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April 3, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:16pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Informix Software Inc and Cornell Theory Center at Cornell University, claim to be developing the world’s largest scaling commercial relational database management system. Ramping up to many petabytes of capacity, it will offer new capabilities for the World Wide Web, multimedia and virtual reality applications. Cornell plans to deploy OnLine XPS and Universal Server at its testing facilities, targeting those database applications that are experiencing most rapid growth, in particular, decision support, Internet and intranet, multimedia and online transaction processing. The Web, they say, will become a full delivery and access mechanism. One of four National Science Foundation supercomputer centers, Cornell Theory Center develops high- performance parallel systems for the financial, scientific and mineral exploration communties. They say that today’s databases are exceeding the terabyte range as decision support and transaction-based applications increase in scope and use. Key to their strategy is the development of new database applications, incorporating a raft of data types, including virtual reality and the Web. The Center’s VIZ Visual Insight Zone, for example, is a virtual reality environment for analyzing scientific data. VIZ’s capabilities are expanding to include multimedia business applications. Informix’s Universal Server, will manage data on Silicon Graphics Inc hardware, while OnLine XPS runs on the IBM SP/2, delivering raw data to VIZ. Operating together and delivering complex and large-scale data to the virtual reality engine, Cornell says scientific and commercial applications will run as virtual reality models. Long-range plans for VIZ include allowing Wall Street to access the system via a high-speed network, enabling analysts to conduct virtual reality data mining, using the data stored directly within their firm’s databases. By deploying OnLine XPS on a 512-processor IBM SP/2, Cornell believes it will create the world’s largest planned parallel database system. Using its High Performance Storage System to store terabytes of scientific data, Cornell says it plans to integrate the HPSS with OnLine XPS and Universal Server.

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