Oracle and Compaq Computer have announced the December availability of a new application server appliance based on the Oracle 9I application server and the Compaq Proliant DL360 server.
The hardware and software combination that make up the new appliance will be pre-configured, pre-installed and pre-tested by the Compaq channel for the first month of availability, before other channel partners such as HP and Dell begin shipping early next year.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison promised the device would be three times faster than competing application server products. Oracle senior vice president of platform technologies, Mike Rocha, told Asia-Pacific journalists that application server software accounts for less than 1 per cent of Oracle's present revenues, but the company expects it to grow to more than 50 per cent of the company's revenues in the next three to four years. It expects the application server market to be worth $11 billion by 2004.
The appliance's operating system is based on a mix of Linux and Solaris code, and prices start at $US15,000 for the smallest combination of hardware and software.
Rocha said Compaq gained the one month advantage over the rest of Oracle's channel partners because it shared a similar vision as Oracle, and had a large distribution channel for both Intel and Alpha-based services.
He took the opportunity, as his CEO did during the announcement at the Comdex keynote in Las Vegas, to criticise the strategy of software competitor Microsoft.
"Fundamentally, Microsoft has it wrong," said Rocha. "They are still talking about building applications and businesses around operating system services. Oracle is talking about building applications and businesses around data, and looking at how to service and manage that data effectively. Microsoft may have to change its strategy."