Oracle's next 'engineered system' to involve virtualisation

Details will be revealed during a webcast event on August 13

Oracle is preparing to roll out the latest member of its family of "engineered systems" that combine software and hardware, with the upcoming product focused on virtualisation.

The company will discuss the new system on August 13, during a webcast featuring Wim Coekaerts, senior vice president of Linux and virtualization, according to an announcement on Oracle's website.

No proper name for the new machine was listed in the post, or a specific general-availability date. An Oracle spokesperson said that no further information was available at this time.

Customers who buy the virtualization appliance will be able to "install and deploy [their] virtual infrastructure in just hours," according to the blog post. The system "provides a converged infrastructure powered by Oracle VM server virtualization and Oracle Virtual Networking, dramatically enhancing data center operations," it adds.

Benefits include lower costs, higher service levels and the ability to support "a mix of applications and operating systems," according to the post.

Oracle's Virtual Networking data center fabric is based on technology it acquired through last year's purchase of Xsigo. In April, Oracle announced OVN support for its SPARC T5, T4 and M5 servers, as well as the Solaris OS on both x86 and SPARC platforms.

Since entering the hardware business through the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, Oracle has seen hardware revenue fall consistently, but the company maintains it is focused on selling engineered systems, which carry higher profit margins than commodity servers. Company officials say Oracle is poised to see hardware revenue growth in its current fiscal year.

So far, the first engineered system Oracle released, the Exadata database machine, seems to be the most successful. Other systems include the Exalogic application server box and Exalytics analytics appliance.

Earlier this year, Oracle introduced a leasing program for Exadata and other systems in the family, an option it said could give customers the ability to save money over a straight purchase depending on their usage patterns.

The program's monthly pricing would help customers eliminate large up-front capital expenses, and customers also have the ability to scale up resources as needed, giving them an opportunity to run a private IaaS (infrastructure as a service) inside their data centers, Oracle said. The upcoming virtualization appliance would seem to fit nicely into the IaaS scenario as well.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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