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Oracle, Dell extend partnership

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 expanded an earlier strategic alliance. The expanded partnership includes a global agreement to jointly sell new low-end configurations of Dell PowerEdge servers running Oracle9i Database and jointly delivered services.

According to officials at both companies, Dell will 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 are priced from $18,000. In addition, Dell Services and Oracle Consulting will jointly offer a suite of professional services. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Dell CEO Michael Dell announced the move last week at a joint press conference in New York.

The two execs also used the platform to bash Microsoft (http://www.microsoft.com) and sing praises to Linux, contending that the open-source OS was well on its way to beating Microsoft in the battle for the data center. Ellison cited the success of the Apache Web server over Microsoft's Internet Information Services (IIS) technology as an example, declaring 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 low-cost and fast migrations of non-Oracle9i database systems to Oracle9i. According to Oracle, the switchover could take as little as 10 days with prices starting at about $35,000. The package provides enterprises a "single point of contact" (Dell would be the main support vendor).

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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