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By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2002-09-09 Print this article Print

: SQL Server Boss Gives a Sneak Peak"> eWEEK: Oracle Corp. and others are pushing this idea of using Linux on Intel Corp. servers as a way to lower the cost of ownership in deployment. Do you take that seriously? Mangione: We take Linux very, very seriously. Where Linux could be and where it is today are two very, very different things. Its kind of funny: Linux is driving a wedge between Oracle and Sun [Microsystems Inc.] that I dont think ever would have happened. From my perspective, I always looked at them as two sides of the same coin. I mean they would go in together, they would sell together, [and] theyd sell to scale up. In some ways Linux is probably hurting Sun more than it is hurting even Microsoft at this point or any of the vendors in thats space…
Oracle, again, realizes its in a bit of a quandary. The proprietary Unixes on the proprietary hardware, you can see that world is going to come to an end. Its going to go the same way as the Unix workstation business. So Oracle has to do something for [the PC server] platform. They think Linux probably is the thing they want to do. Linux isnt really going to scale over 4-processors. Once you get into databases, scale-up and [deploy] big boxes, it really is databases that drive that business. I dont know what theyre intentions are to really take Linux up to 8-proc or 16 proc. Were going to start seeing 32- and 64-proc PC servers coming out, and Linux just wasnt architected to scale on those platforms.
eWEEK: What aspect of Yukon is is going to be most significant to customers? Mangione: Our customer set gets spread over three main areas—its developers, the IT staff and what were really doing around business intelligence to drive more value. I think in the end its going to be what our key tenets have always been: Were going to help you drive costs out of your business and were going to help you get better value out of the systems you already have today. When I say systems, its not just computer systems its your employees, your trading partners, your customers and really better understanding what is going in that environment. Theres tons of work were doing in scalability and manageability. Weve always been leaders in ease of use, and youll see us just take that to a whole new level in the next release. Youll see systems that really help you alert before things are really going on. It fundamentally is one of the key differentiators I think were always going to have over Oracle and IBM. I mean we sell to small and medium business, whereas I would claim that neither [IBM or Oracle] is really in that space. As a result, we have to have breadth-based programs that collect information, that update servers, that help customers work through problems and make their systems run. One of the knocks of SQL Server is by the time it gets into the IT center there wasnt anyone who was a DBA that was keeping the system up and going… We can talk about what were doing with .Net and how its going to change the server and how people program. But I just think about that as making your developers more productive. Let them use the tools they already know today. Dont force them to learn TSQL or PLSQL or whatever else. Let them use [Visual Basic] or COBOL or Java or Perl even if they want the database to go write their applications. eWEEK: And thats the move to support the Common Language Runtime?

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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