The UK Oracle User Group (UKOUG) annual conference, which opens in Birmingham today, will hear more details about the 10g database - and the concerns about the clustering technology that underpins it.
Senior Oracle executives will present delegates with the case for upgrading to the next full release of its database, 10g.
Ian Smith, Oracle's UK managing director, will explain how grid computing has become a major focus of IT developments, while Alan Hartwell, the company's UK vice president of marketing, will detail how 10g supports grid architectures.
But delegates will also be getting to grips with the Real Application Cluster (RAC) technology underpinning 10g.
RAC technology promises high availability, CPU scaling and work partitioning. In its first incarnation in Oracle 9i, RAC enabled the database to run over a number of nodes. In 10g this has been extended to potentially hundreds of nodes.
"Grid is RAC made bigger," said Ronan Miles, chairman of the UKOUG. "The conference will help our members understand where the technology works well."
Oracle's claim that its RAC technology offers scalability out of the box needs to be treated with caution, consultant Jonathan Lewis will tell delegates.
"There's a whole list of third-party applications written for SQL Server, Informix, DB2 that have been ported to Oracle. Without writing some custom code, these applications can perform quite badly on RAC," Lewis told vnunet.com.
And Mogens Nørgaard of the Oracle technical support group, OakTable Network, will give a presentation entitled You probably don't need RAC. He warned: "There might be good reasons for saying no to RAC."
But Miles countered: "This isn't to say RAC doesn't work. It does, and very well in a number of cases. But users need to be aware of its limitations."
Alongside the grid message, users will also hear about other enhancements in 10g. "Our members have understood the grid message, but there are also other features in 10g that they are interested in," said Miles.
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