If you keep up with the on-goings of Oracle, you may remember last year when they said that they will no longer be updating or continuing to work on database and other software for Hewlett Packard’s Itanium server. Although they aren’t one of the most commonly-used types of servers, hundreds of companies worldwide still use HP-UX servers and rely on the Itanium platform. As a result of Oracle’s announcement to stop work on Itanium-based software, these companies were essentially left in the dust. However, thankfully Oracle has changed their mind by announcing their intentions on continuing the work and development on Itanium database software.
Why Oracle Is Resuming Work on Itanium
After Oracle stopped working on Itanium software, HP sued the company for breach of contract, citing an agreement between the two companies stating that Oracle would continue to work on their database port to Itanium. Of course Oracle failed to keep up their end of the deal and were sued as a result. Recently, a judge ruled that Oracle was legally obliged to follow through with contract and ordered them to continue the Itanium port. Oracle’s response was that Itanium is a dying platform and HP was trying to hide this fact from the court. In any case, there was an agreement made and Oracle was forced to continue work on their Itanium port.
“Oracle will continue building the latest versions of its database and other software covered by the judge’s ruling to HP Itanium computers. Oracle software on HP’s Itanium computers will be released on approximately the same schedule as Oracle software on IBM’s Power systems,” an Oracle representative said. There’s no denying the fact that they’ve got their work cut out for them to stay on top of the Itanium-based servers. While they’re being slowly weeded out, the technology continues to rise and improve, making it difficult for Oracle to continuously update them.
Although Oracle has already been ordered to continue working on the Itanium port, there has been no verdict yet on damages received by HP. This will occur in a second phase of the trial in a future date that could likely be stretched out well into 2013. If you look at the sales number of HP’s Itanium-based servers, you’ll see a significant decline from when Oracle stated they were no longer offering updates or support. If a judge finds this was a direct result of Oracle’s breach of contract, they could be expected to pay a hefty amount to HP.