Oracle giving Exadata, Exalogic customers new Platinum support services

Customers won't be charged, but they must install a special gateway that allows Oracle to monitor their systems

Oracle rolled out a new Platinum Services offering that it claims will set a new high standard in the IT industry during a webcast event on Wednesday featuring CEO Larry Ellison and co-president Mark Hurd.

Platinum Services is available at no additional charge to customers of Oracle's Exadata X2-2 and X2-8 database machines; Exalogic X2-2 application server machine; SPARC SuperCluster T4-4 Servers with Exadata storage; and ZFS Storage or Pillar Axiom 600 Storage.

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It will provide five-minute response times for Severity 1 issues, a pledge to restore affected systems or refer the matter to development within 15 minutes, around-the-clock fault monitoring, and quarterly system updates and patching.

Oracle's Advanced Customer Support Services division has already been offering these features for some time, but at a premium. Now they will be available to all customers of those products that have valid support contracts.

"It's different than anybody in the industry," Hurd said during the event.

Eventually, Oracle plans to extend Platinum Services to all of its products, but no timetable has been set, said Larry Abramson, senior vice president and general manager of ACS, in an interview before the webcast.

Those who wish to access Platinum Services must install a "patented, secure monitoring gateway," which will enable Oracle to deliver those updates and monitor the systems.

In some respects, Platinum Services echoes the type of proactive monitoring Oracle has touted for years in the form of its Enterprise Manager product. The secure gateway incorporates Enterprise Manager functionality, but the broader EM product still has an important role due to its sheer breadth of supported products, Abramson said.

Other aspects of the technology in Platinum Services were developed in-house by ACS, he said.

Oracle may not be charging customers for Platinum Services, but it is using the launch to also roll out a number of new premium service offerings.

One is Advanced Monitoring and Resolution Services for Platinum, which will cover many additional devices from partners and competitors. Oracle is also planning to offer a new end-user performance monitoring service, Abramson said.

Pricing for these services are all custom, depending on the particular customer's environment, he said.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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