Overstock is newest grid convert

Online retailer Overstock.com looks to empty its shelves and speed up sales with Oracle 10g.

Online retailer Overstock.com has chosen Oracle's 10g DBMS as the foundation for a new data warehouse.

Earlier this year, Overstock adopted Oracle's Real Application Clusters (RAC) on Linux. Within the next few weeks, the company will begin building a data warehouse using Oracle 10g.

Salt Lake City-based Overstock said it will transition to an enterprise grid computing model made up of low-cost, standardized servers, a storage area network (SAN) and Oracle Database 10g.

The company will consolidate its Oracle-based system to improve reliability, power high-volume, online transaction processing and query intensive data warehousing applications.

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Completion of the first phase of the multi-terabyte data warehouse is expected by year's end, according to Overstock.com. The first phase includes migrating marketing, sales and financial analyses software to Oracle 10g.

Overstock.com offers discount brand-name close-out merchandise for sale over the Internet. The company currently runs its clustering technology on Red Hat Linux, and it operates five Oracle clusters to power its Web sites.

In January, Overstock.com clustered seven computers together on Red Hat Linux, distributing its database across multiple servers. The company said the move developed a more dependable Web site to visit from the front end.

The move represents a big win for Oracle, which is trying to get customers to implement its grid strategy -- and 10g -- over the entire infrastructure stack, said Dana Gardner, a senior analyst at Boston-based Yankee Group.

"To be designing, developing and deploying within the whole Oracle stack is a big move," Gardner said. "They're taking a bite off the whole Oracle bullet and recognizing that you get a better value out of Oracle when you implement across the whole stack."

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