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Mary Hayes Weier
August 20, 2008
2 Min Read
While Microsoft, IBM, and other traditional software vendors have been more vocal on the topic of cloud computing in recent months, Oracle has been comparatively quiet. But there are signs that the company is trying to hone its cloud computing strategy.
One aspect of its strategy may be to position itself as an infrastructure provider on which other companies can build software-as-a-service businesses. In the first announcement of its kind, Oracle said Wednesday that CaseCentral, which provides legal firms with on-demand software for managing the discovery process, had migrated its SaaS platform from Microsoft SQL Server to Oracle Database to deliver "better performance, scalability, and availability."
CaseCentral also is using Oracle's technology for deploying a single database across multiple servers, called Oracle Real Application Clusters. CaseCentral's database environment is built on a multi-node cluster of HP BladeSystem servers running Linux.
Privately owned CaseCentral said it has 1,100 customers, 7,250 registered users, and manages several hundred terabytes of case evidence in such forms as e-mails, office documents, and images.
Although traditional, on-premises software licenses are by far Oracle's biggest business, it does have a growing on-demand business in which it hosts customers' Oracle software from its data centers. For Oracle's 2008 fiscal year ended May 31, revenues for on-demand software were up 25% year-over-year to $694 million. By comparison, Oracle sold $7.52 billion in software licenses in 2008.
But Oracle does seem to be positioning itself for more on-demand software and/or cloud computing infrastructure business. In May, the company said it will open a data center in West Jordan, Utah by 2010, partly to support on-demand software.
Oracle's on-demand software business is currently supported out its Austin, Texas data center, comprised of 130,000 square feet, plus another 72,000 square feet to house its servers. The center is backed up by 9,000 batteries, cooled by 90 air conditioning units, and secured by armed guards, an eight-foot fence, automatic truck blockades that rise from the ground, and doors that allow in only one person at a time.
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