Oracle Announces Database Appliance for Small/Midsize Enterprises and Departments

Oracle has announced the Oracle Database Appliance - targeted at small and midsize enterprises and departments that want higher availability for their application databases. Like Exadata, it is an engineered system that combines hardware and software. 

There are many customers that don't need the power of Exadata, and there is a "big market" below the Exadata quarter rack that Oracle hopes to tap into with the new engineered system,  Andrew Mendelsohn, senior vice president, Oracle, during one of the presentations Oracle executives made to launch the new appliance. 

Built using Oracle Database 11g Release 2 and Oracle Real Application Clusters on a 2-node Sun Fire server cluster running Oracle Linux, it offers high availability for a range of custom and packaged OLTP and data warehousing application databases.  The Oracle Database Appliance protects databases from server and storage failures with Oracle Real Application Clusters and Automatic Storage Management, respectively.

In targeting small and midsize enterprises and departments, "We think simplicity, affordability, and reliability are the key attributes we want to optimize here," Mendelsohn said.

The Oracle Database Appliance offers a pay-as-you-grow methodology enabling customers to align their software spend with their business growth without the need for any hardware upgrades.  When customers upgrade their existing hardware to the box, said Mendelsohn, they only have to license the cores that they need for their workload, so they can start at 2 cores and scale all the way up to 24 cores.

With proactive system monitoring, one-button software provisioning, full-stack integrated patching, and "automatic phone home" on hardware failures, Oracle says the appliance also reduces the cost and resources required to build and maintain a highly-available database system.

The new offering is also important for the channel community, said Judson Althoff, senior vice president, Worldwide Alliances & Channels and Embedded Sales, Oracle. "The ‘simple, reliable, affordable' message is one that our customers have been asking for for a long time, and, in this particular market, those customers are most commonly supported by our channel, so we think this product is really going to help the channel business grow and we are really excited about it."

The new offering allows Oracle to target "the breadth of the Oracle market, as well as, quite frankly, the competitive database market from the likes of Microsoft and IBM," Althoff said. It also allows Oracle's partners to go after volume opportunity in the broad market space pursuing database environments as small as 2 cores and scaling all the way up to 24 cores, leading into the Exadata family.

It is also designed to be a product that the channel can deliver services around," Althoff said.  "In other words, implement the product, get it set up for customers; and when a customer gets an alert that there is a potential failure and they need to replace a disk drive or anything along those lines, partners can come in and help customers very easily." There are also incentive programs for the channel, he noted.

Additional information on the Oracle Database Appliance will be available during Oracle OpenWorld 2011, October 2-6 at The Moscone Center in San Francisco.  For more information or to register, go to