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SAP VP Lucas bites back at Oracle: "More hardware, very little substance"

German software company SAP is taking Larry Ellison to task over comments the Oracle CEO made during his keynote at Oracle OpenWorld.

Ellison declared that Oracle's latest 26TB Exadata X3 in-memory database server is the "world's fastest computer for business" in a swipe at SAP's in-memory database server offering, HANA. Ellison also took his usual shots at competitors and IBM.

For Steve Lucas, SAP's executive vice president of database and technology, Ellison's remarks left him with his mouth "hanging open."

"[In] the reality I live in," said Lucas, "we shipped a 100TB HANA system." Lucas noted that SAP's in-memory system when compared with Oracle's offering is "substantially larger."

For Lucas, Ellison's claims during the keynote, were "baseless" and the result of a lack of innovation from Oracle. "Where is the breakthrough besides a faster I/O card?"

"My core issue is that what was behind the statement is more hardware, very little substance when it comes to true software innovation." Lucas referred to Sun Microsystems, which was acquired by Oracle in 2010, as an "albatross around Oracle's neck."

"What has [Oracle] been doing? They own Sun. I think they have an installation strategy. Install more software on Sun boxes and install more Sun boxes," said Lucas. "I don't think the world needs yet another database from Oracle — the world needs one solution that fits underneath your business applications with compelling architecture — that's where we are going with HANA."

Lucas also criticised Oracle for not disclosing database revenue. "Oracle will not communicate their database revenue," he said, calling the silence on Oracle's part "odd" and conjectured that the reason behind it is because Oracle has "sliding database revenue."

For Lucas, Oracle has not just lost the battle, "but the war" with SAP.

"Customers voted for SAP over and over again. Bottom line going forward, Oracle can't figure out that customers are tired of the incredibly expensive construction process — that process is dead, it's gone. Their business model keeps them from embracing the new."

Oracle recently lost a Java copyright battle with Google when a California judge found that Google was within its rights to use parts of Oracle's Java programming language in the creation of Android, a situation that arose from Oracle's acquisition of Sun.