Larry Ellison, President of Oracle, said at a recent conference that a twin processor Lintel server for USD5000 is the only rational building block for enterprise computing. It is faster and nearly ten times cheaper than the equivalent power on a mainframe or UNIX server. This statement is at the heart of his drive for grid computing in the latest Oracle release 10g.
The only problem is that you have to put a lot of them together in a grid to give the power needed. They have to have the right OS, middleware and application software installed. Then they have to be configured and connected together. If the load changes significantly, either because of a long term growth in transaction volumes, or by a sudden on-demand surge, they have to be extended and reconfigured to cope. If there is a hardware failure changes have to be made to reallocate the load.
The article continues at