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Oracle takes next grid computing step

Oracle Corp. and several smaller vendors today announced the Enterprise Grid Alliance, a group formed to help address some of the burning questions surrounding grid technology.

Continuing its grid computing campaign, Oracle Corp. announced today that it will join several other major software vendors in founding a group dedicated to the development of commercial applications of the technology.

The Enterprise Grid Alliance (EGA) also includes EMC, Fujitsu-Siemens, HP, NEC, Network Appliance and Sun Microsystems.

Having such alliances definitely will flesh out the definitions and approaches to grid over the next few years.
Noel Yuhanna
senior industry analystForrester Research

The grid alliance is a natural step in the advancement of grid computing, said Dana Gardner, senior analyst at Boston-based Yankee Group.

"It shows that we've reached a certain level of maturity in the grid market, and the grid vision is becoming more mainstream," Gardner said.

Microsoft and IBM are not members of the new alliance, and Gardner said it's likely the two companies are not involved because they are intent on becoming one -stop shops for infrastructure buyers. This might be good news for alliance members, he said.

"It allows for the Enterprise players to have clout in developing the standards, even though they're not the gorillas on the block," Gardner said.

"The marketplace will probably coalesce within this new alliance and that's generally good thing," Gardner said.

"A lot of the grid stuff is going to be dependent on standards and security and reliability," Gardner said. "Any time there is an alliance like this, I think it helps boost the standardization process, because the players involved all realize they are in this together."

Oracle last year began making grid computing a central theme to its technology strategy, with the release of its latest database model, 10g.

For more information

10g sneak peek

Oracle and the grid

Noel Yuhanna, a senior industry analyst with Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research, said the alliance should help clear up the confusion that surrounds grid computing.

"Right now there is no clear-cut definition of the advantages of grid in a computing environment," Yuhanna said. "Having such alliances definitely will flesh out the definitions and approaches to grid over the next few years."

Yuhanna said the fact that IBM and Microsoft are missing from the alliance is a sign that Oracle will remain the driving force behind the creation of grid standards. There will be some obstacles which will have to be dealt with if Microsoft and IBM are not involved, because companies aren't just using Oracle or EMC's environments.

"The focus is very narrow at the moment and if it really is going to be an effective alliance it needs all the major powers in play," Yuhanna said. "It's a good start and eventually I think that more vendors will be joining to create value in this alliance."

"The grid is heterogeneous. It needs to work with all the various components in the technology stack," Yuhanna said. "You need to have all the major players in this grid alliance to make it effective."

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