Feeds

HP-Oracle: It’s war for sure, Miss Scarlett

Sink the Itanic

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

HP vs Oracle The hot war between HP and Oracle got quite a bit hotter last week as HP filed suit accusing Oracle of breaching contracts and demanding a jury trial in California.

The Reg has been all over this story, with articles from our pal TPM (latest here ) and Andrew Orlowski (here).

The court filing is interesting reading. It outlines the salad days of the HP-Oracle love affair, including a generous helping of quotes from Oracle about the depth and breadth of Oracle’s undying devotion to HP. The only thing missing was a link to a YouTube video of “Larry E and the SQLs” lip synching “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” outside HP corporate headquarters.

The complaint then goes on to detail how Oracle dumped Itanium, the potential damages to HP, etc. A few things jumped out at me during the first read-through. The biggest is HP’s allegation that Oracle is withholding critical bug fixes for current Oracle software on Itanium-based systems. These aren’t bugs related to Itanium hardware or the HP-UX operating system, but general bugs that always arise over time.

According to HP’s complaint, Oracle is telling customers that it won’t fix the bugs, and that the only solution is to upgrade to upcoming new editions of the software or change to current versions that contain the bug fix. Neither option includes software that will run on HP’s Itanium based systems.

I don’t know this for sure, but I’m hearing that many of these flaws in current versions of Oracle software have been fixed on editions of the packages on Windows, Solaris and Linux – but haven’t been (and won’t be) for any OS running on Itanium.

HP alleges that Oracle sales reps take advantage of this shut-out by pitching a Sun box to handle the workload, offering them at below-cost or, in some cases, free of charge.

I’ve been around a bit and have seen some pretty hard-core competitive tactics. But I can’t think of anything that sinks to this level.

If Oracle is fixing these bugs on other versions of their software but withholding the fix for customers running HP-UX on Itanium systems, it has refusal to live up to support commitment into a competitive weapon and sales tool. It’s the kind of brutal scheme that Tony Soprano and Silvio would be hatching in the back of the Bada Bing.

Taking out a contract

There were plenty of redacted sections in the complaint. Three of the ten causes of action (the part where they explain how Oracle actions were violations of legal code) were entirely blacked out.

I would guess that these sections contain references to specific contracts and relevant passages from those agreements that spell out contractual requirements. It’s common for these documents to be held under NDA by both parties, but we’ll certainly see more details of these if and when this case goes to court.

We don’t know exactly what HP is asking for; a good portion of the remedy section was blacked out. But I would assume that they’re looking for the court to rule that Oracle has to live up to contractual obligations – which includes porting their software to Itanium, I’m betting.

The non-redacted part shows HP asking for the court to tell Oracle to knock off the FUD and pay HP’s attorney fees along with damages (maybe triple damages). Oh, and they want a jury trial.

So let the drama begin. This could set up a tech court room battle like we haven’t seen since the days of the Microsoft antitrust litigation. We could see Larry Ellison and Mark Hurd on the witness stand, being grilled by hostile HP attorneys. ®

Bootnote

HP needs to do one thing right away: supply their attorneys with better scanners. While the text came across ok, the pages had a definite skew to them. It’s either a lazy manual scan, or an ADF that isn’t aligning the pages correctly on the platen. It’s annoying but easily fixed with either better hardware, better scanning software, or a better intern.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.