You can sort of see this coming. Oracle is ditching Itanium development, effective immediately. If they haven’t done so for Power … yet … I’d expect this soon as well.
Oracles’ claim is that Intel is ditching Itanium. Well, yeah, its sort of a weak argument. The future of Intel isn’t much on the Itanium side of things. x86 and derivatives appear to be their future, but Itanium isn’t being deep sixed now.
Given the way it is being reported, and the thin covering Oracle provided to the media, it looks like Oracle was looking for a way to hit at HP, and pretty much any excuse would do. Of course, this is how it is being reported, but some of the reporters are doing a pretty good job of connecting the dots. Oracle isn’t trying to hide the dots, so it makes it easier.
Look at it this way. Oracle finds itself the owner of a hardware business. One that really doesn’t have much going for it. It sees direct competition in one of its (formerly very close) partners platforms. So, it nixes their revenue stream … with the hope that the users will flock to the Oracle gear.
Not implausible. Reasonably probable. And something I think we can assume will be repeated with IBM, though if they did, then IBM could step up with a DB2 conversion marketing effort, give big discounts for switching. Maybe not so much IBM, but possible.
Remember, one of our mantras now is “bricking not included”. While Itanium isn’t the smash hit in the market that was promised to us by the analysts in the late 90s, it isn’t dead. Well, not completely. But it has lost most of its OS support. Oracle could support it if it needed. But it is pulling back, effectively rendering a core element of HP’s higher margin computer business to be a brick for these applications (one of the few remaining).
What can HP do?
Buy EnterpriseDB and start attacking Oracle where they live. And maybe buy the folks behind Drizzle and some of the other MySQL forks. Then they need an OS. Hey, they have HP/UX.
I am not a fan of HP/UX, I consider it one of the least friendly unixes out there. But many people use it and swear by it. It shouldn’t be too hard to help customers off the expensive DB onto the lower cost EnterpriseDB. I seem to remember that they (EnterpriseDB) have some sort of porting capability …
Remember, big database bits are a high performance problem. This is an HPC issue these days.