IBM DB2 Welcomes Oracle Database/HP Itanium Customers
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).