Page Three

By John Taschek  |  Posted 2003-06-09 Print this article Print

Rooholamini, based in Round Rock, Texas, pointed to some problems with running enterprise applications. For one thing, it is difficult to run database applications—the core of enterprise computing—on a cluster because of issues related to distributed queries. IBM and Oracle Corp. have cluster-capable databases (IBMs DB2 and Oracles Oracle9i RAC), but it is not an easy task to set them up, said Rooholamini. And, generally speaking, it is nearly impossible to take existing applications and recompile them as message-passing applications that take advantage of computing clusters.

It may be easier to use the so-called grid engines to distribute application workloads. Microsoft, for one, is working to combine the grid and clustering technologies. Greg Rankich, product manager, Windows Server Product Management Group, in Redmond, Wash., said Microsoft is focusing at least some of its efforts on distributing business solutions—in part because of customer demand for consolidation, but also to take advantage of spare CPU cycles.

Rooholamini agreed that grid and HPCC technologies are merging. "We look at grid [computing] as an evolution of HPCCs," said Rooholamini. "From a technology perspective, if I design my HPCC and distribute my compute nodes across a larger geography, then I am solving and incorporating things that are necessary for a grid. If I can eliminate latencies in the grid, then I have tackled some of the obstacles."

However, Rooholamini estimates it will be another three years before we see grid-aware applications.

Labs Director John Taschek can be reached at

As the director of eWEEK Labs, John manages a staff that tests and analyzes a wide range of corporate technology products. He has been instrumental in expanding eWEEK Labs' analyses into actual user environments, and has continually engineered the Labs for accurate portrayal of true enterprise infrastructures. John also writes eWEEK's 'Wide Angle' column, which challenges readers interested in enterprise products and strategies to reconsider old assumptions and think about existing IT problems in new ways. Prior to his tenure at eWEEK, which started in 1994, Taschek headed up the performance testing lab at PC/Computing magazine (now called Smart Business). Taschek got his start in IT in Washington D.C., holding various technical positions at the National Alliance of Business and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. There, he and his colleagues assisted the government office with integrating the Windows desktop operating system with HUD's legacy mainframe and mid-range servers.

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