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OracleWorld to revolve around grid

Oracle Corp.'s newest database, named 10G in honor of grid technology, will be the highlight of the company's annual U.S. user conference, slated to begin Monday at San Francisco's Moscone Center. Headed into the weeklong event, Robert Shimp, Oracle's vice president of database marketing, talked with about why the whole OracleWorld revolves around grid computing.

What is the most immediate way you can leverage the technology?
The starting point is to identify a standard server configuration that you want to use in your company. Then as each of your existing servers in your data center wears out, you are going to want to replace it with a standard server and then begin to consolidate these servers into your data center.

We tell our customers that if you want to move to grid computing, then start by standardizing on a low-cost infrastructure. You can pick between Intel, SPARC, Linux, Windows or Unix. Then consolidate it into the data center and automate it.

Put in a management framework because as you start to implement and build out these clusters, you will get hundreds of them. You cannot physically manage each and every single server by yourself. You have to be able to put in a standard management framework that allows you to manage the entire center from the end-user viewpoint.

That's very different from trying to manage 500 servers at once. So, it's standardize, consolidate, automate, and integrate.

Some people say grid computing is already here. Some say it's 15 years away. Which is it?
At Oracle, we believe that grid computing is something that is here right now. You can get started and gain some benefit now, but it's a journey.

Grid computing, in its full-blown vision, is going to take a number of years to evolve and that's why you'll find different viewpoints, throughout the industry, on how far away grid computing is.

People have different expectations about what it is, and what it can do. We believe there is a lot of value that you can get right now.

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