Grid computing claims branded as vendor hype

Australia is being touted as a world leader in the adoption of grid computing standards but analysts have branded the claims vendor hype.

In a global Grid Index released by Oracle last week Australia is shown as third for devices such as Intel servers and Linux behind the South East Asia and the Nordic region in the adoption of grid computing standards. Australia rated well ahead of the US, the UK and India.

But while the Grid Index Report is supposed to be a benchmark to chart the global progress towards grid computing, IT managers and analysts said the reality is that there are few organizations in Australia actually doing grid computing.

However, Oracle cited the NSW Office of State Revenue as a local customer example. However, IDC associate director of Asia Pacific services Phil Hassey said grid computing is simply being hyped.

"The people pushing for standards for grid computing are primarily those with something to gain, namely vendors," Hassey said.

"I think there are a lot of people trying to make the grid computing market happen rather than letting the market make it happen.

"To embrace grid computing organizations need to open up their business and share a good model, which is not something organizations tend to want to do. If the banking sector and telecommunications were to share infrastructure they would get a better return on IT, but for competitive and legacy reasons choose not to."

Oracle business and technology senior director Roland Slee said the adoption of grid computing for the enterprise space is being driven by cost, both in regard to consolidating servers and standardizing on hardware.

"Ultimately, commoditized computing is the promised land for companies looking to get prices down, open up their buying options and build an easily scalable computing resource base," Slee said.

", before it went to a grid computing model was running 23 Terabyte databases on 64 CPU machines - it moved to 16 lower-end HP Proliant servers.

"Grid computing is about purchasing capacity in advance of demand." If you have to go back to a vendor to buy more gear then the peak loads were wrong, he said.

The Index polled 450 companies in the Asia/Pacific region - with 75 companies in Australia and 25 in New Zealand, 606 throughout Europe and 300 in North America.

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