We’re ready for the grid

We’re ready for the grid

A NEW study shows New Zealand is ready to adopt grid computing, according to enterprise software firm Oracle.

Oracle regards the grid as the next logical step in IT evolution and has compiled a global index of progress towards this technology.

Its Grid Index report is based on a study of 1,356 businesses from 19 countries, including 25 from New Zealand, conducted by UK research firm Quocirca.

The report measured attitudes towards grid computing in terms of standardisation, consolidation, expected return on investment, perceived benefits and understanding of the technology.

With an overall Grid Index score of 4.8, New Zealand and Australia are ahead of the global average of 4.41 and placed third in the world in adoption of grid technology, behind South-East Asia and the Nordics. The US had a score of 4.6.

Although North America is slightly ahead of the rest of the world on a wider regional basis, Oracle says Asia-Pacific could soon overtake other regions in adoption of grid technology as it leads on standardisation and consolidation of IT infrastructure.

These are key elements in the progress to grid computing, says Oracle New Zealand country mana-ger Robert Gosling.

In keeping with their counterparts in the region, New Zealand businesses are standardising and consolidating their IT infrastructure faster than bigger markets such as the US, Gosling says.

Of the local companies surveyed, 78% have standardised or are standardising their operating systems, 74% their database management systems and 63% their enterprise applications.

This means New Zealand companies are in a good position to move to grid computing, says Gosling.

“We are typically smaller organisations and more adaptable and can standardise and consolidate into a single data centre easier than larger organisations.”

Australia and New Zealand scored fourth highest in demanding a return on investment in six months and third in expecting a return in a year.

“Our organisations are more focused on value and much more conscious of the cost of IT versus the overall cost of their business,” says Gosling. “They are more sensitive around putting in IT projects that have a direct link to business benefit.”

Related to this, the report finds there is a high correlation between organisations that have, or are moving towards, a service-orientated architecture and grid computing.

“Managing service levels is more effective on a grid,” Gosling says.

“The grid is the enabler of utility computing because you are looking at virtualisation of resources that is scalable, residual and secure. The restraint on utility computing commercially has traditionally been around cost, networking and processing. With technologies like grid computing and reduction in telecommunications costs, the commercialisation of true utility computing is becoming more real.”

Gosling says the next stage for grid computing technology is to enter the mainstream.

“It is our fundamental belief that grid computing is the next paradigm shift in computing. It will have as big an impact as the internet.”

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