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For the fifth year in a row, IBM servers delivered the highest levels of reliability and uptime among 14 server platforms.

Those are the results of the latest independent ITIC 2013 Global Server Hardware and Server OS Reliability Survey which polled C-level executives and IT managers at over 550 organizations worldwide from August 2012 through January 2013.

Among the high-end mainframe class systems, both the IBM System z and the Stratus Technologies’ ftServer 6310 delivered the highest inherent reliability: both had no instances – 0% – of the most severe Tier 3 outages lasting four hours or more of duration. Among the mainstream “work horse” servers, IBM’s Power Systems recorded the least amount of unplanned downtime, approximately 13 minutes per server/per year. By contrast, some 6 percent of organizations using Oracle (formerly Sun Microsystems) x86-based servers experienced of over four (4) hours of per server/per annum downtime. This was the highest percentage of lengthy Tier 3 server outages among the 14 platforms surveyed.

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The always heated ongoing rivalry between Oracle and IBM, just got more contentious, with the recent news that the National Advertising Division (NAD) has called out Oracle for publishing misleading ads in The Wall Street Journal and The Economist claiming Oracle’s T4-4 server is 2x faster and 66% cheaper than IBM’s comparable P795 server.

NAD, a division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, based in New York City recommended that Oracle discontinue “certain comparative performance and pricing claims” in the national newspaper ads and on the www.Oracle.com website. Specifically, the NAD took exception to Oracle advertisements claim that “Oracle’s SPARC SuperCluster T4-4 system retails for $1.2 million whereas IBM’s P795 high end server costs $4.5 million – an improbable $3.3 million price discrepancy.

The NAD functions as an objective and impartial self-regulatory forum for the advertising industry. In its official determination, the NAD took pains to remain objective. It noted that both the advertiser (Oracle) and the challenger (IBM) produce high quality computer systems.

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Oracle must move quickly and decisively to customers’ anxiety and restore confidence in the database maker’s technical service and support organization – particularly with respect to the company’s Sun Microsystems’ software and hardware assets. The latest independent ITIC/ GFI Software (formerly Sunbelt Software) 2011 Global Server Hardware and Server OS Reliability Survey, polled 468 businesses worldwide found It found that Oracle products received the lowest ratings for the quality of its service and support of any of the major vendors. Users gave Oracle products, service and support mixed ratings.

Three out of 10 organizations rated Oracle products, technical service and support as Excellent or Very Good. A nearly equal number of survey participants – 26 percent gave Oracle’s offerings a Good rating, while 25 percent graded it as just Satisfactory. Nearly two out of 10 of the organizations polled, gave Oracle’s products, services and support a negative rating; with 13 percent judging it Poor and the remaining six percent giving it an Unsatisfactory rating.

Oracle Reliability, Service and Support by the Numbers

The reliability of Oracle’s Solaris operating system and the company’s x86 and SPARC servers remains fairly strong and competitive, though their uptime and reliability do not match the leaders in those categories.

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