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Oracle Corp. and Dell Inc. are deepening their technology relationship to take better advantage of a small and midsize business (SMB) audience ripe with new sales opportunities as well as to catapult the proliferation of grid computing to new heights.

Larry Ellison, CEO of Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle, and Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of hardware giant Dell, joined forces during a conference call with journalists and analysts Tuesday to announce that Dell will offer Oracle’s Standard Edition One database prepackaged on Dell PowerEdge 2600 or 2650 servers running on Linux and Microsoft Windows. Dell customers can order the PowerEdge servers with the preinstalled software or activate the Oracle licensing agreement and contract as soon as they break the seal of the shrink-wrapped database software CD.

Ellison termed the Round Rock, Texas-based Dell as the “ideal” partner to enter into the exclusive, expanded distribution agreement because of its ability to help Oracle penetrate the SMB market. He said the deal also would advance the software titan’s grid computing-enablement message, with its corresponding need for processor-power growth.

To spur the adoption of grids and the idea of a fault-tolerant system, Dell will provide customers with offerings based on Oracle Real Application Cluster (RAC), which is built into Standard Edition One and is the enabling technology for grid, Ellison said. Michael Dell said his company will take the initial support calls for customers and has agreed to resell Oracle Consulting Services to answer database-specific and migration issues.

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