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Oracle to expand server appliance offerings

The company plans a new wave of server appliances that will run the newest versions of its database and e-commerce software.

Oracle plans a new wave of server appliances that will run the newest versions of its database and e-commerce software.

Oracle next year expects to release a new server appliance for its forthcoming 9i database, software that stores and collects information. The company also plans next year to release a new appliance for its just released application server, software that runs transactions for e-commerce Web sites, an Oracle representative said.

The new products will make up Oracle's second foray into the emerging market for server appliances, special-purpose computers that handle specific jobs, such as storing data or handling email. They are designed to be cheaper and easier to use because they come as an all-in-one computer system.

For example, Oracle in April released its first server appliance, called the Oracle 8i Appliance, that integrates the database software, a processor and the operating system in one machine. Hewlett-Packard, Compaq Computer, Dell Computer and other hardware makers are selling the product.

The forthcoming appliance for the 9i application server will be aimed at e-commerce Web sites, the Oracle representative said. The new application server features new Web caching technology that will speed the delivery of Web site information. Site administrators will be able to quickly plug the new server appliance into an existing network to handle more Web requests, the representative said.

The Oracle 9i database, due in March, will feature new technology that will make the company's database perform faster and more reliably than before. The 9i database appliance is expected to ship sometime after the database itself, the representative said.