Oracle Not Telling The Truth About WebSphere, IBM Says - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
Commentary
10/15/2009
11:28 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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Oracle Not Telling The Truth About WebSphere, IBM Says

Continuing to use its massive Oracle World stage as a platform from which to jab at its competitors, Oracle has been touting benchmark results that show the superiority of its middleware over IBM's. But IBM has shot back, claiming Oracle unfairly rigged the results, used antiquated figures, and generally pumped out a lot of BS to mislead customers.

Continuing to use its massive Oracle World stage as a platform from which to jab at its competitors, Oracle has been touting benchmark results that show the superiority of its middleware over IBM's. But IBM has shot back, claiming Oracle unfairly rigged the results, used antiquated figures, and generally pumped out a lot of BS to mislead customers.An email message from IBM's PR firm says the following:

I'm not sure if you saw Oracle's release yesterday on Oracle WebLogic benchmarking, but IBM felt the need to set the record straight on Oracle's press release yesterday claiming superiority v. IBM against the SPECjAppServer2004 standard. We think this is an apples to oranges comparison which can be misleading.

We'll get to the details in a moment, but the big point here is that one of these two companies is not telling the truth, and that's a pretty miserable position to take during a time when customers are scrapping for every budget dollar they have and working incredibly hard to make the right buying decisions because of the huge impact those decisions are having on their companies' success or failure. I mean, we can't have it both ways: either IT does drive the central nervous system of companies today, or it doesn't. And I believe the evidence clearly says that it does.

So if an IT vendor-in this case, either IBM or Oracle-is deliberately misstating the attributes of its products or those of its competitors, I would think that customers would be wise to steer clear of that IT vendor in the future. Because if it's willing to lie about what its products can or can't do once they're embedded deeply inside your company's operations, then why would they tell you the truth about anything else? Why would you trust them with anything?

And that's why, while the details below are a little grittier than we usually get into in Global CIO, I felt it is important to share with you this latest segment in the escalating point-counterpoint wrangling between Oracle and IBM. Somebody here is trying to deceive you, and that party should be called out, and there should be repercussions for such deception.

Above you've got the link to Oracle's press release, and here are the refutations made by IBM:

Oracle's release yesterday around their Single Node result with SPECjAppServer2004 Benchmark unfortunately has several items in it that make it less than credible:

--Oracle utilized a 48 core server, not the 6-core one their press release leads you to believe, whereas IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS) was benchmarked on a 4 core server. While Oracle reports 7X the performance of IBM it was with 12x the number of processor cores.

--The IBM WAS benchmark result used as a comparison was conducted in August 2008, 14 months ago and utilized WAS V6.1. WAS V7.0 was made available in September 2008, and provides superior performance to WAS V6.1

--Oracle further claims they are the price / performance leader in multiple SPECj App Server benchmark categories, but unfortunately they have gone back to 8-9 year old benchmarks which have no relevance to todays IT infrastructure - SPECjAppServer 2001(6) and SPECjAppServer2002(7).

--The most recent SPECjAppServer2004 benchmark result from IBM using WAS v7.0, released in January, 2009, compared directly with a competing Oracle WebLogic Server result using the same version as cited in yesterday's release clearly shows IBM WAS v7.0 as the dominate price/performance leader (1)

IBM and Oracle can loathe each other all they want, and their sales teams can claw each other's eyes out in trying to give customers the better deal, and their developers should work tirelessly to create the best products. But trying to deceive and confuse customers is beyond the pale, and while customers in the past might have gone along with such misrepresentations because, well, they're just part of the game, today's business environment does not allow for such wastefulness of time and money and opportunity.

IT vendors that lie to you or try to deceive you should have to deal with the consequences. I hope the material herein gives you the evidence you need to know whether IBM or Oracle is telling you the truth.

P.S.-If you want to dig more deeply into the benchmark material from above, the IBM release also included this:

(1) SPECjAppServer is a trademark of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC). Competitive numbers shown reflect results published on www.spec.org as of October 14, 2009. The comparison presented is based on dividing the list price for the application server software used in the benchmark by the throughput of the benchmark result for Oracle (http://www.spec.org/jAppServer2004/results/res2009q2/jAppServer2004-20090603-00133.html) and IBM (http://www.spec.org/jAppServer2004/results/res2008q4/jAppServer2004-20081216-00126.html) on results with comparable throughput levels. For the latest SPECjAppServer2004 results visit http://www.spec.org/osg/jAppServer2004.

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