Oracle Targets Mid-Tier Market with 10g Standard Edition

Buoyed by the release of its long-anticipated 10g database, Oracle on Tuesday slashed the price of its entry-level product and offered mid-tier customers clustering and managment options.

Acknowledging its intentions to scoop up smaller database customers who may have shied away from pricey Oracle entry points, Oracle Corp. on Tuesday slashed the price of its entry-level product. The company was buoyed by the release of its long-anticipated Oracle 10g database and offered clustering and managment options.

During a conference call, the software company said a Linux version of Oracle 10g database is currently shipping in conjunction with 64-bit Solaris and HP-UX support. A Microsoft Windows OS version is still a few weeks away, noted Oracle officials.

Executives said the pricing for Oracle Database 10g Standard Edition One dropped to $4,995 per processor down from $5,995. The product is available with Named User Plus licensing at $149 per user with a minimum of five years, a $50 decrease from its prior $195 per user perch.

In addition, the Standard Editions maximum server capacity was boosted to two processors, noted Jacqueline Woods, vice president of global practices, global pricing and licensing strategy for the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle.

Industry watchers said pricing moves on the low end of a product line are always directly linked to competitive factors. In this case, the move is primarily caused by jostling from Microsoft Corp. and IBM Corp. in the low-end database arena. Thereby, the lower Standard Edition One pricing give Oracle a chance to finally undercut Microsoft SQL Servers penetration into its enterprise customer base, said analyst Carl Olofson of International Data Corp. of Framingham, Mass.

"Businesses that are putting an IT system together from scratch are just not ready to write out new checks," Olofson said. "Up until now, Microsoft has been able to get in on the bottom beneath Oracle and cut off that growth pattern for them. It seems to me, at least as an initial entry point, price doesnt look like a barrier [anymore] and that has to be good news for Oracle and its partners."

/zimages/3/28571.gifOracle may be making agressive steps into the midmarket. However, Microsoft and its partners took aim after the announcement today, asking if Oracle can play nice with resellers, ISVs and integrators in the space. Click here to read more.

Further extending an olive branch to the smaller-to-mid-tiered audience, Oracle on Tuesday said its Real Application Clusters (RAC) 10g option will be included in Oracle Database Standard Edition at no additional charge. The stand-alone cost remains unchanged at $15,000 per processor. The maximum server capacity in a cluster is 4-Processors in a cluster, meaning customers can run dual two-way nodes, or four one-way nodes, etc.

There is no pricing change associated with Oracle Database Enterprise Edition, which costs $40,000 per processor and $800 per name user with a minimum of 40 users.

Oracle is adding a new Configuration Management Pack to its Enterprise Manager family, which includes Diagnostics, Tuning, and Change Management. The packs are sold at $3,000 per processor. In addition, the software behemoth released a Diagnostics Pack and a Configuration Management Pack for Oracle Application Server 10G, also priced at $3,000 per processor.