Hewlett-Packard and Oracle are teaming up for a demonstration of grid technologies. The companies are running a trial based in Reading to show how servers and applications perform under different grid conditions.

The companies have implemented the demo at the Enterprise Technology Center (ETC). Oracle has run the centre since 1999 with other hardware vendors. Last September, HP and Oracle launched the "Optimized for Agility" programme, a marketing drive featuring a pairing of their hardware and software.

For the demo, HP's servers are running different flavours of Linux, said Nicholas Andrews, senior principal pre-sales consultant for Oracle and manager of the ETC.

The sample scenario involves a jump in sales after the launch of a new marketing campaign by a company's sales team, Andrews said. The marketing team, however, has failed to tell the IT department, which suddenly sees a performance spike on their application servers.

The demo shows how Oracle's Grid Control software can monitor the spike and then report it to HP's OpenView Management Software, Andrews said. At that point, system administrators can make a decision to redeploy another server to balance the load. The scenario can also be conducted at the database layer, he said.

Although only Oracle databases are used in the demo right now, the centreis going to add the capability to use IBM's DB2 and Microsoft's SQL Server, since many customers also use those databases, Andrews said.

So far, about 20 customers have seen the demo and 12 more are scheduled to see it, he said.

Andrews said the demo has been successful since it started. "I think a lot of it stems from the fact that manageability and quick provisioning of servers is actually an important area of the grid," he said.