Oracle Accused of Being a “Shameless Truth-Bender”
Ryan Tate claims that “Larry Ellison will always be a shameless truth-bender” in an article titled Larry Ellison Can’t Be Bothered With the Facts. The article talks about an advertisement that appeared recently in the Wall Street Journal and goes on to share some interesting anecdotes about Oracle advertising.
The advertisement in question suggests that Oracle plan to announce a new TPC-C result using Sun hardware on October 14. One thing this article does not mention is that, as far as I can tell, the advertisement does not follow the TPC rules. If you read Section 8.2.2 Unfair Use, you will see that Oracle could be interpreted to have violated several of these rules and unfairly used the TPC benchmark. You see, the TPC does not allow organizations to “make TPC-related claims or lead the reader to TPC-related conclusions which are untrue or cannot be substantiated by the entire body of results.” TPC does this to prevent misleading advertising. You may wonder how this could be misleading. Well, it could be misleading because it does not tell the full story. For instance, what if their upcoming benchmark result requires an inordinately expensive hardware configuration. Without certain primary metrics, TPC results cannot reasonably be compared.
Aside from Oracle’s apparent flaunting of the TPC rules, this advertisement is also notable because Oracle indicates that the upcoming TPC result will be on Sun hardware. The reason that this is interesting is that Sun has publicly derided the TPC-C benchmark in the past. In fact, they have not participated in the TPC-C benchmarks for several years, claiming that the benchmark does not reflect real world transactional workloads, and that the benchmark is easily gamed by vendors. It is an interesting about-face for Sun. I wonder what prompted this change in what was a very firm stance on their part.