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HP 'shocked' by Oracle's Itanium decision

Patrick Thibodeau | March 24, 2011
HP executives are critical of Oracle's decision to stop supporting its database and ERP products that run on Itanium processor-based systems.

But as aggressive as that white paper might be, vendors have always tried to woo customers away from one another, even as they pledge cooperation on certain platforms.

In its decision last year to end SQL Server support for Itanium, Microsoft cited improvements in the x86 64-bit chips as the basis for its decision. But neither company necessarily lost. HP touted customer migrations from Itanium to its x86 server platforms.

In an interview just prior to Oracle's announcement, Bob Kossler, director of strategy and planning for HP's NonStop Enterprise division, was asked whether HP would ever offer NonStop on an x86 platform. It now runs on Itanium.

"If our business demanded it, we would make that shift," said Kossler. But "at this point, Intel has a solid road map that we can rely on, so there is no need to make that kind of a change."

He said customers have been "very happy" with the Itanium.

HP this week announced improvements to its NonStop platform, a fault-tolerant system, that includes upgrading its blades to support Tukwila, the latest Intel quad-core Itanium processor.

Customers have asked whether NonStop can move to x86, said Kossler. "We've changed microprocessors before -- we went from MIPS technology to the Itanium family, so we know how to move from one microprocessor technology to another," he said.

But "at the moment we don't see a demand for that," said Kossler.



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