Click Here for 10 Million: IBM vs. Exadata Redux
For a few minutes this morning I thought that I might win 10 million dollars. I had already envisioned inviting Larry Ellison for tea at my second home in the Cayman Islands. I had already reveled in the joy that these funds would bring to the non-profits I support.
And then I read the contest rules.
Oracle is once again sponsoring a contest that is advertised on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. A contest where Oracle claims that if an Exadata Data Warehouse system is not “5x faster” than a Power 795 Data Warehouse system, you win 10 million. Let’s take a look at the official rules to help you decide if you should enter:
- The contest rules state that “The Data Warehouse must be limited in speed only by database performance and not by application performance.” Realistic, right?
- Oracle, the “sponsor will select the queries for measurement.” Hmmmmm. Let’s select a couple out of a billion where we know we can win.
- If the Oracle system does not perform as well as Oracle thinks it should when you run it and there is a chance you might win the 10 million, Oracle runs your application again. Themselves. Just to make sure. Maybe with some extra caching on the side?
- “Sponsor disclaims any liability for damage to any computer system or other property resulting, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from participation in, or accessing or downloading information in connection with, this Challenge” If IBM wins, we’ll just blow it up.
- A participant in this contest “acknowledges, understands and agrees that Sponsor will have the unrestricted perpetual right to use, not use, alter, edit, publish, display, and/or post entrant’s entry and information . . .” Interesting that the word alter is in here . . .
- Oracle makes sure there is an easy out. “If no eligible entry is received that meets the above criteria, no prize will be awarded.” The contest rules also state that the “Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any entrant.”
Once again, this contest distracts the potential contestant from real-world issues such as balanced application performance, real benchmark numbers, software licensing costs, and RAS. I certainly wouldn’t put my money on a winner.
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