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Tech Researcher Slams 'Misleading' HP News Release

The Robert Frances Group said Hewlett-Packard misinterpreted its report on the advantages of upgrading old computer systems with energy-efficient ones.

A Hewlett-Packard news release misled readers by implying that tech researcher Robert Frances Group believes an HP Integrity server is always less expensive than a comparable IBM mainframe, RFG said.

The firm issued a statement Monday saying the HP release misinterpreted a recent RFG report sponsored by HP. The report discussed the advantages of upgrading old computer systems to new energy-efficient ones.

RFG said readers of the HP news release could "infer that RFG believes a new HP system is always less expensive than a new comparable IBM System z."

"The report did not make such an analysis and made no comparative statements of that nature," RFG said. "This is a misleading conclusion that RFG does not support."

Indeed, RFG said the IBM mainframe is one of the best and more energy-efficient platform options and should be considered for certain data centers. "The point of the report reinforces the importance of weighing all factors in total cost of ownership," RFG said.

HP in a statement denied its news release was misleading.

"RFG's study is available for review, and HP firmly stands by the content in its release as an accurate representation of the report," the company said. "Further, HP references to the cost benefits of moving from a mainframe environment to an open systems environment are also supported by hundreds of customer examples, several of which were mentioned in the press release."

The unusual comments from RFG apparently stemmed from the group's concern that the HP statement could affect its credibility. RFG provides businesses and other organizations with comparative total cost of ownership data on technology.

The HP release, issued Nov. 10, quoted the RFG study as saying that Integrity servers consumed 41% less energy and used 48% less space than the IBM System z9 mainframes they replaced.

Competition between HP and IBM is fierce in the worldwide server market. IBM in the second quarter increased its lead over second-place HP to 3.6 percentage points, according to Gartner. IBM had a 1 percentage point lead in terms of revenue in the first quarter, but upped its lead as a result of higher System p and System z sales.

The article was edited on 11/18 to add comments made by HP.

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