Oracle Shows Off New Database Appliance

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Oracle’s Database Appliance is aimed at SMBs, midrange or remote-office enterprise IT systems

Not long after Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010, it did some rebranding and ported over its 2-year-old, Hewlett-Packard-boxed Exadata Database Server to its new SPARC-powered hardware and began weaning it off the older machines. If Oracle was going to become a full-service IT provider, this is where it had to start.

That was the beginning of the end for a previously harmonious – well, relatively harmonious – Oracle-HP relationship. Of course, now the two mega-companies are dead-set competitors, and they tiptoe around an uneasy residual relationship. They are still forced to work together in client systems in which they are co-installed, and when those finally go away, the two companies may never speak to each other again.

New hardware and software

Meanwhile, Oracle is ramping up system development using its own hardware and software, not needing to rely on OEMs anymore.

On 21 September, just in time to show it at Oracle Open World 2011 next week in San Francisco, Oracle introduced the Oracle Database Appliance. This is a sort of converged, medium-sized Exadata for SMBs, midrange or remote-office enterprise IT systems.

It uses the latest Oracle Database, 11g Release 2, and the company’s Real Application Clusters on a 2-node (expandable up to 24 cores) Sun Fire server cluster running Oracle Linux. (Remember Unbreakable Linux?) The clustering and Automatic Storage Management features handle the disaster recovery failover requirements.

In summary, Oracle is positioning the Database Appliance as a fully pre-configured system of software, servers, storage and networking to run both custom and packaged OLTP and data warehousing application databases with high availability, Oracle said.

Other features, according to Oracle, include proactive system monitoring, one-button software provisioning, full-stack integrated patching, and automatic “phone home” on hardware failures.

The Oracle Database Appliance will be demonstrated and made available during Oracle OpenWorld 2011, set for 2 to 6 October at the Moscone Centre in San Francisco.

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