Oracle and Sun Microsystems yesterday announced a major Internet computing software tie-up that will see the pair cross-licensing a pact of pieces of each other's software to form a united front against rival Microsoft.
Under the terms of the deal, both companies will be permitted to bundle Oracle's database with Sun's Unix operating system Solaris, with the plan being to create computers solely dedicated to running databases and thereby avoiding the use of Microsoft operating systems.
This strategy ties directly into Oracle's "Raw Iron" initiative that the vendor's CEO Larry Ellison drew attention to at last month's Comdex/Fall show in Las Vegas.
According to Ellison, Raw Iron will involve bundling Oracle8i, designed for the Internet, with a streamlined operating system. The Raw Iron operating system will be made up of code from five different OS kernels -- Free BSD, Net BSD, Linux, Plan 9 and Solaris, he said, and should ship at the end of March next year.
At Comdex, Ellison also announced that Oracle was working to close Raw Iron-related deals with Sun, as well as with Intel, Compaq and Hewlett-Packard.
The hope is that together Sun and Oracle can stymie Microsoft's attempts to encourage users to run its own relational database SQL Server on its Windows NT OS.
Microsoft officially unveiled the latest iteration of SQL Server -- version 7.0 -- at Comdex, the same day as Ellison talked up Raw Iron.