Dell, Oracle link up in server/database deal

Oracle has cut a deal with Dell making the server maker its partner of choice for bundling and configuring its database software for sales to the low-end, high-volume marketplace.

The companies Tuesday announced an exclusive arrangement that makes Dell the first hardware vendor to have a shrink-wrapped offering built around Oracle's 10g database. As part of the distribution pact, Dell will offer tested and supported servers carrying Oracle software and will act as the customer point of contact.

In a conference call, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said Dell was selected because of the "wonderful job" the company is capable of doing shipping prebundled products. "We have no more important partner than Dell," he said.

Ellison also noted that Dell could help implement Oracle's grid vision, where servers running Linux are tied together using Oracle's own real application clusters (RAC) server clustering. Support for RAC now comes with the purchase of the 10g Standard Edition license.

Ellison suggested that instead of buying a four-way CPU box, customers could instead buy two Dell boxes with two CPUs each and run those in a RAC configuration so there would be no single point of failure. He also said 10g automates the process of moving data onto storage disks and load balancing it among those desks for optimal application performance.

"It's all about delivering a system that's inexpensive to buy but easy to use and with a very low total cost of ownership," Ellison said.

The mixed Dell/Oracle systems are available now; a server running 10g on a Dell PowerEdge server with a Red Hat Linux operating system will start at US$4,108.

The companies also announced future joint manageability and integration projects.

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