Oracle's Itanium Move Shakes Up IT Agendas

The vendor's decision to end software support for the Intel server chip could force expensive IT infrastructure changes.

Technology executives at companies running Oracle databases and applications on Hewlett-Packard servers say that Oracle's decision to stop supporting Intel's Itanium chips could force them to undertake expensive hardware and software upgrades.

In a terse statement late last month, Oracle said it would stop further development of its software for Itanium-based servers, reasoning that Intel's strategic focus was on the x86 architecture and that Itanium was nearing the end of its life. Oracle also cited earlier decisions by Microsoft and Red Hat to end Itanium support.

The move came as a surprise to Hewlett-Packard, which ships the majority of Itanium-based servers.

"We are shocked that Oracle would put enterprises and governments at risk while costing them hundreds of millions of dollars in lost productivity," said Dave Donatelli, executive vice president for enterprise servers, storage and networking at HP.

HP said it will help customers migrate to other database software on Integrity servers.

At the same time, Intel CEO Paul Otellini issued a statement saying that the company remains "firmly committed" to upgrading Itanium technology.

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