Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Andy Thurai

Blog Feed Post

NAD recommends Oracle discontinue certain performance claims for Exadata

NAD recommends Oracle discontinue certain performance claims for Exadata

By Greg Schulz

I Received the following press release in my inbox today from the National Advertising Division (NAD) recommending that Oracle stop making certain performance claims about Exadata after a complaint from IBM.

Oracle Exadata

In case you are not familiar with ExaData, it is a database machine or storage appliance that only supports Oracle database systems (learn more here). Oracle having bought Sun microsystems a few years back moved from being a software vendor that competed with other vendors software solutions including those from IBM while running on hardware from Dell, HP and IBM among others. Now that Oracle is in the hardware business, while you will still find Oracle software products running on their competitors hardware (servers and storage), Oracle is also more aggressively competing with those same partners, particularly IBM.

Hmm, to quote Scooby Doo: Rut Roh!

Looks like IBM complained to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) National Advertising Division (NAD) that resulted in the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC) making their recommendation below (more about NAD and ASRC can be found here). Based on a billboard sign that I saw while riding from JFK airport into New York City last week, I would not be surprised if a company with two initials that start with an H and end with a P were to file a similar complaint.

I Wonder if the large wall size Oracle advertisement that used to be in the entry way to the white plains (IATA:HPN) airport (e.g. in IBM's backyard) welcoming you to the terminal as you get off the airplanes is still there?

The following is the press release that I received:

National Advertising Division (NAD) and ASRC

For Immediate Release
Contact: Linda Bean
212.705.0129

NAD Finds Oracle Took Necessary Action in Discontinuing Comparative Performance Claims for Exadata; Oracle to Appeal NAD Decision

New York, NY July 24, 2012 TheNational Advertising Division has recommended that Oracle Corporation discontinue certain comparative product-performance claims for the companys Exadata database machines, following a challenge by International Business Machines Corporation. Oracle said it would voluntarily discontinue the challenged claims, but noted that it would appeal NADs decision to the National Advertising Review Board.

The advertising claims at issue appeared in a full-page advertisement in the Wall Street Journal and included the following:

  • Exadata 20x Faster Replaces IBM Again
  • Giant European Retailer Moves Databases from IBM Power to Exadata Runs 20 Times Faster

NAD also considered whether the advertising implied that all Oracle Exadata systems are twenty times faster than all IBM Power systems.

The advertisement featured the image of an Oracle Exadata system, along with the statement: Giant European Retailer Moves Databases from IBM Power to Exadata Runs 20 Times Faster. The advertisement also offered a link to the Oracle website: For more details oracle.com/EuroRetailer.

IBM argued that the 20x Faster claim makes overly broad references to Exadata and IBM Power, resulting in a misleading claim, which the advertisers evidence does not support. In particular, the challenger argued that by referring to the brand name IBM Power without qualification, Oracle was making a broad claim about the entire IBM Power systems line of products.

The advertiser, on the other hand, argued that the advertisement represented a case study, not a line claim, and noted that the sophisticated target audience would understand that the advertisement is based on the experience of one customer the Giant European Retailer referenced in the advertisement.

In a NAD proceeding, the advertiser is obligated to support all reasonable interpretations of its advertising claims, not just the message it intended to convey. In the absence of reliable consumer perception evidence, NAD uses its experienced judgment to determine what implied messages, if any, are conveyed by an advertisement. When evaluating the message communicated by an advertising claim, NAD will examine the claims at issue in the context of the entire advertisement in which they appear.

In this case, NAD concluded that while the advertiser may have intended to convey the message that in one case study a particular Exadata system was up to 20 times faster when performing two particular functions than a particular IBM Power system, Oracles general references to Exadata and IBM Power, along with the bold unqualified headline Exadata 20x Faster Replaces IBM Again, conveyed a much broader message.

NAD determined that at least one reasonable interpretation of the challenged advertisement is that all or a vast majority of Exadata systems consistently perform 20 times faster in all or many respects than all or a vast majority of IBM Power systems. NAD found that the message was not supported by the evidence in the record, which consisted of one particular comparison of one consumers specific IBM Power system to a specific Exadata System.

NAD further determined that the disclosure provided on the advertisers website was not sufficient to limit the broad message conveyed by the 20x Faster claim. More importantly, NAD noted that even if Oracles website disclosure was acceptable and had appeared clearly and conspicuously in the challenged advertisement it would still be insufficient because an advertiser cannot use a disclosure to cure an otherwise false claim.

NAD noted that Oracles decision to permanently discontinue the claims at issue was necessary and proper.

Oracle, in its advertisers statement, said it was disappointed with the NADs decision in this matter, which it believes is unduly broad and will severely limit the ability to run truthful comparative advertising, not only for Oracle but for others in the commercial hardware and software industry.

Oracle noted that it would appeal all of NADs findings in the matter.

###

NAD's inquiry was conducted under NAD/CARU/NARB Procedures for the Voluntary Self-Regulation of National Advertising. Details of the initial inquiry, NAD's decision, and the advertiser's response will be included in the next NAD/CARU Case Report.

About Advertising Industry Self-Regulation: The Advertising Self-Regulatory Council establishes the policies and procedures for advertising industry self-regulation, including the National Advertising Division (NAD), Childrens Advertising Review Unit (CARU), National Advertising Review Board (NARB), Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) and Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program (Accountability Program.) The self-regulatory system is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Self-regulation is good for consumers. The self-regulatory system monitors the marketplace, holds advertisers responsible for their claims and practices and tracks emerging issues and trends. Self-regulation is good for advertisers. Rigorous review serves to encourage consumer trust; the self-regulatory system offers an expert, cost-efficient, meaningful alternative to litigation and provides a framework for the development of a self-regulatory to emerging issues.

To learn more about supporting advertising industry self-regulation, please visit us at: www.asrcreviews.org.

Linda Bean l Director, Communications,
Advertising Self-Regulatory Council

Tel: 212.705.0129
Cell: 908.812.8175
[email protected]

112 Madison Ave.
3rd Fl.
New York, NY
10016

Ok, Oracle is no stranger to benchmark and performance claims controversy having amassed several decades of experience. Anybody remember the silver bullet database test from late 80s early 90s when Oracle set a record performance except that they never committed the writes to disk?

Oracle image

Something tells me that Oracle and Uncle Larry (e.g. Larry Ellison who is not really my uncle) will treat this as any kind of press or media coverage is good and probably will issue something like IBM must be worried if they have to go to the BBB.

Will a complaint which I'm sure is not the fist to be lodged with the BBB against Oracle deter customers, or be of more use to IBM sales and their partners in deals vs. Oracle?

What's your take?

Is this much ado about nothing, a filler for a slow news or discussion day, a break from talking about VMware acquisition of Nicira or VMware CEO management changes? Perhaps this is an alternative to talking about the CEO of SSD vendor STEC being charged with insider trading, or something other than Larry Ellison buying an Hawaiian island (IMHO he could have gotten a better deal buying Greece), or is this something that Oracle will need to take seriously?

Ok, nuff said.

Cheers Gs

Greg Schulz - Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier, 2004)

twitter @storageio

All Comments, (C) and (TM) belong to their owners/posters, Other content (C) Copyright 2006-2012 StorageIO All Rights Reserved

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Greg Schulz

Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER gives detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPOalso offers sp...
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Global Network has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The IoT Global Network is a platform where you can connect with industry experts and network across the IoT community to build the successful IoT business of the future.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...