OracleWorld: Compression halves storage costs

Oracle has launched its European OracleWorld event in Copenhagen this week by detailing a new cost saving feature in Release 2 of...

Oracle has launched its European OracleWorld event in Copenhagen this week by detailing a new cost saving feature in Release 2 of its 9i database software and announcing a one-stop-shop deal with Sun Microsystems.

The software maker also introduced two new services for partners in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region and said that many implementation partners and software makers now support the online analytical processing (OLAP) functionality in 9i Release 2.

Data warehousing is one of the main topics at OracleWorld Copenhagen, and Oracle is for the first time talking about a compression feature that, according to Robert Shimp, vice-president of database marketing, can cut up to 25% off data warehouse costs.

Oracle claims 9i Release 2 is unique in that it allows customers to compress database tables, the part of the database that holds the actual data. Compressing the tables reduces the size of the database, which results in savings for customers, as a smaller database requires less hardware and maintenance, said Shrimp.

Previous versions of Oracle's database software only allowed customers to shrink the size of the database indexes, a feature it shares with rival database products. However, the competition is "years behind" on table shrinking, said Shimp. Release 2 of Oracle 9i Database was announced earlier this month.

Early adopters of the compression technique have been able to reduce the size of a terabyte of raw data by half, cutting the cost of storage by 50% and the total cost of their data warehousing system by 25%, said Shimp.

Only historical data in the database, which according to Oracle is typically about 70% of data in a data warehouse, is compressed. Recent data is left uncompressed and fully available, Shimp said. Companies that use the new technology include France Télécom, Oracle said.

In another announcement at OracleWorld, Oracle said it is now possible to get Oracle software preinstalled on systems from Sun Microsystems. Customers can "get their customised Oracle and Sun infrastructure up and running in less than a day," Oracle said.

The offering, under Sun's Customer Ready Systems program, is valid for Oracle 9i Database, Oracle 9i Application Server and the Oracle E-Business Suite.

Talking about its partner network, Oracle announced that many implementation partners and independent software vendors (ISVs) will be offering products that use OLAP, a feature new to Release 2 of 9i that facilitates analytical usage of data.

Oracle also used OracleWorld to launch the Oracle Partner Source Network and the Oracle EMEA Migration Factory.

Oracle Partner Source Network is set up as a single point of contact for all 6,200 Oracle PartnerNetwork members in their dealings with Oracle. Based in Dublin and available by phone, Web or e-mail, the Oracle Partner Source Network can handle enquires in 12 European languages.

The Oracle EMEA Migration Factory is a service for software makers to make their products work with Oracle's 9i Database and 9i Application Server. The migration can be conducted by Oracle in India or an Oracle partner on a fixed price basis. This service is available today in Germany, Finland, France, Denmark and Sweden and will be available across the EMEA region by the end of August, Oracle said.

Later this week Oracle is expected to unveil details of Project Marvel, an HTML-based development system for building portal and web applications on the 9i platform. The software is available for free on the Oracle Technology Network.

As it gears up to take on BEA and IBM in the application server market, Oracle is also using the conference this week to highlight a number of Oracle 9i Application Server (9iAS) users including Argo Marches Internationaux, a European fresh food consultant which has built a European-wide portal for the produce industry based on Oracle 9iAS.

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