Server Farming

Jun 22 2009   3:33PM GMT

HP users mostly apathetic to Oracle-Sun merger

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

LAS VEGAS – Most of the Hewlett-Packard users that I spoke to at the HP Technology Forum last week were mostly apathetic about Oracle acquiring Sun, and didn’t foresee any competitive advantage because of it.

There were exceptions. Ernest Cody, a senior systems architect at Raytheon, said his company uses a lot of both HP and Sun gear. “We know that if we have a problem with one, we can move from one to another.” Cody doesn’t foresee having that same level of flexibility once Sun becomes part of Oracle.

On the plus side, Cody said Raytheon runs “pretty much everything Oracle sells,” and so he sees some potential benefits if Oracle decides to tune Solaris so that it works better with its database products.

On the reseller side, the sentiments were similar. John Maus, a high availability and storage architect for HP reseller Systems Technology Associates, Inc., said he doesn’t deal with his customers’ Sun installations, if they have them. Still, he said, his customers do work a lot in Java, and “we don’t want that restricted by Oracle at all.”

But the merger is affecting decisions, even of those users not currently running Sun hardware or software. Tony Bergen, the director of technology solutions for The North West Company, a food retailer based in Winnepeg, is looking to replace 25 PA-RISC servers. Normally he might consider Sun and Solaris as a third option behind HP and IBM. But not now.

“We don’t have any internal experience with Solaris, and there’s that added uncertainty in the Oracle acquisition on what the future is,” he said.

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