Open source database provider Ingres is preparing to launch a database appliance later this year that allows users to provision a new server with an operating system and production-ready database within minutes.
Project Icebreaker is referred to as a 'software appliance'. It is different from software bundles because the components have been tweaked to work together, and require minimal setup.
This aspect makes it similar to consumer appliances that hide most of their complexity from the end user.
In addition to the easy set-up, software appliances are less expensive to maintain than traditional stacks of separate software applications, according to Ingres chief technology officer Dave Dargo.
"What is most important is the integrated maintenance aspect. There is a single [phone] number for support, there is a single maintenance stream that is delivered," Dargo told vnunet.com.
"There is no longer the necessity of applying separate operating system maintenance and server database maintenance. It's all part of a single stream."
Dargo said in an interview with vnunet.com earlier this year that Ingres would launch software appliances.
Users will be able to put the appliance on a new server or as a virtual compartment in combination with virtualisation software, Dargo suggested.
The appliance uses the regular Ingres database software on top of a stripped down Linux version supplied by rPath, a company specialising in software appliances.
Eliminating the obsolete Linux elements increases the system's reliability and limits the risk of security vulnerabilities, Dargo claimed.
He expects the appliance's stability to appeal to enterprises as a production database, and to developers requiring a new database that is easy to set up for testing purposes.
The appliance will be available to end users free of charge. Ingres has a " business relationship" with rPath for support and the creation of the database-tailored Linux version.
Ingres' business model is based on offering support services for its database at a fee.
The company is rolling out the product to early customers this week, and it should be available for download to the general public by the end of the year.
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