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Intel, Oracle Head For 'The Cloud'

SAN FRANCISCO -- Intel and Oracle, which have partnered for 15 years, are heading for the cloud, Intel CEO Paul Otellini announced at Oracle OpenWorld 2008 Tuesday.

"Today Intel and Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) are announcing that they're taking the enterprise aspect of cloud computing and driving it outwards," Otellini said. The two will work on security and flexibility for migration between private and public clouds, and on industry standards for this migration.

Earlier in the week at OpenWorld, Oracle announced that it has partnered with Amazon to let customers deploy and back up its applications in the cloud.

Otellini also unveiled some of Intel's (NASDAQ: INTC) other plans, bringing other Intel executives on stage to elaborate. These include a new toolset to help C++ developers learn about parallel programming, and details of when products based on forthcoming Nehalem chip will ship.

By tackling the migration between private and public clouds, Intel and Oracle are going head to head with VMware, whose vCloud initiative, announced last week at VMworld 2008 in Las Vegas, will do the same thing. Oracle has its own hypervisor, based on the Xen open source hypervisor.

Enterprises can now license Oracle's Database 11g, Fusion Middleware and Enterprise Manager over Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). It also introduced a secure backup module for Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3).

Oracle is itself leveraging virtualization heavily within its own infrastructure, and recently announced its VM Templates suite, which combines Oracle Database 11g, Enterprise Manager 10g, Siebel CRM 8 and Enterprise Linux, with all the applications preinstalled and preconfigured.

To elaborate on his announcement about working with Oracle, Otellini brought out Renee James, vice president and general manager of Intel's software solutions group. "Most of our datacenter customers are already using virtualization in their infrastructure behind the firewall; we want to help them take it out into the public cloud," James said.

She added that Intel has added several features in its CPU and chipsets to ensure the best performance for virtualization, and "we're delighted to see Oracle's getting a 17 percent performance improvement on the Oracle virtual machine using the hardware features we've put in."

The move to multicore

Turning to parallel computing, James said that, within the next couple of years, all Intel's processors will be multicore, and, to help C++ developers prepare for this, Intel has come up with a new set of tools for C++ developers called Intel Parallel Studio.

Intel will run a beta trial for most components of Intel Parallel Studio from November through May 2009.

Intel's Otellini also announced that Intel will go into production in the fourth quarter with the Nehalem chip for desktops and workstations. It will offer a product for database servers which will be available from its hardware partners in the first quarter of 2009, he added.

Nehalem was the code name for the processor when it was in development, but it's official name is the Core i7.