Sun and Oracle working on new no-OS database

Oracle Corporation on Monday announced a joint development project with Sun Microsystems that will combine the Oracle 8i database with Sun's Solaris microkernal to create an operating system-less database server dubbed "Raw Iron." The Raw Iron project will become available to customers in March, the companies said today, offering a only the most basis OS-type services, such as networking support.

"We think it's a tremendous device for the enterprise customer," said Sun chairman and CEO Scott McNealy. "Rather than reinventing and trying to catch each other, the two companies are leveraging each other's strengths to bring together the world's best operating system and the world's best database."

The companies hope that major system vendors such as Dell and Compaq will sell these Intel-based servers while a version for Hewlett Packard's UNIX is also under development.

"I think you're going to see very tight integration of our products and strategies going forward," McNealy said. "We are going to make sure that our products can talk to any database environment out there, but we will make liberal and aggressive use of the Oracle technology embedded in Solaris so these applications don't have to assume, or wonder, what database environment is out there."

It's hard not to view this development as a threat to Microsoft's SQL Server 7.0, which was just released. SQL Server 7 only runs on Windows NT Server, using Intel or Alpha hardware

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