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Oracle sues Rimini Street; more news

Oracle goes to court -- again; Microsoft Azure debuts for real.

IT channel news in brief for Feb. 2, 2010

Oracle sues Rimini Street

Oracle does not take kindly to third parties that support its software at a discount. Last week, Oracle sued Rimini Street, alleging that the company regularly logs onto Oracle's password-protected servers and downloads software and support materials.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Nevada, looks like a repeat of Oracle's legal action against TomorrowNow, a company bought by SAP, that it charged with similar theft. Oracle is seeking $1 billion in that case. Both TomorrowNow Inc. and Rimini Street Inc. were founded by Seth Ravin.

Software maintenance and support is a touchy subject for Oracle, which reaps huge profits from that recurring revenue.

Microsoft Azure dawns

Microsoft launched the commercial version of its Windows Azure hosted computing environment as planned on Feb. 1. Both Windows Azure and SQL Azure, which have been available in beta form, are now officially open for business in 21 countries, Microsoft said. Micrsoft posted details on the service-level agreements (SLAs) and more information on its Windows Azure team blog.

For Microsoft partners, Azure, as a public cloud offering, is something of a conundrum: Partners cannot host the environment for customers, but the Microsoft Partner Network members or customers can avail themselves of a "dedicated cloud" option that would provide them with their own set of servers within Microsoft's data center, a spokeswoman said.

Windows Azure is a public cloud service, so partners cannot run and manage Azure-based "private clouds" in their own data centers. There is a "dedicated cloud" option for partners/customers wanting to run their own set of servers in Microsoft's data center.

Partners that want to build private clouds can use packaged Microsoft server products, including the Windows Server and System Center family of products.

Check out last week's IT channel news in brief.

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