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Unisys Teams with Oracle and Microsoft in Plan to Outflank RISC Boxes in the Data Center

Despite the long-standing animosity between Oracle and Microsoft, the database giant clearly demonstrated its understanding of the need to more strongly support Windows at last week’s Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco.

Computer maker Unisys, which has a large investment in supporting Microsoft’s Windows Server 2003 already, announced it is working with Oracle to improve the way the database and Oracle applications work on Windows.

“We are teaming with Oracle and Microsoft to accelerate the trend away from RISC [in the data center] and onto Windows,” says Tom Manter, Unisys’ program director for enterprise database servers. “Oracle is the largest database and [the company] wants to be sure its customers are pleased with its performance on Windows,” he adds.

“Unisys and Oracle engineers are collaborating to optimize Oracle database applications for enterprise Windows by modeling enhancements on a Unisys ES7000 server equipped with Intel Itanium 2 processors,” a Unisys statement reads. The two companies are also planning to hold a series of global seminars “to demonstrate the ease of migrating Oracle implementations to Intel-based systems,” the company statement says.

Unisys is looking to applications like Oracle running well on Intel’s Itanium 2 architecture to help move more of its ES7000 computers into corporate data centers. For that reason, the Blue Bell, Pa.-based company has provided Oracle with some of its latest hardware. “We’ve had a 32-way system in there [within Oracle’s development teams] and just delivered a 64-way system about two months ago,” says Manter.

Oracle also hopes to sell more licenses, proving that money talks even if the company does have a long-term beef with Microsoft.

While Microsoft also stands to benefit from further operating system penetration into the data center, the Redmond, Wash. company did not provide a spokesperson to comment on the announcement. Few additional details of the effort were available from Unisys or Oracle regarding the work, its scope or the amount of investment the three companies are making.

The companies also trotted out four customers to demonstrate the momentum of Oracle databases running on Windows Server 2003 installed on Unisys ES7000 systems. The customers are Wetherill Associates, Inc., Calgary Co-operative Limited Association, the Chicago Parks Department, and the Nevada Department of Public Safety.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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