June 1, 1998
Oracle Updates NT Clusters
New products can be used to run Oracle8 across multiple Windows NT nodes
By Rich Levin
racle will introduce this week updated database clustering software for Windows NT. Two products, Oracle Parallel Server and Oracle FailSafe, can now be used to run the latest version of Oracle's database management system, Oracle8, across two or more NT nodes.
Oracle8 was released nearly a year ago, but until now, Oracle's clustering software has been available only for Oracle7. The new releases promise to improve the reliability and scalability of Oracle8 on NT. Oracle8 Parallel Server for NT will run across four Oracle8 nodes, with support for six nodes to follow later this year. Version 2.1 of FailSafe, which Oracle bundles with Oracle8 free of charge, brings automatic two-node failover support for Oracle8 on NT. "We're bringing our Unix expertise to NT to help customers move beyond the limitations of NT," says Tim Payne, Oracle's director of enterprise database marketing.
Oracle Parallel Server takes advantage of distributed multiprocessor NT servers by breaking queries across local processors and remote servers for maximum throughput. Database administrators can manage the cluster as one database, without being concerned with the physical locations of the servers. To make setup and maintenance easier, Oracle8 Parallel Server for NT comes with improved setup and installation wizards, graphical system management and troubleshooting tools, and a computer-based training system.
However, the product isn't up to par with Oracle's clustering software for Unix, which is capable of running across dozens of database servers. "There's a gap between the requirements Oracle can handle on NT, and what they can tackle with Unix databases," says Mitch Kramer, an analyst with the Patricia Seybold Group. Still, Oracle's clustering software goes beyond Microsoft's own Cluster Server, which is limited to two NT servers, says Kramer.
Both products are available now. Pricing for Oracle Parallel Server, which is licensed on a per-user basis, wasn't disclosed.
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