Oracle and Sun Team on Enterprise Attack

Both Oracle Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. predict an upcoming "Round Two" Internet explosion. In preparation for the expected surge of information on the Web, the two vendors on Thursday announced an initiative that combines the latest software and hardware from the two companies.

Speaking at Oracle's OpenWorld event here, officials from the two industry giants said they plan to combine applications and hardware in order to ease IT operations for the enterprise. As e-business becomes even more competitive, the need to keep Web sites running constantly and to manage data effectively will grow in importance. Oracle and Sun are expanding their relationship in an effort to convince customers their products can handle the expected flood of future users.

In the early part of 2001, the companies plan to introduce Oracle Parallel Fail Safe software running on Sun's Solaris operating environment. Sun will provide its Enterprise servers -- including some of its new UltraSPARC III processor-based Sun Fire systems -- and Sun StorEdge arrays with Sun Cluster software. The combination of technologies could allow for sub-30 second failover time on enterprise systems, officials with the two companies said.

Also at the start of 2001, Oracle looks to deliver its Data Guard application on Sun's operating system. The two companies collaborated on the development and testing of this technology, looking to solve problems in the area of disaster recovery protection. Reducing the effects of human error, system failures, and unforeseen disasters are the three main targets of the initiative, the officials said.

Larry Ellison, chairman and chief executive officer at Oracle, spoke Tuesday to the Open World audience about the growing challenges of keeping back-end systems up and running. He warned that it will take heavily automated hardware to handle the increase in data processed via the Internet. Wherever possible, features built into the systems themselves should be used to handle load increases and resolve technical glitches, rather than risking human intervention, Ellison said. Thursday's announcement from Oracle and Sun seems in line with these goals.

In a speech here Thursday morning, Scott McNealy, chairman and chief executive officer at Sun, said that Oracle and Sun are working closely in a number of areas to increase the performance and reliability of large-scale computer systems.

"We both have the same vision," McNealy said, referring to himself and Ellison. "We are tightly tuning with Oracle."

As usual, McNealy found time to take a few jabs at Microsoft Corp., an arch rival of both Sun and Oracle and a common target for the CEOs of both companies. Sun and Oracle have had their sights set on providing hardware and software for Internet computing for far longer than traditional PC-related vendors, McNealy said.

"Sometimes I wonder who has given the PC guys and Microsoft more grief, me or Larry," he said. "I guess Larry by a lot."

Oracle, in Redwood Shores, California, can be reached at +1-650-506-7000 or via the Internet at http://www.oracle.com/. Sun Microsystems, in Palo Alto, California, can be reached at +1-650-960-1300 or at http://www.sun.com/.

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