Oracle Unveils Cloud-Worthy Version 12c of Its Database
In the past, Oracle CEO and founder Larry Ellison has dismissed cloud computing’s ability to deliver on its promises. This week, the technology giant released version 12c of its flagship database product, which it described as “the first database designed for the cloud."

Whether or not this singular characterization of its new database release is accurate, Oracle certainly has the meteoric rise of cloud-based computing in mind. In fact, the “c” in the name of the new release reportedly stands for “cloud.” One of the key features that the company says optimizes the product for the cloud is a new multi-tenant architecture that allows multiple databases to be managed as one, which can make Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and other cloud-based implementations more efficient.

Pluggable Container

Generally, SaaS is configured so that multiple customers share an application, but their data is kept separate. Oracle said in its announcement that, “by supporting multi-tenancy in the database tier, rather than the application tier,” the Oracle multitenant architecture makes all independent software vendor applications “that run on the Oracle Database ready for SaaS.”

In 12c, multiple database can “plug” into one container Oracle database, which the company said allows for rapid provisioning and enables tighter security. But this cloud-optimized feature will require an extra charge beyond the regular maintenance fees. The multi-tenancy feature is only offered in the 12C Enterprise Edition, and the list price is nearly $48,000 per processor. Other editions of 12C include the Express Edition, the Standard Edition One and the Standard Edition.

Automatic Data Optimization

Version 12c also offers Automatic Data Optimization, which provides for automatic compression and tiering of data, based on the information’s activity and age. Among the other 500 new features in 12c are new or enhanced functions for query optimization, partitioning, backup, recovery and performance boosting.

Last week, Oracle announced two major cloud-oriented alliances -- with Salesforce and with Microsoft -- that will bolster its position in the corporate ecosystem.

Salesforce and Oracle unveiled a nine-year agreement, which involves integration of the two enterprise companies’ clouds across applications, platform and infrastructure. The day before that announcement, Oracle and Microsoft proclaimed a new alliance, in which customers can run Oracle Database and other software products on Windows Server Hyper-V and Windows Azure, with full support from Oracle.

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