back to article Oracle loses appeal in HP row over Itanium

Oracle's last-ditch effort to wriggle out of a judgment requiring it to continue support for HP's Itanium-based servers has failed, leaving only the issue of damages to be resolved. In August 2012, a San Jose, California court ruled that Oracle had violated the terms of its contract with HP when it announced that it would no …

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  1. Dazed and Confused

    Since Oracle has, HP will likely seek something more in the realm of $500m.

    The damage has already been done.

    A once thriving business for both companies has been irrevocably damaged.

    I can't see $500M covering anything like the losses.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: Since Oracle has, HP will likely seek something more in the realm of $500m.

      I can't see anybody describing Itanic as a 'thriving business' with a straight face.

    2. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Since Oracle has, HP will likely seek something more in the realm of $500m.

      Tuppence's worth...

      Is it all pointless? HP reckons that Itanium has architectural advantages that give it a unique selling point for its big machines. Fair enough, it may well do so. But a lot of those features are making their way into Xeon anyway (e.g. fused multiply-add).

      Furthermore Intel are planning on pushing the next Itanium out designed to plug into a Xeon socket. That means that whatever cleverness HP has built into their Itanium chipset is toast. [I suspect that most of the mission critical features of their superdome machines are actually derived from the chipset, not from the Itanium CPU.] If they do a new chipset for the new socket that will also unavoidably be an x86 chipset; it's the same socket... Or they abandon whatever chipset cleverness they have.

      If HP do a new chipset then their large superdome machines could easily be either Itanium or x86 based. Electronically it would make no difference. So for the sake of a few chipset drivers HP could move superdome over to x86 relatively easily. And it would kinda make sense if Linux became their underpinning OS. Why maintain your own (is it poorly regarded?) OS when there's already a pretty good one out there?

      So their entire range could become x86 / Linux without too much effort beyond what they're going to have to do anyway given the future common socket. In which case, why the fuss over Oracle on Itanium? Is it because HP haven't thought about their development strategy? A common Xeon / Itanium socket design is bound to raise all sorts of awkward questions about exactly how HP are any different in any sense from any other server manufacturer.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Since Oracle has, HP will likely seek something more in the realm of $500m.

        "......Electronically it would make no difference....." Computationally it would. Just comparing Poulson with current Sandy Bridge 46xx CPUs, the Itanium is a completely different architecture with more regsiters, more cache and more QPI links, allowing it to chew through larger instructions faster than Xeon. It's a bit like comparing a panel-van with an eighteen-wheeler - some jobs will run better on lots of vans, others need the grunt of the eighteen-wheeler. No-one pretends the eighteen-wheeler will out-drag the van, but then if your job requires lifting heavy loads then drag-racing is unlikely to be the main requirement. Sun learnt this when they tried to push the Niagara as a replacement for all the Netra UltraSPARC boxes, only for their customers to get so upset they had to introduce a one-socket M-series box with Fudgeitso's SPARC64 to keep them happy. What hp will offer is servers that can mix loads inside the same frame with hardware-isolated partitions, something IBM will only be able to dream about unless it also offers combo Itanium-Xeon boxes.

        Oh, and Huawei is also planning the same combo Itanium-Xeon boxes.

  2. Khaptain

    Oracle and Apple the perfect couple

    It is difficult to explain why but I have always considered Oracle and Apple as belonging to the same basket.

    Ellison and Jobs share(d) a common denominator, complete disrepect for everything that stands (stood) in their way....

    I have a little more respect for Ellison simply because of his sponsorshop for fantastic racing yachts. Jobs on the otherhand with his "stark" nightmare......

    1. Androgynous Crackwhore
      Boffin

      Re: Oracle and Apple the perfect couple

      >It is difficult to explain why but I have always considered Oracle and Apple as belonging to the same basket.

      Ellison is an Apple!

      1. koolholio
        WTF?

        Re: Oracle and Apple the perfect couple

        Its actually happening! :-O

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdr_bo12G4w

        and: Quick Time Player Version 7.7.3 Out of Bound Read

        *Gulp* Hard to swallow :-/

  3. Herby

    As the saying goes...

    Easy come, easy go. Or: If you make public promises, you better keep them!

  4. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Happy

    What hp should really ask for.

    As well as the $500m, they should ask for a judgement that Larry has to wear the following on alternating days - a full Tux penguin suit, or a t-shirt with "I luv Itanium" on the front and "hp-ux > Slowaris" on the back. Worth it just for the lulz!

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: What hp should really ask for.

      > Slowaris

      Yup, it's Matt

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Re: What hp should really ask for.

        "> Slowaris

        Yup, it's Matt"

        Hey, I have to get this digs in whilst I can! After all, it can't be long before Larry does another "efficiency drive" and deep-sixes Slowaris completely, especially given his pref for his own RHEL clone, and AIX just doesn't lend itself to that kind of humour.

  5. Morten Bjoernsvik
    Stop

    HP get over it

    Itanic is dead and has been for years. How long can you beat a dead horse?

    The revenue stream from itanics dwindle day by day. There cant be much left.

    if they jumped ship when this was announced they would have been in much better shape now.

    There is a marked out there for linuxboxes with the same feature set as itanic superdomes,

    Couldn't be that hard. SGI moved from itanium to Xeons in 2 years on their Altix line.

    Nobody is missing the itanics. it was a bad design that lived way too long.

    The slow single thread performance and poor intel compilers will not be missed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: HP get over it

      Morten, it's a breach of contract and the general suckiness of Itanic doesn't absolve Oracle from upholding their end of the deal.

      And IMO sucky platform or not, Oracle would still be happily collecting the big bucks from HP customers if they hadn't gone into the hardware business.

      P.S. it's not unknown for HP to pull this kind of stunt on their own customers, so in that sense I share your lack of sympathy with HP.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: HP get over it

        Agree, although HP is trying to equate their trapping Oracle via poor contract management on Oracle's part into claiming that the judgement found that Oracle claims about Itanium were untrue and Itanium rocks. Oracle produced mountains of evidence detailing that Intel wants out of Itanium, HP is planning for the end of Itanium, and that HP had been trying not to let anyone know the previous two points. The judge found that whether Itanium is dead or not dead is irrelevant and only that Oracle had agreed to support it, a contractual issue as you mention. The only thing that was proven is that HP's lawyers were better than Oracle's lawyers.... If someone is confused about what was the issue in the judgement, however, it is probably because they are listening to HP who are playing this as a positive affirmation of Itanium's future... which it wasn't at all.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: HP get over it

          ".....HP is trying to equate their trapping Oracle via poor contract management on Oracle's part into claiming that the judgement found that Oracle claims about Itanium were untrue...." Actually, that is EXACTLY what the judge decided. The judge's statement was there was a contract between hp and Oracle for as long as hp sold Itanium kit, so if the judge had accepted Oracle's argument that Intel was canning the Itanium then there would be no contract to enforce. This is made clear in the prior El Reg article http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/08/01/hp_wins_ruling_vs_oracle/:

          "A California court has ruled that Oracle is contractually obligated to produce software for Hewlett-Packard's Itanium-based servers and must continue to do so for as long as HP sells them....." Obviously, the judge considered more than just Larry's obsessive shrieking. About time some of the posters faced up to that fact too.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: HP get over it

            ".....HP is trying to equate their trapping Oracle via poor contract management on Oracle's part into claiming that the judgement found that Oracle claims about Itanium were untrue...." Actually, that is EXACTLY what the judge decided.The judge's statement was there was a contract between hp and Oracle for as long as hp sold Itanium kit, so if the judge had accepted Oracle's argument that Intel was canning the Itanium then there would be no contract to enforce"

            Oracle didn't claim that Intel was dropping Itanium in 2010, actually they evidenced that HP had paid Intel hundreds of millions to prop it up for a few more years. They claimed that Intel's future focus is on x86 Xeon for high end chips (obviously true, Intel admits it themselves) and that there were/are plans to end Itanium as soon as HP's contract through Kittson was over (which they produced a mountain of evidence to support).

            The judge made no comment on Itanium's future viability whatsoever. Read the judgement. He only found that Oracle's press releases in conjunction with HP created a contract and that Oracle needed to support Itanium until the end of the line regardless of the truth of their rationale behind dropping Itanium.

    2. FlatEarther

      Re: HP get over it

      Umm, it it's anything like VMS and NonStop, there is a long tail of very profitable annuity income from the installed base, as long as they can continue to support it. That's a reason to fight. And if Oracle has to give them money as well, it's all good.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: HP get over it

        "Umm, it it's anything like VMS and NonStop, there is a long tail of very profitable annuity income from the installed base, as long as they can continue to support it. That's a reason to fight. And if Oracle has to give them money as well, it's all good."

        Clearly, I don't think anyone would dispute that it is profitable, highly profitable, for HP to continue to support the legacy Tandem and DEC platforms as well as HP-UX. They are paying Intel hundreds of millions to continue Itanium just to get the maintenance streams.... It makes perfect sense that HP would fight this tooth and nail to protect the legacy maintenance streams.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: HP get over it

          Corporate Pride?

          EPIC was an HP invention IIRC. It is/was the wrong choice. The famous DEC analysis document comparing Alpha with the EPIC architecture stands a lasting testament to the victory of marketdroid suits over engineering.

          The EPIC architecture was doomed before it saw silicon. It's death will not be mourned, except for the fact that it will take the last legacy of DEC, VMS, to the grave.

    3. IT Strategist
      Facepalm

      Re: HP get over it

      Hi Folks,

      I find it interesting that you claim that Itanium has been dead for ages,but if you check IDC, Itanium in EMEA(where I work) has been the market leader 2008 Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4 and 2009 Q1. With the current problems brought on by Oracle, the market position has now dropped to second place(behind IBM). Please check this data.

      Thanks and wishing you happy discussion, but with the real facts.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    As a Java freak I can only say...

    HA HAaaa HA HAAAA!!!!

    No, I don't like Oracle as a company at all, what gave that away ?

    Alas; back to the regular schedule.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IBM and Oracle are both releasing new CPU's. IBM released Power 7 three years ago and Power 8 is expected this year.

    Oracle released the T3 in 2010, the T4 in 2011 and the T5 soon. New M series servers on the SPARC64-X will be released as well.

    Intel released the 9300 in early 2010 and the 9500 in late 2012. There is no public roadmap for future processors and it well known that HP has been paying Intel to keep the Itanium as a product. So I'm sure HP will take that 500 million and pay that to Intel to produce Itaniums beyond the current 2017 date that current payout requires them too.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      WTF?

      ".....IBM released Power 7 three years ago and Power 8 is expected this year....." IBM's public roadmap has zero detail on P8 and nothing after it. In short, Power does not have a roadmap. At least Intel talk about future development, even if they don't have a code name for it yet, but IBM go silent about what follows P8.

      ".....Oracle released the T3 in 2010, the T4 in 2011 and the T5 soon. New M series servers on the SPARC64-X will be released as well......" Tx is a joke, unable to even match the promise of ARM outside the web serving niche, and the M-series promises sound like "Rock Mk2" - too little, too late, too irrelevant and due to die before launch. Oracle is putting what little development muscle it has left behind Xeon kit for Exedata, etc. Larry was gambling desperately and blindly on Itanium dying and he was wrong when he went public with his fervent wishes, and now he's going to have to pay for that little Segway from reality.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Matt Bryant,

        "IBM's public roadmap has zero detail on P8 and nothing after it. In short, Power does not have a roadmap. At least Intel talk about future development, even if they don't have a code name for it yet, but IBM go silent about what follows P8."

        You keep forgetting that HP is subsidizing the Itanium for Intel. HP still needs to pay for the processors. That is not a viable business at all; Itanium cannot stand on its two feet with HP's monetary support. The Intel shareholders would be calling for it to be axed if they had to foot the bill for a money losing venture.

        What Intel has talked about is taking bits from the 7 series Xeon processors to reduce the costs of the Itanium parts and adding some of the Itanium inner workings/features to the 7 series Xeon processors. They want to make them socket compatible. That tells me that the road map that Intel has is to get rid of the Itanium and just let people change their apps to x86-64 which is what Intel has been pushing for over a decade now. Where does that leave the Itanium customer base? Yep, they need to start over. At least Power systems are binary compatible and the same for SPARC systems.

        How does HP differentiate a server that competes with Oracle and IBM when it is just a Xeon server that everyone else sells? HP will get slaughtered on price.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          "....You keep forgetting that HP is subsidizing the Itanium for Intel. HP still needs to pay for the processors....." Which has nothing to do with roadmaps, numpty. And even if hp do pay Intel, if they are making a profit on Itanium from the server, support and associated pull-through deals (and they are), then it is still a viable business model, unlike the one that killed Sun.

          "....Itanium cannot stand on its two feet with HP's monetary support....." What a stupid statement - since hp makes roughly 98% of the Itanium servers this is hardly a surprise. It's a bit like saying Power couldn't survive if IBM stopped building Power servers - duh! Honestly, are you posting whilst under the influence?

          ".....That tells me that the road map that Intel has is to get rid of the Itanium...." No, that is what you want to see. Think of the original Celeron and Pentium - Celeron and Pentium were socket compatible offerings, they simply met different market segments, but Celeron did not kill Pentium. It's exactly the same principle, only with vendors that can offer both Xeon and Itanium servers being able to do so at much lower costs as the motherboards and other components can be identical between the two ranges. What you should be worndering is whether IBM's lack of plans beyond Power8 is IBM realising they cannot compete with a combo Xeon-Itanium range.

          ".....At least Power systems are binary compatible...." Second biggest lie out there. When the IBM salesgrunts start their upgrade sales schpiel, and start warbling on about performance, the first thing they have to admit is that just about every Power upgrade has meant you had to upgrade the version fo AIX to gain the benefits mentioned, and that breaks compatibility. Don't try and tell me otherwise, I've been there and seen the result.

          ".....How does HP differentiate a server that competes with Oracle and IBM when it is just a Xeon server that everyone else sells?...." Obviously, very well seeing the number of years they have been the number one x64 vendor. But don't you mean the Xeon servers IBM can still sell, seeing as they are gradually selling off to Lenovo and exiting the x64 server market?

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
            Paris Hilton

            Seriously Matt, what do you want to say?

            That Itanium will yet prevail and is just currently resting?

            That Xeon is the best thing since the Hitachi Massage Device?

            That you hate Sun and even more SPARC?

            That you hate IBM and Power?

            That you have a huge stash of HP shares going nowhere?

            Maybe that HP was stupid when they dumped PA RISC as they currently seems to singlehandedly finance another manufaturer's processor line into the sunset?

            What??

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Destroyed All Braincell's rant

              "Seriously Matt, what do you want to say?...." Er, read the post, it's all pretty simple English, no big words. Maybe you should get an adult to help you.

              "......That Itanium will yet prevail and is just currently resting?...." That Itanium is still selling, despite Larry's monumental FUD exercise. I find it very amusing that fact causes you such pain.

              ".....That Xeon is the best thing since the Hitachi Massage Device?...." Try to stay on topic, chap, it might help. Then again, a course of meds would probably help you more.

              "......That you hate Sun and even more SPARC?....." Sun is dead, didn't you get the memo? SPARC in any form is on life support, it deserves pity more than anything else.

              ".....That you hate IBM and Power?....." LOL, I use AIX and Power, I just don't fall for the IBM ra-ra routines.

              ".....That you have a huge stash of HP shares going nowhere?...." Nope, no hp shares. Does it hurt you that much that someone might disagree with you that they have to have a monetary motive? What a narrow-minded little individual you are.

              ".....Maybe that HP was stupid when they dumped PA RISC.....". Why were they stupid to replace a design hitting the limits of RISC with a design with years of scale to come, which was cheaper to produce, and offered them the chance to reduce costs by sharing components and eventually even sockets with their other major server range? Sorry, was that too complex for you to follow, should I do one argument per paragraph so you might keep up?

              1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
                Angel

                Re: Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                Huh?

                You seem to know more about me by analysis of a simple posting than a truth teller, who has practiced clairvoyance in the Mexican highlands with only Peyotl and a book by Castaneda as company for ten years, could find out in half an hour facetime. But anyway.

                Picture this....

                "Yes, young Jedi. It is a trap. Soon all the CPUs that you love and cherish will be destroyed by this fully operational Matt Brainstation. Good. I can see the anger rising within you...."

                "Eh? Listen old man, I don't really care. Do they have good coffee around here?"

                Seriously, why all the hate and trollololling? I can only picture you as a potty-mouthed arm-waving red-faced garden gnome reaching apoplexy in front of his screen as he tries to claim some sort of high ground for HP for reasons which still elude me.

                > Maybe you should get an adult to help you.

                May you should *be* an adult, Matt. Not that I would want any help from the sort of you.

                P.S. I think AS/400 looks far better than anything HP could come up with ever.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                  "P.S. I think AS/400 looks far better than anything HP could come up with ever."

                  Agreed.

                  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                    FAIL

                    Re: Re: Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                    "P.S. I think AS/400 looks far better than anything HP could come up with ever." Really? So how come mainframe is a shrinking market, having been comprehensively gutted from below by UNIX over the last twenty years? Even IBM admit is a declining market.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                      "P.S. I think AS/400 looks far better than anything HP could come up with ever." Really? So how come mainframe is a shrinking market, having been comprehensively gutted from below by UNIX over the last twenty years? Even IBM admit is a declining market."

                      First, AS/400 is a mini, not a mainframe. Second, the lower end of the mainframe market, System z, was dealt a blow like 20 years ago by Unix. Mainframe has actually been growing, slightly, over the last say five years because those people who are on mainframe are the large financial services, governments, etc who have no intention of getting off of mainframe. If they wanted to get off, they would have and could have done it many years ago. I don't think IBM has ever called mainframe a declining market. It certainly isn't a rapid growth market, but pretty stable by the overall MIPS count which is released every quarter.

                      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                        Happy

                        Re: Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                        "......I don't think IBM has ever called mainframe a declining market....." You haven't been paying attention. Third paragraph of this IBM's own analysis piece:

                        ".....As Linux competes with Windows and Unix, the long, slow decline of the mainframe platform becomes hard to ignore. The IBM mainframe software ecosystem, which has consisted of independent software vendors (ISVs) providing application development (AD), system management and infrastructure solutions for this platform, has been shrinking during the past 10 years....."

                        http://www-01.ibm.com/software/info/websphere/partners4/articles/gartner/garmainframeeco.html

                        You may now admit your incorrectness and promise to do more research before posting again.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                          "You haven't been paying attention. Third paragraph of this IBM's own analysis piece:"

                          Possibly your most unintentionally hilarious post thus far. Where to start... First, this is an article which is 9 years old. Second, this article was written by Gartner, not IBM... completely different company. Third, this article was written on an IBM reseller, Business Partner, page regarding WebSphere, not System z.... completely different organization within IBM (and WebSphere is closely aligned with Linux). Fourth, this is speaking about the *ISV ecosystem*, not the actual number of MIPS being used. I am sure that the new social collaboration apps and other new ISVs coming on the market don't create a z/OS port. Not relevant to the mainframe install base. Fifth, if you keep reading, your article states exactly what I stated in my post: lower end mainframe market left mainframe (around the time of your article and before), higher end mainframe users that need mainframe's I/O performance, reliability, security, centralization, etc will stay on mainframe:

                          "IBM mainframe enterprise less than 500 MIPS are the most likely to successfully migrate to Windows or Unix platforms. However, this is heavily dependent on application and environmental complexities.

                          Gartner believes it's difficult for enterprises with a mainframe environment greater than 1,000 MIPS to migrate their entire application portfolios off the mainframe. Enterprises with many thousands to tens of thousands of MIPS face even-greater challenges, and we do not expect them to leave this platform."

                          I agree, Gartner.

                          Were you actually digging through decade old IBM web archives, or is this some article link that HP passes out to all of their resellers?

                          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                            FAIL

                            Re: Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                            "Possibly your most unintentionally hilarious post thus far...." Your constant denail is so much funnier! The article's age just shows how long trolls like you have been shrieking your denial. Even relentless IBM fanbois like TPM have been admitting mainframe's gradual death for years (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/05/25/gartner_q1_2010_server_nums/). Please do scream and dribble at TPM if you wish to disagree, I'm tired of having to read your floam-flecked and fact-free rants. Now back under your bridge like a good little troll, and don't forget to try and learn a little Linux if you want a future career.

                            1. Anonymous Coward
                              Anonymous Coward

                              Re: Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                              "Now back under your bridge like a good little troll, and don't forget to try and learn a little Linux if you want a future career."

                              I am not a mainframe operator, but mainframe skills are the most in demand in IT at the moment. They can't find enough people to fill open positions. Windows/Linux admins are everywhere. If you know z/OS/MVS, CICS, MQ, IDMS, etc well and have experience with them, you can basically name your price. Those are not positions which are likely to be outsourced or sent to Amazon EC2 either. Mainframe applications are too important, too mission critical to be pushed out to save a little cash. They are not going to be automated away either because mainframe is a mature platform where job schedulers, virtualization, self-provisioning, etc have been around for decades.

                              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                FAIL

                                Re: AC Re: Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                "I am not a mainframe operator, but mainframe skills are the most in demand in IT at the moment. ...." Oh puh-lease! Just go to any jobsite and count the number of MS Windows jobs advertised for every mainframe one! Monster.co.uk has 51 mainframe jobs for all mainframe vendors, but stops counting at 1000 for Windows. I can't believe you were so quick to flail at your keyboard you didn't even think to do a simple check like that just in case you were amazingly, stupidly wrong! And you were.

                                ".....They can't find enough people to fill open positions....." That's because young people coming into IT simply aren't bothering to learn mainframe skills as they see it as a dying tech. Again, do some checking - go look on LinkedIn at the average age of people with mainframe skills and then compare to Linux or Windows or even UNIX. Don't worry, I'll wait, but mainly because I'll be laughing at you when you come back.

                                "....Those are not positions which are likely to be outsourced or sent to Amazon EC2 either. ...." Evidently you missed this article on The Register, which is just one example of "safe" mainframe jobs not only being outsourced but outsourced to cheaper admins abroad:

                                http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/06/26/rbs_natwest_ca_technologies_outsourcing/

                                "....They are not going to be automated away either because mainframe is a mature platform...." No, instead they will be replaced by Linux and UNIX systems, maybe some Windows systems, as has been happening for twenty-odd years. Enjoy!

                                1. Anonymous Coward
                                  Anonymous Coward

                                  Re: AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                  "Monster.co.uk has 51 mainframe jobs for all mainframe vendors, but stops counting at 1000 for Windows."

                                  Several points on that comment. First, I am not saying that the *raw* number number of job openings for mainframe is higher than Windows. Obviously not. I am saying that the *supply* of mainframe talent is low for the number of positions. I would imagine that most mainframe positions are not advertised on Monster because the companies are looking for a very specific skill set, they hire recruiters. Even if we take your numbers though, there were probably 5 qualified people applying for those 50 mainframe jobs and 5,000 Windows admins applying for those 1,000 Windows jobs. Second, I wouldn't rank a career by how many openings, of any sort, are available. There were probably less than 10 openings for neurosurgeons on Monster, but it is a highly attractive career in which it is easy to find a job with the requisite education and experience. You can also find thousands of jobs for fast food workers. If there are thousands of openings, it is generally a low skill job with low pay which is easy to fill. If there are a few openings, it is generally a high skill job with high pay which is difficult to fill.

                                  "That's because young people coming into IT simply aren't bothering to learn mainframe skills as they see it as a dying tech. Again, do some checking - go look on LinkedIn at the average age of people with mainframe skills and then compare to Linux or Windows or even UNIX. Don't worry, I'll wait, but mainly because I'll be laughing at you when you come back."

                                  I agree that young people are not learning mainframe because people lead them to believe it is a dying tech, which it isn't likely to be anytime in their working careers. If you are looking at a high paying field which already has a shortage of workers with many to retire in the near future, that sounds like a pretty good field. Some of this is just experience required too. A mega bank is unlikely to let a 25 year old loose on their core transactional systems. A small business is fine with letting a 25 year old loose on their Windows systems. If they go down, not the end of the world. Unix/Windows is often the training ground at those companies for those that would ascend to the bet your business systems.

                                  "Evidently you missed this article on The Register, which is just one example of "safe" mainframe jobs not only being outsourced but outsourced to cheaper admins abroad:"

                                  I am familiar with the NatWest CA-7 batch scheduling debacle. I am sure there are companies that move parts of their mainframe workload, lower level functions like batch runs, offshore. It is definitely the minority of companies with mainframe. Unix or Windows is much more likely to be offshored or automated than mainframe. I imagine that RBS will never allow anything have to do with mainframe out of their sight again. When they screwed up a batch job, pretty simple process, it was international front page news with huge regulatory fines and massive customer/brand loss. Can you think of any Windows application that would have that sort of impact?

                                  "No, instead they will be replaced by Linux and UNIX systems, maybe some Windows systems, as has been happening for twenty-odd years. Enjoy!"

                                  It has been steady for years. I am sure some people moved off and large mainframe shops added more workload as part of that process. If mainframe is dying, it is, as Larry Ellison said, "like watching a glacier melt. Even with global warming it is taking a hell of a long time." Watching HP-UX going down is measured in months, not generations.

                                  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                    FAIL

                                    Re: AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                    Ah, watch the ickle mainframer wriggle and try and justify his daft statements before senility hits in!

                                    "....I am not saying that the *raw* number number of job openings for mainframe is higher than Windows....." Sorry, you said mainframe was in most demand, very obviously it is not. What you should have said you think mainframe jobs are the ones that companies are having the most trouble filling - you somehow think having trouble filling a small number of vacancies is a good thing? LOL! It's because they cannot find people that want that job, they are preferring to do other tech like Windows. And then you make some bizarre comparison with neurosurgeons!?! WTF? Seriously, I know you mainframes have some massive ego and reality issues, but you really need to step outside and see which way the wind is blowing. You do NOTHING that other admins don't already do with other platforms except live with your head in the sand. Just ask TMP - he used to run a workgroup/website for mainframers, but he had to give it up to come work for the all-tech Reg because there simply wasn't enough interest to keep it going.

                                    Mainframe has been in decline for years, it is only those stuck with applications that they cannot afford to shift that are staying on it, not because they do not want to shift off it because mainframe is just stupidly expensive. This is clearly shown by IBM's paranoid attacks of anyone that threatens their scam such as PSI, Hercules, etc. IBM needs to screw as much out of those still stuck on mainframe whilst they can, because they know they cannot use it to subsidise the rest of their hardware bizz forever.

                                    Ah well, at least you gave the readers a good laugh.

                                    1. Mad Mike

                                      Re: AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                      "Mainframe has been in decline for years, it is only those stuck with applications that they cannot afford to shift that are staying on it, not because they do not want to shift off it because mainframe is just stupidly expensive. This is clearly shown by IBM's paranoid attacks of anyone that threatens their scam such as PSI, Hercules, etc. IBM needs to screw as much out of those still stuck on mainframe whilst they can, because they know they cannot use it to subsidise the rest of their hardware bizz forever.

                                      Ah well, at least you gave the readers a good laugh."

                                      I remember people like you saying mainframe would be dead in the 90s. It managed it past the year 2000. Then, it managed it past 2010. It must really annoy you that it continues to live. By the way; I know of several new (good sized) apps that have been put on mainframe recently for several companies. Yes, the general trend is downwards, but it's a very slow downward creep. IBM will be making money on mainframes for a long time to come.

                                      I guess we'll see in the years to come, but I bet Itanium is dead first!!

                                      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                        Happy

                                        Re: AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                        "..... It must really annoy you that it continues to live...." Oh boy, is that beyond the pot and kettle! Just look at the IBM fanbois getting shrieky here just because their heartfelt wish (and often incorrectly predicted) death of Itanium hasn't happened! You lot are so tragic it's just über funny. Seriously, take a step back and a deep breath, I'm worried that a fossil like you might have a stroke if you continue!

                                        /SP&L

                                        1. Mad Mike

                                          Re: AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                          "It must really annoy you that it continues to live...." Oh boy, is that beyond the pot and kettle! Just look at the IBM fanbois getting shrieky here just because their heartfelt wish (and often incorrectly predicted) death of Itanium hasn't happened! You lot are so tragic it's just über funny. Seriously, take a step back and a deep breath, I'm worried that a fossil like you might have a stroke if you continue!"

                                          Like I said Matt. I laid down a bet. I bet mainframe will be around longer than Itanium. I take it from your abusive reply that you're not intending to take that bet. Really confident aren't you!!

                                    2. Anonymous Coward
                                      Anonymous Coward

                                      Re: AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                      "What you should have said you think mainframe jobs are the ones that companies are having the most trouble filling - you somehow think having trouble filling a small number of vacancies is a good thing? LOL! It's because they cannot find people that want that job, they are preferring to do other tech like Windows."

                                      Several points on your retort. First, you can manage an incredibly large mainframe environment with a handful of people, thousands of virtual servers. It would take a hundred people to do the admin for that workload on Windows... just to handle Patch Tuesday. As a result, there will inherently be more Windows admins than mainframers due to the limitations of Windows and x86. One guy driving a bulldozer vs. 100 guys with shovels.

                                      Second, I wouldn't say there is a lack of interest in mainframe at the highest levels of enterprise tech. You will find that the largest FS firms, governments, Fortune 100 are still very interested in mainframe. That is a narrow range of the market that even has a use case for mainframe as compared to tens of thousands with Windows. If you are running a blog, you will have more hits if it is on Windows rather than System z. No doubt about it.

                                      Third, I suppose some of this is a definition of "in demand." What I meant by "in demand" is that companies are looking all over the place to find mainframe talent. They pay search firms thousands of dollars to find mainframe talent. No one is looking all over the place for Windows talent. Can you think of any other IT position where companies cannot find enough qualified applicants through the standard job posting process so they need to go to search firms to track down talent? By your reasoning, a fast food worker is more "in demand" than a neurosurgeon because there are thousands of opening for fast food workers and relatively few for neurosurgeons. If you are an experienced Windows admin, you will probably find a job. If you are an experienced z/OS engineer, you will have recruiters calling you at your current job asking how much money and other benefits it would take to pull you to another firm. I would prefer the mainframe definition of demand.

                                      "IBM needs to screw as much out of those still stuck on mainframe whilst they can, because they know they cannot use it to subsidise the rest of their hardware bizz forever."

                                      Firstly, System z, the hardware, is not costly. Starting price for a z114 is $100,000. A mid-sized, 1,000 MIPS, system will probably cost you about $160,000 for the hardware (make the UK conversion). Now, mainframe software can be expensive, especially if you are using software from CA, but mainframe is not inherently costly. It can be based primarily on the software running on that machines, much like a Unix/x86-Linux machine with 50 cores of Oracle 11g EE RAC can be an extremely costly environment.

                                      Second, mainframe doesn't subsidize anything. Power is more than self-sustaining. System x is self-sustaining. IBM's x86 servers primarily benefit from IP sharing with Power, not mainframe (IBM's eX5 chip set came from Power). If you are concerned about a company with business units subsidizing other business units, then you should be concerned about HP. HP's ink and legacy Itanium (NonStop and VMS) and HP-UX subsidize ProLiant and everything else at HP. All of their cash cows are not looking healthy. What is HP going to use as a revenue source to develop ProLiant, to the extent that you need R&D in a commodity server market, and make ridiculous software acquisitions after that goes away?

                                      1. Mad Mike

                                        Re: AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                        AC.

                                        I think we should stop feeding the troll at this point. Undoubtedly, the nurses will be around to put him to bed in a moment. Shame they have to restrain them at night, but don't want them hurting themselves!!

                                        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                          WTF?

                                          Re: Ill-educated Mike Re: AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                          "....I think we should stop feeding the troll at this point...." Laughable! The article is about possible costs to Oracle for losing their court-case against hp, and then you mindless IBM fanbois come in and insist on shrieking anti-hp and anti-Itanium FUD, then suggest someone else is trolling!??!!? Seriously, you need professional help. Maybe you can get some whilst you read up on the twenty years of computer developments that you missed living in your mainframe bubble.

                                          1. Anonymous Coward
                                            Anonymous Coward

                                            Re: Ill-educated Mike AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                            "The article is about possible costs to Oracle for losing their court-case against hp, and then you mindless IBM fanbois come in and insist on shrieking anti-hp and anti-Itanium FUD, then suggest someone else is trolling!??!!?"

                                            You were the one who brought up mainframe.

                                            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                              Facepalm

                                              Re: AC Re: Ill-educated Mike AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                              ".....You were the one who brought up mainframe." Actually that was kicked off by Destroyed All Braincells's mention of AS/400 at 0011GMT Feb 3rd. What is really funny is you didn't even have to go learn about something outside your mainframe bubble to see that, all you had to do was scroll through the thread!

                                              1. Mad Mike
                                                FAIL

                                                Re: AC Ill-educated Mike AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                                "".....You were the one who brought up mainframe." Actually that was kicked off by Destroyed All Braincells's mention of AS/400 at 0011GMT Feb 3rd. What is really funny is you didn't even have to go learn about something outside your mainframe bubble to see that, all you had to do was scroll through the thread!

                                                House Rules"

                                                "Re: Re: Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                                "P.S. I think AS/400 looks far better than anything HP could come up with ever." Really? So how come mainframe is a shrinking market, having been comprehensively gutted from below by UNIX over the last twenty years? Even IBM admit is a declining market."

                                                Ha, ha, ha. This is really funny. If you sorted the replies to this thread from oldest to newest and then searched for the word mainframe, you will note that the first person to mention the mainframe was actually YOU. It was in one of your posts. Yes, it might have been in response to a comment about AS/400, but it was YOU who referred to mainframe. Nobody else. I've posted both your latest stupid posting and the one in which you mention the mainframe. Your insults to AC now show that all YOU had to do was read the thread correctly and you would have seen that it was YOU. Now that really is funny. You can't even sort the replies into date order!!! Ha, ha, ha. Feeling stupid? You really ought to!!

                                                A truly EPIC FAIL.

                                                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                                  Happy

                                                  Re: Ill-educated Mike Re: AC Ill-educated Mike AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                                  "......If you sorted the replies to this thread from oldest to newest and then searched for the word mainframe, you will note that the first person to mention the mainframe was actually YOU. It was in one of your posts. Yes, it might have been in response to a comment about AS/400.....". Hooooboy, intelligent thought is obviously such a struggle in that mainframe bubble! Sorry to break it those of you that somehow think the difference is worth wasting time over, but the rest of us with viable careers tend to lump all the IBM dinosaur products into the same category, including the baby mainframes like the AS/400 and System/3x products. What you consider an epic fail the rest of the computer industry considers the norm, so it is simply more proof that you need time outside that mainframe bubble, Bubi.

                                                  1. Mad Mike

                                                    Re: Ill-educated Mike AC Ill-educated Mike AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                                    So, no answer and simply more abuse to hide it. Never mind.....

                                                    For your information, most people know AS/400s and System 3/x are not 'baby mainframes'. They have far more in common with Unix systems than mainframes. That's probably why they use Power processors and p-Series hardware now!!

                                                    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                                      FAIL

                                                      Re: Ill-educated Mike AC Ill-educated Mike AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                                      "So, no answer and simply more abuse to hide it....." Plenty of answers, they just didn't penetrate your thickness. Try getting someone with some tech knowledge to read and summarise the posts for you, it might help.

                                                      ".....most people know AS/400s and System 3/x are not 'baby mainframes'....." They are both attempts to retain mainframe customers by offering them cheaper and smaller mainframes, the so-called i-series using shared tech with the Power-based p-series but capable of running the same applications as they ran on the bigger and older mainframes. The System/3x systems were so poor they got raped by DEC, who used to take glee in demonstrating just how much faster their kit was. I used to know a DEC tech salesgrunt who used to say that IBM's System/32 was his best sales tool.

                                                  2. Anonymous Coward
                                                    Anonymous Coward

                                                    Re: Ill-educated Mike AC Ill-educated Mike AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                                    "What you consider an epic fail the rest of the computer industry considers the norm"

                                                    You seem to think those two are mutually exclusive. Massively distributed computing is the norm... and it is a massive failure. Client/server is widely considered to be a technologically inferior architecture and a huge, huge headache/administrative time vampire. The promise was that client/server would be so much more agile and allow for rapid deployments, which, at the time, was true. Client/server could roll out apps faster than a centralized mainframe. That was primarily because bureaucracy had been built around mainframe access whereas any business unit could buy a MS servers or Groupware or a Domino server or a mini and start working on stuff outside of the mainframe. All of client/server started as a skunkworks operation. Like all other skunkworks operations though, the problem was not in deployment, it was in management. Before long, there were servers and data floating around everywhere. There was no way to manage it and there was no way to control the data. This resulted in huge, bloated Windows admin staffs, and other early client/server OSs, as well as no "single source of the truth." Many different departments all had their own customer table, revenue table, so forth. You can look at the last 20 years as an effort to try to put the mainframe architecture back together again. Scaling up first Unix and then x86-Windows, virtualizing the platforms, adding system management software which has been present in mainframe for 40 years, etc. Moving from massively distributed back to centralized while using distributed servers in a cluster with web-access and as little as possible on the client side (web apps, thin clients). The modern x86 architecture is a make-shift, ad hoc, best effort at recreating the mainframe. You don't see many true client/server apps any more, with the processing split between the client and the server. It is all server with a terminal.... some call it the "cloud", but it is just the centralized, mainframe-terminal architecture.

                                                    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                                      FAIL

                                                      Re: Ill-educated Mike AC Ill-educated Mike AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                                      ".....Massively distributed computing is the norm... and it is a massive failure....." You speak so much contradictory rubbish it's like someone wrote a program to generate stupidity. Companies, especially large corporations, do not invest in failures, they invest in systems that they believe, after careful analysis, give them the best business performance for the least cost. That is why mainframe is dying.

                                                      ".....It is all server with a terminal.... some call it the "cloud" but it is just the centralized, mainframe-terminal architecture...." Rubbish. In the classic mainframe-terminal environment, all the processing and computation takes place on the mainframe and the terminal is just a data entry and direction device. With modern cloud the terminal also often does computational work - it might call on cloud applications for data or to calculations, but the core does not do all the work.

                                                      1. Anonymous Coward
                                                        Anonymous Coward

                                                        Re: Ill-educated Mike AC Ill-educated Mike AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                                        "Companies, especially large corporations, do not invest in failures, they invest in systems that they believe, after careful analysis, give them the best business performance for the least cost. That is why mainframe is dying."

                                                        Companies commonly invest in failures. The client/server environments did not start as well thought out investments. They started as the marketing department buying a few servers to run some app, and some factory buying some apps to manage their replacement parts, etc, etc. IT departments were, and largely still are, helpless to stop the lines of business from doing whatever they feel like. After awhile the IT department asked if they could at least centralize/consolidate all of these little servers scattered all of over the place, which basically brings us to present day. It was a skunkworks operation that IT just decided to pretend was their idea and took responsibility for over the years. Hugely cost ineffective environment. As everyone knows, hardware costs are a drop in the bucket of overall IT costs. The major cost is staffing and client/server drove that through the roof.

                                                        "With modern cloud the terminal also often does computational work - it might call on cloud applications for data or to calculations, but the core does not do all the work."

                                                        If you have noticed, the client side does less and less work all the time. Basically the only thing the client needs to do today is open an internet browser and run the IP adapter drivers. The OS is really not necessary. It is getting very similar to the mainframe. Everything is developed on the server. The only thing the client is there for is to connect to the server.

                                                        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                                          FAIL

                                                          Re: Re: Ill-educated Mike AC Ill-educated Mike AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                                          ".....Companies commonly invest in failures....." Your mother obviously never told you that if you don't have anything sensible to say it's better to keep schtum. Every time a company makes a failed investment in a wrong technology the word spreads.

                                                          "......Hugely cost ineffective environment....." GET OUT OF THE MAINFRAME BUBBLE!

                                      2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                        FAIL

                                        Re: AC Re: AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                        ".....First, you can manage an incredibly large mainframe environment with a handful of people, thousands of virtual servers. It would take a hundred people to do the admin for that workload on Windows... just to handle Patch Tuesday. ...." Oh dear, once again all you are doing is exposing your lack of experience and knowledge outside the mainframe bubble. Patch management has been automated for years, large corporations regularly patch thousands of systems with a few clicks of a mouse. Tools for managing very large Wintel/Lintel farms have been around for donkey's years, I would suggest you go read up on VMware for a start, but that would only be a start as your knowledge is so obviously twenty years out-of-date. As an opener, all your reply did was ensure that the rest of your post should be ignored do to your colossal ignorance.

                                        1. Mad Mike

                                          Re: AC AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                          "".....First, you can manage an incredibly large mainframe environment with a handful of people, thousands of virtual servers. It would take a hundred people to do the admin for that workload on Windows... just to handle Patch Tuesday. ...." Oh dear, once again all you are doing is exposing your lack of experience and knowledge outside the mainframe bubble. Patch management has been automated for years, large corporations regularly patch thousands of systems with a few clicks of a mouse. Tools for managing very large Wintel/Lintel farms have been around for donkey's years, I would suggest you go read up on VMware for a start, but that would only be a start as your knowledge is so obviously twenty years out-of-date. As an opener, all your reply did was ensure that the rest of your post should be ignored do to your colossal ignorance."

                                          Matt. Rather than spout off, just go into any site and look at the mainframe v Windows support people and the size of the estate they support. Yes, patching etc. has been automated for years (when it works), but you'll still see the Windows support teams are huge in size compared to the mainframe teams. You can argue what they do, but the size difference is obvious. Which is the most cost-effective model is questionable though, as the larger number of Windows people are, individually, far cheaper. So, total costs needs to be looked at. But, from a count of people, AC is absolutely right.

                                          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                            FAIL

                                            Re: Re: AC AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                            ".....you'll still see the Windows support teams are huge in size compared to the mainframe teams......" If there is a larger Windows team it is because they are doing so many different parts of the stack that mainframe does not get considered for. Most companies with mainframes do not have massive implimentations, they have one or two legacy apps still on mainframe, doing things like the warehouse and stock management, whilst the Windows teams are doing not only the desktop but also email, departmental applications, VMware farms, security, etc., etc. You only have to look at hosting companies to see which is the preferred platform - not mainframe. And if mainframe was "the most efficient" as you contend then hosting companies would offer nothing else as they live on offerring the best service they can for the minimal outlay. And when you want to compare the two IT teams, you should also look at the management layer above - whilst the mainframe dinosaurs are stuck going nowhere it is usually the Windows guys that get promoted up through the IT management layer to the CIO roles.

                                            1. Mad Mike
                                              FAIL

                                              Re: AC AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                              "Most companies with mainframes do not have massive implimentations, they have one or two legacy apps still on mainframe, doing things like the warehouse and stock management, whilst the Windows teams are doing not only the desktop but also email, departmental applications, VMware farms, security, etc., etc."

                                              Now who's not been about much? Go and actually look at some mainframe sites and learn the truth. The vast majority of mainframe MIPs sold today are not even for z/OS. It is for Linux on z/IFLs. Indeed. there is a hosting company in Sweden that purchased a mainframe for hosting thousands of Linux servers. It was actually a HOSTING company!! Now, I'm not going to deny that mainframes aren't used for hosting Windows, but that's largely because Windows is so poorly dispatched, it can't displatch properly on processors.

                                              Haven't looked recently, but have VMWare solved the asynchronous processor dispatch issue that results in huge amounts of seemingly used processor actually being wasted? I doubt if you even know what this is!! After all, if you can't dispatch a virtual machines processors asynchronously and have to dispatch them all synchronously, you'll have processors waiting around or short processors everywhere. In the latest missive I've got from VMWare, synchronous dispatch is sold as a benefit!! Yeah....right. Mainframe solved being able to asynchronously dispatch processors nearly 20 years ago!!

                                              "And when you want to compare the two IT teams, you should also look at the management layer above - whilst the mainframe dinosaurs are stuck going nowhere it is usually the Windows guys that get promoted up through the IT management layer to the CIO roles.

                                              House Rules"

                                              I wouldn't deny that more managers are from a Windows background, but that's partly because there are more of them. Also, that doesn't mean it's a better management team. In a lot of sites I've been to or worked at, the management have been heavily Windows based, but when shown how much a decent mainframe or Unix implementation could save them, have rather changed tunes. That's not to say Windows isn't right for some things, it is. It's just that different platforms have different advantages for different applications. Horses for courses; no one correct. And yes, even the mainframe has some apps it is best for. Just look at the major banks and see how many run their critical applications there and that's not because they're legacy. I know of several that have within the last 10 years completely rewritten their banking systems to run there.

                                              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                                FAIL

                                                Re: AC AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                                ".....It was actually a HOSTING company!!...." One mainframe hosting company - yeah, a real industry standard offering then - not! Such a desperate fail, please go and look at the number of Wintel/lintel hosters out there.

                                                ".....It is for Linux on z/IFLs. ...." LOL! The whole Linux on mainframe jaunt is a desperate defensive ploy by IBM trying to stop them being gutted by x64 Linux kit. It is not new customers, it is highly-subsidised old mainframe customers being persuaded not to dump the mainframe because IBM know that the majority of IBM mainframe replacements are not going on IBM servers.

                                                You can argue your mainframe sales pitch until you're blue in the face, it matters little as mainframe is a declining market and the only one you're fooling with your dribbling is yourself. Enjoy!

                                                1. Mad Mike

                                                  Re: AC AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                                  "You can argue your mainframe sales pitch until you're blue in the face, it matters little as mainframe is a declining market and the only one you're fooling with your dribbling is yourself. Enjoy!"

                                                  And yet, you still refuse to take my bet that mainframe will be around long after the Itanium has gone the way of the dodo. You really don't believe what you spout do you!!

                                                  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                                    Happy

                                                    Re: AC AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                                    "....you still refuse to take my bet that mainframe will be around long after the Itanium has gone the way of the dodo...." I gave a couple of very good reasons why I wasn't interested. I could add that my consience would be pricked by taking advantage of someone so incapable.

                                                    "....You really don't believe what you spout do you!!" The really amusing bit is you obviously are so deluded you actually belief all the easuly debunked twaddle you post. And then carry on believing even after it has been so easily debunked! Seriously - seek help.

                                        2. Anonymous Coward
                                          Anonymous Coward

                                          Re: AC AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                          "Oh dear, once again all you are doing is exposing your lack of experience and knowledge outside the mainframe bubble. Patch management has been automated for years, large corporations regularly patch thousands of systems with a few clicks of a mouse."

                                          Yes, I have read the BMC/CA/Tivoli marketing literature too, but it never works out that way. You have prod_02 which cannot upgraded to patch level xyz because of some application dependency which requires a different level. You have cluster 4 which will have an incompatible adapter level if you upgrade, so that can't be done.... There are tons of variables (due to all of the component OEMs and ISVs in the x86 world), server to server, workload to workload, in x86. Even if the magic button did exist, you still can't just hit that button to install a new patch level or firmware level across across 200 servers because you will knock half of them offline and have to roll back. Not to mention, you generally need to recycle the servers during updates/grades, which is not something you want to do all at once, across the board. Theoretically you could VMotion the workload off to some HA server, upgrade, and VMotion them back to the server in an automated manner.... I have heard that said many times, never actually seen it happen due to the above.

                                          Mainframes do not get patched nearly as often, like once every three months. Patches are considered "product defects" in the mainframe world. When you need to apply a patch or upgrade, there are far fewer variables to consider in the logic path (you don't have to worry about syncing your VMware and MS levels or Q-Logic and VMware levels) and are generally live updates without any downtime.

                                          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                            FAIL

                                            Re: Re: AC AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                            ".....I have read the BMC/CA/Tivoli marketing literature too...." The problem is reading about modern x64 is the only reference point you have, you simply have no experience outside the mainframe bubble. Even then, you're trying to deny many of the problems you mentioned don't exist for mainframe. Application dependency conflicts happen on mainframe as well, or are you gong to pretend only IBM writes all mainframe software and has complete and total control? Complete male bovine manure. True, the number of mainframe-only ISVs is declining all the time.

                                            As for you not being able to apply a patchset to a mix of systems, that is why we have standard builds. They have been around for a very long time (I can remember being paid to write and test them in the Eighties!), so long I'd have thought even mainframers would have heard about them by now, but evidently not. Forget getting laid (it would probably kill you anyway), you lot just need to get out more.

                                            ".....you still can't just hit that button to install a new patch level or firmware level across across 200 servers ...." See, this is where you just show how little you know. After I have tested my patch set, I can set profiles for my servers and deploy to schedules, then it really is one click to ensure that the session gets run in such a manner that the business does not see any outages. Forget x64, I've been able to do that on UNIX for years! Where the fudge have you been keeping? Seriously, ask Ginni Rometty to swallow some manuals so you guys can catch up on the reading you've missed in the last twenty years.

                                            1. Mad Mike

                                              Re: AC AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                              "The problem is reading about modern x64 is the only reference point you have, you simply have no experience outside the mainframe bubble. Even then, you're trying to deny many of the problems you mentioned don't exist for mainframe. Application dependency conflicts happen on mainframe as well, or are you gong to pretend only IBM writes all mainframe software and has complete and total control? Complete male bovine manure. True, the number of mainframe-only ISVs is declining all the time."

                                              I wouldn't deny that some dependency conflicts don't occur, but generally they are far less. This is because the various layers of the code stack are far more separated and standardised on the mainframe. Yes, it happens, but nowhere near as much as other platforms, including Unix.

                                              "As for you not being able to apply a patchset to a mix of systems, that is why we have standard builds. They have been around for a very long time (I can remember being paid to write and test them in the Eighties!), so long I'd have thought even mainframers would have heard about them by now, but evidently not."

                                              Yep. And mainframes have had standard builds for decades beyond Windows. Where do you reckon the idea came from!! The issue is normally around the number of standard builds you need. For Windows, you need different ones for all the types of servers/desktops you have. In mainframe you normally have.....one!! Granted, there's been a lot of work done recently to reduce the number of builds required, but maybe you'd like to enlighten us on how many Windows builds your current estate has? As I said, mainframe should only have one (or maybe two during O/S version upgrades.....old and new), so any advance on that is additional overhead!!

                                              "See, this is where you just show how little you know. After I have tested my patch set, I can set profiles for my servers and deploy to schedules, then it really is one click to ensure that the session gets run in such a manner that the business does not see any outages. Forget x64, I've been able to do that on UNIX for years! Where the fudge have you been keeping? Seriously, ask Ginni Rometty to swallow some manuals so you guys can catch up on the reading you've missed in the last twenty years."

                                              Yep; great theory. A majority will work without issue. However, there is always a failure rate. So, what's your failure rate? And don't say zero, that's just being silly. For Windows servers and desktops this is. And why are you suddenly mentioning Unix here. The whole thread before this was talking about patching Windows servers, not Unix. I would be the last person to say HP-UX didn't have a decent patching mechanism and regime, just like other Unix O/Ss.

                                              P.S.

                                              The patch issue on Windows isn't so much an issue with Windows, but the vast array of slightly different hardware it can run on. The secret to removing the patch issue is not so much running good software to do it for you, but to limit the hardware differences. The same applies to Linux on x86 to a great extent as well. It's no secret that controlling the hardware stack is the key. That's why Apple software is so much more stable and easier to upgrade and more stable than Windows. They have complete control over the hardware stack and can dictate. Either way you pay the price; in purchase price or maintenance costs.

                                              P.P.S.

                                              If you say you don't get any failures, people will just laugh at you. I remember when working at a major bank, the desktop patch failure rate was about 2% for cleaners taking the plugs out of sockets for the desktops to plug in their vacuum cleaners!! No amount of education ever got around it!! You don't normally get that issue with Unix or mainframes!!

                                              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                                FAIL

                                                Re: AC AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                                ".....I wouldn't deny that some dependency conflicts don't occur, but generally they are far less....." So you have to admit that the problem y claimed only happened on x64 actually occurs in the mainframe world. So nice to see you admitting yr own arguments are unadulterated male bovine manure. Shame you then go on for several ranting paragraphs trying to deny what you just admitted. The reason they a "far less" on mainframe is there are far less mainframes running far less applications from far less ISVs than x64.

                                                "......However, there is always a failure rate. So, what's your failure rate? And don't say zero, that's just being silly...." Zero. It's called testing, in some cases over a six month schedule. Try it some time. Well, if you get a chance before you get retired.

                                                "......Either way you pay the price; in purchase price or maintenance costs....." The simple fact that mainframes are being ripped out and replaced by x64 systems all over the World primarily on the basis of COST-SAVINGS exposes that complete fantasy. Mainframe is not Apple. And Apple is also MORE EXPENSIVE, as shown by their complete failure to gain any desktop share compared to Wintel. As I said earlier, you are not equipped for this debate, you simply don't have the knowledge.

                                                ".....If you say you don't get any failures, people will just laugh at you....." Did I say I never get any failures? But I have heard of mainframe hardware failures taking down a complete mainframe, something you dinosaurs insist can never happen.

                                                1. Mad Mike
                                                  Facepalm

                                                  Re: AC AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                                  "So you have to admit that the problem y claimed only happened on x64 actually occurs in the mainframe world. So nice to see you admitting yr own arguments are unadulterated male bovine manure. Shame you then go on for several ranting paragraphs trying to deny what you just admitted. The reason they a "far less" on mainframe is there are far less mainframes running far less applications from far less ISVs than x64."

                                                  I think you'll find it wasn't me that said anything about this problem initially and I have never said it doesn't occur on mainframe. Perhaps you should reread the thread like you failed to do last time and I had to point out.

                                                  "Zero. It's called testing, in some cases over a six month schedule. Try it some time. Well, if you get a chance before you get retired."

                                                  That noise you're hearing is the sound of every IT professional laughing at you for such a silly comment.

                                                  "The simple fact that mainframes are being ripped out and replaced by x64 systems all over the World primarily on the basis of COST-SAVINGS exposes that complete fantasy. Mainframe is not Apple. And Apple is also MORE EXPENSIVE, as shown by their complete failure to gain any desktop share compared to Wintel. As I said earlier, you are not equipped for this debate, you simply don't have the knowledge."

                                                  As I said before, different hardware is better for different scenarios. Sometimes x86 is cheaper, sometimes not. And by the way, Apple does have a desktop market and a reasonable one. In certain sectors (you see, horses for courses again), like say design, Apply own them, not x86. Also, they pretty much own the tablet marketplace with Android much to Microsofts (and presumably your) disgust. And, as for phones. Don't even get me started there, much like Microsoft has never got started either!!

                                                  "Did I say I never get any failures? But I have heard of mainframe hardware failures taking down a complete mainframe, something you dinosaurs insist can never happen."

                                                  Now you can't even read the same post correctly!! Look two paragraphs up and you'll see you have said you get zero failures!!

                                                  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                                    FAIL

                                                    Re: Ill-educated Mike Re: AC AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                                    "....That noise you're hearing is the sound of every IT professional laughing at you for such a silly comment....." Hey, I can't help it if you don't know how to test a patch release. Some of us can.

                                                    "....different hardware is better for different scenarios...." The only scenario mainframe is better is "we have a f*cking old mainframe app we can't port because all the developers of the ancient code died of old age and we haven't a clue how to get the data out of it". No other case for mainframe exists, period.

                                                    "....Sometimes x86 is cheaper...." The only time mainframe is cheaper is when the associated cost of getting off the old mainframe apps is too much or too risky. I have seen companies completely abandoning old apps and data just to get off mainframes, and data is the last thing you ever want to ditch.

                                            2. Anonymous Coward
                                              Anonymous Coward

                                              Re: AC AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                              "Application dependency conflicts happen on mainframe as well, or are you gong to pretend only IBM writes all mainframe software and has complete and total control?"

                                              I am not saying that there is absolutely no application dependencies with mainframe. I am saying they are tremendously less prevalent than on x86. With mainframe, as you mention, most applications are custom developed... so no issues there. The vast majority of the stack is developed by IBM specifically for the mainframe, so the software is closely aligned with the hardware upgrades... hand in glove. There are third party ISVs, such as CA, BMC and some industry specific customer app providers (FS especially), but they follow z/OS, z/VM religiously and are in close contact with IBM.... It is totally different on x86 where you have ISVs which are intentionally trying to undermine each other, such as Oracle and VMware, Oracle and RHEL, Microsoft and everyone other than Microsoft, etc. They have no interest in integration. Oracle, for instance, wants to make it impossible to use VMware or Hyper-V... so you will use OVM. There is also the hardware side of the equation. How many NIC providers are out there for x86? I have no idea, but a ton... each with their own firmware. Mainframe has a few very well tested options that work closely with IBM. How many storage arrays and HBAs for x86? No one probably knows, but hundreds. With mainframe, you have DS8, VMAX and HDS. Even if all of the x86 stack vendors were close partners and wanted to integrate their gear tightly with everyone elses, which is certainly not the case, it is practically impossible for VMware, for instance, to thoroughly test all of the storage arrays on the market. IBM controls the mainframe ecosystem. If you want to play, you play by their rules. x86 is a total free for all, which is not ideal if you want no bugs and high uptime.

                                              "See, this is where you just show how little you know. After I have tested my patch set, I can set profiles for my servers and deploy to schedules"

                                              Are you reading what you are writing? "After I test my patch set"... exactly what I just wrote you have to do with x86 and testing the patch set for a large environment is no five minute task. I think the issue is that you assume things like "testing the patch set" are just how computers work and mainframe must be the same way. That is not how computers work, that is how distributed architectures work.

                                              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                                FAIL

                                                Re: Re: AC AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                                ".....most applications are custom developed... The vast majority of the stack is developed by IBM specifically for the mainframe......There are third party ISVs, such as CA, BMC and some industry specific customer app providers (FS especially), but they follow z/OS, z/VM religiously and are in close contact with IBM.... How many NIC providers are out there for x86? I have no idea, but a ton... Mainframe has a few very well tested options that work closely with IBM. How many storage arrays and HBAs for x86?....." I always get a good laugh when the mainframers try spinning their lack of choice as some sort of advantage! Like no ISV ever works closely with any other OS provider - what claptrap!

                                                1. Mad Mike

                                                  Re: AC AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                                  "I always get a good laugh when the mainframers try spinning their lack of choice as some sort of advantage! Like no ISV ever works closely with any other OS provider - what claptrap!"

                                                  If you look at the marketplace at the moment, you'll notice a fair chunk of people being willing to pay the extra money and tolerate the lack of choice for products that just work. It's called Apple. And pretty damned successful and rich they're becoming out of it. End users are simply fed up with Windows failing all over the place. They don't want to know how to run it, create builds etc.etc. They just want a device that works and Apple is giving them this. And they're willing to pay extra for it, including lack of choice. So, this is a valid choice and a valid marketing and business strategy.

                                                  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                                    FAIL

                                                    Re: AC AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                                    "....If you look at the marketplace at the moment, you'll notice a fair chunk of people being willing to pay the extra money and tolerate the lack of choice for products that just work...." There are a fair number of companies still using Slowaris on SPARC because they are stuck on it. I even hear there are companies stuck with VAX systems for the same reason. You are simply confusing the result of bad previous business decisions with desireability.

                                                    ".....End users are simply fed up with Windows failing all over the place...." Really? If that was true then Microsoft would have gone bust by now, instead of being the owner of teh most populous desktop, office application software, and server software. Stick to the little you know and leave real IT to the rest of us.

                                                2. Anonymous Coward
                                                  Anonymous Coward

                                                  Re: AC AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                                  "I always get a good laugh when the mainframers try spinning their lack of choice as some sort of advantage! Like no ISV ever works closely with any other OS provider - what claptrap!"

                                                  It is not as though the ISVs/OEMs don't want access to the mainframe. Many ISVs/OEMs want to sell their wares into the most mission critical and cost flexible (no one goes with the low bid because it is the low bid on their core transactional systems) environment on the planet. For instance, EMC pays IBM a shed load for access to z and i IP. Oracle created their own MAA architecture for zLinux and offers pretty attractive Oracle DB pricing for zLinux. Oracle traditionally doesn't work with anyone on anything (they create a port, the OS/OEM optimizes it), but they have for z at their own cost... because it is a lucrative market, IBM told them they had to, and, if they didn't, people would just use DB2. The difference is that IBM controls the mainframe ecosystem. They are not going to grant access to any random OEM/ISV if they do not agree to test it thoroughly with the mainframe. They are fine with competition, e.g. Oracle, BMC, or CA, but they are not going to let them do whatever they feel like, whenever they feel like, and decide not to integrate because it serves some competitive purpose. Totally the opposite on x86, anyone can do anything whenever they feel like it. If Oracle decides that they don't like the majority share hypervisor, they are free to undercut it. If VMware feels like testing Q-Logic, but not so much on Hitachi, who is to stop them... and how are you to know that one is preferred and the other is tolerated?

                                                  The point is not that SOME ISVs work closely with OS/OEM in x86 because it suits their competitive purposes for a period of time, it is that it is a complete luck of the draw, subject to change at any moment. If they decide they are no longer friends, Red Hat and Oracle... or Microsoft and VMware... or Cisco and VMware/EMC, nothing you can do about it and no way to predict it. If you buy anything with is supported for mainframe, you can rest assured that it has been tested 34 ways towards the weekend.

                                                  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                                    FAIL

                                                    Re: AC AC Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                                                    "It is not as though the ISVs/OEMs don't want access to the mainframe...." Of course, it's the best scam going! Customers are locked in by the poor application choice and the cost of getting off the sinking ship. From the ISVs' viewpoint it's a great market as they can charge an arm and a leg and blame it all on IBM!

                                                    "....people would just use DB2...." So your point is DB2 was so crap that Oracle took all ther mainframe DB customers? LOL!

                                                    "....Totally the opposite on x86, anyone can do anything whenever they feel like it. If Oracle decides that they don't like the majority share hypervisor, they are free to undercut it. If VMware feels like testing Q-Logic, but not so much on Hitachi, who is to stop them...." What you are trying to knock is the effectiveness of an open market model. If say Hitachi come along with a good product then the customers put pressure on Microsoft to work with Hitachi or they will go to the OS vendor that does. In the mainframe case it is the opposite - if IBM don't like the product because it will reduce their revenues, despite the benefit to the customer (PSI and Hercules are great examples), then IBM simply kills the product. And you want to describe that as good!?!?!? I'm not surprised you are not in a position to dictate startegy or make purchasing decisions.

                2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: Re: Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                  "....You seem to know more about me by analysis of a simple posting than a truth teller...." But that's the whole sorry point, every post you make on any thread is simply a bleating of opinion, and when you are challenged by a conflicting opinion backed up by proveable statements, you don't try and argue your case, you just go off on a rant. The topic could be anything, from Stars Wars movies through politics, and all you can muster is sad ranting. If anyone does anything to expose the silliness of your non-arguments it is you. I guess it really upsets you that Larry didn't manage to kill Itanium, despite all those posts you have made assuring us it would. I think you really need a hobby.

                3. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Destroyed All Braincell's rant

                  Okay. It's an 'ad hominem'.

                  But is the funniest one I've read in a long long time! :-D

      2. Allison Park
        FAIL

        IBM does have details about Power8 in its public roadmap and has for two years

        IBM does have details about Power8 in its public roadmap and has for two years.

        there is a tool called google to find info.

        there is also a site called wikipedia which has the details.

        curious when Itanium will have hardware virtulization?

        Except for larry pissing on itanium already do you think $500M will just piss him off more or make a difference in the business for customers?

        e99

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: IBM does have details about Power8 in its public roadmap and has for two years

          Alli, nothing exposes the silliness of YOUR posts too than their content. ".....curious when Itanium will have hardware virtulization?....." Go read up on npars, available from back in the days of PA-RISC, and which IBM cannot match with Power. That is real, electrically-isolated hardware, something IBM just cannot do, even with the "legendary" mainframe. You can find plenty of info on npars if you use that Google tool you mentioned....

          ".....or make a difference in the business for customers?" Well, let's see - first there is the reassurance of hp taking Oracle to court, showign their commtiment, and then there is the cast-iron guarantee that they will have availabilty of Oracle software on hp Integrity servers. Now, think carefuly - is there any guarantee that IBM can give to their customers that Power and AIX will have Oracle support beyond even tomorrow, should Larry decide he wants to take it away? In fact, Itanium is now the ONLY enterprise CPU with guaranteed availability fo products like Oracle Database, RAC, etc. Not Power, not Tx, not Xeon, not SPARC64. Gee, that might make a slight difference with customers. Duh!

          1. Mad Mike
            FAIL

            Re: IBM does have details about Power8 in its public roadmap and has for two years

            'Alli, nothing exposes the silliness of YOUR posts too than their content. ".....curious when Itanium will have hardware virtulization?....." Go read up on npars, available from back in the days of PA-RISC, and which IBM cannot match with Power. That is real, electrically-isolated hardware, something IBM just cannot do, even with the "legendary" mainframe. You can find plenty of info on npars if you use that Google tool you mentioned....'

            All completely irrelevant. If you want electrical isolation, go buy seperate servers. Effectively, all you've got are several server stuck together with gaffer tape with nPARs. Completely pointless. And for your information, mainframes used to be able to run electrically isolated partitions. Effectively, the machine was simply cut up into several. However, IBM (and most of the others) have realised that electrically separated partitions might sound good on paper, but they're economically not viable. My company evaluated Integrity some time ago and nPARs counted for nothing. They were, from a practicality point of view, utterly useless. vPARs are a different matter, but then, they're not electrically isolated, so not the same thing.

            If you think electrically isolated partitions are the way forward, you are really living in another world. Oracle have exactly the same issue with domains on their M-series servers. Total lack of flexibility and resource sharing, which is the only way of getting good bang per buck on your servers these days.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Mad Mike Re: IBM does have details about Power8 in its public roadmap and has for two years

              Mike, there is a lot more to being mad than just not knowing anything about the topic in hand. Please re-label yourself Ill-educated Mike, it would be more fitting.

              ".....All completely irrelevant....." Really? Is that because IBM and Oracle can't do it?

              ".....If you want electrical isolation, go buy seperate servers....." But then the image sizes are constrained by the boundaries of the individual servers. The hp npar technology allows you to make smaller or larger partitions withint eh same frame. On the Superdome2 the size of an npar is based on the multiples of the four-socket cellboard, and you can alter them as requirements change. You simply can't do that with individual servers.

              "....Effectively, all you've got are several server stuck together with gaffer tape with nPARs...." I suggest you go back to troll school and actually learn about the hp tech before you make yourself look any more ignorant.

              "....mainframes used to be able to run electrically isolated partitions....." No they couldn't, they had common electrical components that meant an electrical issue on one partition of a mainframe could take down another partition. I suggest you read something other than the IBM FUD guide.

              "....but they're economically not viable....." Because IBM couldn't do them? It seems hp made them both technically viable and sold plenty of them, which suggest your just mouthing off sour grapes because IBM didn't manage it.

              ".....vPARs are a different matter, but then, they're not electrically isolated, so not the same thing...." Wow, you actually said something factual! Even if it doesn't have anything to do with npars. I see you also forgot about IVM and hp9000 Containers, but then expecting you to know anything more than the IBM FUD soundbites about hp's tech is obviously a bit too much.

              "....If you think electrically isolated partitions are the way forward, you are really living in another world....." I evidently am. In mine, I work on enterprise systems that require real processing power. You seem to only work on IBM mainframe sales pitches, and using very old FUD for that. I suggest you ask Jesper for help, he at least knows something exists outside the IBM bubble.

              1. Mad Mike
                FAIL

                Re: Mad Mike IBM does have details about Power8 in its public roadmap and has for two years

                "Really? Is that because IBM and Oracle can't do it?"

                Nope. Because nobody in their right minds runs electrical isolation anymore unless something like military. It simply isn't necessary and isn't economic. By the way......nPARs aren't really fully electrically isolated as some components are still shared. Not many I'll grant. Oracle can actually do it as Domains on their current m-Series are electrically isolated as much as nPARs are. However, that's why Oracle are moving away from them. They simply don't make sense anymore.

                "But then the image sizes are constrained by the boundaries of the individual servers. The hp npar technology allows you to make smaller or larger partitions withint eh same frame. On the Superdome2 the size of an npar is based on the multiples of the four-socket cellboard, and you can alter them as requirements change. You simply can't do that with individual servers."

                I agree. But then, if you're that bad at sizing your servers and predicting future growth, you deserve the extra cost and aggravation. The very fact that nPARs are based around multiples of 4 processors (potentially 32 cores) is one reason they're useless. Even in my FTSE 30 company, that is simply too big. The granularity is hopeless.

                "I suggest you go back to troll school and actually learn about the hp tech before you make yourself look any more ignorant."

                Standard from someone who can't answer the points. Simply insult the intelligence of someone with arguments and claim their 'knowledge' is poor. Absolute rubbish.

                "No they couldn't, they had common electrical components that meant an electrical issue on one partition of a mainframe could take down another partition. I suggest you read something other than the IBM FUD guide."

                For your information, I used to work on a mainframe that was (at one point) divided into two electrically isolated partitions. We're talking around the 1986-88 timeframe. It was actually a Hitachi MVS mainframe called a XL70 I think (if memory working). Suggest you go look it up.

                "Because IBM couldn't do them? It seems hp made them both technically viable and sold plenty of them, which suggest your just mouthing off sour grapes because IBM didn't manage it."

                No, because they are not granular enough and cannot donate processor to another partition when this nPAR doesn't want it. If you want to run with the utilisation levels of a windows x86 server, then fine, but you'll be paying well over the odds. HP may have made them technically work, but I've spoken with HP salesmen about this and very few companies actually used them. Most prefered vPARs or IVMs. This was also reflected at a series of seminars I attended in Bracknell. So, very few actually wanted nPARs.

                "Wow, you actually said something factual! Even if it doesn't have anything to do with npars. I see you also forgot about IVM and hp9000 Containers, but then expecting you to know anything more than the IBM FUD soundbites about hp's tech is obviously a bit too much."

                Slagging off again, showing no argument to make. For your information, I know plenty about Integrity as I've done in-depth technical analysis of ALL Unix vendors for my company.

                "I evidently am. In mine, I work on enterprise systems that require real processing power. You seem to only work on IBM mainframe sales pitches, and using very old FUD for that. I suggest you ask Jesper for help, he at least knows something exists outside the IBM bubble."

                Well, either you're a troll (probably true) or your employer is wasting one hell of a lot of money. I work for a FTSE 30 company that requires enterprise scale Unix computing and nobody round here would ever touch nPARs. They are simply too inflexible. I'm perfectly aware of stuff outside the IBM bubble and we run Solaris as well. Of course, that will just feed your rants as your insistence nobody knows anything outside of IBM or Oracle and your continual slagging of these companies and people using them hides your apparent poor choice in the past. We're running big end p-Series servers at 80-90% continual utilisation. We've had them running at 100% for extended periods before without any issues. That's real bang per buck. What's the best you've achieved with nPARs? Bet you struggle to get above 20-30%. All that wasted processing power......now that's efficient!!

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: Mad Mike IBM does have details about Power8 in its public roadmap and has for two years

                  ".....Because nobody in their right minds runs electrical isolation anymore unless something like military. It simply isn't necessary and isn't economic....." Ah, I see that your madness goes beyond just a Napoleon complex, you actually believe you have worked in all industries! I can assure you npars are still used, we use them and we're not military, and that they came in cheaper than the equivalent IBM solution. I am tempted to suggest that in fact you have never worked on anything other than mainframe, hence your blinkered view of the rest of the computing world.

                  ".....Oracle can actually do it as Domains on their current m-Series are electrically isolated as much as nPARs are....." No they can't and they don't even try claiming they can. Please try and keep at least one foot in reality, it would help.

                  ".....The very fact that nPARs are based around multiples of 4 processors (potentially 32 cores) is one reason they're useless. Even in my FTSE 30 company, that is simply too big. The granularity is hopeless....." Apart from the obvious fact other customers disagree, maybe you should have stopped to think that IBM's modular P-series are based on 4-socket boxes - duh!

                  ".....No, because they are not granular enough and cannot donate processor to another partition when this nPAR doesn't want it....." All you are showing is that you really don't know anything about the hp partitioning technologies. If I want to use a single CPU as the granularity I can do that inside an npar with vpars, or go sub-CPU with Integrity Virtual Machines or resource scheduling via PRM.

                  Look, you go do a lot more reading and then come back with a coherent argument that won't get you laughed at, OK?

          2. Allison Park
            Paris Hilton

            Re: IBM does have details about Power8 in its public roadmap and has for two years

            npar is just partitioning not virtualization. Apparently there is no plan to provide real virtualization in the hardware.

            nice....take the disaster of Larry paid back for hurd and try to position it as a competitive advantage. Don't keep your head in the sand too long you will get burned. Everyone is circling the dead itanium carcass and having an unoptimized port will not help hp. At least IBM's Power systems has DB2 to keep Oracle motivated.

            e99

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: IBM does have details about Power8 in its public roadmap and has for two years

              "npar is just partitioning not virtualization...." So nothing is "virtualisation" unless IBM can do it? Very open mind you have there - NOT! And hp descirbe it as part of their partitioning offering, not virtualisation. IBM don't describe it outside of FUD as they can't do it.

              "....take the disaster of Larry paid back for hurd and try to position it as a competitive advantage..." OK, let's do a simple comparison. Let's pretend I'm a customer asking about software support for my new platform - if I ask the IBM rep can he guarantee that Oracle DB will be available next year for a P795, can the IBM rep guarantee it 100%? The hp rep selling a Superdome2 can guarantee it, the IBM rep can't. If you don't think that is an advantage then it is because your IBM blinkers mean you do not want to admit it is one.

              1. Mad Mike
                FAIL

                Re: IBM does have details about Power8 in its public roadmap and has for two years

                "OK, let's do a simple comparison. Let's pretend I'm a customer asking about software support for my new platform - if I ask the IBM rep can he guarantee that Oracle DB will be available next year for a P795, can the IBM rep guarantee it 100%? The hp rep selling a Superdome2 can guarantee it, the IBM rep can't. If you don't think that is an advantage then it is because your IBM blinkers mean you do not want to admit it is one."

                How simplistic you are. Nobody can ever guarantee any software support for any period of time. All sorts of things could happen that cause the support to disappear. In the real world, Oracle would love to pull Oracle support from p-Series. They'd love everyone to use their products; of course they would. However, the revenue that Oracle pull in from p-Series is so large (and is likely to remain so) that pulling support is simply not going to happen. So, your argument is spurious.

                Also, don't overplay the judgement handed down. Yes, it says they must continue to support their software on Itanium for as long as Itanium exists. Well, it's well know that software vendors have different versions of the same product for different architectures, often with different features. The judgement doesn't say anything about that. So, Oracle can functionally stabilise the Itanium version of the software (whilst maintaining support), but continue development on the others. This is certain to kill it just as much as anything else. Once the functionality gap is big enough, people simply won't run Oracle on Itanium except for legacy apps that don't require it. Then, Itanium becomes the new mainframe!! And, this is entirely in accordance with the judgement handed down. The judgement never said they had to enhance the software!!

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: IBM does have details about Power8 in its public roadmap and has for two years

                  ".....How simplistic you are...." Yeah I'm pretty simple - I read stuff, absorb the demonstrateable facts, then apply them. So much simpler than your self-delusional fantasy world!

                  ".....Nobody can ever guarantee any software support for any period of time....." LOL! It is so amusing that you are so desperate to deny even that simple case! I bet you can see Ginni Rommetty's tonsils from there every time she swallows.

                  ".... Yes, it says they must continue to support their software on Itanium for as long as Itanium exists. Well, it's well know that software vendors have different versions of the same product for different architectures, often with different features....." Hp have existing agreements that already tie Oracle to giving equal treatment to hp-ux as Solaris, all covered by the "business as usual" contract. Read it and weep, dinosaur.

                  1. Mad Mike

                    Re: IBM does have details about Power8 in its public roadmap and has for two years

                    Oh Matt, you're really funny. You really need to get out more, but the guards would need to unlock the doors!! It's really great that they install computers in secure wards for you to use. Must help while away the hours!!

                    "Hp have existing agreements that already tie Oracle to giving equal treatment to hp-ux as Solaris, all covered by the "business as usual" contract. Read it and weep, dinosaur."

                    P.S.

                    I'll just reply on this one point. I was talking with someone very senior at Oracle the other day. They are intending to put accelerators in their Sparc chips to help various Oracle products perform better. That will be a feature available on Sparc only. They already do it with Exadata, which has a particular compression mechanism only available on Exadata. So, 'fraid reality has already shown you don't know what you're talking about!!

                    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                      FAIL

                      Re: IBM does have details about Power8 in its public roadmap and has for two years

                      "....I was talking with someone very senior at Oracle the other day...." Yeah right, like anyone here believes you talk to anyone outside of IBM marketing.

                      ".....They are intending to put accelerators in their Sparc chips to help various Oracle products perform better....." The hp-Oracle agreement is for software, so putting hardware features into SPARC that accelerate existing software is not in breach of the agreement. In essence, if you add cache to a CPU it is an "accellerator", and the existing SPARC designs need all the help they can get to try and close the performance gap with Itanium. You do understand the difference between software and hardware, right? Maybe you should get a real techie to explain it to you.

                      1. Mad Mike

                        Re: IBM does have details about Power8 in its public roadmap and has for two years

                        So, rather than answer my point, you simply name call again. Very mature.

                        Yes, to a point you're correct. Adding cache to a processor is a sort of accelerator. However, what the guy was referring to is specialist execution units and instructions for Oracle software. These would not be available anywhere else and never would be. It was how they are going to persuade people Oracle hardware is the place to go. Very closed shop, but not the first to do it. So, there will be features (as there are currently in Exadata, a point I notice you ignored) that will never be available on Itanium (or other platforms for that matter). So, do enough of this and whether support exists for Itanium or not, it isn't price competitive. There is absolutely no requirement for Oracle to introduce any new features (or old features not available in the Itanium version at the time of the judgement) into the software. It's quite common for companies to have different versions of software for different platforms with feature differences. Nobody has ever suggested that what comes in one must come in the other, not even this judge.

                        So, rather than cherry pick the points you would like to respond to, why not respond to them all, including the harder ones. It'll give your brain a work out.

                        P.S.

                        If I needed a real techie, I wouldn't be talking to you. I've written operating system code for over 20 years. Yeah, deep down stuff as well, right in the nucleus of MVS (or z/OS if you would prefer). I now do Unix stuff. None of this was for IBM, all for FTSE 100 companies.

                        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                          FAIL

                          Re: Ill-educated Mile Re: IBM does have details about Power8 in its public roadmap....

                          ".....as there are currently in Exadata....." There was no specialist "accelerators" in Exadata, it was originally built around bog-standard hp Proliants because hp designed the hardware for the stack for Oracle. You are again confusing hardware configuration of standard items such as flash with some "superspecial" fantasy hardware. This is not unusual amongst mainframers, they all seem to think that IBM use ground-up unicorn horn in their kit alone, and refuse to believe it is the same tech as the rest of the industry just assembled in a different way and with a different software stack. The sad bit is you accept the unicorn horn myth and pay out so much for mainframe because you don't know any better.

                          ".....rather than cherry pick the points you would like to respond to...." The problem is you post so many laughable inaccuracies and so much male bovine manure I'd need a whole lifetime of doing nothing other than trying to correct the deficiencies in your knowledge! Sorry, you can't afford me, go get help elsewhere. Besides, my expertise does not extend to helping the self-deluded and educationally-deficient, I work in enterprise IT. It is very obvious you do not.

                          1. Mad Mike

                            Re: Ill-educated Mile IBM does have details about Power8 in its public roadmap....

                            "There was no specialist "accelerators" in Exadata, it was originally built around bog-standard hp Proliants because hp designed the hardware for the stack for Oracle. You are again confusing hardware configuration of standard items such as flash with some "superspecial" fantasy hardware. This is not unusual amongst mainframers, they all seem to think that IBM use ground-up unicorn horn in their kit alone, and refuse to believe it is the same tech as the rest of the industry just assembled in a different way and with a different software stack. The sad bit is you accept the unicorn horn myth and pay out so much for mainframe because you don't know any better."

                            Again, missing the point. I never said there were specialist accelerators in Exadata. I said Exadata has certain 'functions' available nowhere else. If you bother to read the manuals on anything other than Integrity, you would know that 'Smart Flash Cache' and 'Hybrid Columnar Compression' are available only on the Exadata. Yes, it's not hardware assisted, but a function unique to one platform, somthing you said they couldn't do. To quote you, you said whatever features existed on another platform had to appear on Itanium and I've just proven you completely wrong.

                            Your other points. Just simple abuse again. You seem to think abusing people is a substitute for facts and logical argument...........

                            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                              FAIL

                              Re: Ill-educated Mile IBM does have details about Power8 in its public roadmap....

                              ".....but a function unique to one platform, somthing you said they couldn't do....." It really is like dealing with the mentally-deficient! Does your mommie know you're using the Internet? Exadata is NOT an Itanium product, it is a bundle of Oracle software based on some applications that are available on Itanium, rolled up with some specific software, tuned for a specific hardware stack. It is not covered by the hp agreement as it is not a product offered by Oracle for any Itanium server, hp or otherwise (or for mainframe or AIX for that matter). You introduced it into the conversation because you wanted to pretend it affects this hp-Oracle software judgement when it is a completely different product line. Please go get a clue, maybe talk your boss into buying you one of your own, as you appear to be time-sharing what little intellect you have with a lot of other IBM trolls.

                              1. Mad Mike

                                Re: Ill-educated Mile IBM does have details about Power8 in its public roadmap....

                                "It really is like dealing with the mentally-deficient! Does your mommie know you're using the Internet? Exadata is NOT an Itanium product, it is a bundle of Oracle software based on some applications that are available on Itanium, rolled up with some specific software, tuned for a specific hardware stack. It is not covered by the hp agreement as it is not a product offered by Oracle for any Itanium server, hp or otherwise (or for mainframe or AIX for that matter). You introduced it into the conversation because you wanted to pretend it affects this hp-Oracle software judgement when it is a completely different product line. Please go get a clue, maybe talk your boss into buying you one of your own, as you appear to be time-sharing what little intellect you have with a lot of other IBM trolls."

                                You really have trouble keeping a thead going in your mind. Please show me where I ever said it was based on Itanium, because I never have. The reason I mentioned it was because you insisted that all versions of say Oracle DB have to have the same functions etc.etc. and I said that wasn't true citing the Exadata only functions as an example. They are unique to the Exadata. Again, you simply insult when everyone following this thread can see you aren't even following the thread correctly.

                                I do hope Matt Bryant isn't your real name, as if you work in IT, you're pretty much unemployable by now. If it isn't, but there is someone in IT called Matt Byant, he'd better speak up now otherwise he'll be unfairly tarnished.

                                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                  FAIL

                                  Re: Re: Ill-educated Mile IBM does have details about Power8 in its public roadmap....

                                  ".....The reason I mentioned it was because you insisted that all versions of say Oracle DB have to have the same functions....." Exadata is an APPLIANCE you fool, not just a version of the Oracle DB! You mentioned it because you have no other argument worth a damn and know nothing other than mainframe. Seriously, give up, you're just making a complete idiot of yourself. We really need a "I pity the fool" icon for posters like you.

                                  1. Mad Mike

                                    Re: Ill-educated Mile IBM does have details about Power8 in its public roadmap....

                                    "Exadata is an APPLIANCE you fool, not just a version of the Oracle DB! You mentioned it because you have no other argument worth a damn and know nothing other than mainframe. Seriously, give up, you're just making a complete idiot of yourself. We really need a "I pity the fool" icon for posters like you."

                                    I believe the phrase Oracle would use is 'engineered system', but then you'd know that if you spoke with them. Yes, they like to call it that, but it's really a bunch of x86 servers with a special version of Oracle DB. So, yet again, you're dodging my point with abuse because you have no answer.

                                    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                      WTF?

                                      Re: Ill-educated Mile IBM does have details about Power8 in its public roadmap....

                                      "....I believe the phrase Oracle would use is 'engineered system', but then you'd know that if you spoke with them....." So now you want to argue whether Exadata is an appliance or not? You seriously are a few buns short of a bakery. Whatever, it looks like your life is really so trivial you would argue that water is not really wet, just overly damp. Just man up, admit you were wrong, the readers might think more of you for it. At this point it would be hard to see them thinking any less of you!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "So I'm sure HP will take that 500 million and pay that to Intel to produce Itaniums beyond the current 2017 date that current payout requires them too."

      HP will take the payout, wash their hands of Itanium (probably HP-UX too), and buy some software company with the cash... or their own shares.

    3. IT Strategist
      Angel

      By the way, the latest release of the Intel Itanium 9500 processor is showing between 2.5 to3 times the performance of the previous generation (9300). I wonder if IBM';s Power release will show anything close to that level of performance?? IBM does make good products, but I am not sure that they can keep up to this level of performance gain.

      1. Allison Park

        2.5X what is that really?

        finally getting to 8 cores / chip after everyone else is not something to brag about, but somehow people will be fooled into thinking 2.5X is actually more than a chip fab enhancement thanks to xeon.

        so if a 4 core chip is lets say 400 units (100/core)

        an 8 core ship is 2.5x that its 1000 units but only a 25% improvement per core.

        IBM has been about 3x the performance of itanium cores and looks like HP is falling even further behind on the per core and also software license measure.

        e99

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: 2.5X what is that really?

          Oh Alli, you know that IBM's daft performance claims simply don't reflect reality. They like to FUD about single-core performance, neatly hiding the fact that the only way they can achieve it is to switch off half the cores in the system (but still leave you paying Oracle licences for all the cores switched off), or even worse by switching off all the cores but one so they can use all the cache from all the cores (but still leaving you paying for ALL the licences). So what you are shrieking about is actually IBM being unable to perform at eight cores, meaning they are indeed last to the game. The truth is shown whenever IBM have to go to a shoot-out against Itanium, they hate it as it exposes their benchmark lies for exactly what they are. If that wasn't true then no-one would have bought anything but Power chips for the last twenty years, and since that very obviously didn't happen it simply shows how much marketing hogwash the whole 2.5x claim and all the other IBM performance claims are. The fact you still constantly repeat the same FUD long after it has been debunked is simply tragic, can't IBM afford to buy their cheerleaders some new FUD?

          1. Mad Mike
            FAIL

            Re: 2.5X what is that really?

            "Oh Alli, you know that IBM's daft performance claims simply don't reflect reality. They like to FUD about single-core performance, neatly hiding the fact that the only way they can achieve it is to switch off half the cores in the system (but still leave you paying Oracle licences for all the cores switched off), or even worse by switching off all the cores but one so they can use all the cache from all the cores (but still leaving you paying for ALL the licences). So what you are shrieking about is actually IBM being unable to perform at eight cores, meaning they are indeed last to the game. The truth is shown whenever IBM have to go to a shoot-out against Itanium, they hate it as it exposes their benchmark lies for exactly what they are. If that wasn't true then no-one would have bought anything but Power chips for the last twenty years, and since that very obviously didn't happen it simply shows how much marketing hogwash the whole 2.5x claim and all the other IBM performance claims are. The fact you still constantly repeat the same FUD long after it has been debunked is simply tragic, can't IBM afford to buy their cheerleaders some new FUD?"

            So, now you're slagging off the ability to disable some cores for higher performance. Is that because Itanium can't do it? Maybe you'd like to slag off dynamically adjustable SMT? Is that because Itanium can't do it? If you look on TPC-C and SpecInt, you'll notice that it's IBM that always leads the field and normally gets way more done for the same number of cores. I also haven't noticed any of the benchmarks using only a single core per processor or even TurboCore mode (although I haven't looked in the last couple of months). People haven't brought anything but Power chips for the last 20 years for the same reason that Intel haven't got 100% market dominance using x86 or AMD or anyone else for that matter. Given your 'expert' opinion on Itanium, how come Itaniums haven't got 100% market dominance?

            I checked on TPC-C the other day and haven't even found any new Itanium benchmarks listed. Don't know about SpecINT. So, who's running from the benchmark wars?

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Re: 2.5X what is that really?

              ".....So, now you're slagging off the ability to disable some cores for higher performance. Is that because Itanium can't do it?...." What I'm slagging off is IBM's deceitful way of pretending their benchmarks reflect real world performance. Itanium can adjust core frequency and switch cores in and off, but what hp quote is the minimum frequency you will see the chip perform at. They also don't try and hide the fact that switching on and off cores will incur licensing costs. IBM always go on about the maximum frequency they can get from a core, hiding the fact that is with half the cores disabled, and will deny the licensing hit right up until you show them a letter from Oracle stating the facts! I've been there, you obviously have not.

              "...... If you look on TPC-C and SpecInt...." Oh dear, you're not a regular here, are you? We already have two resident IBM benchmark drones, Jesper and Alli, and they have been getting debunked for years. I suggest you go read some of their posts and the replies before you look really stupid.

              1. Mad Mike

                Re: 2.5X what is that really?

                "What I'm slagging off is IBM's deceitful way of pretending their benchmarks reflect real world performance. Itanium can adjust core frequency and switch cores in and off, but what hp quote is the minimum frequency you will see the chip perform at. They also don't try and hide the fact that switching on and off cores will incur licensing costs. IBM always go on about the maximum frequency they can get from a core, hiding the fact that is with half the cores disabled, and will deny the licensing hit right up until you show them a letter from Oracle stating the facts! I've been there, you obviously have not."

                Not sure who your IBm sales rep is, but I've never felt deceived by anything ours has said. I've never had anything like you're describing above. Maybe he just doesn't like you? Can't imagine why!! How has IBM ever hidden that switching cores on and off will incure license costs? IBM has never spoken to use about license costs. They tell us to read our Oracle agreement!! All the literature I've seen also quite happily has both the TurboCore and MaxCore frequencies listed independantly, so where's the hiding?

                No benchmark ever reflects real world performance. Not Oracle Sparc, not IBM and not HP. The current trend is to shove SSD everywhere to increase the I/O performance and therefore do better at TPC-C. There were other methods in the past. Anyone who believes benchmarks as real world also believes in the tooth fairy and car MPG figures!! Maybe your rampant hatred of anything non-HP is shining through, so they just decide to wind you up!!

  8. Androgynous Crackwhore
    Pirate

    Interesting choice of image to accompany this piece. Is it an evocation of Ellison's yacht perhaps?

    1. PM.

      pm

      No, it's (T)Itanic ...

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: pm

        The Register is credited with the origin of the Itanium/Titanic joke (which is strange I as I was convinced it was part of DEC's desperate attempt to keep Alpha alive?), way back in the day when they were still storing their editorial head up McNealy's rectum. Indeed, during what must have been the most drawn out and unsinking sinking in history, El Reg has stuck by their petite blague, even during the editorial changes that led to their shift of rectum to Palmisano's. Unfortunately for Oracle, Larry doesn't seem to have realized that he needed a lot more to go to court with than very stale jokes.

        Me? Well, last week we placed another order for more hp i4 blades as the competition still couldn't provide an option that could beat them. Sorry if that upsets those that rushed to the lifeboats simply because they thought an El Reg joke was a good basis for making purchasing decisions with.

        1. Nate Amsden Silver badge

          Re: pm

          Just curious - what is the workload for those blades?

          I was poking around HP's site to see what the Itanium blades are up to, and it seems for any given physical size the HP Intel or AMD blades have more processing power and double the memory capacity.

          1 x BL870c i4: max 24 Itanium Cores w/768GB in "two" full height blade slots (1 system)

          1 x BL680c G7:max 40 Xeon cores w/2TB in "two" full height blades (1 system)

          2 x BL685c G7: max 128(!) Opteron cores w//2TB in "two" full height blade slots (2 systems)

          1 chassis:

          Itanium: 96 cores @ 3TB

          Intel: 160 cores @ 8TB

          AMD: 512 cores @ 8TB

          I'm sure that clock for clock Itanium is faster though it's got quite a ways to to make up for the massive numbers of cores on the x86 side. Nothing can be done about the relatively poor memory capacity of the Itanium blades though.

          I was expecting a single width 4 socket Xeon blade but I guess HP doesn't make those at the moment.

          I suppose if you needed an 8 socket blade there are no 8 socket x86 blades from HP anyway.. though most would be fine with a DL980 in that situation, when the costs are that big, I can't imagine a bit of extra space being a problem.

          Of course x86 doesn't run HPUX..

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: Re: pm

            "Just curious - what is the workload for those blades?...." Go ask the Fortune 1000, they just about all buy them, mainly for big database enviroments like billing systems, CRM, etc. If you made a mobile call in the last ten years then it's likely the charge for it was billed using an hp Itanium server.

            "....I was poking around HP's site to see what the Itanium blades are up to...." I suggest you go read up on how hp can take the single BL860c i4 blade and group them in a modular manner to make larger blades - BL870c i4 is two, BL89c i4 is four. That means hp can make an eight-socket blade with octo-core Itaniums as one 64-core server image. They can aslo scale up with Superdome2 for even bigger implementations. And hp can do this with the top-end Itanium CPUs, unlike IBM which cannot put the most powerful Power CPUs in their blades, and can't modularise them in the same way hp can either, the best IBM can offer being thirty-two crippled Power cores in the 70x blades. And Sun/Oracle's attempts at blades are a subject for comedy, not IT.

            ".....I'm sure that clock for clock Itanium is faster though it's got quite a ways to to make up for the massive numbers of cores on the x86 side...." Go read up on the architecture. The Itanium has massively wider pipelines and many more registers, making it a much more flexible platform with more grunt for each cycle. It's a bit like comparing Sun Niagara with M-series, two different CPUs for different workloads.

            "......Of course x86 doesn't run HPUX." Nor doe they run AIX or OS/400, and no-one wants to run Slowaris on them even though they can if they're feeling masochistic.

            Back under your bridge, troll.

            1. Chicken Marengo
              Thumb Down

              Re: pm

              >>Back under your bridge, troll.

              Matt, I read nothing into that post that came across as trolling, it looked like a genuine request for further information.

              Calling him a troll in those circumstances doesn't strengthen the case you are trying to make.

              Full disclosure: I have to suffer neither oracle nor hp anymore.

            2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
              Coffee/keyboard

              Re: pm

              > If you made a mobile call in the last ten years then it's likely the charge for it was billed using an hp Itanium server.

              You owe me a new keyboard.

            3. Mad Mike

              Re: pm

              Fortune 1000 use bladed Itaniums for 'big database environments'? Not any I know. Most of them use servers such as p795, Oracle m-Series, or even, Integrity superdomes. They might use blades for testing environments maybe, but not really production. If you're a Fortune 1000, you can afford the proper stuff and get the benefits of consolidation, something completely lost with nPAR virtualisation.

              Whether IBM can put their most powerful Power processor in a blade or not is completely irrelevant. What's the comparative performance of one of their blade Power processors and an Itanium processor? Also, maybe they have different marketing strategies. Maybe they could put their most powerful in there, but choose not to. It's a pretty small market segment that wants to be able to grow Itanium blades by linking them together into a single server. Once you get above a couple, most companies would simply go out and buy a bigger server and virtualise it. The only reason HP can do it, is because that's how they've chosen to build their Superdomes and therefore making it available in blades enclosures at the smaller level is easy. What's the throughput though?

              Itanium and Xeon each have their own advantages. Itanium relies very heavily on being able to parallel workload to be able to use its architecture to the full. Not all workloads are like that. If Itanium was so good at heavy DB loads, why wouldn't Oracle simply get HP to make Exadata's for them using Itanium? Or, even make their own? One of the reasons, is that Itaniums cost a whole heap more than Xeon processors.........as in factors.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: pm

                "Fortune 1000 use bladed Itaniums for 'big database environments'? Not any I know. Most of them use servers such as p795, Oracle m-Series, or even, Integrity superdomes."

                Definitely. I don't understand why anyone ever used Unix blades for a large DB. It does away with one of the primary benefits of Unix, scale up with a huge single instance to dozens of sockets. Even if you don't need dozens of sockets, blade form factor is rarely the best solution. Unless your bottleneck is CPU (which it almost never is) and you only need a few sockets of that CPU, it doesn't make sense to consolidate so much CPU into such a small form factor with limited memory and I/O (which tend to be the bottlenecks). Blade systems actually use more power and cooling, floor space than large scale up systems, so it isn't about the environmentals. I am sure IBM thought that, with the I/O restraints of blades, people are never going to get enough load to the blade to fully utilize a 5.0 Ghz proc, so 3.8 Ghz will probably work just fine. HP's management loves blades primarily because they look cool in ads and give them an excuse to sell something new/more costly to rack users.

                Also, the new BladeCenter, now called IBM Flex System, has fully clocked Power nodes including a native four way SMP.... not QPI linking of separate blades together. With Flex, you have a native four socket node with expanded I/O and memory, as compared to the previous generation, so high frequency procs probably makes more sense as you can get enough workload there to keep it busy.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: pm

              I'm the IBM enthusiast... and even I know that teleco networks were always the domain of Sun Netra for the network nodes, probably moving away now... but there is still a ton of it out there. You cleverly mentioned "the billing", which has nothing to do with the complexity of teleco networks... it is a back office function. I know there are a few Superdomes out there, but they are going away. I happen to know, from personal connections, that one of the three major carriers in the US just replaced their Superdomes with Power 795s last month.

              1. Mad Mike

                Re: pm

                @AC.

                The funny thing is, the court judgement doesn't actually help HP in the slightest. Whilst Oracle may be forced to support Itanium for longer, nobody wants to go with a company being forced to do something. Firstly, Oracle will do the minimum necessary. This means support for Itanium will come bottom of the pile. Secondly, Oracle will do everything it can to stop supporting Itanium or make it a non-starter for companies. Do you really want to be with a software vendor who doesn't want to support your hardware? The most costly and hardest bit to change is software, so get to another hardware supplier. At best, HP has bought a bit of time. If I was them, I'd be porting HP-UX to Xeon as fast as possible and start making Superdomes etc. out of Xeons. This would have all sorts of advantages to them, not least price. Unfortunately, after doing over their Tru64 and VMS customers in the past and the debacle over RISC and Alpha etc., customers aren't going to like another forced platform change again.

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  Happy

                  Re: Ill-educated Mike Re: pm

                  ".....the court judgement doesn't actually help HP in the slightest....." he really funny thing is how desperate you and the other IBM trolls are to paint it that way. Gee, I wonder why - not!

                  "....Oracle will do the minimum necessary...." Actually, they will have to do what the contract says, i.e. provide versions of the Oracle software for Itanium in a timely manner. Any deviation from this means they get dragged back to court. This is what hp wanted, this is what us customers wanted, so hp and us customers won, and you IBM trolls just can't stomach that.

                  Enjoy!

                  1. Mad Mike

                    Re: Ill-educated Mike pm

                    "Actually, they will have to do what the contract says, i.e. provide versions of the Oracle software for Itanium in a timely manner. Any deviation from this means they get dragged back to court. This is what hp wanted, this is what us customers wanted, so hp and us customers won, and you IBM trolls just can't stomach that."

                    Yes, but if you bothered reading and UNDERSTANDING my point, there is no requirement for the Itanium to have anything beyond the features it has today and nothing to stop them leaving the Itanium version standing. I've just shown in another reply that Exadata has unique features which means they can quite happily have different versions with different feature sets. So, all they need to do, is create a new version (i.e. increment the number), make a couple of changes (not the same as every other version) and carry on support. Fine. But, very soon, the version of Oracle will be a long way behind everyone elses. At that point, the quality of the hardware becomes irrelevant.

                    Would you really force someone to maintain your car under pain of a court settlement and then wonder why they do the bare minimum rather than a quality job?

                    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                      FAIL

                      Re: Re: Ill-educated Mike pm

                      ".....Re: Ill-educated Mike pm

                      ".....if you bothered reading and UNDERSTANDING my point.....". Point? You don't have a point, all you have is an irrational hatred of Itanium, probably based on fear because it is a UNIX platform and therefore one of the ones gutting yout precious mainframe bizz!

                      "..... there is no requirement for the Itanium to have anything beyond the features it has today.....". And you didn't bother to actually go read any of the background on the Oracle-hp agreement, even when I pointed out in a previous post that there is already an existing agreement, re-inforced by the "business as usual" contract, that ties Oracle to producing new features and software versions of their products now on Itanium at the same time as they do for other OS such as Slowaris. In essence, the only way Oracle can stop adding features to those software lines is to stop making those products lines - such as Oracle DB, RAC, Application Server - for ALL other OS, including mainframe (for which they already do not make many of the software they sell on Itanium) and AIX. Larry would have to commit business suicide spite hp, otherwise hp will simply drag him back into court and extract more cash every time he dicks around. You really need to try and get yourself out of the mainframe bubble so you can actually see what is happening in the real world, maybe a Zimmerframe would help?

                      "......Would you really force someone to maintain your car under pain of a court settlement and then wonder why they do the bare minimum rather than a quality job?" Which is a stupid statement as hp have a contract which ties Oracle to producing versions and support to a set level. IBM have nothing of the kind. Really, READ THE NEWS!

                      1. Mad Mike
                        FAIL

                        Re: Ill-educated Mike pm

                        "Point? You don't have a point, all you have is an irrational hatred of Itanium, probably based on fear because it is a UNIX platform and therefore one of the ones gutting yout precious mainframe bizz!"

                        Mmmm. Not following the thread again. If you read backwards, you'll find that I said I USED TO WORK on mainframe, but I now WORK ON UNIX systems. So, far from being fearful, I'd probably like it to do better!! I have some residual responsibility for mainframe, but the vast majority of my work is on Unix. So, try reading backwards and following the thread rather than making your own entries up.

                        "And you didn't bother to actually go read any of the background on the Oracle-hp agreement, even when I pointed out in a previous post that there is already an existing agreement, re-inforced by the "business as usual" contract, that ties Oracle to producing new features and software versions of their products now on Itanium at the same time as they do for other OS such as Slowaris. In essence, the only way Oracle can stop adding features to those software lines is to stop making those products lines - such as Oracle DB, RAC, Application Server - for ALL other OS, including mainframe (for which they already do not make many of the software they sell on Itanium) and AIX. Larry would have to commit business suicide spite hp, otherwise hp will simply drag him back into court and extract more cash every time he dicks around. You really need to try and get yourself out of the mainframe bubble so you can actually see what is happening in the real world, maybe a Zimmerframe would help?"

                        Afraid you're reading the agreements etc. wrong. Business as usual doesn't mean anything of this sort and doesn't tie Oracle to any such thing. If it did, how come the two Exadata only features (which were both available before the HP/Oracle spat) aren't available on the Itanium version or indeed, any other version? Because your interpretation above is wholesale wrong. BAU has never and will never mean being able to insist on all features in all versions. If you really want to prove your point, perhaps you could point me at an article that tells me when Hybrid Columnar Compression and Smart Flash Cache are going to be made available on any platform apart from Exadata. You MAY possibly find it for Sparc, but certainly nothing else. And that's only because an Exadata equivalent is/has (not sure of the exact date) being launched that uses Sparc for the database nodes at least. Storage nodes stay as x86 I believe.

                        I do hope you're not trying to persuade your management you haven't made an epic fail as you'll be looking for a new job soon..........that's if you currently have one!!

                        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                          FAIL

                          Re Ill-educated Mike Re: Ill-educated Mike pm

                          ".... I said I USED TO WORK on mainframe, but I now WORK ON UNIX systems...." Sorry, but I'm just having a very hard time believing someone that knows so little outside the mainframe bubble - well, going by your posts, NOTHING outside the mainframe bubble - is employed at all! I assume the company decided it was cheaper to keep you on until retirement rather than make you redundant when they replaced your mainframe with something relevant.

                          ".....Business as usual doesn't mean anything of this sort and doesn't tie Oracle to any such thing....." <Sigh>. I suppose the news probably didn't filter through to the alternate reality of mainframers, but hp and Oracle signed a co-development agreement years ago before the Sun purchase. If you go to the Oracle site at Reading in the UK you can see the ETC building which hp funded and equipped with hp systems for hp and Oracle to use for joint POCs, etc. I know because I was one of the customers that made use of the facility. Prior to that, Oracle did all their development on Sun Slowaris, meaning that new versions of products like Oracle DB were released first on Slowaris, then developed for hp-ux. The co-development agreement meant Oracle was tied to releasing versions of products on Slowaris and hp-ux at the same time. The "business as usual" contract ties Oracle to the same concurrent release schedules for all products currently available on hp-ux for Itanium. Oh, and IBM had no such agreement with Oracle, another advantage of hp-ux.

                          ".....the two Exadata only features ....." Exadata is an APPLIANCE, not a version of Oracle DB! FFS, go get a dictionary and LEARN something.

                          1. Mad Mike

                            Re: Re Ill-educated Mike Ill-educated Mike pm

                            "Sorry, but I'm just having a very hard time believing someone that knows so little outside the mainframe bubble - well, going by your posts, NOTHING outside the mainframe bubble - is employed at all! I assume the company decided it was cheaper to keep you on until retirement rather than make you redundant when they replaced your mainframe with something relevant."

                            Abuse as usual for no answer. I was actually doing mainframe work, when a company recruited me for Unix work, which at the time, I didn't know a lot about. Fortunately, they realise that some people learn very quickly and I've now been doing it for them for some time.

                            "I suppose the news probably didn't filter through to the alternate reality of mainframers, but hp and Oracle signed a co-development agreement years ago before the Sun purchase. If you go to the Oracle site at Reading in the UK you can see the ETC building which hp funded and equipped with hp systems for hp and Oracle to use for joint POCs, etc. I know because I was one of the customers that made use of the facility. Prior to that, Oracle did all their development on Sun Slowaris, meaning that new versions of products like Oracle DB were released first on Slowaris, then developed for hp-ux. The co-development agreement meant Oracle was tied to releasing versions of products on Slowaris and hp-ux at the same time. The "business as usual" contract ties Oracle to the same concurrent release schedules for all products currently available on hp-ux for Itanium. Oh, and IBM had no such agreement with Oracle, another advantage of hp-ux."

                            For many years, the primary development platform for Oracle has been Oracle Linux, not Solaris. As you're so knowledgeable, could you tell me when that agreement runs to? Think you might find that agreements tend to have an end date and aren't valid after that.

                            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                              FAIL

                              Re: Re: Re Ill-educated Mike Ill-educated Mike pm

                              "Abuse as usual for no answer...." Plenty of answers, it just seems I need to try using very short and simple words for you to understand. It's gettign hard as I don't think The Reg will allow me to attach crayon diagrams, which seems about your intellectual level.

                              "....which at the time, I didn't know a lot about...." Going by your posts, not much seems to have changed there. It also explains why you know SFA about the Wintel/Lintel environment.

                              ".....For many years, the primary development platform for Oracle has been Oracle Linux...." On hp Proliants, actually. Oracle try to hide the fact they didn't even move their labs over to Oracle x64 servers until people started realising how much hp kit they were still running. But please do try denying they still develop for Slowaris, it would be very funny to see what frothing claptrap you can come up with on that one!

                              "....Think you might find that agreements tend to have an end date...." In another amazing bit of Oracle contract ineptness (it was agreed in the days when Oracle viewed themselves as staying as just software) there was no end date to the co-operative agreement regarding version parity. But you didn't even know about that agreement, so I'm not surprised you didn't know anything about the terms. Fail!

          2. Dazed and Confused

            Re: pm

            > Itanium: 96 cores

            errr nice little piece of arithmetic there.

            You take 2 8core CPUs per blade and you can fit 8 of these blades into an enclosure.

            so, 2*8*8 == 96. :-) cool I never knew that.

            Of course with the BL8[679]0 boxes you can decide on whether your 8 blades should be 8 separate systems, or perhaps 4 slightly bigger one, if the that suits you needs or then again perhaps you'd like something a little bigger and so have it configured as 2 64way boxes. Then again, you can also have any combination, just by changing the handles on the front. They don't have that functionality on the ProLiants... yet.

            You're right about the RAM figures. The ProLiants Gen8 boxes can house more RAM.

            BTW, a DL980 doesn't quite make the OLTP figures for a circa 2007 SuperDome (not talking about an SD2).

            > Of course x86 doesn't run HPUX..

            Now me, I love Linux, but there are some things that HP-UX is just really good at.

      2. Androgynous Crackwhore
        Joke

        Re: pm

        Yeah, don't worry PM, I can count to four. I was enjoying the strangely fitting schadenfreude of the mega-yacht megalomaniac taking a knock as a result... looks like at least one like-minded commentard was tickled enough to doff me an upvote ;o)

  9. koolholio
    Stop

    Poor Oracle!

    Really getting hit hard this year it seems :-(

    Kinda feel some sympathy towards em, but at the same time I have no sympathy for those that use the IA-64 architecture, it was just a 'phase' architectures were going through...

    Now, Get with the times! (No not the news corp!)

    With a better architecture, database,middleware and apps! *facepalm*

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's ok - HP will be bust in 12 months...

    All Larry needs to do is to f**k off on one of his many yachts for a year or so... Problem solved.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All Larry needs to do is to f**k off on one of his many yachts for a year or so...

      Except that he's pissed the Navy off to the extent that if I were in his shoe's I'd think twice about stepping in a puddle, let alone going near the sea.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Acquisition

    If Oracle has any interest in acquiring HP, this would be an opportune time. I don't think that they have any interest in HP, but, if they are considering it anyway, they might be pushed over the edge if it looks like they are going to have to cut HP a check for a billion or so. They could acquire them, spin off PCs and print... possibly some other stuff, and cut a check to themselves. Highly unlikely, but stranger things.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Lots Of IT Propaganda Whores Here

    First, I have to say I was with HP until 1997, when PA RISC was still going very well. These machines were undestructible by accident. You had to flood them with water or run over the box with a tank. They did simply not crash like the Win 3.x crap we also had at HP then. I got them crashing only by means of "ping of death" or "crashme". In normal operation the OS never died. You got "bus error" from faulty software and that was it. HP CC was excellent it optomizing scientific code. No need to hand-optimize with -O2. PA RISC hardware was generally leading ALL processors and the only serious competitor was Alpha of DEC. x86 was nowhere near PA RISC performance.

    I don't know much internals after 1997, I only heard Itanium was consuming massive amounts of power and had a consequential cooling problem. Which true HP engineers would have found a solution for, no doubt. Water coooling, if required.

    But the VLIW (which Itanium is the latest incarnation of) concept is very interesting and promising, especially when Loop Unrolling is possible. Itanium did have very impressive floating point performance in the past and I do also think that the strengths of VLIW could be exposed if the programmer is aware of them.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Very_long_instruction_word

    "The VLIW architecture is growing in popularity, particularly in the embedded market"

    So when commenters with their shallow hate come out and try to smear HP for "Itanic", I do think this is a very low point for IT people. Or maybe the shitlobbers are just professional propaganda whores ?

    Very much like Boeing with the 787, HP tried to do something very innovative in several ways. First, technology innovation with VLIW. Secondly "outsourcing" was the big rage in the 90s and senior HP management thought it would be a good idea to hand over CPU design expertise to Intel and to hand over compiler development to some indian outfit. Operating systems and databases could be bought from MS and Oracle. HP leadership thought they could cut expensive American engineers out of the equation and still make massive revenue and profits, just as they did with PA RISC and HP9000 and HP3000.

    In hindsight, we all know that it was wrong for HP to treat their crown jewels (HP-UX, MPE, PA RISC, Allbase/SQL) and their creators with that amount of disresepect. But then it was 100% OK to dream the pinko-liberal new-age dream of "let's rake in tons of cash by using third-world labour". After all, "programmers are all the same, why should I use the expensive, experienced and slightly disobedient white guy if I can get a brown guy at 1/10th of the cost ?"

    Still, I do think it is irrational and nasty to badmouth innovative technology like VLIW. SPARC is not bringing anything better on the table and if HP had retained those expensive, experienced Americans and their own design and manufacturing capability, they would either have a competitive PA RISC or VLIW machine by now. They were leaders in the 90s with two teams (PA RISC and Alpha). Intel was far, far from their performance levels.

    Today, Itanium is, very much like the IBM S/360/390 architecture, at the heart of hundreds of billions of dollars of business transactions every year. These systems simply work, instead of crapping out for random, stupid reasons such as "too cheap capacitors". They are business workhorses and they often run the Oracle database management system. HP was in fact a major part of the Oracle salesforce, as HP was falling over each other in selling/implementing "hot", external stuff such as Windows, Oracle and SAP.

    It is just a tiny bit of justice that Oracle has been ordered to continue to support the Itanium architecture as Oracle would not be where they are without the help of thousands of HP engineers and salesmen.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Lots Of IT Propaganda Whores Here

      "the pinko-liberal new-age dream"

      Forgive me if my understanding of US politics is not up there, but I thought the whole outsourcing idea was very much a Republican/right-wing system to profit the few at the top (i.e. shareholders / CEO), rather than the workers? (usually the "pinko" term is applied to what would be middle/left in the UK politics).

      As for VLWI based machines, I used some TI DSP based on that some years ago and found that the compiler technology was piss-poor in delivering anything like the promised performance. It needed tedious hand-optimisation of C code and/or the "sorry, life if too short" resort of assembler (after learning the architecture inside-out) to get there.

      In my humble opinion, dropping the Alpha was possible HP's worst move of all if they had any intention of being in the non-commodity hardware business.

      1. Shane Sturrock
        FAIL

        Re: Lots Of IT Propaganda Whores Here

        "In my humble opinion, dropping the Alpha was possible HP's worst move of all if they had any intention of being in the non-commodity hardware business."

        Pretty much anyone who had any experience of Alpha would agree. I programmed Alpha and had a few as home machines running 64 bit Linux at a time when the FP performance for a 21264 box was 8x that of the fastest Intel processor and for integer work, having 32 full 64 bit registers, register renaming, instruction reordering and four independent integer pipelines with two floating point all lead to a very very fast CPU which you could write assembly for almost like a high level language. For years various wags had been claiming Intel would roll into the 64 bit market and take over with Merced. Well, that didn't happen and while HP had been busy working with Intel to develop it and kill their own PA RISC, Compaq bought DEC and got the Alpha business and continued to develop it. When HP bought Compaq, they killed Alpha because it competed with their own plans. That was a mistake. They took the best performing, most scalable CPU architecture on the market and killed it when it was the speed king and they replaced it with an untried architecture which relied on very smart compilers to get any performance (anyone else remember the dreadful i860 from Intel?) and of course that didn't work. Many Alpha engineers hit the market, quite a few got sucked into AMD and the Opteron was the result and it has taken years for Intel to get properly competitive with those and they could only do it because of their strength of market position and deep pockets.

        Itanium is the CPU equivalent of Windows 8. It deserved to fail. If only HP could suck it up and relaunch Alpha but it is likely much too late so we get the modern day x86_64 architecture which, while compatible with ia32, is horrible to code for (limited registers, bolt on vector operations that you have to jump through hoops to use and so on) but at least they're cheap.....

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lots Of IT Propaganda Whores Here

        "Forgive me if my understanding of US politics is not up there, but I thought the whole outsourcing idea was very much a Republican/right-wing system to profit the few at the top (i.e. shareholders / CEO), rather than the workers?"

        He is right... the "globalization" or "free trade" initiatives, offshoring being an adjunct of free trade agreements, were nearly all Democratic goals. The Democrats are basically left wing on social issues and right wing on economic issues, not as right wing as the Republicans in most cases but still right of center from a European perspective. Clinton did NAFTA, WTO, FTAA, etc. The groundwork was almost entirely set by Clinton.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lots Of IT Propaganda Whores Here

      But fortunately still quite an interesting discussion - reminiscent of the Unix wars of old.

      My view on VLIW is coloured by having done development on an Apollo DN10000 - performance was utterly dependent on whether one' s coding style suited the compiler, and compiler bugs abounded. Not to mention horrendous compile times... The HP 9000/730 that replaced it was like a breath of fresh air, but we did miss the Apollo Domain OS.

      IMO the Itanium approach was definitely wrong, an Intel complification of something that started as a simple elegant and compiler-friendly architecture. What HP *should* have done is to port HP-UX to the Alpha architecture... although I never got to play with one, we used to follow computational benchmarks and Alpha was always ahead of the pack. If only they had paid Intel to fab the PA-RISC processors and thereby gained all the Intel process advantages without the architectural dog's breakfast that is a hallmark of Intel's efforts in this field.

      BTW across a variety of PA-RISC machines used in those years, I remember only one instance of an OS crash, which has as its root cause dodgy firmware on an LAN card (VG100, remember that?)

      1. Dazed and Confused

        Re: Lots Of IT Propaganda Whores Here

        In terms of performance, I don't think there was much to chose between PA-Risc and Alpha. Back when PA was HP's main processor, HP and DEC used to trade the SPEC Mark crown between them, based on who's chip had been updated most recently. There was rarely much between them.

        Alpha was effectively killed off by Compaq, as part of settlement of a legal fight between DEC and Intel, the design team of Alpha was sold... and they didn't like it. So most of the team left.

        Ownership of the specification passed to HP with the merger between HP & Compaq, but the real prize was the team of engineers and they'd gone already.

        Itanium started life as PA3 and I first heard of it about a month after the development project for 64bit PA (PA2) was kicked off.

        Sadly the first version of Itanium, Merced, was about 3 years late in coming to the market. The chances are that if it had come out when it was planned, it would have taken over as planned and we wouldn't be having this discussion. Intel wouldn't have spent the $Billions on rescuing the brain dead x86 architecture and some of that money would have been spent on make the compilers of Itanium work better.

        In terms of Fabbing PA processors. HP stopped fabbing them themselves donkey's years ago. The first PA processors (840/930) were made out of discreet TTL chips. After that HP used various fabs, PA8000 and PA8200 were fabbed at Intel if I remember rightly. PA8500 was fabbed at IBM.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lots Of IT Propaganda Whores Here

      "It is just a tiny bit of justice that Oracle has been ordered to continue to support the Itanium architecture as Oracle would not be where they are without the help of thousands of HP engineers and salesmen."

      It is a bit of a stretch to say Oracle would not be where they are without HP. HP's preference for Oracle was not done out of charity for Oracle. When they had any say over the apps running on their hardware, which was rarely... as with any server provider, they went with Oracle DB because the obvious alternative, especially after Sybase fell off, was IBM DB2 for enterprise level DB. HP didn't want IBM in their accounts, so they went with Oracle for their own benefit, not Oracle's benefit. When someone wanted MS SQL or DB2 or SAP instead of Oracle ERP, HP doesn't say "no, we are special partners with Oracle" or even "you should really take a look at Oracle instead" they were and are happy to sell Oracle's competitors' software.

      HP-UX was a relatively late comer to Oracle. DEC and IBM had been working with Oracle for a decade before they created any Unix port. If any other IT company was essential to Oracle's success, it was IBM with early access to System R and giving them the idea for RDBMS in the first place. If a second partner was critical, it was probably DEC with PDP-11 and VAX as the first Oracle platform. If a third partner was critical to Oracle, it was Sun in the .com boom years as the go to DB for web apps. For most of Oracle's rise, Sun SPARC - Solaris was their go to hardware partner.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        Re Databases

        Why didn't HP push Allbase/SQL ? At least in theory it could have been where DB/2 is now. It could actually be the basis of an HP software business, very much like DB/2 is a cornerstone of the IBM software activities.

        And please, don't tell me Oracle and/or DB/2 were superior then. Maybe on the glossy marketing sheets, but in reality the internals of Oracle and DB/2 look very nasty. The Oracle 8 listener could be crashed using dangerous hacker tools like "telnet ora-server 1542;some random typing on the keyboard". DB/2 is a nightmare if you expect to "run it out of the box without an IBM customer engineer holding your hands".

        The problem of HP always was that they took a cynical attitude towards their own products and technologies. HP management never really fought for their products like Gates, Ballmer and Ellison did. Instead they were anxious to "sell leading competitor products with our hardware".

        Finally they convinced themselves that they didn't need any of their own CPUs or operating systems any more. Can you say "emperor's new clothes" ?

        But it was a great time for HP in the 80s and 90s.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Re Databases

          ".....The problem of HP always was that they took a cynical attitude towards their own products and technologies....." Well, yes and no. As I understand it, having spoken to peeps at both Oracle, hp and Sun (yes, even them!), hp decided to look at what the target market were actually DOING and then go from there. IBM did not. What hp saw was that Sun was king and mainly because it was a prime Oracle partner - just about every customer they talked to wanted Oracle DB rather than any other database, but were happy to talk about a different platform. IBM simply plugged along the lines of "buy a mainframe - no, then buy a P-series with AIX and DB2". What hp did was look at Allbase, realised that pushing that against the Sun-Oracle partnership was going to be just as silly as IBM's insistance on DB2, so instead decided to beat Sun at their own game. Whilst IBM was vainly trying to replace Oracle, hp set about replacing SPARC and Slowaris underneath the Oracle DB. Part of that process was cuddling up to Oracle, which was pretty amazing considering they were also cuddling up to Microsoft, and later Red Hat, SAP, and just about anyone else that mattered. Even IBM Software - more licences sold on hp servers than IBM ones for years due to the Proliant dominance of x64.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Stop

          More Interesting Stuff Regarding HP and Oracle RDBMSs

          http://3000newswire.blogs.com/3000_newswire/2011/11/oracles-harm-to-3000s-past-and-present.html

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks for the info about fabbing... still trying to square that with my recolections of the time, when HP's progress seemed to slow down after the 9000/735 - their processors seemed to be getting a lot hotter for comparatively small performance bumps.

    In response to the previous post, the i860 did come to mind as the poster child for Intel's knack of producing architectural stinkers.

    1. Dazed and Confused

      Loved my 735/125

      Great system, but the last in the line. The 735/125 packed a PA7150 CPU.

      This was followed by the J class workstation and K class servers. The J should have given you quite a jump in real world performance. These boxes packed the PA7200. Same clock speed, very limited super scalar capability, really neat fully associative assist cache to avoid mapping contention in the direct mapped L1 cache.

      Big jump in performance after that with the PA8000, HP's first 64bit processor, performance was down by about 20% on its capability due to the limited availability of cache RAM chips able to keep up with the CPU.

      PA8200 came next, at 240MHz it matched the Alpha 21164 @ 666Mhz, but the PA processors had had out of order and speculative execution since the PA8000, which the Alpha didn't get it till the 21264. Both the 21264 and PA8XXX chips had extensive 4 issue super scalar functionality.

      The PA8200 was the last of the PA-Risc chips to make use of external cache. The clock speeds had become too high to be able to continue with that strategy, as PA8000 had shown. So the PA8500 switched to on chip cache, faster but smaller, they could only do 1.5MB of cache (that's L1 cache, 1MB data, 512K inst).

      Minor changes in the PA8600, before the PA8700 came in taking the caches and TLB up by 50%.

      Sorry can't remember the changes for the PA8700+.

      PA8800 and PA8900 are the run out dual core chips, these wimp out and implement L2 cache (32MB and 64MB).

      The i860 doesn't really have any place in Itanium story, at least not that I know of. The i960 does, it was the cancellation of the i960 CPU much beloved of HP LaserJet's that drove HP and Intel into bed together on the CPU market place.

      When Compaq sold all the Alpha IP to Intel in 2001 a bunch of the engineers left and joined AMD producing the Hammer. This killed the Itanium workstation business over night,

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't compare Power to Itanium

    Lots of blame to go around here; just don't include the kinds of problems HP has had keeping up with Intel XEON and IBM Power CPUs to this issue.

    Basically I see Oracle's strategy (i.e., Larry and Mark) as creating a new "Oracle Platform Short List" for customers. The old one was Intel (IBM, HP, Dell and others on Windows, Linux), IBM Power (AIX, Linux for Power), and HP Itanium (HP-UX, Linux for I64). Oracle was able to buy Sun Microsystems at a steep discount because Sun didn't have anything to offset revenue being bled off by Intel x64 Windows and Linux boxen, unlike their IBM and HP competition. But once Sun became part of Oracle, cutting off HP-UX and Itanium from the Oracle base would leave space for Solaris on SPARC or XEON x64 as the other choice on the new "Oracle Platform Short List" . Pretty simple really - anti competitive behavior to be sure, but all's fair in love and hardware, eh? I can therefore see the judge's point - no reason to not offer Oracle on HP-UX. The issue is who pays for it?

    Remember - HP-UX requires specially optimized code for Itanium; code meant for the VLIW "EPIC" instruction set at the core of Itanium. So Oracle has a point as well - they can use the same code base (with tweaks) for Windows Server, AIX, Linux, and Solaris; but to maintain support for HP-UX, they need to keep maintain a separate set of source code for Itanium to perform properly. If they do this the right way, HP-UX stays competitive with AIX and Windows/Linux; but if Oracle doesn't do the work to get the most out of its Itanium software variants, then performance will suffer versus HP's competition, and even against HP's own Windows and Linux XEON x64 systems. If I am Oracle, why should I have to incur additional cost for one specific HW platform ( and one that I compete with)?

    I think the answer then is straightforward. Oracle has to pay HP for damages done, but then it should also tell HP that the latter henceforth has to bear the differential cost of "optimizing" Oracle's DBMS code and other software for Itanium- based servers, because of their _special_ nature. HP would then face a choice between taking the money from the lawsuit and seeing HP-UX sales suffer further due to poor Oracle performance for Itanium systems, or making nice with Larry & Mark. In other words, I believe the operative phrase here is "Pyrrhic Victory".

    YAAC

    1. Dazed and Confused

      Re: Don't compare Power to Itanium

      AC: I don't know whether you've ever coded, but I don't think Oracle have ever done any specific optimizations for Itanium. That is what the compilers do. Sure if you want to hand code in assembly then an Itanium is a very different beast to code for. But for high level languages, nope, you don't need to do anything special. What Itanium does offer are the possibility to analyze exactly where in your code you're suffering from cache misses, TLB faults ... etc. but you'd be suffering just as badly on any other platforms, they just can always tell you why.

      What sorts of things do you feel you have to code differently just because its a VLIW system?

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Don't compare Power to Itanium

      Unfortunately for your most heartfelt wishes, hp saw that one coming and the judge has agreed that Oracle have to optimise just as much for Itanium as for SPARC or any other architecture.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Choices choices

    Two candidates meet up for a job interview. They are rated equally but one of them has a letter from the doctor stating that he is not a clinically insane psychopath.

    Who would you choose?

  16. Mad Mike
    Paris Hilton

    Matt Bryant.

    I notice you haven't taken up my bet yet on whether mainframe or Itanium will die out first................

    Are you going to provide the links for Exadata only features appearing on any other version of Oracle DB for another platform......................

    I'm sure the silence will be deafening, as you'll loose on both!!

    I've chosen Paris because she's a clueless, brainless person who can't survive without people around her to help. Reminds me of someone..........

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Matt Bryant.

      "I notice you haven't taken up my bet yet on whether mainframe or Itanium will die out first....." There's two reasons for that - firstly, I simply worry that you're so old you will join the other dinosaurs in extinction before the bet is decided; and secondly, I try to avoid the mentally-impaired and deluded.

      ".... Are you going to provide the links for Exadata only features appearing on any other version of Oracle DB for another platform....." I see you're still missing out on the small fact Exadata is an APPLIANCE and not just a version of the Oracle DB. Well, at least your monumental level of fail is consistently perfect.

      ".......I'm sure the silence will be deafening.....". Already pointed out, Exadata is an appliance, you just need to go find an adult to explain that word to you.

      "......as you'll loose on both!!...." See, this is your problem - well, one of your problems - you want to declare a victory before the event. Do you have time travel? No, so you are just urinating into the breeze and claiming that being wet makes you the winner, whilst everyone else just wishes you'd go somewhere else. Fail!

      ".....I've chosen Paris because she's a clueless, brainless person who can't survive without people around her to help....." Strangely fitting given the vacuous nature of your posts and their complete divorce from the realities of modern-day IT. St Paris, Patron Saint of Mainframers - the best suggestion you've made in all your posts! Unfortunately for you, going on the evidence presented by your dribbling a I'd have to say that it is a massive insult to Paris to associate her with someone as deluded and clueless as your own words prove.

      1. Mad Mike

        Re: Matt Bryant.

        "There's two reasons for that - firstly, I simply worry that you're so old you will join the other dinosaurs in extinction before the bet is decided; and secondly, I try to avoid the mentally-impaired and deluded."

        I take it that's a no then. Obviously, you don't have any faith in your own comments!!

        P.S.

        Exadata runs Oracle DB in just same way Integrity does. Calling it an appliance (of as I said earlier, 'Engineered system', which is what Oracle actually call it) is simply a marketing stunt.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Matt Bryant.

          "....Obviously, you don't have any faith in your own comments!!...." As pointed out before, the really worrying thing is yo actually believe the male bovine manure you spout.

          "....Exadata runs Oracle DB in just same way Integrity does...." <Sigh> Just exposing your lack of knowledge there again. Exadata is a carefully tuned stack of servers, storage and Oracle software. You could build a similar stack on Itanium using Oracle DB and hp Integrity but there are some software bits, mostly management, that are unique to the Exadata product. However, you can build a superior system if you use hp's Matrix product, especially as that allows you to build a solution that matches the individual company's requirement, around mixed environments of Linux, Windows and hp-ux, and using non-Oracle software and applications if required, and can be scaled up and down, compared to Oracle's one-size-fits-all and Oracle-software/hardware-only approach. I'd try and explain Matrix to you but I fear you are really just too obtuse to get it, and there are people at hp actually getting paid to sell it, so I suggest contacting them and seeing if they have the patience to deal with someone as "special" as you.

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