Blades open new markets

Companies that don't make blade servers are beginning to develop products to complement them. Oracle Corp., for example, has a database product called 10g that is optimized for grid computing, a form of clustering.

Grids work on problems that are chunkable, or divisible into small tasks that individual processors can perform, said Timothy Hoechst, senior vice president of technology in Oracle's Government, Education and Healthcare Division.

By contrast, "our problem—running a database—is not chunkable," he said. "Modern databases are all about concurrency, not about separation."

Oracle developers have been dealing with clusters for a while, Hoechst said. "What we've been focusing on recently is taking that next step so [a user has] not two big Unix machines operating as a cluster, but racks of blade servers acting as a grid," he said.

"There is a level of convenience that comes with blade servers," Hoechst added. "Blade servers give us the ability to have in a single rack lots of computers that are working independently but collectively on a problem. They take up less space; they use less power."

The management capabilities that Oracle 10g offers are essential for controlling ever-growing implementations, said Larry Callant, a research associate at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Callant handles digital images and geographic information for the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund program, and he is leading a project to develop a service that will provide the data quickly to first responders.

Agency officials will be implementing blade servers soon to move the massive task off of desktop workstations' development environment.

"The blade servers are going to give us a faster response and enable us to handle data much better," Callant said. "The con is price, and you have to have a location that's going to set it up. We're going to need a lot of storage."

Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.