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EMC and Oracle buckle up for joint integration ride

Relationship hots up

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Comment EMC Corporation and Oracle have announced a broadened investment in joint engineering testing and integration and solutions development to support customers who are deploying EMC Information Infrastructure in Oracle environments.

EMC's Information Infrastructure offerings provide a range of hardware, software, and services for enterprise applications, database, and middleware solutions.

Jointly integrated services, solutions, and support seek to help customers avoid multi-vendor complexity when deploying end-to-end information infrastructure solutions based on EMC and Oracle technologies.

The EMC Information Infrastructure for Oracle includes four solution areas: Data Warehousing, whereby EMC partners with the Oracle Information Appliance Program to offer customers packaged, low-cost data warehouse solutions that are high performance, quick to deploy, and can easily scale through validated building blocks known as Foundations; Oracle Unbreakable Linux, jointly engineered grid computing solutions backed by the Oracle Unbreakable Linux support program which have generated Oracle Validated Configurations and pre-defined best practices, allowing customers to reduce deployment time while minimizing risk with tested and qualified Oracle Enterprise Linux on core EMC platforms and software; Enterprise Security, integrating RSA security technologies and Oracle's identity management and data protection solutions along with user authentication, database encryption, and compliance reporting tools for database applications across the enterprise; and Grid Computing, using joint reference architectures and best practices for midrange environments to help customers rapidly deploy Oracle Grid Computing environments across EMC NAS or SAN platforms with low-cost tiered storage for simplified consolidated management and unique business continuance software for transaction consistency. All EMC Information Infrastructure for Oracle Solutions are backed by the EMC-Oracle Joint Escalation Center that provides customers a dedicated single path for support.

A file is a file, the saying goes, but not all files are the same. Logically, they are just bits on a disk. However, from a usage perspective this is where the commonality ends. Databases are very different from plain text files and have differing usage scenarios and storage performance needs. Likewise, not all databases are the same. Oracle database solutions have specific performance and data storage requirements that are part of Oracle's articulated strategy for storage, which involves clustering, disk management and replication, as well as promoting the Linux OS.

The choice of storage architecture affects database performance, storage utilization, suitability as a high-availability solution, and the ability to tune and optimize the solution to meet organizational goals. Organizations deploying storage solutions that are not in alignment with Oracle's strategy as instantiated by Oracle 10g, ASM, and RAC may find themselves at a disadvantage from an operational and competitive standpoint.

As such, the availability of tried, tested, and true storage infrastructure for Oracle databases is well positioned to assist organizations get the most from their extensive Oracle investments, which for many represent the operational lifeblood of their enterprise.

To appreciate the significance of this announcement, one must consider the depth of the technical and commercial relationship the two companies share, and the dependency upon one another that they have developed over time. The Oracle Global Single Instance, which has been promoted by Oracle as the driving force behind a multi-billion dollar IT cost savings, runs on a variety of EMC hardware.

Similarly, EMC is one of the five largest Oracle customers in the world, based on the number of Oracle Application modules, users, and database instances deployed. The two companies' first-hand experience with each other, which should mirror the many operational experiences of customer organizations, feeds each other's product requirements and assessments.

This does allow many of the deployment and usage "gotchas" that are inevitable in the customer environment to be experienced firsthand by the vendors, which should help alleviate issues sooner rather than later and reduce the likelihood of the issues impacting end-customer's production environments.

Overall, this announcement will likely be welcomed by the many organizations, large and small, that depend on Oracle databases to run their businesses. Although vendor partnerships are common and sometimes short-lived, it is a rarity in the industry for such a deep vendor relationship to develop for a substantial period of time.

The obvious joint investments made by EMC and Oracle bode well for users of their certified technologies and serve as an example of the value of long-term strategic relationships not only for the vendors in question, but for their customers and partners as well.

Copyright © 2007, The Sageza Group

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