Study: Asia trails in grid computing adoption

Asia-Pacific businesses still need to catch up with the West in utilizing grid computing, though foundations are already in place.

SINGAPORE--Businesses in the Asia-Pacific region are trailing their contemporaries in other parts of the world in adopting grid computing, a study has found.

According to the biannual Oracle Grid Index, the region earned a score of 4.9, compared to 5.8 for North America and 5.1 for Europe. The study was conducted by U.K-based research firm Quocirca, which interviewed 1,466 senior IT decision makers around the world, of which 557 are based in the Asia-Pacific region.

The aim of the survey, Oracle said, is to monitor interest and activity that lead to the adoption of grid computing, allowing multiple applications to share disparate or spare computing resources by assigning priorities.

Said Nick Evered, Oracle's Asia-Pacific senior vice-president of technology: "There's a great degree of understanding of grid computing in the Asia-Pacific region, but the adoption is not as strong as it needs to be."

But while it lacks in adoption, the region leads in terms of foundation readiness--one of the yardsticks in the Oracle Grid Index, which measures the amount of hardware and software that have been implemented, said Roger Scott, vice-president of technology sales consulting at Oracle Asia-Pacific. Foundation readiness, Scott explained, indicates how well businesses standardize their database management and operating systems, as well as application servers--a first step toward grid computing.

Businesses in the Asia-Pacific region earned the highest score of 7.1 in foundation readiness, compared to 7.0 for North America and 6.2 for Europe.

Scott added that Asia-Pacific businesses have also signaled a strong intention toward grid computing. Close to 60 percent of those surveyed envisioned a future that includes the technology, and where they expect to have one or more grids that support different systems across their organizations.

The other barometers of the Oracle Grid Index are knowledge and interest, which determine if companies understand the benefits of grid computing as well as its adoption lifecycle, which assesses the current level of grid deployment and future investments in the technology.

Asian businesses are lagging behind in both areas, according to the study. The region earned a score of 2.0, compared to 3.9 for North America and 3.2 for Europe in the adoption lifecycle benchmark. In terms of knowledge and interest, Asia-Pacific recorded a score of 5.7, whereas North America and Europe scored 6.7 and 6.0, respectively.

Scott attributed the slow adoption of grid computing in the Asia-Pacific region to the fact that IT departments in Asian businesses may resist giving up control of their assets. It can often become a major "political" issue for organizations to hold on to those assets because it gives them a level of autonomy and power, he said.

Notwithstanding, at least one country in the region has made notable strides in the Oracle Grid Index.

India's score improved from 2.9 to 4.4 since April this year when a similar study was released, the biggest jump among countries from the region. According to Scott, this was mainly spearheaded by large systems integrators and organizations, such as the Stock Exchange of India, which has started to embrace grid computing on a large scale.

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