Home Articles India surges ahead…Interview: Enterprise Grid Computing

India surges ahead…Interview: Enterprise Grid Computing

Jim Farley
Principle Product Manager
Location and Spatial Technologies
Oracle Corporation
[email protected]

Please tell us in detail about the unique features of Oracle 10g and how useful it will be for the entire geomatics community?
First of all, Oracle 10g is the only major database system that natively supports location and spatial analysis. Oracle 10g is a completely integrated, high performance location-enabled platform with a full range of infrastructure features at no additional cost, including support for vector data and analysis operations, all in a secure, highly available environment accessible via the ubiquitous SQL standard. Additional features such as support for raster data, management of network data and persistent topology in the database, and the capacity to perform geocoding and develop routing solutions are also available in the Oracle10g Spatial option. It is important to stress that Oracle 10g represents the continuing evolution of a location-based platform that has been growing and maturing for nearly ten years.

Beginning with Oracle 9i, which was released in early 2001, every single database sold by Oracle has been location-enabled with the capacity to store, index and manipulate basic geometries such as points, lines and polygons. IDC has noted on numerous occasions that by providing this infrastructure, Oracle has had a fundamental impact on the location market in general. By ensuring that location capabilities are ubiquitous in the Oracle installed base, Oracle helps to extend the visibility and reach of location-enabled tools across enterprise business. Perhaps more importantly, the ubiquity and the ready availability of location capabilities in each and every Oracle database (standard or enterprise edition) significantly eases the integration efforts required to extend existing applications using the location-based infrastructure provided in the database.

It is because of this capacity to extend an enterprises control over its information without imposing additional organizational costs that we see 10g being a business enabler that will extend the use of location technologies. For the geomatics community, Oracle10g delivers all of the leading edge advances of 21st Century information technology science to geoscience. It represents the first true unification of the IT infrastructure with a platform for GIS.

For instance, nearly every organization has addresses of customers, suppliers, partners, etc. in their application databases. In most cases these data are not used in any true location-based application, because the act of integrating business applications with location analysis or GIS tools is costly and complex. With Oracle 10g, the database provides geocoding and spatial operations through standard SQL, so the address data can be mapped, can be queried based on proximity, distance or other spatial relationships, or can be geocoded. Address information can be used as the basis for more complex applications such as routing in supply chain models or business intelligence analysis.

Oracle’s Java development tools, JDeveloper, and our Application Server 10g include a component — Oracle MapViewer — that visualizes these data and the relationships between. It is because of this capacity to extend an enterprises control over its information without imposing additional organizational “costs” that we see 10g being a business enabler that will extend the use of location technologies as well as act as a proficient tool for the geomatics community.

Tell us something about the “g” in Oracle 10g. What does it signify?
The ‘g’ in Oracle 10g refers to the Grid. Understand that this is not the notion of an unbounded, unstructured Grid that was popularized by academia and the scientific community. The ‘g’ in Oracle 10g represents Enterprise Grid computing. In this context the Grid represents the computing and IT resources that are bounded by any given Enterprise. The objective of Oracle 10g is to improve manageability and overall responsiveness while reducing costs through the use of commodity computing components such as blade technologies (single board, low cost computers that can be configured in rack storage achieve highly scalable computing environment). Efficiency is further enhanced via improved use of critical IT resources (e.g. fixed storage, CPU’s etc.) that is achieved because the 10g infrastructure supports on-demand allocation of these critical resources to the tasks across the Grid that need the most while supporting features such as Automatic Storage Management that help DBA resource scale more effectively. Ultimately the g in Oracle 10g is about working smarter, not harder, across the enterprise IT infrastructure.

What are your views on the interoperability characteristics of Oracle 10g?
The SQL language, internet standards, and the Linux OS are just a few of the widely known initiatives that Oracle supports and helps to drive. Oracle, as a founding member of the OpenGIS Consortium, commits significant resources at the technical, management and board levels to help bring the kind of leadership we have demonstrated in communities such as SQL to bear in the geospatial domain.

What type of market do you see in the APAC region and India in particular?
Clearly the most dynamic economic and technological growth and expansion is occurring in these two major geographic regions and all indications suggest that this is a trend that will continue for the foreseeable future. Because of this we see these geographies as key markets. Given the broad-based adoption and use of satellite-based remotely sensed imagery and wireless technology we see a particularly strong market for geospatial technologies over time.

Please tell us in detail about the partnership with PCI Geomatics in general and in the context of 10g?
First let me say that we see the by-product of our partnership with PCI Geomatics benefiting many communities and sectors ranging from utilities, land management, natural resource management and agriculture to transportation and defence and security in addition to the natural scientific benefits associated with the broader use and collaborative investigation using satellite imagery. The partnership itself is a collaboration based on appreciation of one another’s technology. PCI Geomatics recognized the benefit of using proven database technology to manage the image-based data derived from satellite and airborne platforms. As such they became a very early adopter of our 10g GeoRaster data type. GeoRaster enables images to be stored, indexed and manipulated in a general sense as a new, native type in the database. For our part we immediately recognized the benefit of partnering with an established, successful vendor in the image processing space – one that not only provided a broad range of robust tools, but one that recognized that natural synergy could exist.