Conor O'Mahony's Database Diary

Your source of IBM database software news (DB2, Informix, Hadoop, & more)

IBM DB2 Welcomes Oracle Database/HP Itanium Customers

with 6 comments

Oracle dropped a bombshell a few days ago by announcing that it will no longer supportdevelop for Itanium-based systems. It didn’t take long for commentators to realize that this jesture was not aimed at Intel who manufacture Itanium, but at HP whose Unix-based servers use Itanium. I think Paul McDougall at InformationWeek sums it up best in his Itanium Dump Could Cost Oracle Billions when he said that:

Larry Ellison thinks he has found a way to shore up the struggling server business he bought for $7.4 billion last year in the form of Sun Microsystems—force customers to buy Sun hardware if they want to continue to run the latest Oracle software.

This is big news when you consider how many Oracle customers run on HP systems. It is strange to think that one of the basic tenets of business—that the customer is always right—does not seem to apply here. These customers are facing the prospect of being forced off their platform of choice. I imagine Oracle is dealing with quite a few unhappy customers right now. I wonder how much trust those customers have that Oracle will not continue such practices in the future, forcing customers into deeper and deeper levels of dependence on Oracle.

The good news is you have a viable alternative. IBM DB2 is currently replacing Oracle Database in more and more environments. Forrester and Gartner have both covered this phenomenon. You now have the option of protecting the investment in your HP environment, and simply switching the database software. Just a couple of years ago, this would not have been a viable option. But thanks to recent advancements in database migrations, it is now relatively straighforward.

Why are customers moving off Oracle Database and onto IBM DB2? Well, first of all, it costs less to move to DB2 than it does to stay on Oracle Database. Organizations are saving considerable amounts of money by making this move. Consider Reliance Life who determined that, in their case, the total cost of ownership for moving to DB2 is half the cost of staying with Oracle Database. But customers are also moving because database migrations are now more straightforward, taking considerably less time and having considerably lower risk (just look at those Forrester and Gartner links for confirmation). In other words, for many organizations, moving from Oracle Database to DB2 has become a viable strategy for freeing up future IT budget. Not only that, but IT staff can continue to use their Oracle skills after the migration. For instance, I know customers who have migrated from Oracle Database to IBM DB2, and continue to program in PL/SQL after the migration (DB2 supports PL/SQL).

If you want to learn more about moving to DB2, visit the Break Free Web site or attend a free Migration Clinic in your area.

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Written by Conor O'Mahony

March 27, 2011 at 7:40 pm

6 Responses

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  1. [...] of the rationale and/or true reasons,  IBM was only happy to offer consolation to about to be abandoned customers, while Microsoft sided with Oracle, having announced that  support for Itanium on Windows Server [...]

  2. hi,
    you are really helping the DB2 ,i think.anyhow nice to here about db2.thank you.
    murthy.

    anjaneya murthy

    April 26, 2011 at 8:46 am

  3. Nice post Conor – thanks for this. Complacency and contempt for customers are all to common in business. I’ve linked to your blog.

    Stuart Macdonald

    May 6, 2011 at 8:38 pm

  4. I think you are misleading the audience, Oracle says it will stop developing software not stop supporting. It means all the version 11gR2 and below will be supported. So please modify your post eliminating “at it will no longer support Itanium-based systems”.

    http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/features/itanium-346707.html

    umesh patel

    July 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    • Hi Umesh,

      You are correct. I had a poor choice of words. Yes, Oracle will continue to offer maintenance for Oracle Database versions that run on Itanium. People should note however that Extended Support requires an additional fee. And once the product goes on Sustaining Support, there will be no more:

      – Updates and Fixes
      – Security Alerts
      – Critical Patch Updates

      It might be difficult to imagine a scenario where a customer has to pay even more money to get less capabilities, but here is a situation where people who choose to continue to run Oracle Database on Itanium-based servers will do exactly that.

      Conor O'Mahony

      July 19, 2011 at 10:13 am

  5. Since this blog post, I have had a little time to reflect, and have put together a Webcast titled Options for your Oracle Database Workloads on HP Itanium Servers. Please check it out.

    Conor O'Mahony

    July 27, 2011 at 11:25 am


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