Oracle awaits grid database upgrades

Oracle anticipates a spur in upgrades to its grid-enabled Oracle Database 10g this June, when the first patch set will be...

Oracle anticipates a spur in upgrades to its grid-enabled Oracle Database 10g this June, when the first patch set will be released for the new system.

Andrew Mendelsohn, senior vice president of database and server technologies, said the largest in-production user of the 10g database is Oracle itself. But he noted that the product began shipping in January on Unix and Linux, and on Windows in March.

While Mendelsohn could not provide specific information on the rate of users upgrading to version 10g from previous releases, he said the release of the patch, which will feature some bug fixes, should spur upgrades.

Oracle estimated that its installed base for databases is between 100,000 and 200,000 customers. About 45% are on release 9i, which came out just before 10g, with the rest on earlier versions.

"One thing we're seeing is there are a number of customers planning to go from those older releases straight to 10g," Mendelsohn said.

With the 10g release Oracle is touting support for grid computing, which enables the database to be spread out over multiple, commodity hardware systems. It also features self-managing capabilities.

Mendelsohn expected the self-management capabilities to be the most popular feature when customers begin upgrading, he said. Grid enablement at customer sites will be a slower process.

"I expect a large percentage of our installed base will be moving to a grid environment over time. It's going to take a number of years," he added.

One area of grid that needs more work is the development of standards, Mendelsohn acknowledged. Oracle and other suppliers need to develop standards covering issues such as the discovery and management of components in grid environments,.

Oracle plans to ship Oracle 10g Release 2 in 2005, Mendelsohn said, although he would not describe the features planned. "It's basically 10g with some spit and polish added."

Oracle is betting that enterprise business customers will latch onto grid computing, even though grid has, predominantly, been the domain of specialised environments such as scientific applications.

Paul Krill writes for InfoWorld

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