Hoping to make its upcoming Oracle 9i Real Application Clusters software as attractive to as wide an audience as possible, Oracle will build pieces of Compaq Computer's TruCluster technology into the Oracle product under a new licensing deal announced Tuesday. The move will add management capabilities to Real Application Clusters and make the software more portable, according to Oracle.
While clustering might sound like technology that only a geek could love, it's critical to management efforts to improve the availability and scalability of IT systems. Real Application Clusters, perhaps the most significant component of the Oracle 9i database due out around midyear, will let the database run over a cluster of servers without changing the applications that run on the database--especially online-transaction-processing software. Oracle's current clustering technology, Oracle Parallel Server, has been a slow seller because it requires making complex changes to application code.
The TruCluster Server code is expected to first appear in the second release of Real Application Clusters, which is due out by year's end. Oracle and Compaq already have a tight development relationship: Compaq's Tru64 Unix OS is the development platform for Real Application Clusters. "We recognize that they have 25 years' experience with clustering," says Juan Jones, VP of Oracle's systems platform division. He was referring to Digital Equipment Corp., which developed advanced clustering technology long before its 1998 acquisition by Compaq.