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Oracle gives grid a boost

Oracle's upcoming database enables enterprises to build reliable grids based on commercial, rather than customised technology, an Oracle official has claimed.

Oracle Database 10g will debut at the OracleWorld conference next month, said Robert Shimp, vice-president of database marketing at Oracle.

Grids are intended to pool resources of multiple computers together for executing a single application.

The database will overcome the inability of exisitng grids to prioritise jobs, which is a critical need in an enterprise business, Shimp said.

Grids have been predominant in the scientific community, where "best-effort capacity", in which the grid handles the job when it can, has sufficed. "Obviously, enterprises can't use that. They need predictable capacity," Shimp said.

Version 10g also will provide for a centrally managed system used by thousands of people, unlike scientific grids, which have been customised for use by a small number of people.

According to Shimp, both enterprises and ASPs offering outsourced application processing will benefit from Version 10g. He added that the database will add to existing grid capabilities in the exisiting Oracle9i database, such as the Real Application Clusters (RAC) capability.

While Oracle has supported the Open Grid Services Architecture, a web services-based grid computing platform from the Globus Project research effort, Oracle's database will not implement OGSA for some time.

OGSA offers capabilities such as identity management and provisioning, but the technology is not yet ready for support in Oracle's database, Shimp said.

IBM, however, has pledged to add OGSA technologies to its operating systems and WebSphere application server beginning later this year.

Paul Krill writes for IDG News Service

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