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Server Den: HP Fires Back At Oracle: 'Ellison Bought A Money Losing Business'

Hewlett-Packard appears to have had enough of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s bashing, and is answering back in a statement that minces no words.
The temporal peg for my article was Gartner's Q3 server figures. Those numbers placed HP at the top of the server heap, and also noted that Oracle's commodity shipments are sliding.

Given the good HP news I'd relayed, I was surprised to hear from an HP spokesperson, who sent me a statement noting that "HP is the number one provider of enterprise servers in the world." Hey, that's what I related in the column.

But then when I read further, I realized I was onto some news, which is that HP was conveying through me a message to Larry that they've had it with his trash talking. Here's the HP spokesperson's statement:

"Larry Ellison bought a money-losing business that had steady market share declines for years, and which still ranks at the bottom of the market. Customers aren’t fooled by outdated benchmarks, no matter what Oracle says. HP’s market share results prove it. Sun customers are running to HP in droves because they recognize we deliver superior technology, performance and pricing."

I don't want to deconstruct this too much, because the importance of the statement is largely the simple fact that they've said it. However, I should note that HP is focusing on the commodity server market--or, more correctly, the server market as a whole. Whereas my column was about Ellison's strategy of distancing Oracle from the commodity game in favor of higher-margin, high-end and optimized systems.

Indeed, that juxtaposition between commodity servers and optimized systems is something of an elephant in the room, as far as really understanding what's going on in the server market. More on that in a future column, but the short take is that the traditional way Gartner runs the numbers is has become outmoded, and doesn't provide a true picture of today's increasingly diverse and complex server landscape.

That said, this is where we are now: Oracle, the ball is in your court.

RECOMMENDED READING:

Global CIO: Larry Ellison Vows To 'Go After' HP; Is Alliance Dead?

Wolfe's Den: Why Oracle's Sun Servers Are Sinking (And Why That's A Good Thing)

Server Den: Inside HP's Converged Infrastructure

State Of Server Technology Research Report

Global CIO: IBM Details Raids On Customers From HP And Oracle

Global CIO: Oracle's Fowler Says Systems Performance About To Explode

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Alex Wolfe is editor-in-chief of InformationWeek.com.