New Oracle Support on Tap

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2002-04-15 Print this article Print

Network Appliance rolls out database management, clustering products.

New offerings from Network Appliance Inc. could enhance the manageability of Oracle Corp. databases and bolster the use of Oracles application clustering technology.

The storage software and hardware company last week rolled out SnapDrive for Oracle, software for managing Oracle8i and Oracle9i database deployments running on Windows 2000.

At the same time, Network Appliance introduced a bundled offering of its NetApp filer storage appliances along with Solaris-based servers from Fujitsu Siemens Computers for running Oracle9is clustering technology, called Real Application Clusters.

In some configurations, the SnapDrive data management software improves availability and manageability of data from enterprise applications, such as enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management systems, according to a Network Appliance official, in Sunnyvale, Calif. This is particularly true in a multitiered architecture, where the application sits on an application server that is connected to a database with network storage behind it, the official added. Through storage virtualization, the software allows a NetApp filer to present itself to the Oracle database as a locally attached device, which provides more centralized management of all storage resources.

Essentially, the technology allows applications to operate in a local disk context and use network storage in a transparent fashion, according to officials.

Along with Oracle, SnapDrive is available now for deployments of Microsoft Corp.s SQL Server. SnapDrive for Oracle costs between $3,000 and $12,000, depending on which NetApp filer is deployed.

Steven Almera, senior systems administrator at the San Diego Data Processing Corp., the IT arm of the city of San Diego, said a software tool that makes storage more transparent for Oracle running on Windows could be useful because it is often more difficult to manage database storage in Windows compared with Unix. The SDDPC runs mostly Oracle8i on Unix, although a few city agencies use Windows, Almera said.

"This could definitely be something of interest to us," Almera said. "You have to make sure you configure Windows properly, and this sounds like it makes it easier to integrate. But is it worth buying? ... Id have to understand what other value it provides."

On the hardware side, the certified Network Appliance and Fujitsu Siemens combination for Oracle application clustering is the first certified hardware combination supporting Network Appliances filer storage in the Solaris environment, officials said. It runs the NetApp filers with Primepower servers from Fujitsu Siemens, a joint venture between Siemens AG and Fujitsu Ltd. Along with certifying the combination, the two companies are cooperating on offering joint customer support.

The combined storage and server offering can be purchased as a bundle or as individual components.

Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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