Larry Ellison, Oracle's chairman and chief executive, hailed Internet Computing as a new model that would kill client/server and rid the world of distributed servers in his keynote speech at Internet World today.
While the statement is not a new one from Ellison, his spleen is no longer directed at the desktop, but at the server, and his latest hobbyhorse is the concept of ?Little Servers Everywhere?.
As a result, where he, until very recently, predicted the imminent demise of the PC, he now forecasts the same fate for distributed servers.
While Windows-based client/server computing costs between $10,000 and $25,000 per user, per year, Internet Computing will cost no more than $1,000-2,000 per user, per year, he claimed.
?If we can get the application off the desktop, and back on the server where it belongs, wide area networks start to work again?, said Ellison.
The client-server model, which he referred to as an ?evolutionary dead end? was bound to disappear because of two fatal flaws: it was labour-intensive and it required local servers.
When applications run on the client, but data comes off the server, local area network speeds are affected and wide area networks do not work well, he explained. This has led to a proliferation of ?little servers? in remote locations, where they are difficult to manage and which leads to the fragementation of enterprise data.
?Client-server has devastated our ability to get information about our business. This model of Little Servers Everywhere is untenable,? he added.
The alternative, continued Ellison, is Internet Computing, which, by his definition, means storing applications and data together on a big, professionally managed server. Preferably, of course, in an Oracle database.
He went on to present the recently announced Oracle 8i database as the ultimate answer to the failings of the client-server model because it stores and runs Java applications, replaces local storage with an Internet File System (IFS), and can accommodate advanced data types.
This means that a company can store all its data, applications and files, including documents and spreadsheets, in the database.
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