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Is it just me or is anyone else shocked by Oracle’s arrogance?  The sudden annoucement that they will no longer support the Itanium platform will cause a significant amount of disruption for many large SAP customers.  I am really surprised that no one has blogged about this so I figured I would post this quick rant to stimulate conversation regarding this.

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  1. Vijay Vijayasankar
    It is kind of hard when you are commuted to some vendor, and then they make plans that don’t work for you.

    In this case – I understood that all existing ORACLE stuff will work with itanium, but going forward they won’t. But then what is the future plan on itanium from intel itself?

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  2. Ethan Jewett
    I guess I don’t get the point.

    Enterprise vendors drop or add support for various architectures in new product versions all the time (check the SAP PAM at http://service.sap.com/pam for many many examples). Customers generally adjust, which can be a pain, but it can usually be worked into normal upgrade/retirement cycles.

    Can you explain why this particular move is going to cause such unusual disruption?

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    1. Joseph Caruso Post author
      The problem is that Oracle made this announcement so suddenly.  Suppose you just invested several million dollars in a platform that you consider “strategic” to your future.  Wouldn’t you have preferred that Oracle made this announcement prior to your making that strategic decision (or supported at least one more version of their product)?  In my opinion, Oracle should have given HP a longer sunset on the announcement.  Especially since many customers hope to get 5 years out of their hardware.
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      1. David Hull
        I guess I just don’t see it as being that sudden of an announcement. Oracle uses Intel compilers for Intel platforms, and Intel stopped support for Itanium in their compilers late last year or early this year. Microsoft and Red Hat discontinued supporting Itanium back in the 2009/10 timeframe.

        And Intel hasn’t been talking about the Itanium for quite some time. I know that we get regular technology briefings from Intel, and they haven’t mentioned Itanium in their briefings in a few years.

        In all, I think the signs have been there for quite some time.

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        1. David Hull
          Of course I know that HP/UX still supports Itanium, but my point is it was originally targeted at other operating systems as well. And since support for those other platforms has been discontinued and Itanium’s success rests solely on HP/UX, it is not inconceivable to think that sales are not enough to assure its long-term success.

          In the end though, I think history has proven that it is not beyond Oracle to make decisions that offend many, customers and partners alike. It is unfortunate, but reality often bites.

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  3. David Hull
    I guess I don’t see this as surprising at all, given the fact that other vendors have already stopped developing for Itanium. I’m sure more will follow suit.

    Some products (both hardware and software) are successful, some are not. Oracle saw that it was not selling much on the platform, and doesn’t see the commitment behind it from Intel, so decided to discontinue it. At least, that’s the way I’m understanding the situation.

    Not worth screaming about, unless I’m missing something here.

    Cheers,
    David.

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  4. David Flad
    One challenge in the announcement is that they made such a broad and sweeping statement.  Did they mean to imply their “apps” would no longer be updated for IA based systems, or did they mean EVERYTHING, includign their DB environment.

    There are likely many more customers using their DB engine than their apps (used be like 70% of their sales or something I thought).  So if the announcement is for “apps”, but not the DB, it might not mean anything for the SAP Customers, regardless of their size.

    Another aspect of this announcement impacts the SaaS or Cloud Server re-sellers.  Imagine you’re Amazon and have a number of systems based on IA used for countless businesses — how do you handle making sure the customers all know — and you can re-invest in your shared hosting landscape to avoid issues in the future.

    I see this, much as HP commented, as a move to help force Oracle customers into purchasing SUN HW.  (I’d say that even if I wasn’t a former HP employee too).

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