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Oracle Goes for the Grid

Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) is looking to tap growing interest in security and grid computing with its new, souped-up 10g database (see Oracle Announces Its 10g R2).

The second version of the software, which was made available to users today, has been overhauled to help avoid the storage snafus that have recently plagued a number of high-profile firms. Ameritrade, Bank of America, and Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) have all lost tapes while being transported this year, raising questions about how best to secure storage data (see A Tale of Lost Tapes).

Clearly preying on users fears about lost data, Oracle is now touting a range of new encryption technologies for 10g. The vendor has introduced a new feature called Secure Backup, which encrypts databases stored on tape backups. This works with the original version of 10g, as well as earlier releases of the database, such as 9i.

Oracle has also introduced a feature called Transparent Data Encryption. This technology, it says, enables users to encrypt critical database data on disk without having to rewrite the applications that access the data. According to Oracle, this could be used for encrypting the likes of credit card and social security numbers.

Steve Duplessie, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, says that encryption is growing in importance at the moment, although he is not sure how many users will be won over by Oracle’s security story. “I doubt if you will see a heck of a lot of people do [encryption] with them,” he asserts.

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