Oracle VP

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2003-09-09 Print this article Print

: Grid Wont Change Pricing, Licensing"> In a separate interview with eWEEK, Jacqueline Woods, Oracle vice president of global pricing and licensing strategy, said the Redwood Shores, Calif., companys pricing and licensing strategy isnt changing, in spite of the fact that companies will, with grid, gain the ability easily to add servers and users to their existing pools of resources. "Typically when people have large server farms, you could have one or two boxes that are, say, 32-nodes, so you have 62 CPUs," she said. "Thats no different from 16 four-way nodes.
"We want to be clear that for named-user licensing, if you have 128 CPUs and 2,000 named users, even if you took those two machines and broke those into smaller nodes, … you have smaller, cheaper systems; there wont be any change to licensing fees. You havent changed users or uses. The only way youd pay more is if you were to increase CPUs or named users. Then youd buy more licenses, same as today."
During his keynote, Ellison went on to outline Oracles grid architecture as having four components: information stored in a storage grid, whether it be network-attached storage, lots of disk drives or SANs, which would be attached in turn to an array of database servers connected to a collection of application servers; the entire system would be managed by a control system announced on Monday called Grid Control. From the point of view of a DBA, a computer user and the application program itself, that vast array of disk drives will appear to be one big computer, Ellison said, and it will be managed as if it were one computer. The 10G grid architecture will run all existing Oracle applications, along with PeopleSoft Inc., SAP AG and Siebel Systems Inc. applications, without requiring changes their existing application code, he said—and those applications will run faster, more reliably and less expensively on grid. This vision of on-demand computing differs from that of vendors such as IBM, Ellison said; customers will purchase more $5,000 servers as needed to add to the computing power of the grid, instead of turning on and paying for CPUs in a machine from IBM. Getting to this point has meant creating an illusion that all these machines are one machine, Ellison said. That illusion must be constructed for several constituencies, including for the IT workers in a data center who are suddenly running 100 or 200 two-CPU servers, as opposed to five large servers. It has to be as easy for those administrators to install, patch and upgrade software on hundreds of machines as on a handful—otherwise, labor costs would outweigh hardware savings. Thats where Grid Control comes in. Grid Control allows DBAs to patch one server and then to clone it across others in a pool. The software will also tell users which servers are configured differently. In addition, policies dictate known configuration standards, which can be enforced across an array. When pressed for a release date for Oracle Database 10G, Ellison said it would ship this year. Discuss this in the eWEEK forum.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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