April 20, 2011
Connect battles Oracle Integrity cut-off plan
Connect user group president Chris Koppe, a member of the 3000 community for more than 20 years, is leading a revolt of HP's Integrity server users against Oracle. The world's largest database vendor and the world's largest HP user group are in a fight over the future of customers' Integrity servers. Koppe reminds us that Oracle hit the customers first, and the user group wants HP's customers to hit back.
The dust-up between the largest vendor of enterprise servers and its biggest database partner began last month, when Oracle announced it was dropping support for the Itanium chipset -- and therefore, support for HP-UX, since that environment only runs on Itanium-based Integrity servers. The Oracle move is a competitive punch against customers who operate systems Oracle would like to replace with the Sun environment, Koppe said. Sites using HP's Unix -- as well as the NonStop and OpenVMS customers who also rely on Itanium -- need to push back to avoid needless expense.
"I don't think anyone at Oracle has thought this through from the customer's perspective," Koppe said. The Speedware marketing director has been part of Connect's campaign to rally HP customers against Oracle. Koppe's even posted a two-minute video address on YouTube to spark the customers' counter-punch. "The customer feedback we've heard has all been negative," he said. "I've heard a number of customers say they're going to do everything in their power to abandon Oracle."Leaving an enterprise vendor is a stiff challenge, whether that company supplies a mission-critical database, or the server and OS that the database uses as a host. Oracle is in place at 140,000 customers running HP-UX, the environment HP has preferred that migrating 3000 sites target for their transition. (Windows is also a popular choice, and nothing Oracle has said will impact the ability to use Oracle on the ProLiant HP server line running Windows.)
The entrenched position of Oracle-plus-HP's Unix is what demands a customer revolt, Koppe explained. "People have to confront the reality of this and what it means to them. If this doesn't change, how do they plan around it? What does it mean to the future of my infrastructure?" Unless Oracle backs away, thousands of customers could be facing the shutdown of Integrity database servers. They can either weather the transfer of servers to Windows, or consider the future of Oracle in their enterprises.
"It's an active blow to HP," Koppe said, "and it's a thoughtless move when it comes to the customers and their hardware stacks and infrastructure costs. Look at the people who made investments in Itanium over the last 3-5 years. People bought Oracle technologies for those servers -- and even migrated from legacy platforms and upgraded to Itanium. Now they're saying, 'This hurts my investment.' "
That Oracle migration has included a significant number of HP 3000 sites who made a transition, as well as those who are still targeting an Oracle/HP-UX solution for a project in play. Koppe said that "Oracle wants to create trouble for HP-UX. They want to dig into that market."
Koppe does note that the larger customers using Oracle and HP-UX have already separated application servers from database servers. The impact of dropping HP-UX from Oracle support would sting less at those sites, since they're using Windows or Linux to drive their databases.
But Connect wants its members to sound their voices loud from a link on the user group's Connect-Community.org website. The group also wants to push the message to their senior management, a task that might require an organized strategy to present to C-level officers. For a look at the YouTube video where Koppe makes a reasoned pitch for a better deal for HP's Oracle users, check out the private link message online.
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