Oracle Openworld: Compaq talks clustering

Compaq chairman and chief executive Michael Capellas used his keynote talk at Oracle OpenWorld to announce new tools designed to...

Compaq chairman and chief executive Michael Capellas used his keynote talk at Oracle OpenWorld to announce new tools designed to help users create large computing networks by linking servers and storage products with Oracle's database software.

Compaq, like most hardware vendors, is pushing users to link disparate server and storage resources so that as much information as possible is available to users.

Most users, for example, still have storage units linked to servers via direct attachments, often forcing them to shut a unit down to add more data-storing capacity.

However, with Storage Area Network (SAN) and similar technologies now becoming popular, users can cluster hardware resources over a switching network and add more servers or storage units on-the-fly.

With the help of software companies like Oracle, Capellas said, this model of "adding resources on demand" will be the main focus of IT administrators as they build out their Internet infrastructures.

Capellas also announced tools to help users create large computing networks with Compaq hardware and Oracle software.

The Database Utility allows system administrators to make changes to clustered Oracle databases without taking any of the database resources offline.

Administrators working with Oracle9i Real Application Clusters can change database characteristics such as disk space size or the number of hardware systems that "see" the database, without temporarily shutting down the software to end users. This will enable customers to both add more hardware and alter database software with fewer disruptions.

Oracle's first certified configuration for linking Oracle9i Real Application Clusters with Microsoft's Windows 2000 operating system was also announced by Capellas. Users can now choose pre-tested combinations of Compaq ProLiant servers running both Oracle's software and the Windows 2000 OS.

While the current economic downturn has caused a sharp decline in IT spending, companies will need to purchase clustering technology to keep their infrastructures up-to-date, Capellas claimed.

"This clustering of nodes, that grew up in the world of supercomputing, is now coming to commercial applications," he said.

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