A database without an operating system?

The Ingres solution combines rPath Linux with the Ingres database, and is code-named Project Icebreaker.

Not really. But as far as customers can tell, maybe.

rPath and Ingres have integrated a database and a Linux installation so it looks to the customer like a single install. The result is what rPath calls a "software appliance," and this concept is at the heart of rBuilder 2.0, which debuts this week at LinuxWorld.

The Ingres solution combines rPath Linux with the Ingres database, and is code-named Project Icebreaker. Ingres CTO Dave Dargo chatted with me about it last week.

With a single installation, and a single maintenance stream, we're delivering a single solution that simplifies management infrastructure, burden and cost.

If we look at traditional vendors, the components may come from a single vendor but that vendor delivers multiple maintenance streams to meaintain the software. This is dbms softwrae and one maintenance stream to cover the whole stack.Rpath provides the framework and Linux objects we need to include the operating system capabilities on our product.You don't see a stack. You see a single component. The single maintenance stream is very important.

So it's not really a single unit, unless you're writing the maintenance checks. "We have a relationship with rPath where they are supplying components to us and we're able to maintain our cost point," he said. "The savings are on the operational side. Those savings are significant."

The solution also fulfills what Dargo calls a long-time unmet promise of closed source. "Closed sources have sold a single stack as saying it's esaier to maintan but they never delivered." Even systems like Oracle's Unbreakable Linux still fall under two mainenance contracts.

Even if it's not really magic at least it's made a piece of paper disappear.

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