Fifteen months after Oracle introduced the world to the concept of server appliances, the database giant said yesterday it is releasing the product.
Once codenamed Raw Iron, the device - now called Oracle 8i Appliance - was conceived as a way to deliver low-cost hardware and software bundles without the expense of including Microsoft's operating system options.
Oracle 8i Appliance integrates the company's database technology with Intel hardware and the kernel of Sun's Solaris operating system. A specific application is then installed.
The idea behind Oracle 8i Appliance and server appliances is to provide application-specific, low-maintenance bundles to smaller companies that do not have their own IT departments yet want to have an internet presence.
Oracle said Oracle 8i Appliance on Intel based hardware platforms from Hewlett Packard and Fujitsu/Siemens will ship later this month. The application will also ship on Compaq platforms in May and Dell in June.
A dozen software companies said they would be the first to support Oracle 8i Appliance. They are Ampersand, Artemis Management Systems, CIMx, JD Edwards, KeepSmart.com, Legato Systems, Macromedia, Netfish Technologies, Professional Software Systems, Sane Solutions, Savant, Taxware International, Tibco Software and Vignette.
Oracle has set up testing centres to validate other software.
Michael Rocha, senior vice president of platform technologies for Oracle, said existing customers are working with integrators - Oracle 8i Appliance has been in beta since last June. "This is a product that is built for the channel. It gives them access to an Oracle product that is packaged to sell or host," he said.
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