Oracle Users Say Grid Use Growing

Unlike the launch of Oracle 10g four years ago, Oracle didn’t place much emphasis on grid capabilities in its 11g launch last week, but Oracle users report big strides for grid technology among their ranks nonetheless.

The Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) surveyed its worldwide community of more than 20,000 Oracle technology professionals earlier this year and found growing use of grid computing and clustering among enterprises where Oracle databases are installed.

The survey, From Clustering to Grid: A New Data Infrastructure Emerges, was conducted for the IOUG by Unisphere Research in February and is based on 220 responses collected from IOUG members. The survey was released last week.

Nearly a quarter of the survey respondents said they had a grid in place or had one planned for installation. Of those sites, nearly 75 percent said the biggest benefits of the grid were application fail-over, availability and scalability. The most prevalent grid-based applications were data warehousing and business intelligence.

The grids are also growing in size, but not without trepidation. Many of the grid users said they plan to deploy across more than twelve nodes next year, but more than half of the respondents said they’re worried about the additional complexity involved with further deployment of grid computing.

Clustering through Oracle RAC was reported by 35 percent of the survey respondents, with 35 percent also reporting a third-party cluster installed. While clustering is seen mainly as a fail-over enabler, the survey found that users also viewed it as a way of enhancing application availability. However, as with grid, users found that expanding clusters from two to four nodes created complexity and training challenges.

The survey found that clustering and grid were growing for many of the same business reasons, but that the flexibility of grid suggests accelerated growth in the year ahead.

By industry grouping, 53 percent of healthcare respondents reported RAC installed, and 13 percent reported grid installed. No retail respondents reported grid installed, yet half have deployed in-production clusters.

“The database environments that most all of our members are working in require high availability,” stated IOUG President Ari Kaplan. “Using clustering or grid computing provides a more manageable solution to ensure companies have no loss of data by removing any single point of failure.”

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