Sun buys database clustering company to beef up iPlanet

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Sun Microsystems has shored up its iPlanet ecommerce software with the acquisition of Clustra Systems, an enterprise software firm that was set up in 1997 to develop clustering database technology.

Clustering is a long standing technology which has gained renewed attention in recent months since Oracle made it a fundamental plank of its current database product strategy. Clustering is a key part of creating computing services with "high availability," meaning services that are available despite downtime.

But despite the acquisition Sun insists it does not intend to enter the database market, although the absence of a database is notable in the software stack which the company has spent millions building up in recent years.

Clustra's technology will be used in Sun's iPlanet Application Server software product. The Clustra software will allow a transaction being dealt with by Sun's application-server software to continue even if the server handling it crashes. It will be incorporated in the next version of the application-server product towards the end of 2002.

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