With last year’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems, Oracle made significant changes to SunSpectrum support. SunSpectrum officially went End of life (EOL) on March 16, 2010. What does this portend for users wary of increases in support costs?
SunSpectrum has been simplified. Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze service levels have been reduced to single level entitled Premier Support for Systems that includes 2 hour onsite support and 24x7 coverage. Oracle has a transition plan which will benefit, albeit temporarily, many customers; for example former Bronze clients will receive an upgraded level of service.
Most companies will see total cost of ownership (TCO) increase especially on older systems. Under the new pricing structure (see Executive White Paper link) a client will be charged based on the net purchase price. If that remains the case, the cost of support from Oracle for older systems will skyrocket.
Reinstatement fees are onerous and will add to expense. Furthermore, Oracle’s policy on customer replaceable parts (CRU) could drive hardware maintenance costs even higher. Other support rules restrict the ability to receive credit for retired systems. Details of this policy can be found in the Executive White Paper.
Complexity will also increase as Oracle has changed the way contracts are ordered and processed. Add-ons to existing contracts are prohibited, and end users can only consolidate at time of renewal.
In conclusion, enterprises that are serious about cutting operating expenses in the area of systems hardware maintenance need to examine alternatives to Oracle’s new support program. For a full review see the Executive White Paper link.