Oracle supports Microsoft with Enterprise Manager
By James Niccolai
IDG News Service (Paris Bureau)

PARIS (22/02/2006) - Oracle has released several plug-ins that extend its database and applications management tools to cover a wide range of Microsoft products, including its SQL Server database.

The plug-ins for Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Grid Control can be downloaded now for US$1,500 each per CPU (central processing unit), Oracle said. They are also available for Microsoft's Active Directory, BizTalk Server, Commerce Server, Internet Security and Acceleration Server, Internet Information Services and .Net Framework.

The plug-ins will help customers using Enterprise Manager to reduce the cost and complexity of managing mixed Oracle and Microsoft installations.l

The company didn't say which version of SQL Server its plug-in supports and it wasn't clear if Microsoft's latest SQL Server 2005 database is included. Oracle couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Oracle said last August that it would extend the capabilities of Enterprise Manager to include other vendors' products. It has since released plug-ins for IBM's DB2 database and WebSphere application server, and BEA Systems Inc.'s application server.

Other vendors, such as Quest Software and BMC Software, have also been extending their management tools to let customers manage mixed applications from a single console.

"This is clearly Oracle reacting to competitive moves from Quest and BMC, and I'd say it's probably a smart move on their part because there's escalating interest among end users in reducing the complexity of management," said Richard Ptak, principal analyst at Ptak, Noel & Associates.

"Users are sick and tired of having to have multiple separate management frameworks, and they don't want to have to install a new set of agents and products every time. They want a complete solution that allows them to easily introduce new management capabilities into their system," he said.

"It's hard to judge just yet how well Oracle has done this without taking a closer look, but at least it suggests that they understand the problem," Ptak said.

The Oracle plug-ins build on the existing support for Microsoft software in Enterprise Manager, Oracle said.

The SQL Server plug-in gives availability, performance and configuration information. Customers running applications on Oracle and SQL Server can centralise the monitoring information in Enterprise Manager, model and view the topology of applications, and perform root cause analysis, Oracle said.

Separately Wednesday, Quest announced a new tool for monitoring the performance of Oracle Real Application Clusters, an Oracle add-on that lets customers tie databases together to improve performance.

Spotlight on Oracle RAC gives a graphical view of the internal performance of an Oracle RAC configuration, including diagnostic data for nodes, interconnects and shared disks, according to Quest. Version 1.0 is available now from $3,240 per server, Quest said.