back to article Ellison drops iceberg in front of HP's unsinkable Itanic

Oracle has announced that it has stopped development for all its software on Intel's high-end Itanium server processor. Oracle works on its own cycle and does what it wants - which is why it waited until a week after Leo Apotheker's coming out party as president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, and until 8pm Pacific time when …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Boring subject... el reg to come up with an entertaining title to spice it up a bit.

    1. Allison Park

      HP's Intanium Systems have no Integrity

      Notice how Intel was very careful not to commit to the Itanium chips....just the HP operating systems.

      Paul Otellini, president and CEO of Intel Corporation “We remain firmly committed to delivering a competitive, multi-generational roadmap for HP-UX and other operating system customers that run the Itanium architecture.”

      Matt B....we will miss you

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down


        It's the same thing as the only platform HPUX ships on is Itanium-based Integrity. If I were an Oracle customer (I'm not) this would truly piss me off. Most of them have to feep like their being herded down a cattle chute about now..

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          RE: Moo?

          ".......the only platform HPUX ships on is Itanium-based Integrity....." Try a little reading, there's both OpenVMS and NonStop running on Integrity, and both are often used with Oracle.

          1. Anonymous Coward


            Um.. the NonStop is *based* on Integrity systems and OpenVMS runs *on* Integrity. No additional reading on my part required..

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Paris Hilton

        Timing is everything

        Today was HP's annual stockholder meeting. Oracle's timing is Larry and Mark's ultimate payback FU to HP.

      3. Matt Bryant Silver badge


        I warned a while back that this was the last thing I wanted Oracle to do - break their DB product. I don't see how Larry thiks this will benefit Oracle, if there's anything we couldn't move onto Xeon then it would be going to Power, not SPARC in any form. This does remind me of the kerfuffle around Slowaris x86, where Snoreacle said they were dropping hp's license to support Slowaris on ProLiant, then a few weeks late it was all back on when hp stumped up a larger license fee. Maybe this is just another extortion attempt by Larry, but it just makes him look rather desperate if he thinks this is the only way he can sell SPARC servers!

        You can see why he didn't try it with IBM - they have DB2. Maybe it's time for hp to buy a database company. Of course, the fun starts if Leo goes and buys SAP and a database company, then drops SAP support for Oracle, then I'd really have a ton of migrating work to do! Either way, I expect I'm going to have a busy year trying out the options. As usual, the last person Larry thinks about is the customer.

  2. Jesper Frimann

    Is it just me or is Oracle painting itself into a corner ?

    It's not like this will get HP to invite the Oracle Sales rep to a joint session on their accounts where they before might have teamed up against for example IBM or SAP and Fujitsu or...

    The word Megalomania comes to mind.

    // jesper

    1. John Riddoch


      Why would they want to partner with HP? They have a full stack of hardware & software they can flog to customers themselves, they don't need another partner.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      You do realize that Oracle now owns Sun and this includes Sun's hardware business?

      Do you honestly think that if HP invited Oracle to the party that the Oracle shark er sales rep wouldn't hesitate to try and sell Sun hardware in to the deal?

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        RE: Uhmmm

        Well, considering the majority of the old Oracle reps don't have a clue about hardware, and the few ex-Sun ones that made it alive into Oracle only seem to have done so because they didn't have anywhere else to run to.....

      2. Jesper Frimann

        Guys you do know..

        That there is such a thing as history.. just cause Oracle got SUN's HW business doesn't mean that HP hardware sales reps' haven't spend quite a lot of years before that going to marked together, for example to try to replace a Mainframe installation with DB2.

        Now, I have yet to meet a Oracle sales rep who had just the faintest clue about HW, so what is his options ?

        What you guys aren't realizing is that Oracle also just raised the price on Itanium, so the sales rep is more than happy to sell Oracle on HP Itanium. And now he has to compete with not just SAP and IBM, no he has bloody the whole industry after him.

        And sure you say that he can just push a Exadata solution. Sure.. yeah but that is a tough sale, it's expensive and cannot really be used for anything else than an Oracle solution stack.

        And a friend of mine who's an Oracle consultant (doesn't work for Oracle), wasn't to fond of the support contract terms.

        // Jesper

      3. Is it me?

        Just not that joined up.

        We're trying to get Oracle to do a combined Hardware/Software deal, it's like try to pull hens teeth. We are still being offered a better price using IBM hardware and Oracle Software, go figure.

        But then IBM global services sell more Oracle software than IBM.

        The only way they'll do it is with the database, middleware and desktop appliance servers.

        Oracle are not easy to business with, even £60m's worth.

        Go figure.

    3. E 2

      Not agree

      Most of us do not need what Itanium offers. Some corps do though.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another nail... the coffin of HP-UX. I suspect the majority of HP-UX deployments have been for Oracle database servers and essentially dead-ending the platform as viable will move customers off to some other platform, but whether that is Solaris on SPARC, AIX on Power or Linux on x86 is anyone's guess.

    Oracle are busy alienating people around the world by dropping support for various products; it's been pointed out to me that ASMlib on RHEL 6 has been dropped unless you have an unbreakale linux sub - this is presumably designed to "encourage" users to switch to Oracle Linux.

    1. Dave 3

      Linux ++

      Surely x86 will be seen as the safe bet?

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        RE: Linux ++

        Well, maybe not, at least not for Larry. The question that's got everyone thinking here is how far is Larry willing to push it? Suppose he doesn't stop at Itanium, or even Power, what if he gets really uppitty and starts pushing CMT by either bumping up the license costs on x64, whether it's on Linux or Windoze? Could it get to the point where Oracle is only available on SPARC in some form, or x64 only if it's Larry's Untakeable Linux or Slowaris, and you have to like it or lump it? That's not an idea we like, we got badly burnt in the past by being too dependent on Sun so we like to keep options and choices available. Suddenly the question becomes how hard would it be to unplug Oracle, and the answer is painful but not impossible.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can see several outcomes

    If you are a software house would you use Oracle's database as part of your application? Which would in turn limit the hardware you can run on, potentially limiting your sales? Probably only if you want to grow large enough to be acquired by Oracle . . . So real innovation will use an alternative platform which is likely to slow their acquisition trail in the longer term for them to become a dynosaur.

    Would you buy an IBM P-Series server now to run your Oracle ERP and increase the probability of your strategy only having a five year life . . . if you were IBM would you invite Oracle into your accounts? So Oracle might initially grow more rapidly in the short term and then be examined by the US legislature as they will have become too dominant - much as nearly happened to IBM and Microsoft and did happen to Standard Oil, Bell Telephones . . .

    1. Ocular Sinister

      Obligatory Title

      Problem is... what do you choose instead? Besides, lack of platform choice doesn't seem to be hurting SQL Server much. The way things are panning out, RDBMs will be reduced to

      SQL Server => Tied to Windows Server, or Windows Desktop for the 'lite' version

      Oracle => Tied to Solaris, or Linux for the 'lite' version

      Or you can go open source and hope that the features you need are implemented.

  5. Chris King

    So, Larry says "Sink the Itanic" ?

    This doesn't just affect HP-UX - there may be some OpenVMS shops out there running Oracle on Integrity, though I guess they'll be stuck on 10g.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      End of the road for RDB?

      Oracle RDB (nee Digital RDB) only runs on OpenVMS and OpenVMS only runs on Itanium, so it appears that product line wil be wound down.

  6. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Time for a rename?


    It was a valid term when the world was dominated (at least in crunch-ability, if not numbers) by the mainframes, with their multi-kilowatt power consumptions and their multi-multi-kilowatt cooling requirements and processing MIPS-age to boot. Nowadays our "micro"processors are at least as capable as the CPUs of 30 years ago - even as capable as the mainframes of 10 years ago.

    Isn't it time we reserved the term for the _real_ microprocessors: the PICs, AVRs and other chips that still measure their clock speeds with MHz as opposed to GHz and just started to refer to the devices in our computers as "processors" again? They've earned that much

    1. Gulfie

      Too late!

      Stopped using the term Microprocessor when I started dealing with the 68000, it really doesn't apply to anything beyond 8 bit computing and the earlier 808x range (8086, 8088). If you want to be picky and what is a processor and what is a microprocessor, maybe an on-wafer FPU should act as the deciding factor...

      1. Anonymous Coward


        Depends on why you think they're called *micro*processors. If it's because of the scale of the individual transistors on the chip, maybe we should be calling them nanoprocessors now, since the process size used in processor chips has shrunk over the last 30 years or so from microns to nanometres.

    2. bhtooefr

      Microprocessors are a processor on one chip... Itanium, Nehalem, the various SPARCs, etc., etc., are microprocessors.

      (Interestingly, many POWER processors are NOT, as some are multi-chip modules - and not just multi-chip for multi-core, but different parts of the cores on different chips.)

  7. Lennart Sorensen

    Good riddance

    Maybe this time intel will accept that VLIW is crap for general purpose CPUs running typical software. How many times do they have to make the same mistake? Too bad the itanium took out so many better CPUs with it (the alpha, the high end MIPS (although MIPS seems to have survived), I don't think pa-risc was ever great, so who cares about it). Just about took out SGI for good too.

  8. Dazed and Confused

    Trust? or Anti Trust

    Oracle having grown fat for years on the back of selling it's SW on HP's boxes might find that it now faces anti-trust cases around the world for having used those fat profits to buy a competitor and then trying to cup the old golden egg laying goose out of the party.

    In the mean time, endangering VMS is likely to result in the US Navy thinking Larry's latest yacht would make a good bit of target practice.

    1. Gulfie
      Thumb Down


      Not until they have a de facto monopoly on database sales. But damn close, none the less. Or you could argue the other way - maybe HP should be shipping alternative versions of these Itanium based servers using other processors... eggs, baskets and all that...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Does the US Navy hire legionaires ?

      If that gets one to have a few shots at Larry's yacht it'll be worth going through the drill. Can't be any worse than working for Oracle, anyway. Sign me up !

  9. kurkosdr

    The main problem with Itanium

    The main problem with Itanium is that there are only 3 vendors to choose from: Intel, Intel and Intel (oops! on a second look, it seems it's just one).

    Oh, and the thing is patented to death and heavily proprietary, so forget about any competitors jumping on board later. So much about choice.

    Who is going to invest in THAT, knowing that if Itanium ever gets off, Intel will ramp up prices to the sky?

    The "difficult architecture, lazy programmers" card Intel has been playing since the launch of Itanium is moot. Just give those programmers a good compiler (which has already happened), and they will happily program for ANY architecture.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      if ???

      WTF? *If* Itanium takes off ???

      You know it's 2011, right?

    2. ToddRundgren
      Thumb Down


      Did you write this 10 years ago?

  10. Danny 6
    Thumb Up

    Oracle isn't going to abandon Power

    That is, of course, unless they want to lose all of their big iron clients to SAP and that business isn't insignificant.

    Since the Itanic never caught on with anyone other than HP, I can see some reason for the move.

  11. Robert E A Harvey

    shitty thing to do

    Not only giving HP a shoeing, but also making Intel's announcements for them. Big business really is a forest of bastards, isn't it?

    This has all the hallmarks of manipulation. Whatever Intel's policy on the itanic (kudos!) was, I bet that by tomorrow it will be whatever Elison says it is.

    I feel a bit like I did when Dr Beeching closed the railways. Let down, mourneful, sad and full of rage. For Glod's sake, surely diversity is good, not bad? Who is going to do a Flanders and Swann for cpu architectures?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Insane or Genius?

    I know a lot of very large shops that run an Oracle HP-UX combo, not good news for them. The anti-trust is an interesting angle, wonder how long it will take for them to do it to Power as well....

    No if only someone could bring to market a database tech that completely spanked Oracle that would liven things up.

    I also think you'll see a lot of the smaller IT shops moving towards SQL and Opensource as well rather than pay the Oracle tax which is becoming worse that UK Fuel duty

  13. Kiralexi

    Larry is insane

    This seems suspiciously like a case of "We can't make a compelling hardware platform, so lets hamstring those who can." It may seem like a good idea in the short term, but I suspect most of the customers who are going to be forced to migrate because of this will be extremely wary of doing so to Oracle hardware - DB2 may prove to be the real winner here. If IBM were smart, they'd re-energize Informix and/or DB2 for HP-UX and start trying to poach Oracle customers that don't want to switch OS.

    1. SplitBrain

      Kiralexi - Wrong way round..

      No one care's about what OS is running, that's the whole point here!!!

      App's rule the roost, what hardware and OS is driving them is irrelevent. Oracle customers will switch OS/hardware far, far faster than they switch database.....Larry knows this, hence him playing this card.

      I work for one of the biggest yank banks going, the Oracle DB is not going anywhere (even our Sybase is phasing out to be replaced by Oracle), whereas Solaris and AIX is going out of the door for the low end DB's and middleware to be replaced by Red Hat.

      Our M9000's running our biggest DB's will eventually be another big SPARC box, why? Intel cannot scale x86 that big. The day it does is the day we will buy it. What chance POWER did have to replace the big M-series box's is now dead, as Oracle will simply price their hardware lower than (the admittedly better) P-Series to keep us on SPARC, and they will be doing this for every account going.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        RE: Kiralexi - Wrong way round..

        ".....Oracle will simply price their hardware lower than (the admittedly better) P-Series to keep us on SPARC....." Yeah, and that strategy worked so well for Sun! Oops! - no it didn't, even trying to flog their kit 20% lower than IBM or hp still didn't save Sun. Walking around with their pants round their ankles just made Sun fall over all the faster.

        Take my company as a case study, we're the enterprise type of bizz Larry will want to sell SPARC to, and we run a lot of Oracle on Integrity and Power. Consider the options:

        1. Stay on hp-ux on Itanium and find another DB (we don't really use much else from Oracle), but then we'd have to revalidate the app stack. Painful, messy, and risky to data, but we do have DB2 tested and ready to go. I'm grinding my teeth at that idea, but it's bearable, the main risk is in getting the data out of Oracle and into DB2. A loser for Oracle.

        2. Stay with Oracle DB, just move to another server platform. Not as painful as we already have IBM Power scoped as a backup choice, but no win for Oracle there then unless they also bump up license costs on Power, and they just make the board twitchy about trusting Oracle.

        3. Larry's preferred option - replace all the hp-ux kit with Slowaris on SPARC. Not even on the table, for so many reasons, but mainly because Power is such a better option.

        4. Switch to x64 where we can. Very painful, more so than the switch to Power. Larry still wouldn't win anything here, in fact he would probably lose more as going to x64 leads to all kinds of unfavourable comparisons with M$ SQL and/or FOSS alternatives. The x64 option gives far more choices for moving away from Oracle, not towards them.

        All in all, this strategy seems to benefit IBM more than Oracle. Larry's not stupid, at least not THAT stupid, so I'm guessing there must be more going on here.

  14. Dunstan Vavasour

    Support is very costly

    It's pretty simple really. Each different platform on which you support your software costs money: you have to compile and test it, and create installers, and documentation sets, and then you need to create and distribute patches and retain teams of support staff in each global region for the extended life of the product, so for products launching next year this will take you towards 2020. If you only have a few hundred sales, or even a few thousand, it will cost you way more than you will make in sales.

    With Exadata, P-series and SPARC at the top end, and Wintel and GNU/Linux at the bottom end, the potential market share for Itanium based systems is pretty small. For Intel and HP it is a blow, but for Oracle it is sensible housekeeping.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I suggest you take a look at the latest matket share figures

      SPARC revenue is now significantly lower than Itanium revenue - based on that argument if Oracle was really going to end of life one of its development platforms, it should have been SPARC.

      No, this is Larry saying, I can't win fair, so I'll win dirty... ANYONE who trusts Oracle to do the right thing by them now is on to a loser, when Larry said he wanted to be like the old IBM, he meant becoming a monopolist...

      Time to look at Sybase, Ingres, DB2, Informix - basically anything but Oracle

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Support is very costly

      Dunnie, your argument doesn't hold water. For a start, the majority of the task is the initial code base for UNIX, which should be pretty common for AIX, SPARC-Slowaris and hp-ux. The real work is done later when the code is optimised for each platform, and I'm told a lot of that is done by hp for the hp-ux versions. It probably costs a massive amount more to try and make the base code for CMT, which is very different to classic EPIC/RISC CPU code. If it was merely an economic argument then Larry would have stopped development on CMT and sold what little was left of the Sun hardware carcass to Fudgeitso. Maybe this is an attempt to make hp buy the Sun hardware bizz, like Oracle wanted hp to do in the first place, or maybe Larry is trying to force hp into supporting Slowaris on Itanium. I'm told by the hp and IBM reps that they had a big target for the year - all the customers still on SPARC-Slowaris - but it looks like Larry has just given the IBM and hp sales teams a new set of opportunities - all those accounts using Oracle that can be sold DB2 or M$ SQL instead!

    4. Anonymous Coward


      By your logic, Oracle should have dropped SPARC, not Itanium. Itanium passed SPARC in revenue and units shipped in 2008 or so..

  15. SplitBrain

    SP&L or whatever....

    Well well, Larry it taking his love of the art of war a bit seriously isn't he!!

    Matt B - I'd love to hear your explanation for this one...

    I love it though, how often do you see naked aggression of this kind in the enterprise market? Never. Like I said before, Itanium was dead when Red Hat and MS dropped support, now that the dominant DB vendor has also dropped it, HP-PHUX is if's and no buts.

    Oracle is essentially abusing it's monopoly position in the DB market, it wants to dominate the high end, high margin space, where it's only remaining competition is now IBM. I suspect Oracle will alter AIX pricing again to favour Solaris, and push as many people towards SPARC as possible.

    It's downright nasty, no doubt about that, but that's business and Larry is bloody good at it...

    1. Jesper Frimann

      Perhaps... he went to far this time our old frind larry

      Well perhaps he went to far this time.

      Had a client meeting here the other day with one of our big clients, and funny enough the balance had changed. The Oracle DBA's who normally get to do pretty much what they want. And they aren't that bright.. sorry.. "We need RAM disks to place tablespaces for sorting on, disk is slow so we need RAM disks' .. gee dorks.

      But this time the tables had turned, it was actually the Infrastructure architects (an old UNIX guys) who had the final say. And the message was quite clear, help us dear outsoucing partner, how do we pay less in Oracle licenses.

      Now I had a field day :)=

      // jesper

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        RE: Perhaps... he went to far this time our old frind larry

        I'm dusting off the report on the last POC we did with DB2. Just been asked to run through it again. Damn you, Larry, I was looking forward to a quiet Summer!

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: SP&L or whatever....

      I'm guesing the whole "split-brain" thing included a large amount of memory loss? For those with a short memory, go back and look at Larry's flip-flops over RedHat - first he loved them, then he hated them, then they partnered with them, then they did an attack campaign on them, etc, etc. It's almost a shame that hp-ux doesn't have a monkey as a mascot like Tux the Linux penguin, as I think Larry would look just right in a monkey suit for when he is forced to flip back behind hp-ux!

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Good thing HP and others make good value x86 servers

    I think Oracle have killed itanium support not just to save money, but to stop people buying Itanium+Oracle for high end/High Availability servers. Now you will have to buy Sparc for that, but I don't personally see sparc as that high end (I could be wrong). It helps oracles margins, and shows the danger in keeping your data in Oracle. They don't just get your database money, they now get to say which OS and servers you buy.

    Oracle: like the old IBM. And making lots of enemies along the way.

  17. Smoking Man


    The whole story about abandoning Oracle SW for Itanium is just Mark Hurds revenge.

    So you have to read the sentence "we're not going to support Itanium any longer" as

    "Larry, I want to spit again in hp's face."

    Remember: since Mark Hurd joined Oracle and got responsible for ~2/3 of the company, specifically controlling the whole hardware zoo, SPARC server revenues dumped heavily.

    Loosing about 20 to 25% revenue, IIRC, compared to the quarter before.

    So Mark _has_ to do something to help SPARC based systems ramp up again.

    And, yes, he still hates hp..

  18. Anonymous Coward

    HP BCS and Converged Infrastructure Hunter reps

    IBM Power Systems is hiring for not only a growth platform but with a better % of revenue plan than HP. You also get reimbursed for mileage vs. having to pay money to drive a boring company car. click on Search put in hunter

  19. Steven Jones


    I forsee a court case...

    That's going to upset no just HP, but a lot of Oracle customers. It's not trivial job moving a very large enterprise system. However, if this is an attempt to remove one competitor to Oracle's top-end equipment (which is really badge-engineered Fujitsu), then my advice would be to jump to Intel x64 based systems if you are going to be forced to make the move. With 8 socket 64 core/128 thread machines available at a fraction of the capital cost, then they will support all but the very largest single image systems. Of course there's all those endian issues and getting to grips with GoldenGate to do the migration, but once done, that's for ever. Well, that's unless Oracle start pulling the plug on third party hardware support for OEL

  20. Robert Hill


    Friends don't let friends buy Itanium....

    RIP Itanium...good riddance!

  21. Mage Silver badge


    Does Intel care about it any more? What about their Mobile devices and Services Roadmaps?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Matt Bryant, the prophet we will miss you!

    Some months ago, Matt predicted that HP was not desperate about Itanic's future.

    God, he was right!

    They don't need to care about Itanic anymore. It is already dead!

    Rest in peace Matt!

  23. Fenton

    Oh well more work for me then.

    What does SAPs hardcore customer base run on? HPUX/oracle.

    So lots more OS/DB migrations on the way then.

    But oracle is becoming a bit of a nogo area these days as they don't support the likes

    of VMware or Xen which is becoming a very big must have in my customer base.

    Can imagine SAP will release a version on sybase soon and they are already heavily in bed with IBM with DB2.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Chip manufacturer drops support in it's flagship software for a competitor's chips. Hmm...

    Now, I wouldn't be supprised if this pushes people to DB/2 for high end and SQL Server for the lower end. (Possibly also with some sort of FOSS database, but due to the recent fork in MySQL, I'm not sure what it would be - I would stay well away for forkey projects...)

  25. Beachrider

    Itanium is not the same as Power

    Some here are advising that dumping Itanium is certainly to be followed by dumping Power.

    Whaaat? The business situation couldn't be more different.

    Intel x64 is in a dominant position for commodity server purchases, but Itanium is FAR FAR worse. HP loyalists are in complete denial about the sorry state of Itanium. MS killed Itanium long ago. Intel just hasn't been able to make Itanium separate itself from x64.

    Power and SPARC still compete with x64, but on entirely different bases. SPARC is going to exceedingly high core-counts (if they really get there). Power is still combating x64 in the high-mainstream to high-end environments. Core-per-core, Power is still more than 2x the throughput of x64, but Power's costs are also more than 2x.

    Power still doesn't run Windows, either. So its market is much narrower. Power does get higher margins for resellers, though.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Itanium is not the same as Power

      At the enterprise end of the market, there are really only five choices for database platforms - hp-ux (or OpenVMS) on Integrity (maybe NonStop for real do-or-die solutions); AIX on Power; IBM mainframe (strongest damn zombies I've ever seen!); Slowaris on M-series SPARC64; or roll-your-own grid-type mega-clusters on x64. If I was told I had to use Oracle and the Itanium choice is taken away, then the choice that immediately jumps to the fore has to be Power, with SPARC as a very poor alternative. Simply put, IBM have a good product now with a believable roadmap, and it offers the alternatives of DB2 should the Oracle insistance drop with time. Snoreacle have a poor product that lags the competition, poor secondary offerings (for example, a competitive and complete storage offering is still another of Oracle's problem), a roadmap that looks like someone was snorting Charlie at the time of creation, Sun's record of dramatic failure to deliver which limits enthusiasm, and looks to be a lock-in to Oracle and restricted choice. Ellison and Hurd just became IBM's top salesmen!

      RedHat and M$ dropped support for Itanium because us customers paid the extra to have hp-ux instead, not because hp couldnt sell Integrity. The smartest thing Larry could do right now would be to port Slowaris to Itanium and cut a deal with hp to sell it for him. Maybe that's what this is all about.

      1. Allison Park

        "the choice that immediately jumps to the fore has to be Power"

        Matt...I have been courting you for over a year.

        Thanks for the endorsement.


        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          RE: "the choice that immediately jumps to the fore has to be Power"

          Whilst flattering, I have to question your motives, darling!

          The point here is the Power option is also a loser for Larry, and seeing as I really don't think I'm smarter than Larry, you have to assume he will have seen that too. So, the question is does he plan the same for Power, or does he have a sneakier plan such as forcing hp to support Slowaris on Itanium. He needs a better option than SPARC64, which is coming to the end of its development, and CMT just doesn't do the job. Slowaris on Power? A hard port. Slowaris on Itanium? Was planned and developed long ago, when Sun was originally behind Itanium, and the Itanium is a great platform for porting. Given the natural hatred of the idea in hp, how else can he force hp to support Slowaris other than blackmail?

          1. Allison Park

            Don't forget Mark Turd is co-president

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

            Mark knows 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.

            SPARC64 is in the same boat though as Fujitsu has cancelled all future chips, funny that Oracle does not want to admit that. Hello TPM, Dan Olds 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

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

              RE: Don't forget Mark Turd is co-president

              Alli, darling, whilst I like an independently-minded woman, I do like the ones with at least one foot in reality!

              "Mark knows Poulson is a significant investment for Oracle to use the double wide....." But he could just use the current code and it will run fine, he only needs the double-wide for extra oomph. What coding for double-wide would expose is an even bigger performance gap between Itanium TNG and any of the SPARC64 or CMT offerings.

              "....Mark knows Kittson is nothing more than a simple die shrink...." As Hurd was party to all the hp Itanium plans he will know it is far more than just a die shrink. Maybe a little research is called for?

              "....there is no reason to spend $100M to support Poulson if the product is on a death bed already...." It's more that Oracle HOPE there is no reason as they HOPE this strategy will lead either to more SPARC sales (yeah, made me laugh too!), or more money from Intel and hp for development work. Seeing as Oracle on Itanium makes more revs for Oracle than Oracle on SPARC, you'd have to say there must be a lot of blind hope involved in the Oracle strategy!

              ".....Obviously the relationship with IBM is different thanks to DB2...." Nope, DB2 does not make IBM immune to the same type of con, especially as I'm told there's more Oracle on Power than DB2 on Power out there. And especially as the Power roadmap is a little short on details for Pee8, let alone a follow-on product, whilst Intel has been happy to publicly defend both Poulsen and Kitson. People in glass houses and all that!

              "....HP will buy Sybase ASE and IQ from SAP...." Possibly, though hp may look to just partner more closely with M$ and SAP instead. I think SAP's market cap is around the 50bn Euro mark and would probably rise on rumours of an hp buy-out, I'm not sure hp has the change to hand for swallowing the whole SAP beast in one go, and I can't see SAP wanting to offload Sybase anyway.

  26. Anonymous Coward


    In LarryWorld, there can be only one - him. It doesn't take much imagination to see this is an implied threat to Oracle users on AIX and Windows also.

    Q: Why didn't Larry go to the Super Bowl?

    A: Stadium not big enough for his ego.

  27. Mikel

    Not that I care for Oracle's motives here...

    But Intel could shift all those topflight Itanium engineers over to the mobile side where they might achieve something useful.

  28. asdf


    Lets see how Matt B spins this one. Oh well he has been telling us for awhile how great x86_64 hp servers are mostly to distance himself from slow but inevitable disaster the supposed next great intel architecture really was.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: haha

      Dear Sunshiner,

      Chances Larry will sell more SPARC off the back of this? Zero! Chances hp will buy SAP and a database company, and continue to be the leading server vendor by a massive margin? Pretty damn certain!


      1. SplitBrain

        Didn't I suggest that in another post

        I'm pretty sure I suggested HP buy SAP/Sybase at some point in some other thread a while back. I seem to recall you dismissing it back then, change of tune eh Matt?...

        You also ridiculed DB2 plenty, yet here you are saying it is a viable alternative..

        You contradict youself time and time again....

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          RE: Didn't I suggest that in another post

          "I'm pretty sure I suggested HP buy SAP/Sybase....." At the time it was unlikley given hp's commitments to M$ and Oracle. With Larry having turned on them, hp are no longer so constrained in the enterprise arena (but they probably still don't want to upset M$). I can see a very close relationship forming with Oracle's DB competitors, but I'm still not sure hp will go and make an outright buy. So, no contradiction, just changing circumstances.

          "....You also ridiculed DB2 plenty...." My personal pref is Oracle over DB2, simple as that. I know some DBAs that prefer DB2 to Oracle, I suppose it's a matter of taste and experience. Yes, DB2 is probably the best direct swap out for Oracle, but I'd be worried about how much IBM Global Scewups would have to be included in any migration. Maybe hp will start some "get-off-Oracle" migration services in retaliation.

      2. asdf

        your flaw

        Is believing anyone that rips on the POS that is Itanic doesn't also have an even lower opinion of the dog slow garbage architecture that SPARC. HP won't blow the motherlode on an expensive company like SAP. After all they are the worlds most high tech ink company and just make servers as a loss leader.

  29. danolds


    Intel just explicitly disavowed Oracle's statements about Itanium being at end of life, btw. As an industry analyst who follows the RISC/Unix and x86 markets, I know that there's quite a bit of Unix and HP-UX in use in the real world. I also know that the Itanium and HP-UX business is profitable for Intel, HP and, yes, even Oracle.

    I also know that I see this as Oracle pulling a power move on the industry - specifically HP and Intel. Oh, and customers too. This is partially an attempt to stampede customers away from HP-UX systems and, in their mind, towards Oracle system, but also partially an expression of contempt and dislike from Ellison/Hurd towards HP.

    There are a lot of implications to this and it's going to be interesting to see how it shakes out. I'll be writing some blog entries that might make it into El Reg on this topic soon. But am interested if hearing how people who actually own HP-UX based systems are taking this news? Will there be a backlash against Oracle? Or will the need for the Oracle DB and apps trump all else?

  30. Ian Michael Gumby

    Now's the time to convert from Oracle to Informix!


    Who am I to judge if you're in love with Itanium servers?

    Just call your IBM Information Management Representative and ask for an Itanium port of Informix. Its actually a much better product than Oracle.

    Its a 'dirty little sekret' that IBM couldn't kill off Informix because too many clients loved it for a lot of reasons. So they've maintained and enhanced it.

    So here's a chance to get a real RDBMs product that will make any hardware shine and out perform your existing system. (I kid you not). Informix has always had the best enterprise replication on the market.

    But hey! What do I know? ;-)

    Like I said. Don't take my word for it. Go out and try it for yourself. They have downloads...


    1. Denarius Silver badge
      Gates Halo

      not only but also

      No mention of Postgres and its Oracle compatibility interface ?

      Tut tut. Scales well too, price is right, commercial support is available.

      Hmm OK too many black marks. Not enough golf days, free beer and hostesses for the PHBs.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        RE: not only but also

        You forgot to mention that Mark Hurd likes to offer ex-soft-pr0n actress hostesses..... Alledgedly, etc, etc, obviously because they are such competent marketing specialists....

        /Where's my "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" icon?

      2. Ian Michael Gumby


        Postgres' greatest strength is when its used to leverage better deals from Oracle.

        You use OBI? Doesn't work on Postgres.

        You want scalability? Other databases scale better.

        As one ex-Oracle DBA put it ... Postgres is Oracle 7.x ...

        Sorry but depending on what you're trying to do, Postgress doesn't cut it compared to other options.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Now's the time to convert from Oracle to Informix!

      <Sigh> Yeah, I know, but the IBM Software salesgrunts are much keener to push DB2.

  31. Kebabbert

    MS and RedHat did it

    and no one else cared. Now when Larry does the same thing, he is called names. Some people are biased, yes?

    This was expected. I said earlier that Larry will make sure that there are other reasons than technical to switch to Solaris, and it is happening now.

    Sun had 35.000 customers. Oracle has 300.000 customers. Larry will make sure the customers switch to Solaris. He is very good at what he is doing, no one can deny that.

    Solaris and SPARC has several word record today, a we speak. For instance, TPC-C and others as well. On some benches Niagara T3 is the worlds fastest CPU today.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: MS and RedHat did it

      Kebby, you didn't do the maths, and you a maths grad too! Even if Larry had the perfect overlay of all 35,000 Sun customers all being Oracle buyers too, that would still mean 265,000 Oracle customers already told him they did not want SPARC!

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Did you read this article

    The events are specific. Oracle is using it's might to attack HP, it really has very little to do HP-UX, OpenVMS etc.

    It is all about HP, Ray Lane, Leo oh and that other guy Mark Hurd.

    1. Stoneshop


      "it really has very little to do HP-UX, OpenVMS etc."

      Can *YOU* read? Or rather, comprehend what you're reading?

      Businesses don't run an OS for the sake of it. They run an OS because they need to run apps, middleware, RDBs, etcetera. If those layered products go away for their OS, then because their OS only runs on a specific hardware platform (and for OpenVMS and HP-UX that's Itanium, no alternatives), they'll be required to switch to another hardware platform or be stuck in Deprecated Softwareland until things really die. And another hardware platform means another OS.

      Oracle's move may not have been explicitely targeted at OpenVMS and HP-UX (stuff that brings HP some revenue), but those side effects can not have escaped Larry.

      BTW, if Oracle wanted to really hur{d|t} HP, they should pull a trick like this in the ink business.

  33. Mel Bournian

    So much for Oracle "Partnership"

    Ironic that back in 2006 when Mark Hurd was still running HP, Larry Ellison stated "There is no more important platform for Oracle than HP and Itanium."

    Should have seen this coming given the way Oracle behaves. Didn't they partner with PeopleSoft for HR before launching their own product, which failed, so they bought their former partner? Oh and then do the same with Siebel and BEA?

    And didn't the Cache fusion techology that underpins Oracle RAC come from Compaq TruCluster, only for Oracle to push Dell in that space? Lets not forget the Oracle / HP Exadata offering too.

    OK so HP made a huge mistake in partering with Microsoft for enterprise systems. HP spent years pushing Windows on Itanium but forgot the Compaq lessons of Alpha NT.

    So what are Intel's plans are for Itanium? Either they are going to wind the platform down (perhaps no surprise there given more and more RAS features from IA64 make their way into x86 with every release). This would be catastrophic news for HP-UX and OpenVMS customers.

    Or Intel remain committed to the processor? If it is the latter, then maybe HP should buy SAP and perhaps Ingres or Sybase. Then bundle RDMBS free of charge with every HP-UX and OpenVMS license sold ...

    1. Fenton

      HP buying SAP now makes even better sense

      Well SAP now own Sybase.

      If HP got SAP with sybase they'd have good leg to stand on. In some cases leaving IBM out in the cold as they don't have an ERP stack

    2. Ponk

      I agree

      Yes, if Leo is going to purchase any software assets, why not Ingres? Then price Ingres DB licenses at $1 a core on Itanium. And offer an Oracle to HP Ingres conversion tools via HP Services/EDS. Customers spend maybe 50% of budgets on salaries and maintenance including expensive Oracle license fees. Why doesnt HP use its muscle to strip out expensive DB licensing fees? It would generate income streams for HPS and partners - and allow customers to update applications during the migration process.

      And it would give Larry a decent kick in the cash cow goolies.

  34. swschrad

    it's just another Oracle catfight. why not just leave them behind?

    Larry wants to strangle HP. he also wants to strangle the open sourcers over Java, Open Solaris, and Open Office. he thinks now that he has a vertically integrated shop, he can demand the whole dollar, not just the software piece. and that's always been the highest cost per seat in the database arena.

    time for two things. one, SQL applications need to stop sucking up to database vendors, and write to SQL query... let whatever machine answers do its own thing. two, lots of other outfits have strong databases that scale from DC to daylight, including DB2 open or commercial, and Sybase. plenty of value-add software houses would like to underbid Oracle in your shop, too.

    so do it. you don't need a dozen SunServers and Oracle to have distributed databases synchronized.

    if the people don't follow Larry, he's not a leader any more.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Oracle vision is blurred

    Perhaps I'm biased. I've had the opportunity to build, side by side, four systems, two were HPUX 11.23 on pa-risc one was HPUX 11.i on pa-risc and one was 11.23 on Itanium. All supported brand spanking new installs of Oracle 10g.

    I'll take Itanium. Period. Of the four systems it was the smallest - 16 single core Itaniums versus the pa-risc boxen, running the dual core PA-8900 procs. (32 in one of em, 24 in the other two). It snapped up when booting, despite having far more spindles attached on only 4 FC connections (8 on the PA boxen) and running around the same footprint in assigned RAM. (all were snuggled up to DMX-24's, using 4Gb FC through Brocade 4k's so - - the back end was as consistent as could be)

    Now, I'll admit that Oracle is far from the best DB around, but it had been the chosen child in this environment for "Really Big Databases" due to the software vendor (if yer in telecom's the folks with an A in Cyprus and points east). The Itanium version had its issues early on with installation hiccups and library prerequisites for the installer buggering up your basic swinstall choices, but .... once it was in it handled monstrous (11 TB+) database instances with ease. I found fewer overall issues running it too, since it seemed (at least to me) that that processor had far more kick per socket than most anything I've seen. I'll caveat that against the fact that I've seen Power5 in action but have not had the hands on with it that would compare to my experiences with HP's products, nor am I as familiar with current Sun equipment.

    That said, I'm now dedicated to RH on x86_64, and am only now seeing horsepower in that sphere that *starts* to compare with the oomph in HP's bigger iron. I doubt that the x86* world is really ready to head into running either winders or linux at that scale. Its coming no doubt, but not this week.

    Sparc and Oracle have always played well together and there is little doubt that Oracle will head down this road and make them even better partners. What I doubt will occur is Oracle spending the cash and effort to get the Sparc chip/chipset to the level that HP got Itanium and the related chipsets to in recent years.

    Truly sad that Oracle has chosen to shoot themselves in the foot this way. I guess I'll have to brush up on my MySql and Informix tuning tips........ (oh -- damn - they own mysql too don't they?)

    (tux only cause ... well... its wat eye du!)

  36. E 2

    Horses for courses

    Itanium has old school big iron management and redundancy facilities built in, and these are not things you should shake a stick at. IBM Power machines have similar and for good reason.

    X86/X86-64 machines have that as optional add-ons.

    The day may come when Itanium old school big tin infrastructure makes sense to the broader market, and on that day Intel stands to make a lot of money.

  37. JL 1

    so move the damn DB...

    Moving the Oracle DB from Itanium / HPUX to Oracle on Intel / RedHat is pretty simple to do. Why would you go & port your whole DB to Informix or DB2? Just drop the same version of Oracle onto your favourite x86 box and watch your costs drop. HP has been gouging its Itanium customers on price for a while. If you really love HPUX then leave your custom compute processes on there and put the DB on a different box... a with decent network you won't notice the difference.

    Its about time Oracle users on HPUX woke up to commodity x86.

    1. Steven Jones

      @JL 1

      "Moving the Oracle DB from Itanium / HPUX to Oracle on Intel / RedHat is pretty simple to do."

      If you think it's so easy, then I have a challenge for you. Try converting a 15TB Oracle 10G database on HP-UX to x64 with no more than a couple of hours downtime and also do it in such a way you can reverse it out without loss of transactions should it all go wrong in production. It can be done (but not cheaply) and it is anything but simple.

      The sort of large enterprise systems that are run on HP-UX Itanium hardware (or Power or Sparc64 for that matter) are often very large (and this isn't the largest we've got by any means) and it simply isn't possible to get lengthy downtimes. If it all goes horribly wrong then the CIO is in for an uncomfortable time.

      However, I'd agree the principle that x64 is the way to go if your know you can scale it on RAC or fit within the limitations of an 8 socket server. The latest Intel processors are coming close on RAS features to Enterprise. Of course, the old SPARC IV+ chips that SUN used to rely on were anything but state of the art in this respect - fortunately the Fujitsu SPARC64 is vastly better.

      Anyway, if I was HP I'd be researching ways to move Oracle DBs painlessly to x64 where they are very strong. The only independent vendor to do this (GoldenGate) was swallowed up by Oracle a couple of years ago and that is not a cheap option. It's a difficult problem to crack as Oracle doesn't have a properly abstracted data storage model independent of the processor architecture. I've no doubt that GoldenGate (and hence Oracle) will have dozens of patents protecting what they do.

      1. SplitBrain

        Easy for our DBA's

        I'm not a DBA, but we have been doing exactly that for a couple of years, moving multi terabyte DB's from Solaris and AIX to Red Hat and from AIX to Solaris, hell our DBA's even moved an Oracle DB from Windows to Solaris.

        All you do is install binaries on target, shut down the DB, run a DB export and then import on your new target box. Any half decent DBA can do it, technically it;s not difficult at all.

        Time for data transfer can be an issue, but if you are moving to another box in the same Datacentre on the same fabric then the storage can just be mapped/masked to the target box, that way no waiting for the network transfers, it's all there instantly....

        Easy if you know how...

        1. Anonymous Coward


          You can do it with minutes of downtime but you'll never manage it with an export/import. You'd need to use RMAN and convert endianness as you go. Keep the target DB in recovery mode, feeding archive logs off the production system till you're in a position to switch. Offline production and open the target DB.

  38. Dazed and Confused


    Oracle's business on HP-UX is worth over 3 times there business on Sparc, and that was on the tail of an architecture generation. At the end of last year HP released their next generation of boxes so the next set of numbers are likely to show a bigger gap.

  39. TeeCee Gold badge

    Dead man walking.

    It doesn't matter about the roadmaps or who's right about the Itanic future here.

    While, as others have pointed out, this will likely make little difference to the current HP shops in the short / medium term, although data centre refresh cycles are key here, what it will immediately kill off for HP is any large scale new business or poaching from competitors. What's the point of choosing HP for your big server strategy if you know damned well that their Oracle roadmap has a big No Entry sign within sight on it?

    Everyone of any size has *something* important (more usually lots of somethings important) on Oracle. Porting databases is hard and you really don't want to do it if there's another option. Even then you are still SOL on the Oracle applications.

    As I see it, HP need to do something and they need to do something quickly. I see four options, none of which are pleasant.

    1) They can give up and become another commodity x86 player. That'll hurt.

    2) They can go cap in hand to IBM for Power processors. That makes sense, with two of the major players on Power, the likelyhood of the software lads doing the dirty on it benefits both HP and IBM. Also here the Power chips have a habit of turning up on time, removing one of the main Itanic gripes for HP customers.

    3) They can go cap in hand to, er, Oracle for SPARC processors. It not being wintry in Hell, I can't see this happening.

    4) They can resurrect PA-RISC or come up with something new and hope the software lads stay / jump on board. Dodgy.

    The elephant in the room is that in HP land, they haven't yet completed the move from PA-RISC to Itanic and even on the Itanic chips a lot of what's running is in PA-RISC emulation mode. Having to perform another architecture change while the last one's still ongoing would be something of a pain for them I am sure.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Dead man walking

      We did start a pool here as to which database company we think hp might buy (MariaDB got a lot of votes!), but I'm not so sure they will now. After all, buying a database company would upset M$, and the ProLiant-Windoze juggernaut doesn't need that. And then there's hp's history of working with as many software options as possible so as to offer the most options as possible, which is why hp is also the leading Linux server vendor. No, my guess is that - if this doesn't turn out to be another attempt to extort more licensing costs like Larry did with Slowaris on ProLiant - that hp will simply double up efforts on offering migration services to get off Oracle.

      /off to dig out my "PostgreSQL for Dummies".....

      1. Allison Park

        HP to buy Sybase ASE and IQ from SAP

        HP will buy the database and BI software part of Sybase from SAP. SAP bought Sybase for the mobile computing software not the database assets. Given todays market appreciation SAP should be able to sell the DB piece for the same price they paid for all of Sybase.

        Expect this to be announced before HP's fiscal quarter end. April 31st.

        Sybase shares a common code base with SQLServer so it will be more complimentary than threatening to the M$ft relationship.


        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          RE: HP to buy Sybase ASE and IQ from SAP

          Hmmmm, maybe. But didn't SAP buy Sybase also as an Oracle defence mechanism? Would they sell one of the key bits they would need to make a total SAP software stack, knowign that would give them few options should Larry decide to go after the SAP customers?

  40. rav
    Thumb Up

    Finally, Itanium is high priced junk.

    Itanium has to be the last hold-over from when Intel was holding the IT world hostage forcing poor performing silicon down the throat of box-makers for "NO-AMD" payola. It's an X86-64 world. There is no longer any reason at all to support IA-64. And you all knew it, when ever you wrote reviews of Itanium it was often than not called Itanic.

    Itanium was released in 2001 but Intel never made money on it until 2009.

    Oops there goes another Intel VP!!

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Finally, Itanium is high priced junk.

      "....It's an X86-64 world.....There is no longer any reason at all to support IA-64...." Go read up on "scale up" and "scale out", have a think, then come back and post something with a thought behind it. Big UNIX boxes scale very well, without the enourmous effort of rolling your own x64 grid solution. And, seeing as Snoreacle are a third-tier x64 vendor (and hp are the number one), that M$ SQL is the leading x64 database, faster growing and taking share from Oracle on x64, I'm pretty sure Larry wasn't thinking about the x64 market.

  41. Beachrider

    If Itanium is done...

    With RedHat (2009), Microsoft (2010) and now Oracle (2011) dropping Itanium, you have to believe that Itanium might perish soon (~2-4 years?). Just as with VAX, Alpha and other similar architectures, machines will live-on.

    I don't know why HP is finding itself in so much conflict with its one-time friends (i.e. Oracle, Cisco, Microsoft, etc.), but the pattern is disturbing.

    Could it be that HP will move UX to x64?

  42. Anonymous Coward

    Happy Friday Matt.....

    Tell me again about how HP will never port HPUX to x64? I'm heading down the pub, cheered me right up, keep pointing and laughing old bean, we are!! :-)

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Happy Friday Matt.....

      You still don't give a reason for hp to port hp-ux to x64. After all, Oracle is not the only software vendor, but they are beginning to look like the leader in the "no-choice" lock-in vendor arena. Even M$ gives you more options!

      As I said before, why would hp port hp-ux to x64 when Itanium is still alive and selling well? Yes, the app is king, but Oracle DB is not the app, it's just part of the app stack, and a supporting part at that. Just look at SAP - I can run a SAP instance on hp-ux on Itanium using Ingres, DB2, PostgreSQL or Sybase. I'm sure there are many other options that we haven't looked at up to now as we were previuously happy with the hp-Oracle relationship, but now we'll have to consider more options. For our bizz critical requirements we like to keep two verndor options for each and every part of the solution stack - two server vendors (currently hp and IBM), two OS (hp-ux and AIX), two DBs (Oracle and DB2), only the top of the stack (the business role application such as SAP) is common.

      I suggest you give up the bitterness and just try and get on with life. Sun is dead and gone, OK?


      1. Anonymous Coward

        RE: Happy Friday Matt.....

        Oh Matt, your having to swallow your pride another time!

        I recall the prophesies around the "hardware firesale" which didn't pan out. Then there was the "Sparc will be sold off as they'll only do x64" which didn't pan out and now we come back to "HPUX will not be ported to x64" & "Itanium will be the dominant chip" Tell me again how fast your Redhat Itanium box was again, I love a good fairy tale! :-)

        From where I'm sitting the ISV's have now fled & you seem to have missed the fact Linux is wiping the floor with Commercial Unix and Oracle is strangling virtually every other commercial software competitor going. Your dreaming to argue a few customers will keep Itanium going as they need Sybase / SAP.

        They'll simply deploy Sybase on Linux / x64 (we do) at a fraction of the cost and much more performance than Itanium! Why take an overly expensive RISC box when you can do Sybase Cluster edition & run a parallel DB. Even with good RAS a large HPUX box is a single point of failure. Two means you might as well have taken 2 x64 boxes that can fail but cluster them.

        Why don't you start your therapy by admitting it would be a really stupid idea for a business to place an app on Itanium on HPUX / VMS right now? You want any credibility as a teckie left or are you emulating the mouthpiece of Husseins Empire who tried to tell everyone they were winning the war when they blatantly were not.

        AIX has a future and a fast chips, Solaris has a future and a chips from two vendors, Linux has the most ubiquitous chipset support and largest support on the planet. Multiple OS streams, AMD / Intel / ARM support, even a SUSE port to Itanium if anyone was mad enough. How long before they drop it? (mind you, their desperate for money).

        HP could buy SUSE, now that would be an idea.

        It's dead Matt, death through a thousand cuts. Anyways, gotta dash, expecting a ten thousand word installment anytime soon! :-)

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