Hewlett-Packard, IBM and yes–even Cisco Systems–hope to make hay out of Oracle’s decision to boost support price on Sun hardware.
And there’s no shortage of Sun VARs who claim–off the record– that their customers are irked–make that irate–over the policy changes. Not at all hard to believe.
What I haven’t seen thus far is hard evidence that the Oracle changes have finally pushed Sun shops over the edge. Face it, most Sun hardware shops started to evaluate alternative hardware suppliers well before Oracle opened up its checkbook and the feds finally signed off on the buyout. The independent Sun Microsystems was a basket case for years before M&A rumors started to swirl around it, kicked off in earnest by IBM’s unsolicited bid for Sun last year.
Oracle is banking that those shops–and perhaps more–will go for its iPod-like integrated appliance to the data center and there it’s got some problems. These Exadata machines are very pricey and when you factor in support costs, they’re going to be beyond the pale for many, many shops. Add to that the fact that interested parties cannot get a demo unit without a signed purchase order. Note to Oracle: If a PO is involved, it ain’t a demo unit.
So what are you seeing in Sun hardware accounts. Are customers really defecting en masse, or are they slowly “peeling” off new server purchases and spending with HP or IBM instead of Oracle-Sun?
For an educated look at Oracle’s Sun support plans and what they mean, check out Eric Guyer’s Oracle Optimization blog here.