Microsoft

Unisys, Oracle, Microsoft team on business software

Firms are expanding a joint engineering program to boost the performance of Oracle's software running on Windows.

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By Stephen Shankland

Unisys, Oracle and Microsoft are expanding a joint engineering program to boost the performance of Oracle's software running on Windows, the companies plan to announce Monday at Oracle's annual trade show.

Oracle's software, including its flagship database and its higher-level business software, are available for Unix, Linux and Windows, but the Windows versions have been something of a second priority, said Tom Manter, program director for enterprise database applications at Unisys. The companies now hope to turn that around.

"From what we're seeing and what we're going to see next week at Oracle OpenWorld, that's going to change. Oracle is embracing Windows and made a commitment to work with Microsoft and with Unisys," Manter said. The result should be better performance and more bang for the buck for those running Oracle software on Unisys' ES7000 server, which can accommodate as many as 32 Intel Xeon processors and 16 Intel Itanium processors.

Unisys has been changing its own database strategy. Two years ago, the company was focused chiefly on Microsoft's SQL Server database, but now Unisys has 50 engineers and marketing staff working on the Oracle project, up from zero a year ago, Unisys said.

Unisys' database directions diverge somewhat from Oracle's recent marketing efforts. Where Unisys has emphasized large multiprocessor servers, Oracle has been touting groups of lower-end machines sharing the same database, and while Unisys has been heavily advocating Windows, Oracle has been promoting Linux.

A tight Microsoft-Unisys partnership loosened somewhat in recent months as Unisys embraced Linux. Unisys argues its common foes still are machines from companies such as IBM, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard that use RISC, or reduced instruction set computing, processors.

Unisys also plans to announce on Monday several customers running Oracle software on Windows. They are Wetherill Associates, Calgary Co-op, the Chicago Parks District and the Nevada Department of Public Safety. Wetherill replaced four older Sun 4500 servers with two ES7000 models.

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