Why Ingres Is Wrong on Oracle and Right on Oracle

Opinion: Ingres is going around talking silly Oracle smack, but it has marketing plans around software appliances that make sense.

At LinuxWorld earlier the week of April 3, I hooked up with Dave Dargo, once vice president of Oracles Linux program office and now chief technology officer and senior vice president of strategy for Ingres.

He shared some interesting thoughts on new markets for Ingres, but before I go there, I need to pop a silly Oracle-related marketing bubble put up by Ingres earlier this week when it announced a partnership with Cognizant.

Background: Ingres is, like the PostgreSQL-based EnterpriseDB, an open-source database player hell-bent on prying away Oracle customers.

/zimages/3/28571.gifSony Online Entertainment ditched Oracle in favor of EnterpriseDB. Click here to read Lisa Vaas thoughts on what it tells us.

Ingres announced on April 4 a partnership with IT systems integrator Cognizant to support the deployment of its database to Cognizants customers. This is all good: It represents a new market channel for Ingres, given that Cognizant has agreed to develop an Ingres database services practice as part of the partnership.

But heres the silliness: In his announcement of the partnership, Tom Berquist, Ingres CFO, claimed that a third of Oracles installed base is still running Oracle 7, and less than 10 percent have upgraded to 10g because of cost and complexity.

Dont swallow those numbers whole. The IOUG (Independent Oracle Users Group) just came out with a report that found that 84 percent of respondents are running Oracle 9i. A whopping 49 percent are running 10g, and virtually all respondents intend to update to 10g in the coming year.

I can believe in both these seemingly disparate numbers, because so many shops run multiple versions at one time.

The IOUG didnt list any numbers for how many respondents are running Oracle 7, but it wouldnt surprise me if 33 percent are. Along with Oracle 8, and Oracle 9i, and 10g, to boot.

And as far as the less than 10 percent having upgraded to 10g? That could well reflect the slow and steady pace of migration. It doesnt necessarily mean that 90 percent are frightened of 10g, as Berquist states, but could well indicate that a majority havent specifically "updated" yet, per se, because theyre still testing 10g. Thats more likely, given that 49 percent of shops are running 10g, according to the IOUGs numbers.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read more on the IOUGs report, which finds that Linux is moving to dominate Oracle shops.

Not that Im convinced the IOUG is unbiased, mind you. Its survey, called the IOUG Survey on Technologies for 2006 and Beyond, was sponsored by Symantec and produced by Unisphere Media, which publishes Database Trends & Applications and 5 Minute Briefing: Oracle e-mail newsletter.

Yeah, the IOUG is independent, but, well, theyre an Oracle user group. One could suspect they are Kool-Aid drinkers.

Next Page: Competition.