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Australia and NZ #4 In The World In Grid Computing

Australia and New Zealand #4 In The World In Grid Computing Adoption

- Oracle Real Application Clusters momentum further demonstrates wide spread adoption in ANZ -

Auckland, New Zealand, 11 December 2006 – The Fourth Oracle Grid Index Report1, released today in Australia, points to growing momentum in grid computing adoption across Australia and New Zealand (ANZ).

The latest figures confirm that grid computing is finding fertile ground down under. In fact, ANZ ranked fourth worldwide (3.9) in terms of adoption, behind the US (4.3), Germany (4.3) and the Nordic region (4.7).

According the Grid Index, ANZ's adoption index2 progressed by more than one index point, the sharpest rise in adoption worldwide in a six-month period. The Asia Pacific & Japan (APAC) region progressed faster than the U.S. and Europe -- recording 83 per cent growth in either planned or actual deployment. ANZ has consistently kept pace with or led the APAC region since the Grid Index began in April 2005.

Companies that deploy a grid computing solution, utilising low cost commodity hardware, create a consolidated computing infrastructure that virtualises and provisions computing resources dynamically. This leads to a higher quality of service, improved performance and better reliability.

In most countries, there was unanimous acknowledgement that Grid Computing is a possible architecture of the future. Almost 90% of organisations in APAC see a move to Grid Computing as a possibility; 60% indicated this was very probable or inevitable. These signs suggest that the technology is moving from an early adoption phase to becoming a mainstream solution.

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On the Path to Grid Computing
One such organisation that has realised the benefits of grid computing is Public Trust. Public Trust has moved three of its core business systems including data warehousing, document management and CRM applications onto Oracle Real Application Clusters 10g.

Simon Brock, Public Trust's principal database specialist said, "The new infrastructure has allowed us to cost effectively scale our processing capacity in line with future growth, while delivering significant improvements in the reliability and performance of our document management system."

A major advantage gained by the move to an Oracle grid computing solution is the time saved on Public Trust's month-end processing. "One of the month-end reports previously took over 29 hours to run, but now takes an unbelievable 72 seconds. Aggregated data summaries, known as materialised views, can now be created four to eight times faster than they used to be," Mr Brock said.

"Early adopters of grid computing are already enjoying greater return on investment and reduced total cost of ownership," said Robert Gosling, vice president, Technology Sales, Oracle Australia and New Zealand. "Many other companies are realising the promise of grid computing and are moving towards it at a pace their business plans allow. We have reached a 'tipping point' where adoption rates are fast approaching mainstream. One thing is for sure, ANZ is leading the world in its pace of adoption and that's very exciting."

NRMA has also reaped benefits from implementing Oracle Grid Computing. It recently deployed Oracle Real Application Clusters for its call centre application and membership database. Each cluster is comprised of three Dell 2850 servers running Linux accessing a single Oracle database hosted on EMC SAN storage. The call centre application runs on Oracle Database9i while the membership database runs on Oracle Database 10g.

"Our customers depend on 24 hour service, 365 days a year. It is unacceptable for an outage to create a situation where we could not respond to a Road Service call-out. Internal policy at NRMA states that only two minutes of data loss is permissible for the Road Service application. Furthermore, all operations must be up and running within one hour, even if physical disaster strikes our operations," said Craig Gibbons, CIO at NRMA. "The Oracle grid solution not only improves the reliability of our applications that underpin our roadside assistance service, but also delivers high availability."

Australia's largest general hire company, Coates Hire, has also deployed Oracle Real Application Clusters 10g, running Dell PowerEdge Servers on Linux.

"Our Oracle grid deployment has been enormously successful to date and we expect to extend it to replace all of our existing mainframe infrastructure," said Tony Yortis, CIO, Coates Hire. "We are achieving huge performance and cost advantages from the Oracle grid solution and it meets specific business needs as well.

"For instance, we have a considerable distributed network across the country and internationally and the Oracle grid solution has radically improved the delivery of applications to those branch offices," said Yortis. "In addition, we are on a steep growth trajectory – almost doubling revenue in the last 36-month period - and we are finding that the Oracle grid solution has no limitations in cost/performance - effectively scaling to meet that challenge.

"Besides cost and scale, availability and reliability are also significant factors. We expect to continue to replace the last of our legacy mainframe infrastructure with the Oracle grid solution in the next 12 months," Yortis added.

Other customers in ANZ who have embraced Oracle's grid computing solution include: Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank, WA Office of Shared Services, Public Trust, Opes Prime Stockbroking and Clough Engineering.

Grid Computing Readies Itself for Mainstream

Oracle first pioneered the idea of building a scalable application grid with the introduction of Oracle Real Application Clusters, a key building block for grid computing architectures. Oracle Real Application Clusters enables companies to virtualise their computing resources on a single consolidated and standardised commodity hardware platform. The technology provides the same benefits as a grid but on a smaller scale, i.e. fewer nodes.

Oracle's Real Application Cluster business has grown over the last few years. Oracle Asia Pacific, excluding Japan, had more than 40 per cent year-on-year growth in customers for Oracle© Real Application Clusters. Companies in ANZ that purchased Oracle Real Application Clusters during Oracle's fiscal year 2006 include: Victoria University of Wellington, PlaceMakers (New Zealand), Contact Energy (New Zealand), healthAlliance (New Zealand), Bank of New Zealand, Open Universities Australia, EDS, Flight Centre, AAPT, Queensland University of Technology, NSW Police, Deakin University, GlobalMoneyLine, Optus Systems and Virgin Blue.

For a copy of the Grid Index report, please contact Tracy Postill tracy.postill@oracle.com or Emma Jackson ejackson@ppr.co.nz


Notes to Editors
General Observations
Quocirca conducted 1466 interviews with senior IT influencers and decision makers, completed in April 2006. 179 of these were conducted in the USA, 721 in Europe and the remainder (566) in Asia Pacific. All of the underlying indices making up the overall Grid Index – Foundation Readiness3, Knowledge and Interest4 and Adoption Lifecycle - show steady increases in virtually all geographies. Analysis of the Grid Index numbers over its previous three cycles reveals a pattern of a maturing technology in the process of crossing the chasm between early adopters and mainstream use.

About the Oracle Grid Index
The Oracle Grid Index is designed to map global progress on the journey towards Grid Computing. On behalf of Oracle, Quocirca carries out regular research, selecting and polling over one thousand organisations around the world on their knowledge of, attitudes towards and adoption of Grid Computing. Respondents within each organisation are senior decision makers working in lines of business (business respondents) or in the IT function (IT respondents). Numeric data, derived from the answers, gives a single number from 0 to 10 – the Oracle Grid Index.

The research is repeated twice yearly to establish trend information - this announcement is the fourth cycle of research and the second conducted worldwide. As well as grid computing questions, Oracle uses the opportunity to ask respondents questions on related topics. In this cycle, the main topic was Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA).

About Oracle
Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) is the world's largest enterprise software company. For more information about Oracle, visit our Web site at http://www.oracle.com.

Oracle, J.D. Edwards, PeopleSoft, and Siebel are registered trademarks of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

1 The Oracle Grid Index Report maps the world's journey to grid computing.
2 Adoption Lifecycle Index is an indicator of the degree to which interest and intention are being turned into tangible action.
3 Foundation Index measures the degree to which organisations have standardised and consolidated within their IT infrastructures.
4 The Knowledge and Interest Index is based on measurement of understanding (self-declared) together with assessments from IT professionals of the level of benefit offered by virtualisation and grid related technologies.


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