Oracle stakes Exadata claim; Intel cuts VARs in

Oracle claims big Exadata mo'; VARs get Intel service; news in brief.

Oracle claims high Exadata pickup
Oracle Corp. says it’s selling a lot of Exadatas. A press release sent out this week featured an actual number: 1,000. That’s 1,000 of the high-end X86-based “database machines” are now actually deployed. It’s interesting that the company felt the need to highlight this number, since it was also mentioned on Oracle’s earnings press release last  week. Maybe the company feels it has to reassure suddenly nervous investors that it really can sell hardware.

The latest Exadatas started shipping in the second quarter of 2010, and 1,000 sounds about right to IDC server analyst Lloyd Cohen, who tracks such things as well as he can given what information he gets to work with.  While Oracle trumpeted the unit sales number, there was no word on revenue, and that’s the number a lot of people would like to hear. Exadata carries a hefty price tag—the smallest ¼ rack unit lists for $300,000 for hardware only. However, Oracle has been discounting the boxes hard and pushing its sales force to make the sales.

On last week’s Q4 earnings call, Oracle execs acknowledged that hardware sales fell year over year and analysts finally seemed to notice that the company may be having more trouble than it’s admitted transitioning into hardware.

Oracle execs claim a $1.5 billion pipeline of Exadata (and Exalogic) super servers, but the “p word” is misleading. Oracle appears to be including both software and hardware components of the machines in that figure and, in reality, a lot of Oracle shops transfer existing software licenses over to the new hardware. The software-only cost for the machines can also range to $1 million if new software licenses are needed, but it is far from clear if many shops would buy new software for the Exadata.

Expect to hear more about a renewed Exadata/Exalogic sales push coming out of Oracle’s annual sales kickoff today.

Intel cuts VARS in on server repair
Intel VARs can get a piece of the server service action with Intel’s new On-Site Repair for Servers.

VARs can purchase a three-year contract from their usual distributors. The package includes next business day on-site repair or replacement for all Intel hardware included with its servers and then resell it to customers.

“This offers resellers additional revenue and it gives them the chance to offer the service to customers that would normally be outside of their geography,” David Brown, Intel’s Director of Enterprise Platforms and Services Division (EPSD), said. “This is not a typical EPSD offering for SMB partners, but customers have been asking for it so we’ve been working on this for a while.”

Customer pricing for the duration of the three years (not on a per use basis) for a single-processor server could range from $400 to $430 and a dual-processor box ranges from $800 to $850 in the field.

HP updates VAR quoting system
Hewlett-Packard claims its new iQuote system, developed with channelcentral.net, will make it easier and faster for VARs to find, configure and price HP server systems for their SMB customers. The system is now rolling out to major HP distributors including Ingram Micro, Tech Data and the usual suspects.

In theory, the new system will provide the VAR with the most recent pricing, configuration and inventory information. It will also check the configurations as components are entered to ensure that all the piece parts will work together, said Chuck Smith, VP of business development for HP’s industry standard servers (ISS) group. 

Let us know what you think about the story; email Barbara Darrow, Senior News Director at bdarrow@techtarget.com, or follow us on twitter.

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