Oracle is shipping its long-awaited Oracle Database 12c, the next generation of the company's flagship product it's touting as the first database with capabilities specifically designed for cloud computing.
Channel partners see the new software creating opportunities to upgrade customers and help them develop cloud computing systems built around the database.
"Every time Oracle delivers a major upgrade, they retire older versions of the DBMS by either unsupporting them or charging a hefty premium for supporting those older versions they will still service," said Rhos Dyke, executive vice president of Cloud Creek Systems, an Oracle Platinum partner based in Westlake Village, Calif., in an email to CRN.
"End user customers scramble for the phone and call … looking for help getting upgraded," he said in the email. "Once engaged in the upgrade, we are under the hood with the customer," he said, adding that creates additional service work and product sale opportunities.
The database software is now available for download from the Oracle Technology Network portal.
Oracle Database 12c (the "c" is for "cloud"), which was unveiled at Oracle OpenWorld last fall, is the company's latest technology it has developed or adapted for cloud computing. The company has been selling its Fusion Software-as-a-Service applications for about two years, and it has acquired other SaaS application developers including RightNow Technologies and Taleo.
Oracle also has been offering its database and Fusion middleware as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) cloud services. And in January Oracle launched a cloud infrastructure service.
Last week Oracle unveiled a series of alliances with Microsoft, Salesforce.com and other vendors that increases Oracle's presence in those company's cloud computing systems.
The highlight of Oracle Database 12c is its new multitenant architecture that Oracle said is targeted toward customers who are consolidating databases in private cloud systems. By supporting multitenancy at the database layer instead of the application tier, all ISV applications that run on the Oracle database can run as SaaS applications. But existing applications can run unchanged, the company said.
The multitenancy makes it possible to manage multiple databases as one, reducing management costs and increasing server resource utilization, according to Oracle, Redwood Shores, Calif. It also reduces the amount of time and effort needed for database upgrades.
"Being able to unplug and move databases around will definitely be useful in more consolidated environments," said Andy Colvin, principal consultant with Enkitec, an Oracle Platinum partner based in Irving, Texas, in a statement. "This will help with customers that are doing traditional database consolidations and give them an extra layer of security that they wouldn't get from schema consolidation," he said.
The 12c release also has what the company calls new automatic data optimization features, including a heat map for monitoring database read/write activity, and additional security capabilities including redaction features for protecting sensitive data and run-time privileges analysis. The database is integrated with Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c Cloud Control as well.
PUBLISHED JULY 1, 2013