The Service Industry Association has filed a complaint against Oracle in Europe and the US concerning the limitations Oracle puts on its hardware support.
SIA executive director Claudia Betzner says that if a business selects an independent hardware support provider for hardware maintenance of current Sun/Oracle hardware:
- Oracle will refuse to support any Sun/StorageTek hardware in the Enterprise.
- Oracle will refuse to repair equipment on a "time and materials" basis.
She says Oracle wil charge businesses 150% of the cost of hardware support to recertify their equipment and refuse access to formerly freely available security patches and firmware updates, even if those updates are related to embedded chip sets or micro-code.
The Oracle hardware and systems support policies document states:
In the event that technical support lapses for more than 90 days or was not purchased at the time you acquired your hardware system, then your hardware system must be qualified as service-ready before technical support can be reinstated. To qualify as service-ready you must acquire the Premier Support Qualification Service (at the then current fees) and meet all requirements set forth by the service team to obtain a qualification certificate for your hardware system.
Upon the commencement of technical support a reinstatement fee will be assessed. The reinstatement fee is equal to 150% of the last-paid technical support fee, or, if technical support was never acquired, 150% of the applicable technical support fee for the covered hardware system, prorated from the date technical support is being ordered back to the date technical support lapsed (or the hardware order date if technical support was never purchased).
From the SIA's complaint it looks like Oracle's support policy does not help customers. Oracle can charge what it likes for hardware support and customers will have to pay. If the SIA is right , Oracle is preventing access to free patches, unless the customer uses Oracle's own support.