Oracle Should Be More Worried About Microsoft Than SAP

Larry Ellison

Photo: Wikipedia

Next week, Microsoft will release the next version of its SQL Server database software, and it could be a popular alternative for SAP customers.Some 140,000 of SAP’s customers are using Oracle’s database with SAP’s enterprise apps. Naturally, SAP is pushing them to ditch Oracle and use SAP’s own database, HANA

Oracle has responded by strong-arming customers into spending more money with Oracle.

Oracle wants them to buy its database on its own hardware, acquired from Sun Micrososystems. So one of its tactics is to make a few key features of its new analytics database Exalytics — the one that competes with SAP Hana — only available on this hardware/software combo, reports ZDNet.

Enter the new Microsoft SQL Server 2012. It costs less than both.

It’s attractive because it offers technology similar to SAP HANA (features known as columnar and in-memory storage) and its prices start at $11,000 per terabyte. It can run on comparatively lower-cost hardware such as new servers by Dell, too.  Microsoft and SAP have been partners for years.

In an informal survey of SAP customers attending a conference in Sydney, Australia, more of them were considering SQL Server 2012 over SAP HANA, says ZDNet.

That’s not surprising given the money involved. The Exalytics hardware lists at $135,000, and that doesn’t include the cost of database licensing, according to Oracle’s latest price sheet. With support contracts, Oracle plans to charge about $337,200 apiece for an Exalytics appliance equipped with its TimesTen analytics database. 

SAP hasn’t gone public with its HANA prices but plenty of unofficial numbers are circulating. Scuttlebutt says that HANA costs about the same as Oracle … the low-end being about $250,000 for hardware and software and the high end costing $1 million, reports Dennis Moore on Enterprise Irregulars. Moore is an ex-SAP and Oracle dude and avid blogger.

As SAP and Oracle push their customers to rethink their database, Microsoft could wind up a big winner.

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