SAN FRANCISCO—Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell touted the grid religion during the OracleWorld conference here, talking about how the push would improve performance, reduce costs and ease management.
But the pathway toward grid computing has some hurdles in the way. Customers planning to deploy grid on blade servers need some help from the computing industry in the form of better standards, said Dell.
"Wed love to see standards," Dell said during a question-and-answer session following his keynote. "(The market) is not going to go anywhere unless you have standards."
Dell declined to specify the needed blade-server standards or the companies working to develop them but said during his keynote that the market for blade servers is falling below expectations because of the need for a common blade architecture.
Dells keynote came as Oracle unveiled its push toward grid computing with the 10G versions of its database, application server and Enterprise Manager management software.
Dell focused on the importance of creating a standard set of computing infrastructure—such as Dell hardware, the Linux operating system and Oracle database and applications—to allow enterprises to focus more time and money on strategic technology. Enterprises today spend 80 percent of their IT budgets on infrastructure, he said.
"Without standardizing youre just feeding the dinosaurs, and they can eat truckloads of meat," Dell said. "This is not the answer."
The push toward grid will take time, Dell said, and likely will become a common approach in enterprise within three to five years.
Dell currently sells licensing for Oracle software and Red Hat Linux to customers, and Dell said that bundled approach has led to significant growth over the past two years. These types of implementations currently have grown 46 percent year over year, Dell said.
In the future, Dell will push toward offering more services to help enterprises manage their licensing among vendors.
Asked about how The SCO Groups legal action is affecting Linux, Dell said the company has noticed little impact and has not paid any license fees as the SCO Group has sought. SCO is demanding licenses from Linux users, claiming it holds intellectual property rights over portions of the open-source operating system.
Linux, Dell said, has become the key operating system in the Unix world. "Linux is where its at," he said.