Oracle set to dump AMD Opterons

Now that Oracle has taken control of Sun, word on the street is that the outfit is set to kill off AMD’s Opteron processor on future Sun servers.

The dark satanic rumour mill has been claiming this was going to happen since May when Oracle started talking only about Intel chips in Sun machines.

Gary Burgess wrote that he’d attended a local Oracle event, which was to lay out the company’s plans for Sun product lines.

Burgess said that the Oracle may focus on Sun x86 servers using only the Intel processor architecture. It seemed that Oracle/Sun is going forward on the x86 front solely with the servers based on Intel’s new Nehalem EX. In fact Oracle showed an eight core Nehalem-EX enterprise server to the great unwashed recently.

While Oracle hasn’t confirmed the reports, it hasn’t denied them either.

On the contrary, John Fowler, who is current executive vice president of systems at Oracle, has refused to commit to AMD’s new Magny-Cours version of Opteron. However, he has been talking up iron which will shift with Nehalem on board.

A rumoured shift away from the AMD chip has not really attracted much attention as many people are more interested in what what will happen to Sun SPARC.

However it would be a vote of no confidence in AMD in the crucial server sector.

Generally the reason being given is not technical. The numbers of Oracle’s Sun servers equipped with AMD processors are a low fraction of the overall server market. Oracle has a mix of AMD and Intel processors across the board and apparently thinks this is a bad thing. Oracle has been traditionally chums with Intel and so AMD is getting its marching orders.

All that we are awaiting is an announcement which will make it all official. It is possible that Oracle is avoiding this because it wants to let the dust settle from its takeover before it appears to be waving an axe to Sun’s hardware.

Oracle was accused of showing a lack of respect for Sun’s hardware when it took over the outfit and major decisions such as getting rid of AMD in favour of Intel might have to wait a bit.