Oracle 11g R2, Middleware 11g coming soon

Oracle is set to release two highly anticipated products within the next several months -- Oracle Database 11g Release 2 and Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g -- company President Charles Phillips revealed during the vendor's third-quarter earnings call Wednesday.

Phillips said 11g R2's release "should happen" in the first quarter of Oracle's next fiscal year, which starts in June, while Fusion Middleware 11g is set for release this quarter, he said.

While Phillips revealed few specifics about the products' new capabilities, he did say that 11g R2 will feature enhancements to Oracle's Real Application Clusters (RAC) technology, an option for the database that allows users to spread a large database workload over multiple servers for increased scalability and reliability.

So far, RAC has been more for advanced users, but the update will make it easier to use, Phillips said. "This is grid computing for the masses," he said.

Only a small percentage of Oracle's customers are using RAC right now, providing a major growth opportunity for the vendor, according to Phillips. "It also makes sense for our smaller and medium-sized customers, if we can make it easy to use, and that's what we've done," he said.

Also during the conference call, CEO Larry Ellison touted the Exadata data-warehousing appliance Oracle co-developed with Hewlett-Packard and announced to great fanfare at Oracle's OpenWorld conference last year.

Dubbing Exadata "the most exciting product in many, many years," Ellison claimed that the system's performance has been blowing away competitors' products such as those sold by Teradata.

But while Phillips described the Exadata sales pipeline as "the largest [he's] ever seen in terms of a new product," neither he nor Ellison provided any definitive numbers.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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