Oracle: Who’s the Clunker?

Oracle’s latest trash-talking Wall Street Journal ad offers “Cash for Clunkers”.  With no more than a typical 50% price reduction off their own products, the true clunkers here are the Oracle M8000/M9000 systems, considering the following very relevant facts: 

HP Integrity Superdome 2
Oracle/Sun M8000 and M9000s
Superdome 2 systems are significantly less expensive to acquire and support.

Example:  A 32 processor Superdome 2 with 512 GB of memory with HP-UX and 3 years basic HW and SW support lists for $1,722,390.

M8000/M9000 servers are significantly more expensive to acquire and support.

Example:  A 32 processor M9000 with 512 GB of memory with Solaris and 3 years basic HW and SW support lists for $4,169,998.

On a core, a processor or system basis, Superdome 2 delivers better performance than M8000/M9000 servers.

The M-series servers are outperformed by Integrity servers (as demonstrated on industry standard benchmarks) and the M-series roadmap shows no more SPARC64 processor upgrades coming in the future.

With a new modern modular design that will support several generations of Itanium processors on the Intel processor roadmap, Superdome 2 is a platform that customers can invest in for years to come.
Based on publicly available roadmaps the M8000/M9000 servers appear to be  DEAD-END products, with no future upgrades planned.

Superdome 2 systems leverage the advanced capabilities of HP-UX to deliver enterprise features and functionality, integrated under management control via Insight Dynamics-VSE along with Serviceguard high availability and Global Workload Management to deliver a superior enterprise solution.

M8000/M9000 servers offer no equivalent to vPars, Integrity VM, Insight Dynamics VSE or Global Workload Management.

In fact, M8000/M9000 servers, with Solaris, continue to lack many enterprise features found in HP-UX.

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Superdome 2 is more eco-friendly, taking up less space in the datacenter and offering sophisticated technologies to reduce power consumption and improve energy efficiency.
The M8000/M9000 require more data center real estate and lack the sophisticated technologies used by SD 2 to better manage energy consumption (The M-series was designed way back in the (mid) 90s when electricity consumption and carbon footprint had not risen to the critical importance they now have with datacenter managers).

With a more modern design and many advanced hardware features,  Superdome  2 hardware fault recovery is transparent to applications – the system does not have to reboot to recover.
M8000/M9000 servers, introduced in April, 2007, rely heavily on hardware replication and rebooting to recover from key hardware faults. 

Superdome 2 with HP-UX is a key component of HP’s Converged Infrastructure. 
Oracle does not have anything to match the capabilities of HP’s Converged Infrastructure.

The focus of Oracle’s strategy is on scale-out appliances based primarily on x86 servers and lots of very expensive Oracle software.

Scale-up enterprise M-series servers are not part of that strategy.  This was a product line inherited from their Sun acquisition.


Someone should tell Mr. Ellison that he fails basic math; the facts don’t add up!   With 50% discounts on dead-end products, the only “clunkers” here are Oracle’s own M8000/ M9000 Enterprise Servers.  Misguided marketing campaigns like this will only further annoy and aggravate customers because they are savvy enough to know what the real deal is.