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Red Hat and Sybase needle Oracle with appliance

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Summit Red Hat couldn't resist jabbing Oracle during its Summit user conference. The software maker today announced a deal with Sybase to create so-called database appliances.

Think not of typical "server appliances" here where simple software is wrapped around near commodity hardware. In the Red Hat/Sybase case, we're talking about a Xen-based virtual machine that has Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and Sybase's Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) database bundled together. Customers can then roll out that single virtual machine image across a large number of physical servers, theoretically cutting back on their management burden.

The "appliance" will ship at a mysterious date later this year. Red Hat and Sybase refuse to say how much it will cost or how the cost will compare to a standard database and Red Hat Linux package.

Sybase, however, did prove vocal enough to say it will take on the support responsibility for the new project. In addition, it revealed that the appliance will run first on Xeon-based servers.

Red Hat reckons that the appliance model could become more common in the months to come.

"We see it as an important long-term direction as part of our platform strategy," said Tim Yeaton, a VP at Red Hat. ®

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