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Ellison explains Oracle grid plan

[SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.] - Outspoken Oracle CEO Larry Ellison used the stage of OracleWorld yesterday to formally unveil the new 10G database technology -- and to crow that his implementation of Grid technology represents an IT sea change.

Larry Ellison at OracleWorld.
(photo: John K. Waters)

"For 40 years, the object for IBM has been to build bigger, faster mainframes," Ellison said, noting that Big Blue unveiled the groundbreaking 360 mainframe in 1964. That strategy, said Ellison, is outdated. "There are problems with a 40-year-old architecture that needs larger and larger servers." In his typically understated fashion, Ellison noted that "after 40 years, we've created a whole new approach to enterprise computing."

Ellison said that depending on a single box limits capacity, has become too expensive and offers limited reliability due to a single point of failure. His "alternative to big iron," as reported this month in Application Development Trends, is what he calls "enterprise grid computing" -- tens, hundreds or thousands of separate systems running all corporate applications.

Oracle's grid solution includes what the company calls four "resource pools" -- a storage grid, database grid, application server grid and grid control software. The latter "resource pool," the development of which was described by Ellison as "an amazing software development feat," can automatically control grid hardware and software. "Grid control is absolutely critical to making grid computing work," Ellison said. "And grid control has to be automated, cost effective and reliable; these are reasons to get labor out of the picture."

Ellison claims that the Oracle grid model of running multiple applications, databases and application servers in a single network on many PC-type systems, and adding new processors as necessary, is far more cost-effective than the IBM on-demand computing model, which he describes as utilizing single large systems and one database server.

About the Author

Mike Bucken is former Editor-in-Chief of Application Development Trends magazine.

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