Ellison said Oracle saw that coming several years ago, when it was developing its 9i database. "We needed to find a way to run not on a single server, but have our database and our middle-tier application server run on a cluster of smaller servers," he said."I believe that in a couple of years, Linux and Dell will be the dominant component combination in the enterprise," he said. Dell said that standards-based systems already are becoming the enterprise choice for such uses as Web servers, file and print and applications servers, and that eventually they will overtake Unix-based servers in the more complex high-end duties, such as customer relationship management, financials, enterprise resource planning and databases. Several Dell customers said they agreed with Dell and Ellisons vision of the future of data centers, although some said it could take some time before such clusters of smaller servers take over the bulk of back-end duties. Wyndham International Inc., which runs luxury hotels and resorts around the world, uses Dell servers for most of its front-end tasks, and in February adopted Dells PowerVault network-attached storage systems. Andy Miller, director of network operations, said he is exploring the idea of using computing clusters within his system, but that for the time being, he will continue using larger IBM systems for the back end. "If an opportunity [to look at Dell servers for the back end] presents itself, it certainly is compelling to look at," Miller said. "But we have a high amount of dollars already sunk into [the IBM servers]." Most Recent Stories by Jeffrey Burt:
The companys 9i technology is now designed to do just that, Ellison said.