Oracle Chairman and CEO, Larry Ellison, addressed Comdex attendees on Monday, November 12, and claimed that the company's Oracle9i database system is unbreakable, effectively challenging hackers everywhere to try to bring down the Oracle corporate network. In a prekeynote press conference, Ellison said, "I was warned that by raising this red flag, they \[hackers\] would begin attacking our Oracle Web site day and night; and they have been. So far, with more than 1000 attacks every day, we're still running and we've had no interruption of service."<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Oracle9i's stability comes from its Real Application Clusters, which provide for redundant sets of servers--in the event that one set fails, processing rolls over to another set, effectively keeping applications (e.g., mail servers, Web sites) up and running. Ellison said Oracle takes security very seriously; to date, US intelligence and international security agencies have awarded 14 security certifications to Oracle. Ellison also claimed that IBM has no such certifications and that Microsoft has only 1.

Ellison went on to point out that clustering is not new, but that he feels that its time has certainly come. "Rather than having one big machine that costs a lot of money, you can have four Dell or Compaq machines which cost much less, are much faster, and are fault tolerant," explained Ellison. In a press release on the company's Web site, an Oracle spokesperson said that customers don't have to change one line of code in their programs because those applications instantly become fault tolerant when the user runs them on  Oracle9i Real Application Clusters.

Ellison ended his speech by telling the audience that his company can make Microsoft email unbreakable, too. Oracle says that its new Oracle Email Migration Service lets companies migrate from Exchange servers to an Oracle9i database while continuing to use Outlook email clients. Oracle claims that such migrations dramatically reduce costs, which the company has demonstrated by migrating 97 email servers from around the world to one Oracle9i database with backup and recovery support. The company says that the migration saved $13 million in 2000 and $11 million so far in 2001. "They \[Microsoft\] support a couple hundred users per Exchange server, we guarantee we support at least 10,000 concurrent users per Oracle database," Ellison said.