Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

HP Fires Back at Oracle With a Document Drop of Its Own

Hewlett-Packard responded to today’s juicy document drop from Oracle with some documents of its own stemming from their lawsuit over the Intel chip known as Itanium.

They’re not quite as juicy — Oracle has always had the better flair for the dramatic in this case — but in releasing them, HP clearly intends to paint Oracle, the new owner of Sun Microsystems, as out to hurt HP by kicking it straight in the teeth by damaging its Business Critical Server operation.

The first of the batch is an instant message exchange between some Oracle sales guys, who happen to use salty language in relation to HP. (Sorry about that.)

The second appears to show that Mark Hurd, while still CEO of HP, was informed about Intel being both aggressive and excited about a forthcoming version of the Itanium chip, which would seem to run contrary to the argument Oracle has made that Intel was prepping for the Itanium line’s end of life, while allowing HP to lie about it to its server customers. In the message, Martin Fink, who figured so prominently in Oracle’s document dump today, writes to Hurd: “I’m not sure what exactly this means, but I have rarely seen Intel so agressive on anything to do with Itanium EVER, and they are working very hard to get this moving forward.”

Another, from February 2011, appears to show Oracle unwilling to release a security software patch for a version of one of its applications that runs on HP-UX and therefore on an Itanium-based server. Another from the same day is an email from Oracle CEO Larry Ellison to Thomas Kurian, senior vice president of Oracle’s server technologies, asking if support documents had been updated to specify “no more one-off patches for Itanium.” The date is key because Oracle first announced that it would no longer support Itanium systems on March 23 of that year. It should surprise no one that the top echelons of Oracle management knew this announcement was coming.

The next is an email showing HP getting ready for a big strategy launch. “Kinetic” was HP’s internal name for a strategy that leveraged all of HP’s IP that enabled mission-critical products into a cohesive whole. Plans for Kinetic included extending HP-UX and Integrity, HP’s line of Itanium-based servers, indefinitely, as well as bringing up X86 chips, like Intel’s more mainstream Xeon, under the “mission critical” umbrella. As HP sees it, this was the plan all along.
 
Finally the last one is another IM exchange between Oracle sales execs. Toward the end, one of them complains about being forced to sell Sun hardware that is described as a “pig with lipstick at best.” Again as HP sees it, once Oracle owned Sun it had every motivation to do whatever it could to hurt HP, including ducking out of previously contracted commitments.

As I did with the Oracle dump this morning, I collated everything into a single PDF. I think I got everything in chronological order this time. Read for yourselves!

HP-Itanium-docs.pdf


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