Talk America, which offers a bundle of local and long distance telephone services to residential and small business customers in the United States, has deployed an enterprise grid computing infrastructure with Oracle 10g software at its core.
“In the past, the database has been a single point of failure,” said Leonard. “So we looked at the reliability and scalability offered by Oracle 10g and grid computing, and established that it fits our business strategy.”
Central to the company’s technology infrastructure is Oracle Application Server 10g on Linux. Talk America will utilize Oracle Application Server 10g’s J2EE capabilities to build and deploy custom Java applications in a grid environment.
“Moving to a grid computing infrastructure using Oracle 10g software gives IT organizations greater flexibility and better alignment with business priorities,” said Robert Shimp, vice president of Technology Marketing, Oracle Corporation. “Grid computing can also improve reliability and it offers the ability to scale out system performance as needed over time.”
C/Net reports that competition in the market for infrastructure software, or middleware, is fierce with IBM battling for the top spot against BEA Systems and Microsoft. Meanwhile, Oracle, Sun Microsystems and open-source alternatives are girding for a larger chunk of middleware spending. Grid computing is the new kid in town and largely unproven.
Grid computing, says Steve Wallage in The Feature, is an IT buzzword that may be applied by the telcos. Wallage mentions three telecom projects that involve grids and wireless:
Intel Research at Berkeley has been looking at how to link wireless devices to create a wireless grid. Distributed robotics will be enabled by small, low-cost flexible wireless devices with a flexible, open operating system and environment to combine sensing, communication and computations.
TeleCom City, an economic and technology development project located north of Boston that s funded by the National Science Foundation. It’s led by Syracuse University and supported by other universities including MIT, Tufts and Boston University. The two-year project is looking at how to use idle computing power in a wireless grid environment.
DARC* (Distributed Audio Recording Collective) is out of Syracuse University. The system lets wireless devices with no prior knowledge of each other collectively record and mix an audio signal such as a concert, speech, lecture or emergency event. The project demonstrates the potential of wireless grids and distributed ad hoc resource sharing to harness the combined ability of mobile devices in social contexts outside the expected environments for computing.
One of the newest grid developments is from the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) — home to Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux — and dedicated to accelerating the growth and adoption of open source software.
OSDL and ActiveGrid, a new commercial open source software company, has joined OSDL and will participate in the lab’s Data Center Linux (DCL) working group.
ActiveGrid is focused on enabling transactional applications to be scaled across a grid of low-cost commodity computers. The company is building its products around the popular LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and the PHP, Python and Perl scripting languages) stack of open source software.
“We are bringing transaction grid computing to mainstream business applications, leveraging the innovation of the open-source LAMP stack,” said Jeff Veis, vice president of marketing and business development at ActiveGrid. “Community-driven innovation is at the very core of what differentiates Linux from traditional technology models. We see OSDL as the preeminent organization in which to foster the industry collaboration needed to drive the broad adoption of open-source based transaction grid computing.”
The lab has launched a project aimed at helping Linux clustering and reducing redundancy in the kernel. OSDL established its Clusters Special Interest Group to boost the use of Linux clusters.
The city of Beaverton, Ore., along with OSDL and others, is putting more than $1 million into economic development around open-source software, and an open-source software center designed to attract and retain students from the University of Oregon and Oregon State is also on the cards.
The Open Technology Business Center opening February 1st, brings together the best minds to analyze business implications of the Open Technology movement, according to LaVonne Reimer, Director for the new Open Technolgy business center.
The Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN) is a National Institutes of Health initiative involves a consortium of 15 universities and 22 research groups that participate in distributed collaborations in biomedical science centered around brain imaging of human neurological disorders and associated animal models. The development of the National LambdaRail (video), Lambda Light Switch and the Opticomputer make it a reality. Here’s a riveting one hour lecture by Larry Smarr.
Residents of the Dutch town are creating the world s first “virtual city supercomputer. The AlemereGrid project will target 2200 citizens that have access to 100 MB/s fibre optic connections. They’ll use SETI@home-style technology to harness their computing power for scientific research. The project organizers also plan to eventually let corporations get in on the supercomputing action.
Hawaii’s first 10Gbps connection links Hawaii to Australia and the U.S. mainland. But instead of spending some $150 million on supercomputer upgrades at the Maui Supercomputer Center and Arctic Region Supercomputing Center, why not distribute the power to homes and schools. Free or discounted computers and bandwidth might be exchanged for NSA crypto decoding@home. AOL-Time/Warner could package it. Damn…
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