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HP and Oracle solution providers say that the dispute has pushed customers to either leave those vendors' Unix platforms or consider doing so.
One solution provider whose business depends strongly on its HP partnership, and who declined for that reason to be identified, said in an emailed response to questions from CRN that the blow against HP and Oracle already had been struck before the judge released his findings in the lawsuit.
That solution provider said customers are taking two approaches to the Itanium platform and to Oracle. First, customers are planning to get off HP's Integrity Unix server platform, if not now, then in the next capital spending cycle. "Given the performance of x86 Linux solutions, this is the stated preferred direction for most of our customers," the solution provider said.
Second, customers who work with Oracle rival SAP are thinking about staying with HP servers, moving to Hana and Sybase solutions, and giving up on Oracle.
The lawsuits have generated a lot of concern about Oracle, the solution provider said.
"Licensing issues are driving customer purchasing and architecture decisions," the partner said. "x86 platforms are the preferred choice given the relative performance, and the price advantages [of] HP DL980 and other enterprise-capable x86 platforms. We are helping customers make that migration to enterprise-capable Linux. People are concerned about Oracle changing the rules as they have many times in the last decade with processor licensing, platform support, forced version changes, etc. There is very little customer loyalty for Oracle outside of the immediate DBA community."
Chris Case, president of Sequel Data Systems, an Austin, Texas-based solution provider and a longtime HP partner on HP's Unix servers, said customers of HP's Unix line have started leaving, often moving to a Linux solution.
Such a move has impacted Sequel Data Systems' relationship with some customers who need a specific Linux application when the software developer has a relationship with another server vendor such as Dell, Case said.
However, Case said, the worst of the impact is now over. "It's not going to hurt our business at this point," he said. "We've made the transition."
Case said customers already are looking at HP's Project Odyssey, a mission-critical server strategy calling for the integration of HP's x86 server blades into its Integrity Superdome 2 Itanium-based servers, the introduction of new scalable c-Class blade enclosures, and the porting of HP-UX Unix features to Windows and Linux.
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