Enterprise Grid Computing Scales to New Heights

Oracle OpenWord, Melbourne Australia - July 8, 2004 -- Enterprise Grid Computing has been shown to scale to new levels by a consortium of open-standards technology leaders in Australia, demonstrating breakthrough performance and reliability at a fraction of the cost of traditional high-end SMP and mainframe systems. The consortium used production software and hardware to build the world's largest Oracle Database 10g Linux cluster of 60 Dell PowerEdge™ 1750 rack-optimised servers containing 120 Intel Xeon™ CPUs.

The consortium, including the Australian Centre for Advanced Computing and Communications (ac3), Dell, Network Appliance, Oracle and Red Hat, has shown that Oracle Real Application Clusters 10g allows large numbers of low cost, industry standard servers from Dell, running Red Hat Enterprise Linux to cooperate transparently in the management of a single database. This 120 CPU cluster configuration was attached to a 4 terabyte NetApp FAS940 unified storage system (NAS and iSAN) and the servers cost just AU$380,000 while an equivalent single-box configuration would cost many times that amount.

"Since investing in Australia's most powerful supercomputer in 2003-a Dell PowerEdge/Red Hat Enterprise Linux cluster capable of calculating more than a trillion calculations per second-ac3 has become a leading proponent of the advantages of commodity clustered computing for scientific and academic purposes," said Dr Vladas Leonas, chief technology officer at ac3. "Our work with Oracle has demonstrated that these same advantages can now be delivered to mainstream, commercial computing applications. Our 60 node database cluster showed linear scalability, high performance and fault tolerance while running on low-cost, standards-based Dell hardware."

"The dramatic price/performance advantages of enterprise grid computing are now available to every type of business application," said Roland Slee, senior director of Business and Technology Solutions at Oracle Australia. "As the world's largest Oracle Real Application Clusters 10g configuration on Red Hat Enterprise Linux shows, large database workloads no longer demand expensive high-end servers or mainframes. The work at ac3 also shows that customers in the field can now build large grid configurations using best value hardware and production software. Migrating databases to the grid is quick and easy. With Oracle 10g data can simply be copied from the old environment to the new."

Gus Robertson, vice president, South Asia Pacific, Red Hat said, "The work at ac3 demonstrates the suitability of the Red Hat operating system for use with large scale Oracle Real Application Clusters 10g implementations. In partnering with Oracle and optimising Red Hat Enterprise Linux for grid computing, we are providing end-users with a secure, reliable operating system that fully delivers the benefits of the grid."

David Miller, vice president and managing director for Dell Australia and New Zealand said, "Dell is delighted our technology powers the world's largest Oracle Database 10g Linux cluster. We are continually developing modular solutions for highly available, high performance computing clusters that address practical issues such as space, power, cost and ease of deployment."

Simon Green, managing director for Network Appliance Australia and New Zealand, said, "As the creator of the enterprise storage grid, Network Appliance has a deep understanding of the scalable, manageable, and cost-effective environment that grid computing can deliver. We have worked closely with ac3 and our industry partners to solve these enterprise challenges, and are excited to be a key driver in advancing enterprise grid computing from development and standards ratification to widespread adoption."

About ac3

ac3 is an Australian company specialising in the Managed Co-location business, looking after other people's computers in its secure and highly available data centre. ac3 was established by the NSW State Government in 2000 to provide Government, commerce and academia with access to specialist computing infrastructure and services. ac3 is a private company in which the NSW Government has 57% equity, the remainder being held by eight NSW-based Universities.

About Oracle

Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) is the world's largest enterprise software company. For more information about Oracle, visit our Web site at www.oracle.com

About Oracle 10g RAC

Oracle10g RAC is Oracle's next-generation clustered database technology. Oracle 10g RAC is the result of more than ten years of development that led to 16 patents with 29 additional patents pending. Based on Oracle's CacheFusion architecture, Oracle 10g RAC delivers near-linear scalability and unbreakable reliability for any class of application. Oracle 10g RAC provides transparent application scalability by quickly and efficiently sharing frequently accessed data across all the computers in the cluster.

About Dell

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) is a premier provider of products and services required for customers worldwide to build their information-technology and Internet infrastructures. Company revenue for the past year totaled US$43.5 billion. Dell, through its direct business model, designs, manufactures and customises products and services to customer requirements, and offers an extensive selection of software and peripherals. Information on Dell and its products can be obtained at www.dell.com.au or by contacting Dell on 1800 335 502.

About Network Appliance

Network Appliance is a world leader in unified storage solutions for today's data-intensive enterprise. Since its inception in 1992, Network Appliance has delivered technology, product, and partner firsts that continue to drive "The evolution of storage.T" Information about Network ApplianceT solutions and services is available at www.netapp.com.

About Red Hat

Red Hat, the world's leading open source and Linux provider, is headquartered in Raleigh, NC with satellite offices spanning the globe. Red Hat is leading Linux and open source solutions into the mainstream by making high quality, low cost technology accessible. Red Hat provides operating system software along with middleware, applications and management solutions. Red Hat also offers support, training and consulting services to its customers worldwide and through top-tier partnerships.

Red Hat's Open Source strategy offers customers a long-term plan for building infrastructures that are based on and leverage open source technologies with focus on security and ease of management. Learn more: www.redhat.com


Tracy Postill
Oracle Corporation
tel: +61 2 9491 1877