Oracle to track grid technology implementation

In a move designed to fuel adoption of enterprise grids, Oracle has tied up with analyst Quocirca to publish a report rating...

In a move designed to fuel adoption of enterprise grids, Oracle has tied up with analyst Quocirca to publish a report rating take-up of grid technology among European users.

An enterprise grid is a form of datacentre computing where low-cost servers are clustered to provide a scalable server farm where additional processing power can be added or taken away by the additon or removal of servers.

Key to its success is that existing application should be able to take advantage of the grid, without needing to be redeveloped.

The research, published today at Oracle OpenWorld in London, predicted that adoption of enterprise grids is likely to follow a similar pattern to growth of the internet in the 1990s.

Not suprisingly, enterprise grids are being driven by larger business, according to the research. Companies making the greatest use are from industries where IT is under pressure to reduce costs such as retail, financial services and utilities.

Compuational power, as determined by the progress of processors is governed by Moores Law, which predicts that processing power doubles every 18 months.

It is this law that has driven the development of increasingly powerful datacentre servers. But in his keynote presentation earlier today, Oracle president Charles Phillips, said, "For the first time in 30 years, Moores Law is reaching its limits."

Phillips suggested that with chipmakers such as Intel now looking at introducing processors with more that one processor on a single chip (for example a multi-core processor) to increase processing power, Moores Law was reaching its limits.

"This is an inflexion point in hardware design," he said.

Phillips believes the only answer is for users to develop enterprise grids, to cope with increasing demand for computational power, such as handling the monthly peak during a payroll run.

However, enterprise grids may not be the only way to cope with users’ needs for more processing power said Rob Hailstone, research director at analyst IDC.

"[Enterprise] grids will exist but they may be too complex for some situations," he said.

Hailstone suggested that a less complex approach to datacentre comuting would a strategy based on the so-called service oriented architecture. In this model, an IT infrastructure is built on many simple applications running opn their servers, each with their own database that are able to share data with each other.

"Users will not need complex datacentres with a service oriented architecture,’ he said.

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