Sun Oracle server shops
Freebies, discounts, and credits
Now that shareholders of Sun Microsystems have voted to approve Oracle's $5.6bn (£3.4bn) takeover, Unix rival HP is trying to cull customers from the Solaris herd and move them to ProLiant or Integrity machines running Windows, Linux, or HP-UX.
In the past six months, HP says, more than 100 Sun customers have migrated from Sun servers and storage to HP iron. The company also claims that by using total cost of ownership/return on investment tools created by Alinean, HP can demonstrate that Sun Solaris customers pay up to 80 per cent more to run certain workloads on Sun iron than on comparable HP iron.
I'm fairly sure that you can find workloads and server configurations that show the opposite.
HP's marketing speak will not be enough to convince even nervous Sun shops to jump ship, which is why HP announced the Sun Complete Care program on Thursday. Under the deal, HP is offering Sun shops free migration and TCO assessments if they consider ditching Sun iron for HP boxes.
There are also free migration assessments for customers using Oracle or SAP application software, and free custom server-building services through HP's Factory Express program.
HP is waving a number of financial incentives, such as deferrals of payments on leased equipment for 90 days and zero per cent lease offerings in the United States and Canada for Sun shops jumping to Integrity or ProLiant servers.
The deal also lets customers choose between trade-in credits for Sparc servers when they buy any Integrity machine or the eight-socket ProLiant DL785 Opteron server, or the "green" disposal of those Sun Sparc servers. The trade-ins involve giving customers the fair market value of the Sparc iron they ditch plus cash-back equal to 10 percent of the purchase price of memory and disk features on the HP iron, as well as on UPS and PDU power equipment. HP is tossing more cash back on its c-Class blade enclosures, and tops the trade-in credits at 15 per cent of the value of the acquired HP gear.
On the software front, HP is giving an 85 per cent discount on HP-UX 11i v3 Base Operating Environment licenses, which costs from $225 to $2,370 per core on Itanium iron, and a 50 per cent discount on HP-UX 11i v3 Virtual Server Operating Environment licenses, which cost from $4,420 to $7,200 per core. (You can get the rundown on HP-UX pricing here.)
While these HP-UX discounts are interesting, it is far more likely that Solaris shops will simply want to port their apps to Solaris 10 running on ProLiant machinery. If HP really wants to win over Sun accounts, all it needs to do is start preloading Solaris 10 on ProLiants, certify them, and make sure they cost less than competitive configurations of Sun's own iron.
Anyway, HP is also kicking in discounts on education and training on its products, ranging from 15 to 30 per cent off, and is offering four-year and five-year support contracts to Sun jumpers at 15 per cent off.
What is not written into the Sun Complete Care program, and which has to be true, is that customers moving a lot of iron are going to get a much sweeter deal than all of this - even in this difficult economy.
Once a customer moves server platforms, they tend to stick there for a while unless something goes horribly wrong. And it's far smarter to sacrifice some profits in the short term than walk away from a Sun-to-HP account conversion. ®
Funny enough, Sun claims to have taken 200 HP customers...
in the last couple of years. My last employer as an example, got tired of HP killing off all of their platforms and no promise of any future innovation that would meet their requirements moving forward... They had to move anyway with upcoming(?) Tuckwila, and the death of PA-RISC, etc, so SPARC seemed just as safe as Itanium, and more consistent... Also, current Itanium was looking long in the tooth and only one vendor supported it. They made the decision that even with Sun hurting, Fujitsu was also available, so they could be played against each other reducing lock-in. IBM was not considered because IBM-GS is way too expensive and always seems to be required - even for the simple task of scratching your left cheek.
The biggest growth area in the downturn.
If you look at the market, there isn't going to be many opportunities in a downturn, so the demise of Sun has become the biggest sales opportunity for hp, IBM, Dell, etc, etc, to actually grow market share and possibly their revenues by grabbing as much of the old Sun market share as possible. In such a dogfight, the company that can offer the best discounts along with convincing options will probably grab the biggest share, and once they have switched a customer it will be much harder for other vendors to try and steal them away, so a win now means more longterm sales. Hence the offers coming from hp and co targetting Sun accounts whilst they are still worrying about which way Larry is going to take them.
For customers, it is always painful migrating platforms as it means risk, so offers that bundle in migration services as well as genearous discounts become all the more attractive. Hp claim to have had a lot of success with their Sun attack sales offerings over the last few years when Sun could put up a defence - now Sun is down and out, hp should rake it in. Expect lots of similar offerings from IBM, Dell and Fujitsu as the fight heats up.
The Sunshiners can be as bitter as they like, but it doesn't change the facts. Sun is finished and now the other vendors are going to divvie up the Sun share and grab whatever useable scraps of the Sun carcass that Oracle put up for sale. As regards Slowaris, I've actually been told by a Sun consultant that it is closer to hp-ux than AIX, so that should make hp-ux an easier migration, especially with the services on offer from hp.
/Cheshire Cat smile as I welcome the grumpy Sun refugees to a better place.
Maybe they're talking about the cost of services.
However, you get what you pay for in terms of support services and from my experience, HP support is woeful.
One of the many reasons that there are no HP boxes (packaging or otherwise) in my datacentre.