Is Oracle moving to take more NetApp business?

Over the last several years I have been watching Larry Ellison’s storage company Pillar Data Systems to see how they leverage their unique Oracle connection. It seems they have been very careful to not upset the applecart for the storage vendors EMC and NetApp. But after reading a few press reports today it may be that Larry’s companies are about to package a hardware and software solution to compete with NetApp and EMC.

Article 1

Pillar Data Systems, which offers what it calls application-aware storage systems, introduced “profiles” for integrating its systems with Oracle databases, VMs, and the Oracle Unbreakable Linux program. They said the profiles will produce improved utilization and performance, better system availability, and centralized management of storage in Oracle environments. The company is backed by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

Article 2

… users often need to wait too long for disk storage systems to transfer those terabytes of data into Oracle’s database software. The Oracle-HP storage server is meant to address that problem by performing some of the computer processing closer to disk drives. The Database Machine server can speed up processing of financial transactions or data analysis. Oracle has also taken aim at the nascent market for “cloud computing,” which lets companies run software in large, remote data centers, accessing it over the Internet. On Sept. 23, Oracle and Intel (INTC) announced joint work on database performance and security for cloud computing environments.

It would make sense for HP to work with Oracle on breaking the hold in customer environments that EMC and NetApp have. But finding a strategic partner that will remain loyal for the long term in Silicon Valley seems very hard. If HP, Pillar and Oracle can work out a long term arrangment it would be good for customers, because competition in the storage business always brings down prices.

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