Reports of Oracle's New Hardware Maintenance Terms

I have been reading in the trade press that Sun customers are not happy with Oracle's acquisition because they're seeing sharp increases in support costs. Now I'm getting more details from readers detailing the problems. For example, Sun's hardware maintenance was available but selectable per machine, as with nearly every hardware vendor's practice (including IBM's). That is, you could choose specific machines for 24 hour coverage, for business hours coverage, and for zero coverage. That makes sense: some machines are more critical than others, and you could pay for whatever maintenance coverage you need per machine serial number.

In contrast, Oracle thinks that hardware maintenance should be like software maintenance: all or nothing. If you want 24 hour coverage, you have to buy it for every Oracle (Sun) machine you own in your entire organization. And the maintenance price per machine isn't any lower. If anything, it's higher after Oracle's acquisition of Sun. Maintenance price increases might be more tolerable if Oracle had better support than Sun, but that's certainly not true.

Oracle's strategy seems to be to extract as much revenue as possible from Sun customers as they exit the platform. I suppose that's one way to run a business, but, fortunately, Sun customers have alternatives, including IBM Power and zEnterprise servers.

by Timothy Sipples May 22, 2011 in Economics, Systems Technology


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