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Oracle, Dell sign new pacts

In a move designed to push adoption of storage and server clusters running open-source software, Oracle Corp. (http: //www.oracle.com) and Dell Computer (http://www.dell.com) last week disclosed plans for a global sales agreement and an entry level bundle of Dell PowerEdge servers and the Oracle 9i database.

According to officials of both firms, the agreements call for Dell to offer a server/storage platform optimized for Oracle9i Database with Real Application Clusters for both Red Hat Linux Advanced Server and Microsoft Windows environments. The clusters will be priced from $18,000, officials said. In addition, Dell Services and Oracle Consulting will jointly offer a suite of professional services.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Dell CEO Michael Dell disclosed the agreements at a joint press conference last week in New York. The two execs sung the praises of Linux and maintained that the open-source OS was well on its way to beating Microsoft in the battle for the corporate data center. Ellison cited what he called the success of the open source Apache Web server has had against Microsoft’s IIS (Internet Information Services) technology, claiming that the Redmond software giant has been "slaughtered, wiped out, taken from market dominance to irrelevance" by the open-source product.

To lure users to the Dell/Oracle camp, the two companies are offering a services deal that will focus on what was described as low-cost and fast migrations of existing database systems to Oracle9i. According to Oracle, the switchover could be as quick as 10 days, cost about $35,000, and enable enterprises to maintain a “single point of contact” (Dell would be the primary contact).

Dell’s service division also will work more closely with Oracle Consulting, Ellison said. The expansion includes new territory for the two companies in Asia and Europe as well.

"Our growing partnership with Oracle mirrors customers’ increasing preference for standards-based solutions to address business-critical computing requirements," Dell said in a statement. "The extension of our relationship demonstrates our mutual commitment to deliver fully integrated enterprise systems backed by world-class services that can scale to meet customers’ future business requirements, while delivering lower total cost of ownership today."

The two companies have been aligned for some time and currently claim more than 22,000 "Oracle-on-Dell" installations with a range of customers, including the Mercedes-Benz Customer Assistance Centre, Precision Response Corp. and Louisiana’s Nineteenth Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge, among others.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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