Oracle to unveil 9i in Middle East

Oracle will unveil its 9i database and application server to the Middle Eastern market next Monday.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  June 20, 2001

Oracle will unveil its 9i database and application server to the Middle Eastern market next Monday. Revealed initially in mid-June, and made available for the first time at Oracle Open World in Berlin, the new releases are being touted as the only two software products that companies need to manage all of their information and run all of their applications.

Oracle 9i has already been tested in the Middle East by a number of beta customers, including government and telecoms sectors. According to Ayman Abouseif, marketing director, Oracle, any deal completed within the region from now on will ship with the latest release.

At the Open World event both Larry Ellison, chairman and CEO, Oracle, and Jeremy Burton, senior vice president, product and services marketing, Oracle, were keen to push 9i's real application cluster (RAC) capabilities.

By using real application clusters to run a single database on a group of servers clustered together, Oracle is able to provide greater scalability and reliability than before. Burton explained that RAC had been in development for around ten years and that "its goal is to alter the scale of economies forever."

As Ellison eulogised the capabilities of RAC, he explained that it was Oracle's most significant release since Oracle 7i. "Clustering allows you to reduce costs whilst improving performance," he said.

Until the release of 9i, Oracle had only offered a single computer strategy. The problem with this, according to Ellison, was that 8i just couldn't get any faster.

"Our performance and economy goals were competing in the single computer strategy. [In addition] the single computer strategy meant that you only have one point of failure," he said.

In addition to the RAC functionality, Oracle 9i application server boasts full J2EE support, which, through extended high-speed caching, allows companies to scale with software rather then hardware, therefore saving on infrastructure costs.

"Scale so far has been about buying bigger and bigger chipsets. 9i changes this," said Burton.

There has been a positive response to the launch from several quarters. Wayne Kernochan, managing vice president, at analyst house, the Aberdeen Group, said, "Oracle9i signals the arrival of an exceptionally complete, integrated platform for Internet-based applications."

However, the Meta Group is less enthusiastic, warning that the sixty-day beta testing period has been much too short for a major enterprise wide software release. It recommends that users should not plan to move production databases to 9i for at least six to eight months, giving Oracle a chance to iron out the inevitable wrinkles.

Oracle 9i comes in two editions, standard and enterprise. Pricing is per processor based, with the former coming in at $15,000 per processor and the latter at $40,000.

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