Oracle Corp. and Dell Inc. have served up the latest gambit in their dual-front attack on the SMB market, announcing on Tuesday that theyre prepackaging Oracle Database 10g Standard Edition One with Microsoft Corp. Windows Server 2003 on yet more Dell PowerEdge servers.
The two companies announced in April a prepackaging of 10g on PowerEdge 2600 and 2650 servers. At that time, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell gathered journalists and analysts together to paint a picture of a small and midsize business market that was ripe with sales opportunities and wide open to the gospel of grid computing.
At that time, Ellison said that Oracle has "been pushing grid technology hard, not only for small- and medium-sized business customers but [also for] large customers. Were encouraging them to use groups or grids of machines to take on their computing tasks," he said. "I can think of no one better than Dell to focus on small machines and turning those machines into grids. … [Oracle is] ready for the SMB market."
The companies in June rolled out server packages running on Red Hat Inc.s Linux operating system. However, the rollout of a Windows-based package is sure to trigger much more uptake than the earlier Linux package when it comes to the SMB market, according to Judy Chavis, head of alliances for Linux and Oracle at Dell.
"Well see much more demand for the Windows version in the SMB market," she said. "A lot of SMBs, whether its a garage or a real estate office or whatever, theyre more than likely using a Windows kind of platform. The SMB is probably getting advised by a reseller or VAR or whoever, and theyre probably using some kind of Windows environment.
"We believe that with the Windows announcement, well see a lot more uptake from SMBs," she said, not only because Windows is more widespread, but also because the packages address the under-$10,000 database market. By itself, Oracle Database Standard Edition 1 sells for about $740. After configuring that basic database with an operating system, server and storage, a low-entry price point for the Windows version is approximately $6,000 for the PowerEdge 2800, Chavis said.
The latest server packages are geared for SMBs and enterprise departments that run Windows and that dont want the hassle of configuring separate components. The package announced on Tuesday comes with a customized dashboard that lets customers execute common, predefined database administration tasks. The dashboard is included on the Windows Server start bar.
The companies are touting the packages easy-to-purchase nature, as well. They come with shrink-wrapped licensing preloaded on Dell servers at no additional cost and provide all necessary hardware and software along with the Database 10g Standard Edition One license, all available by just breaking the seal.
The factory-installed package is available immediately from Dell on PowerEdge 2850 machines. It will be out on PowerEdge 2800 servers in the fourth quarter. Prices vary by configuration and include the PowerVault V220S external storage system.
Oracle is based in Redwood Shores, Calif. Dell is based in Round Rock, Texas.
Editors Note: This story was updated to include input from Dells Judy Chavis.