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To help organizations deploy their applications, databases and storage in
the cloud, Oracle has introduced the Cloud File System, giving businesses a
platform that extends cloud characteristics to their storage by enabling more
effective storage pooling through a network-accessible elastic storage cloud.

The Cloud File System is available now and is priced at $5,000 per
processor. It is available free of charge for storing Oracle software binaries,
metadata and diagnostic files, according to a company release.

The Cloud File System comprises the following features: Automatic Storage
Management Cluster File System and Oracle Automatic Storage Management Dynamic
Volume Manager. The cluster file system is a general-purpose cluster file
system for storing all files including Oracle and non-Oracle related files. It
snapshots and restores files on demand to protect important files from human
error, replicates files for disaster protection, provides fine-grain access
security and data encryption, and supports file tags for file management.

The dynamic volume manager provides volume management support for the cluster
file system and other third-party file systems such as Linux ext3. This allows
administrators to store all file system data, including third-party file system
data, in Automatic Storage Management and take advantage of its inherent
performance, availability and manageability benefits.

Cloud File System takes advantage of Automatic Storage Management to automate
the striping and mirroring of data without the need for third-party volume
management software. This feature enables elastic storage environments through
its ability to add disks as data volumes increase, including restriping and
rebalancing of data across disks for optimized performance.

According to the National Institute of Standards, three key characteristics of
a cloud are resource pooling, broad network accessibility and rapid elasticity.
Oracle said customers seeking to transition from a traditional computing model
to a cloud computing environment should consider the Cloud File System for
providing shared pooled storage with unified namespace for applications,
operational files and user files and accessing storage either directly over a
storage network or over traditional networks.

"Oracle Cloud File System’s advanced and automated data management
capabilities help to simplify storage pooling across files, middleware and
applications in a cloud," said Daniel Smith, senior database administrator
at Carfax. "In addition, Oracle Automatic Storage Management Cluster File
System replication coupled with Oracle Data Guard provides a complete disaster
recovery solution for database files, external files and all other general-purpose
files in the operating system." 

Other applications the system can offer is the ability to grow, shrink and
migrate storage pools while applications are online, and it provides advanced
data management and security features, including snapshots and replication of
files and file systems for backups and disaster protection, data access
security and encryption to protect from security threats and aggregate
management operations via file tags.

"Oracle Cloud File System delivers all the components and characteristics
necessary for customers to deploy a storage cloud," said Angelo Pruscino,
senior vice president of product development at Oracle. "Organizations can
move beyond expensive and difficult-to-manage and -scale hardware and storage
silos to a highly available, scalable cloud environment that adapts to change
in workloads to meet their service-level objectives. Oracle customers can begin
down the path to a cloud storage environment today with the Oracle Cloud File