SPARC servers have Forth built-in

            ... and they don't even need an operating system for it. They both use OpenFirmware, and the "ok" prompt there will give you a full-featured Forth interpreter right at your fingertips.

        2. Kebabbert

          @bazza

          Regarding integer calculations or floating point calculation - I dont understand why you IBMers are talking about it so much. The problem of doing such calculation is not a very big problem. The vast majority of server cpus have no problems of doing such calculations, they have no performance problems. The problem is fetching data. Of course, if you are doing BIG calculations then it is a problem. For instance, to multiply really really huge numbers takes long time, the best algorithm are using FFT and does that i O(n log log n). But I dont think such calculations are done. Only trivial calculations are done, such calculations no cpu have problems to do.

          Regarding embedded signal processing, I will check that up. Thank you for that. Our system is among the fastest in the world today, and if we could lower latency even more, it would be even better. But I have doubts those solutions transfer directly to servers and IT.

      2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
        Headmaster

        @Kebabbert @bazza

        I think you'll find that if you are talking about mainframes, transaction values and bank balances that's it's all stored and calculated in packed decimal format, the mainframe CPU uses a complex instruction set that has machine code instruction for dealing with this rather archaic format.

        “Mainframes are never used - they are too slow. Here we typically use Linux/Solaris and C++ and do High Frequency Trading, algo trading, quant math, risk analysis etc - now THAT is sexy! Banking world is boring. Finance is cool. I see sky scrapers, suits, MBAs, Quants, Traders, HFT, algorithms, Hedge Funds, Wall Street, etc”

        If my memory serves correctly there was a least one financial crash caused by your fast, sexy, computers, where the computers got stuck in a negative feedback loop and started selling anything that wasn’t nailed down, that one comment alone warrants a FAIL icon. Finance is cool, only if you think loosing money is cool.

        “To err is to be human, but to really fuck things up you need a computer”, especially if you are using the computer to perform quant math, risk analysis etc. for credit default swaps, derivatives, hedge funds and naked short selling and a mess of other shit that has fucked up the worlds economies.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Citibank

      There is a reason Citi, BofA, JPMC and Wells have standardized on IBM Power and a SPARC box requires 3 levels of escalation.

      1. Kebabbert

        @A.C

        Ok, I did not know that. In all my travels around the world, I have never seen AIX nor POWER. Do you what these banks are using the IBM systems for?

        1. Allison Park
          FAIL

          Get out much?

          "In all my travels around the world, I have never seen AIX nor POWER." Looks like you have missed the boat. IBM keeps showing me these market share numbers that shows AIX and Power are now over 50% of the Unix market

          "Do you what these" Hopefully, English is not your first language.

          Shouldn't you be at OOW with the rest of us?

  15. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Stop

    Larry forgot his own memo!

    After all, it was Larry that first tried to get hp to buy the Sun server bizz, then tried to flog it to any taker. Larry is so full of it, it's hardly surprising he's misplaced a few memos amongst the brwn stuff.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/19/oracle_shopping_sun_hardware/

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/12/sun_oracle_sec/

  16. Dazed and Confused

    IBM, now there is someone with a massive pile of patents

    I wonder how long it will be before they start playing at being like Apple and going after every little thing Larry wants to do.

    1. Kebabbert

      @Dazed...

      Just like when IBM nearly bankrupted Sun? As Gosling explains:

      http://nighthacks.com/roller/jag/entry/quite_the_firestorm

      Or like this time, when IBM demanded money from Sun, saying "ok, you are not violating these 7 patents, but we have many more. Do you want us to come back with patents you actually do violate or are you going to pay?". Sun payed again.

      http://www.forbes.com/asap/2002/0624/044.html

      I would not cry if Oracle crushed IBM, for obvious reasons. Larry is the Man. :o)

      1. Allison Park
        FAIL

        You have Ellison Envy

        That's worse then Penis Envy.

        The difference between God and Larry Ellison? God doesn't think he is Larry.

        1. Kebabbert

          @Allison Park

          So have you read the links? When IBM almost black mail other companies for money? You think that is ethical and fair, right? And when IBM is using foul play, you have no understanding that people react, and dont like the foul play by IBM?

          1. Allison Park

            By clear admission of denial you admit it

            You obviously have Ellison Envy....

      2. Niall

        @Kebabbert

        Great links, read both.

      3. Allison Park
        IT Angle

        now we know why

        now we know why you have a hard on for IBM.

        Be it unsubstantiated claims with little regard for the facts it does make for interesting reading.

        I would have thought that inventing RISC would be more than "make it simple and it will go fast", but I dont have time to troll the patent database.

        Try to come up with articles from the last 3 years not 10 please

        1. Kebabbert

          @Allison Park

          These patent stories are only some of the foul play and FUD that IBM uses. The worst thing is that people seems to believe that IBM is not Evil? That is funny. But on the other hand, IBM marketing division is very strong, they boasts all sorts of strange things. For instance, that the z196 Mainframe is the "worlds fastest cpu" when in fact it is much slower than a decent x86 server cpu.

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

          If one z196 Mainframe cpu at 5.26 GHz and 300MB cpu cache is slower than a x86 cpu, how can a big IBM Mainframe with 24 cpus virtualize 1.500 x86 servers as IBM claims? That must be a gross.. something.

          .

          Regarding my Larry Ellison envy, hell yea I am envious of him. To be one of the richest man on earth triggers my envy, yes. I am but a man. Not like you, that have all the money you need.

          .

          Regarding the RISC patent. RISC cpus are built like that. Instead of having complext microcode, you only have a few cpu operations, that are heavily optimized and only use them. Basically you throw out all unnecessary. Keep it lean n mean. That is faster than bloat.

          One of the links that you think are Trolling, is written by James Gosling, father of Java. I can assure you that he is more credible than you, a random FUDer that never backs any of your claims up. At least I give links that shows I speak true.

          The other Forbes link you dispute, is by

          "Gary L. Reback has been named one of the "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America" by the National Law Journal"

          and I think he also is more credible than you, a well known FUDer and Troll.

          So, instead of accusing me bringing up old articles, how about you bringing up ANY article that supports your unsubstantiated claims? Oh, there are no such links, because you made up everything? Ok, I get it. Then how about you stop making up things in that case? Only write things you can support, either by a stringent and correct logical reasoning, or by supporting links. If you speculate, be clear with that and dont try to make everyone believe your speculation is true. I speculate, but then I am clear with that - I dont try to fool everyone my speculation is true.

  17. tom 99
    FAIL

    @Kebb

    "Again, if you are doing it right, you never use floating numbers in finance. Every calculation is done with integers, and you keep track of the number of decimals separately."

    Wrong. Read about Decimal Floating Point and there is a chance you'll understand. Available only in POWER and Z.

    1. bazza Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      @tom 99

      Seems you're a deserved member of the group of a select few people I know who have properly read up on modern CPU technology.

      IBM are in many ways infuriating. They're always coming up with neat tricks like this which have applications way beyond IBM's core business, but the only way you can get it is to buy a bloody banking system off them. It is admirable how they stick to what they do best and not waste shareholders' profits on supporting the few small fry like me who'd like to use their tech for something other than an entire country's credit card transactions processing...

    2. Kebabbert

      @Tom 99

      Where am I wrong? So when I say that our large finance systems that you have heard of (and probably used), are keeping track of decimals separately and never do any rounding - I am wrong?

      What should I read about decimal floating point? Can you give me a link "so that I understand"?

      Again, such trivial calculations are easy to do, and no cpu have problems doing that. The problem is fetching data quick enough to feed the cpu continuously. I dont understand why are talking about that IBM feature, it sounds as if it were as good as sliced bread?

    3. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      BCD and Decimal Floating point are a waste of space

      I have read about decimal floating point, but have never used it because fixed point integer has always been a better solution. I have used fixed point integer on 8041, 6502, Z80, 68000, TMS320, ARM, MIPS, X86 and AMD64. When I needed arbitrary precision, I used GMP or Python. If POWER or Z ever fit into the available budget, space and power requirements, I will stick with fixed point integer.

      1. Dazed and Confused

        BCD is only an IBM thing

        I started my programming career working on 8bit micros that did BCD for their FP, that's what happens when the CPU is designed by the calculator division.

  18. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

    A lot of Java

    "We think [...] run a lot of Java."

    Yes they do, but

    -for how long? Ellison is doing a fine job at driving people away from Java. Red Hat and Google are not to be taken lightly these days...

    -they are also running a LOT of COBOL (probably much more than Java, in terms of lines of code).

    "and then there will be nothing left"

    There will be the reputation for reliability and dependability. What Oracle has now is the reputation to shaft their customers and business partners at the first opportunity.

    Also, IBM "has" currently 212 systems in the top500 (yes, really), Oracle "has" 12.

    That's hardly "nothing left" when it comes to making a purchase decision, even if Oracle did in fact manage to build a benchmark system able to blast IBM in integer arithmetics.

    1. bazza Silver badge

      K Machine?

      "Also, IBM "has" currently 212 systems in the top500 (yes, really), Oracle "has" 12."

      Maybe, but the fastest of them all is SPARC based. Half million+ SPARC cores and counting...

      Ok, so Fujitsu makes the chips, but it's still good PR for Oracle and the SPARC commnunity.

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        Re: K Machine

        Well, if you want to go that way, there are a grand 2 SPARCs in the Top500... 45 Powers. And I bet all 45 Powers are IBM's, while none of the SPARCs are Oracle's.

        "We didnt build it but we use a similar architecture for our processors" does not sound like terribly good PR.

        Of course the proportions might change, Oracle are pretty new in that game; all I am saying is that it will take more than building one benchmark system faster at crunching integers to leave nothing to IBM. And behaving like total dickwads and liars, always ready to stab their partners and customers in the back, is not going to help PR.

        1. bazza Silver badge

          re K machine

          +++

          "We didnt build it but we use a similar architecture for our processors" does not sound like terribly good PR.

          +++

          Well, its not bad publicity either, and it is a small attention grabber.

          I completely agree that Oracle are quite capable of cooking up their own bad PR! Like them or loath them, SPARC getting improved is only a good thing, but I think we'd all prefer a more modest communicator of that news... And indeed it will take more than a single benchmark to out do IBM.

      2. Ilgaz

        One press release is enough

        Only problem with truly amazing Power7 is, price and multiple vendor support.

        What would happen to Sparc if IBM says "IBM and Fujitsu announces cross manufacturing and R&D agreement for Power8 processors"

        Hell, what would happen if IBM dumps the DB2 prices (or even free) for Sparc systems?

    2. Kebabbert

      @ElReq!....

      The systems running COBOL are Mainframes. I dont know of any x86 / POWER / SPARC that are mainly deployed to run COBOL.

      And theoretically, Java is faster than C++, because adaptive compilation. And for your information, several of the largest and fastest stock exchanges in the world, are done in Java.

      Regarding top500, it has no relevance for the discussion. In place 7(?) we find Blue Gene, which is very fast. It has many Power cpus running at 750MHz. Do you claim that such cpus are among the fastest in the world? No. So what does Blue Gene tell you? A supercomputer has other needs and requirements for their cpu, needs that say nothing about how good or fast a cpu is.

      1. boltar Silver badge
        WTF?

        @Kebabbert

        "And theoretically, Java is faster than C++, because adaptive compilation."

        Oh gawd, not this again. Yes , if you take a jar file and stick it on some random machine the jv, may in some rare circumstances produce a more efficient runtime than a statically compiled C++ binary thrown onto the same machine.

        Newsflash - production machines are generally NOT an unknown quatity and any company with any brains doesn't throw over binaries from a dev or test box , it compiles C++ binaries specifically for the machine they're going to run on. In fact in our company we compile them ON the production box.

        "And for your information, several of the largest and fastest stock exchanges in the world, are done in Java."

        That'll be despite java rather than because of it. The amount of hardware thrown at java these days to get decent performance is getting ridiculous.

        1. Kebabbert

          @boltar

          No, you are wrong. In THEORY, Java is faster than C++. It might not be the case today, but the day will come when adaptive optimization will be faster than static compilation.

          .

          "...That'll be despite java rather than because of it. The amount of hardware thrown at java these days to get decent performance is getting ridiculous..."

          In one of fixed income exchanges in Wall Street I recently visited, we had a discussion about this. Developers there said that one study at... CalTech(?) showed that a algo trading system written in Java were fastest. They implemented in different languages an measure performance.

          Regarding large stock exchange systems written in Java, I have some internal numbers, but can not disclose them. But if you look at the fastest systems in the world several of them are written in Java. London Stock Exchange, LSE, system is written in C++ and runs on Linux/Solaris. NASDAQ is written in Java and runs on Linux. Look at the production numbers and you will see that Java can give extreme performance and latency - if you know what you are doing. Skip the test numbers, instead look at production performance.

          So, it seems that Java rivals C++. Of course, LSE's earlier system were written in C# and ran on Windows - and crashed a lot and costed 50 million Pounds. So LSE threw it out after 1-2 years and bought Linux and C++ system for another 30 million Pounds.

          1. boltar Silver badge

            @Kebabbert

            "No, you are wrong. In THEORY, Java is faster than C++. It might not be the case today, but the day will come when adaptive optimization will be faster than static compilation."

            Compared to a binary optimised for the specific machine its going to run on? Sorry but I'll believe it when I see it.

            "But if you look at the fastest systems in the world several of them are written in Java."

            QuickBASIC would run fast on the systems these people use. And comparing different setups is pointless , there are hundreds of variables outside of the application program itself.

            1. Kebabbert

              @Boltar

              "...Compared to a binary optimised for the specific machine its going to run on? Sorry but I'll believe it when I see it...."

              Maybe you have not studied comp sci and compiler theory? Then I suggest you do that.

              .

              .

              "...QuickBASIC would run fast on the systems these people use...."

              Actually, these stock exchanges run commodity x86 servers albeit beefed up, and Linux. Nothing fancy nor special here. Trust me on this, or go and check it up yourself. They dont use supercomputers. Typically they are using several dual socket Intel Xeon 6-core rack servers with 36GB RAM or something similar.

              Of course QuickBasic would run fast on such a system, but so what? C++ and Java get equal speeds. As I said, I have some internal numbers, but can not disclose them. If Java were too slow, then no stock exchange would use Java. But they do. The trick is to never trigger the garbage collector in Java, but manage the memory yourself.

      2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Boffin

        RE: @ElReq!....

        "The systems running COBOL are Mainframes...." Not so, unfortunately. The Y2Kgasm meant many companies looked at replacing old servers and systems with newer kit, but they mainly kept the old code with a few Y2K edits. There were several reasons for this, mainly because the packages in question were very large and complex and closely tailored to specific business tasks, and becuase many of the original COBOL was written without good documentation or comments in the code. Completely rewriting the COBOL apps in newer languages was seen as too much of a task, so we ended up shifting a lot of old COBOL programs off platforms like old mainframes and VAX onto AIX, hp-ux and even Slowaris servers. I know of several City COBOL applications currently running very complex business solutions that have their roots in COBOL code from the '70s! We even have a team looking at the idea of porting at least one COBOL app to OpenCOBOL, just to make it future-proof.

      3. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
        FAIL

        @Kebabbert

        "The systems running COBOL are Mainframes."

        Do your homework Kebabbert

        MicroFocus, ACUcobol, Veryant, 32-bit and 64-bit on *nix & windoze using x-windows and windoze API to create widows programs, callable from Java, and cobol is OO in the 2002 spec.

        Fail, epic

        1. Kebabbert

          @Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

          Ok, I should have written "The systems running COBOL are mainly run on Mainframes".

      4. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        Re: what does Blue Gene tell you?

        If you re-read the post you are answering to, you'll notice that I was talking reputation. What having built nearly half of the Top500 machines tells the world is that you are able to build Big Iron at a price people are willing to pay. And that you can support your customers. What I was saying is that it takes more than building one single benchmark machine to overcome the reputation gap. People look at more than just speed when they spend that kind of money on a system. "Will it perform as advertised, and is it still going to be supported in 6 month?" are also big questions; with IBM you can answer "almost certainly" to both, with Oracle the answers are more "it might if you're lucky".

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        sad

        Sounds like your employer wouldn't pay for your trip to OOW. ouch.

      6. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        COBOL on non-mainframes

        "I dont know of any x86 / POWER / SPARC that are mainly deployed to run COBOL."

        That's hardly surprising, but once again your lack of knowledge is not evidence of anything else.

        Here at Micro Focus (founded a year before Oracle), our main products are COBOL implementations for x86 and RISC platforms. Sure, that's only a few hundred million dollars a year, which is no doubt small change to you financial-industry folks (many of whom are our customers). But it represents a goodly number of systems.

        You're welcome to check out the web site and learn something. There are over 100 customer success stories currently published there.

    3. Ilgaz

      Elephant in the room is J2ME

      Imagine you got a technology which has been somehow implemented on billion devices and smart phones took off, making people even non tech adults think about "running an app on phone" as an ordinary thing.

      It has gps, 3d, voice sampling and whatever you like support, standard.

      What happened to J2ME Mr. Ellison? Any ideas about how to wake up the technology, assure device makers, re-gain developers?

      "but they don't install apps" is an old apology. Opera Mini? Snaptu? IM clients?

      Better fix your own stuff before declaring war to a freaking database/server giant?

  19. Conor O'Mahony

    Misleading!

    Oracle omitted some hugely expensive parts of their benchmark configuration from the cost comparison. You can see the details at...

    http://smarterquestions.org/2011/10/challenging-oracles-sparc-supercluster-claims/

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oi, HP & IBM!

    Postgres Oracle shim. You know you want to.

    Opensource is a classic way of devaluing standard software.

    Also, could someone enlighten me about the obsession with massive single-image database hosts?

    Disk is cheap, 8-core hosts/blades are cheap. There must be an architecture somewhere which allows simple replication/sharding.

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
      Boffin

      @AC 06:33 GMT

      Whatcha talkin bout Willis, like IBM mainframe storage groups????

  21. davcefai
    FAIL

    Will History Repeat Itself?

    Many years ago Larry Ellison promised to show Microsoft up for the "purveyor of second rate software that it really is" (or words to that effect).

    So having acquired the tools to do so with (OpenOffice, MySQL) he proceeded to destroy his side of things!

    Even money says he'll now do the same with hardware.

  22. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Boffin

    RE: Oi, HP & IBM!

    "......could someone enlighten me about the obsession with massive single-image database hosts?...." It's about performance and simplicity of operation. With a large SMP server (or usually a cluster), all the interconnects are internal and so management of the server is management of the interconnects. With large clusters of smaller servers working in parallel (like Beowulf, as an example), there are lots of servers to manage as individual systems, and then the added work of the interconencts (usually high-speed NICs like Infiniband, 10GbE or exotic stuff like Hyperfabric, and the associated switches or hubs). As the parallel cluster grows, the management load grows by a factor two. I did a project a few years back where we did some benchmarks using a large Beowulf implementation against an SMP cluster, and although we could get almost as much application performance on the Beowulf setup for a lot less cash, the problems of keeping it up and running were a massive headache compared to the SMP cluster. With virtualisation now giving most of the large SMP vendors the ability to make their big servers look like lots of little ones if required, but still maintain that management advantage, the SMP option is still very attractive.

  23. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Foreigner Nuke Design?

    I've worked in many places where, barring end of month and end of year where massive processing runs (that could have been trickled through easily enough but for 'adjustments') actually used the expensive boxes to maybe 5% capacity for 95% of the year.

    Even then these processing runs could have been shortened considerably by not blindly adhering to relational database structures and therefore recalculating the total for every transaction on every run!

    Ellison and IBM seem to make their money (like Colemans) from what’s left on the plate - companies 30-40 times their IT needs so the accountants can fiddle, sorry adjust, things.

  24. fandom
    Paris Hilton

    When he is done

    I remember watching in YouTube a vid where someone put together all the times Larry said 'Red Hat' in a conference.

    Kind of funny, he was going to sink Red Hat, and yet Red Hat keeps reporting record quarters just about every quarter.

    Another memo that got lost I guess.

    Paris as she also seems to get a lot media attention for no real reason.

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
      Big Brother

      SInk Red Hat

      Sink Microsoft

      Sink IBM

      LPOD will have the ministry of truth on fix his past pronouncements when he wins the war with Oceania

  25. drake
    Joke

    Larry Ellison is (thinks he is) Tony Stark...

    Forget POWER-7 and T-4, what about those Ironman suits...

    ;-)

  26. Jim Carter

    He needs all the money he can get

    For his swanky new volcano layer, cat and private army.

  27. David Gale

    Java...Schmava

    An interesting conflict... until you learn that it's underpinned by Java - LMAO. Has anyone reviewed the cost and availability of Java skills lately?

  28. BrentRBrian
    Facepalm

    Legend

    Truly, a legend in his own MIND.

  29. Stephen Channell
    Unhappy

    on the plus side..

    If IBM takes Larry seriously, they’ll rollout a new increment of the Power chips with more cores that make Sparc look as slow as ever..

    but Oracle has effectively hobbled their DBMS on other platforms (EXAData storage node software is not licenced to competitors).. will it try to hobble Java EE in the same way..

  30. Ilgaz

    Waking up the Nazgul

    Nazgul lawyers is a term used for IBM in 1970s when Federal Government figured they have less lawyers than Big Blue.

    So, imagine the circus when IBM sues them for delibarately undermining their business via software, Oracle ordered to open the source code etc.

    IBM is named Big Blue for a reason. You can't find a single speech so childishly done without thinking in their entire history. Say anything about them but they are managed professionally, not like some small grocery store which "owner" makes whatever statement he feels like.

    1. Kebabbert

      @IIgaz

      This is ridiculous. Ive read sharp attacks from IBM executives on HP and Sun. Larry only does the same thing that IBM executives do. But that is not ok?

      IBM executives can say whatever they want, but Larry can not. Right?

      1. Liz 1
        Pint

        @Kebbabert

        Wow, I guess IBM stole your dinner money! Here's a beer to take your mind off it!

        I think the point people are trying to make is that when IBM "attacks" their competition, it comes across as more professional and less childish than Larry's efforts. And that, as well as being evil, IBM has a lot of good technology, a deep understanding of their target customers' business, and many many sharp (and evil, I'm sure) lawyers. Yes, IBM uses it's patent portfolio offensively at times. But they had to earn the patents first!

        BTW, if we are talking about evil, a lot of people would put your cool financial organisations way up the top of the list! What's mainly wrong with IBM in recent years is sucking up to the finance market.

        But don't let me interrupt your rant.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Boffin

          RE: @Kebbabert

          "......I think the point people are trying to make is that when IBM "attacks" their competition, it comes across as more professional and less childish than Larry's efforts....." The difference I see is that the level of IBMer making comments is a person with a balanced professional ability, whereas Larry is and always has been nothing but a salesperson.

        2. Kebabbert

          @Liz 1

          "...But they had to earn the patents first!..."

          IBM had to earn the patents first? You did not read my links above? The IBM patents were really silly. Sun used patents for deffense, IBM uses it for offense.

          IBM attacked Sun heavily with lot of FUD. The difference is that IBM attacks systematically and with a plan behind - that is a bit more Evil dont you think? And IBM cooperated with the Nazis in the Holocaust as someone pointed out above. Larry is a Jew as many great IT CEOs are, so maybe Larry dont like IBM for that. I would not. Larry, go get them!

          1. seven of five
            Stop

            Stop.

            > And IBM cooperated with the Nazis in the Holocaust as someone pointed out above.

            > Larry is a Jew as many great IT CEOs are, so maybe Larry dont like IBM for that. I would not.

            You are crossing a line here even a madly rambling troll as you should not.

  31. Francis Fish
    Meh

    I've seen this before - it used to be Microsoft

    I remember an internal presentation waaaaaay back when I was an Oracle employee, but it was Microsoft then.

    Nothing new here, he just keeps changing the enemy.

    The thing that costs money isn't the server kit or licences, it's the yards of programmers needed to make them do useful things - if they already know IBM's offering and are effective with it, why the hell would you go to Oracle, and have to retrain them all while accepting lower productivity for several months, maybe even years? Madness.

  32. Beelzeebub
    Flame

    Juno Wat

    I just don't care anymore.

  33. Joe User
    Mushroom

    "man to man, head to head"

    Good thing it isn't "ego to ego". Larry's head is big enough to fill a stadium.

  34. SplitBrain

    Look at the bigger picture..

    All this bickering...

    At least someone is taking it to IBM, Larry is aggressive yes, is he a bit if a cock, yes. But at least he's doing what you would expect and creating competition which in turn moves the market forward.

    Oracle is doing good things with SPARC, and that's good to see. It's doing good things with it's all in one completely integrated vertical stack. No one else apart from IBM can or has done this, (HP could have done but it decided to become the worlds premier tin/ink pusher, look how thats turned out for them...share price fall speaks for itself)

    I'm Ex-Sun, but unlike a certain people on here who are Sun/Oracle "supporters" (like its a bloody football team) I have a massive amount of admiration for IBM, and the thought of IBM and Oracle going head to head is great.

    Exadata is doing well, like it or lump it. At Both of my last contracts at major US and German banks they bought several of them, CIO's like the idea of an "appliance" and the costs do add up, they work out cheaper and easier to maintain than your standard distributed systems model, it's gone full circle back to centralised computing or "Cloud" as the numpties like to call it.

    So in a word, chill, and appreciate that a bit or bravado and competition is a good thing for all of us.....

  35. peter collard
    Big Brother

    What's Larry smoking?

    Database performance is directly proportional to specints (assuming other bits as constants) - any database person would know that - but Larry has never been good at detail. Just look at the tables if you want proof.

    So what Larry is really saying is that Oracle databases on Sun will never match those on IBM unless Larry cripples the IBM version.

    1. Kebabbert

      @Peter Collard

      "...Database performance is directly proportional to specints (assuming other bits as constants) - any database person would know that - but Larry has never been good at detail. Just look at the tables if you want proof..."

      I think you are wrong here. Larry has said that POWER7 is better at specint, and still POWER7 has worse database performance than T4. In fact T4 database performance seem to be fastest today on the market - even though it has lower specint performance. How do you explain that? Just look at the T4 benchmarks if you want proof...

  36. Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance
    Childcatcher

    Purely Ad Hominem

    I was going to make a purely Ad Hominem comment about how Larry should change that bloody suit he ALWAYS wears when he is not wearing his Mustos and Henri Lloyds.

    Because it makes us think that he thinks he is some kind of Bond villain.

    I lightly skimmed the comments to get the gist of feedback, and it would seem that I am not the only one who thinks he is suffering from 'some kind of' Megalomania.

    You think he'd change once in a while wouldn't you? Dirty bastard.

    Wonder what he wears to bed. Actually, no, scrub that thought.

    Scrub it hard. With bleach.

    (Childcatcher - if you're interested - coz he's always wearing the same bloody thing every time I see him, and he's a dirty bastard too.)

  37. Jesper Frimann

    To the people cheering while Larry turns Oracle into IBM of the 70ties

    I really think it's amazing that people are cheering while Larry turns Oracle into something that looks more like the IBM of the 70ies or 80ties. Nobody today in their right mind would be doing that.

    At some point in time Larry will stand all alone, just like IBM did in the late 80ies. The problem for Larry is that back then IBM was still the biggest player and had the time, competitive space and money to turn it's business around. The problem for Larry is that he has clients desperately trying to get off his platform, the media have labelled him the 'bad guy' and two bigger competitors that are focusing more and more on him, cause he is behaving like a dork.

    So IMHO what Larry should do is focusing on running his business, rather than trying to destroy others.

    // Jesper

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