Oracle, Dell Bundle in Pursuit of SMB Market

Dell will offer Oracle's Standard Edition One database prepackaged on Dell PowerEdge 2600 or 2650 servers running on Linux and Microsoft Windows, the companies announced on Tuesday.

Oracle Corp. and Dell Inc. are deepening their technology relationship to take better advantage of a small and midsize business (SMB) audience ripe with new sales opportunities as well as to catapult the proliferation of grid computing to new heights.

Larry Ellison, CEO of Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle, and Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of hardware giant Dell, joined forces during a conference call with journalists and analysts Tuesday to announce that Dell will offer Oracles Standard Edition One database prepackaged on Dell PowerEdge 2600 or 2650 servers running on Linux and Microsoft Windows. Dell customers can order the PowerEdge servers with the preinstalled software or activate the Oracle licensing agreement and contract as soon as they break the seal of the shrink-wrapped database software CD.

Ellison termed the Round Rock, Texas-based Dell as the "ideal" partner to enter into the exclusive, expanded distribution agreement because of its ability to help Oracle penetrate the SMB market. He said the deal also would advance the software titans grid computing-enablement message, with its corresponding need for processor-power growth.

"We have 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," Ellison 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."

To spur the adoption of grids and the idea of a fault-tolerant system, Dell will provide customers with offerings based on Oracle Real Application Cluster (RAC), which is built into Standard Edition One and is the enabling technology for grid, Ellison said. Michael Dell said his company will take the initial support calls for customers and has agreed to resell Oracle Consulting Services to answer database-specific and migration issues.

For his part, Dell said his organization holds about a 22 percent share of the hardware market for database servers selling for less than $10,000 for less than a half-a-billion dollars in revenue. He said he envisions that number growing into a billion-dollar return for Dell in a "couple of years," adding that there are currently 30,000 Dell and Oracle mutual installs.

Offering little detail, Dell said the exclusive agreement with Oracle should not in any way impact Dells partnership with Microsofts Small Business Server 2003 product, since the implementations are not "exact competitors."

Dell and Oracle also announced increased attention toward extending sales channels in China. The companies expanded agreement calls for Dell to resell Oracle licenses for Oracle database, Oracle Application Server and Oracle Collaboration Suite in China on Dell Servers running Linux.

Company officials said the Dell Server and Oracle software platforms are available for Red Hat Linux starting at $4,108. Other pricing options include packages of 10 users or 25 users and unlimited pay-per-processor. Customers can expect a factory install of Oracle Standard Edition with Red Hat and Windows on Dell PowerEdge 2600 and 2650 within the next 30 to 60 days, Oracle officials said.

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