* Unveils Exalogic, showcasing hardware and software
* No signs of HP rift as annual conference opens
By Gabriel Madway and Noel Randewich
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 19 Oracle Corp ORCL.O,
the world's No. 3 software maker, unveiled a new all-in-one
product to help companies manage so-called "cloud" computing.
Chief Executive Larry Ellison opened Oracle's annual
technology and user conference on Sunday by revealing Exalogic,
which combines server, storage and networking technology with
Oracle's software, that companies will use to run their
Oracle competes with European software giant SAP AG
(SAPG.DE) and International Business Machines (IBM) (IBM.N) in
the business software and database products markets.
It also vies with hardware vendors such as Hewlett-Packard
(HPQ.N) after a multi-billion dollar purchase of Sun
Microsystems earlier this year.
Ellison attempted to wrest control of the term "cloud," a
word that's meaning is the subject of much debate, as he
described Exalogic as a "cloud in a box."
"The whole idea of cloud computing is to have a pool of
resources that is shared amongst lots of different applications
inside your company," he said.
He said Exalogic takes advantage of virtualization
technologies and is elastic enough to meet surges in demand for
computing power within companies.
Ellison hopes to double the size of Oracle's hardware
business, taking share from IBM and others.
BACKDROP OF DRAMA
The OpenWorld conference -- which attracts more than 40,000
people -- is expected to feature more drama than in years past
because of Mark Hurd, the recently ousted CEO of
Hewlett-Packard, who Ellison has just hired as president.
The move prompted HP to sue Hurd, and Ellison to fire some
harsh words HP's way. The two companies have been partners for
more than two decades -- with more than 140,000 joint customers
-- but the relationship has appeared strained.
The spat did not prevent HP from making a high-profile
appearance at the Oracle conference, although Ellison did not
appear on stage with any HP executives.
Ann Livermore, who runs HP's enterprise business, had been
scheduled to speak at OpenWorld long before the Hurd
Livermore noted how connected the two companies' businesses
are. HP has roughly 12,000 IT services employees who do nothing
but work on Oracle systems, she said.
Oracle's software runs on HP servers and storage products,
but the companies are now competing more directly, as Oracle
pushes into the server market.
Oracle on Thursday reported better-than-expected net profit
and sales, helped by strong demand for its new business
software and faster-than-expected growth of its new hardware
Hurd was named co-president of Oracle on Sept. 6, replacing
Charles Phillips. Oracle shares surged when his hiring was
(Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe)