Oracle, EMC extend service offerings

Oracle and EMC will announce two initiatives next week intended to make life easier for joint customers who use Oracle's database and business applications software, officials said last Friday.

One of the initiatives aims to let customers make a "clone," or replica, of Oracle's E-Business Suite 11i without having to take the applications offline. Such replicas are used for tasks like testing software patches before they're applied or for off-loading data into a data warehouse.

The companies said they've tested and certified a method for creating a clone using Oracle's Automatic System Configuration utility (AutoConfig) and EMC's TimeFinder software.

"AutoConfig typically requires you to go offline. We used TimeFinder to enable customers to stay online 24x7 and still go ahead and do the cloning," said Doug Kennedy, Oracle vice president of platform alliances.

Through joint engineering and testing work the companies have come up with a set of "best practices" for using the two products that avoids much of the tedious labor and disruptions often involved with such work. They're documented these in a white paper that will be available online here, the companies said.

The announcement is due to be made on Tuesday next week at Oracle's AppsWorld show in San Diego.

Also next week the companies will announce a service offering intended to reduce the time it takes for large customers to deploy an Oracle database on EMC's storage equipment. Called the Oracle on EMC Database Accelerator Service, it stems from a partnership between the companies started last year to co-develop services for their 25,000 joint customers, said Don Swatil, EMC vice president for global solutions.

The service includes design and integration work for setting up a database and integrating it with EMC's storage gear, Swatil said. Early indications suggest that the service can cut the time it takes to deploy a database on EMC's hardware by approximately 25 percent, he said.

"It's a fixed price, fixed-scope offering that's provided by both companies, and it's pretty much a 50-50 breakdown between the Oracle and EMC services," Swatil said.

The service is available immediately. Pricing will vary depending on the size of the database, the companies said. An "average configuration" would be priced at about US$30,000, according to an EMC spokesman.

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