Feeds

Intel and HP defend honor of Itanium

HP, it's time to buy EnterpriseDB. Before Larry does

High performance access to file storage

Intel, the maker of the Itanium family of server processors, and Hewlett-Packard, the main customer for the chips, have fired back at an Oracle announcement late yesterday that it was stopping software development on the Itanium chip.

The PR folks at Intel rousted Paul Otellini, Intel's president and chief executive officer, to make a statement denying that its commitment to Itanium was faltering, which Oracle contended was the cause of it pulling the plug on software development on the processor.

"Intel's work on Intel Itanium processors and platforms continues unabated with multiple generations of chips currently in development and on schedule," Otellini said in the statement. "We remain firmly committed to delivering a competitive, multi-generational roadmap for HP-UX and other operating system customers that run the Itanium architecture."

Intel reminded everyone that the eight-core "Poulson" Itanium processor was in the works, set to more than double the performance compared to the current quad-core "Tukwila" Itanium 9300 processors, and explained that "Kittson," the kicker to Poulson, is an officially committed roadmap product for Itanium beyond Poulson and is also in active development." The company finished by saying that industry momentum behind Itanium chips would be highlighted in a keynote at the upcoming Intel Developers Forum in Beijing, China.

In its statement, HP said it would be supporting its customers despite "Oracle's anti-customer actions," which were the result of plummeting Sparc server sales and the desire by Oracle to force customers to buy its own servers if they want to use Oracle software.

As said in our original story about Oracle's announcement, that may be the intention Oracle has (beside from creating uncertainty in general), but it may not be the effect of Oracle's announcement. At this point in the history of the RISC/Unix business, the odds would favor a large number of customers moving off HP-UX, the flagship operating system on HP's Integrity line of servers, and onto IBM's AIX operating system and its Power Systems.</p.

Not because anyone has great love of IBM, but because the company has done a better job of hitting its server roadmaps than either Sun Microsystems and Fujitsu with various Sparc chips or Intel with various Itanium chips. Then again, if HP-UX customers are nervous in general, they might be doing some math to see how big of an SMP Oracle will be able to put together running Intel's top-end Xeon parts and a Linux operating system. It may be Oracle's Linux, and then again, it may not be. Ditto for the server.

The thing to remember is that systems take years, and sometimes decades, to wind down. Customers using big iron are in no hurry and they know that Oracle will be perfectly willing to take their money for Oracle products for many years to come. No doubt, Oracle's move calls into question what to do as workloads expand on existing systems and where to put new workloads. But generally, changes with big iron usually occur at slow tectonic speeds, not earthquake speeds.

If Intel said it was stopping development on Itanium chips, that would be more like an earthquake.

HP said in its statement that it has an HP-UX operating system roadmap that goes out for more than a decade and that it will continue to support customers running on existing versions of Oracle software on current and future Itanium platforms, over that timeframe.

"Oracle continues to show a pattern of anti-customer behavior as they move to shore up their failing Sun server business," Dave Donatelli, general manager of HP's Enterprise Servers, Storage, and Networking group, said in his statement. "HP believes in fair and honest competition. Competition is good for customers, innovation and the marketplace. We are shocked that Oracle would put enterprises and governments at risk while costing them hundreds of millions of dollars in lost productivity in a shameless gambit to limit fair competition."

We're not shocked at all. Oracle is not playing around, and it is the software tail that wags a lot of server dogs. Oracle wants HP's enterprise server money, and co-founder and CEO Larry Ellison and president Mark Hurd, who is probably more than a little miffed at his former employer, are going to try to get their hands on it any way they can. If HP had any sense, it would buy a software company that can emulate Oracle databases. How much do you think EnterpriseDB is worth? And how many changes can Oracle make to its databases to break whatever Oracle compatibility that its Postgres Plus Advanced Server has? ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES
Or helium filling either, according to reports
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.