Oracle chief sees 10g opportunities for VARs

The addition of grid computing capabilities to Oracle’s flagship database and

Application Server will offer resellers the chance to dramatically change the way infrastructure is managed, according to chief executive Larry Ellison.

At OracleWorld 2003 this week, the company said its

10g will include self-management capabilities similar to that touted by IBM and HP and a Web-based console called Grid Control to help eliminate the complexity that has hindered adoption of grid computing in the enterprise.

Grid computing usually refers to a technique whereby several servers are harnessed to help dynamically provision computing power based on business priorities. Academic and research environments have already deployed early grid computing strategies, but IT managers have shied away at the idea of managing additional servers.

In an interview following his keynote with a small group of international journalists, Ellison said 10g could open up more business for the indirect channel, particularly in the mid-market.

“”I think resellers are really going to love this thing, because (setting up a grid) has such a low purchase price,”” he said. “”There is a very small cost outlay, and it’s all with standard servers. It is as attractive to the mid-market as it is to the high end.””

OracleWorld nonetheless featured an early keynote speech from direct sales giant Michael Dell, who touted a close partnership with Oracle.

“”The market is moving towards a situation where you have a single supplier,”” said Dell, who came onto the stage on crutches with an unexplained cast on his right leg. “”Companies want to know the supplier they’re dealing with is going to be around. And despite the way I came in here today, Dell is on very solid footing.””

Ellison, however, maintained a policy of several channels.

“”We’ll sell through Dell, we’ll sell ourselves, and we’ll sell through the resellers,”” he said.

Bobbi Sonni, managing director and global leader of integration services at Oracle partner Bearing Point, said Oracle will bring solid business sense to grid computing, which so far has been limited to academic and research environments. “”Every CIO has realized that they’re faced with having to get enterprises to work together in a more orchestrated fashion,”” he said, acknowledging that the transition will take some time. “”Ten years is not that long to come up with a totally adaptive enterprise.””

Oracle would not discuss pricing for the 10g database or Application Server at the show, but Ellison said it may be available next week.

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