HP, Oracle team on server appliance

HP is the first to partner with the database software maker on the product, code-named Raw Iron.

Oracle, the No. 1 database software maker, said Hewlett-Packard will make and distribute the first server appliances bypassing Microsoft Windows operating system.

Palo Alto, California-based Hewlett-Packard, the world's third-largest computer maker, will be the first to partner with Oracle on this product, code-named Raw Iron.

Oracle will use the core of Sun Microsystems Solaris operating system to build so-called server appliances, powerful computers that will let businesses access database software without using a full operating system.

Financial terms of the agreement weren't disclosed.

Oracle has been seeking ways to blunt Microsoft's dominance of the operating system market and sell more products to corporations and businesses. Sun, another vocal Microsoft rival, and Oracle are betting that corporate customers want easy-to-use, powerful machines as an alternative to Microsoft-based computers.

The new machines, which will be called the Oracle 8i appliance, will be available in the first half of the year. Nick Earle, Hewlett-Packard vice president of worldwide marketing, declined to disclose how many units the company will ship.

The goal with server appliances is to make technology and workloads simpler, the two companies said. Oracle said it wants customers to be able to plug the machines into a computer network without having to configure them. The devices are also supposed to be cheaper, Oracle said.

The Oracle server appliances will sell for about $7,500, an Oracle executive said.

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