Contributor: Jagadeesh Sampath
As the IT budgets are shrinking and the expectation for high performance is increasing considerably, customers are looking for databases that offer better performance at an optimum price. So, what should you do? Start looking at the different database options available in the market before proceeding to purchase a new database or upgrading an existing one. The perception in the market is that not many database options available and I think this need to be changed. Moreover, there are lots of myths in the market that alternate database options are expensive, unreliable, inefficient, complex etc. All these are really true?
Let me take you through a detailed analysis on IBM DB2 –The tried and tested database from IBM and try to address some of the question on your mind.
IBM DB2 has a long history, the Database Management System (DBMS) was first named DB2 in 1983 and it has come a long way after that. In, 2008 IBM DB2 completed its 25th year anniversary and it is still going strong. IBM DB2 is a full-function, on-disk, relational database that runs on distributed platforms (Linux, UNIX, and Windows) as well as on z/OS (IBM’s 64-bit mainframe operating system) and i5/OS. It is optimized to handle both online transaction processing (OLTP) and analytical workloads with lower administration, storage, and development costs. IBM DB2 powers IBM InfoSphere Warehouse and Smart Analytics System which offers data warehouse capabilities.
Let me start with the two key factors: performance and costs. IBM DB2 has been consistently showcasing better performance leadership compared to other databases in market. I would like to put below some of the key performance benchmark (Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) – Industry standard bench mark) results of IBM DB2,
- #1 in the 10 TB TPC-H Performance (a data warehouse workload)
- #1 in the TPC-C Performance (an OLTP workload)
- #1 in SAP SD 3-tier Standard Application Performance
I would also like to show the number of days of leadership for IBM DB2 against Oracle Database since Jan 1, 2003:
You might ask me: Ok, the performance is better than the competition but what about the cost. Does better performance comes with a high price tag attached with it? No, absolutely not. IBM DB2 is more cost efficient than competing products especially Oracle Database. IBM offers a capacity on demand pricing/licensing model that eliminates over-provisioning by allowing you to pay for peak workloads only when needed. IBM DB2’s better performance also helps in cutting costs, as better performance will delay server purchases, since you get more done with your current infrastructure. In contrast, Oracle pushes you to buy more than what you need through the suite model and doesn’t offer discounted licensing for non-production environments. Moreover, Oracle has raised its database prices four times since June 2008.
You can get better price-performance with IBM DB2 compared to other databases in the market. I know as a buyer these are not your only consideration. So, I will also put across some of the key benefits of IBM DB2 and try to compare it with competition especially, Oracle database to show how IBM DB2 is better than competition.
IBM DB2 offers Deep Compression, a compression technique that looks for repeating patterns across the entire table and compresses it. The benefit of deep compression is that a table can shrink by 60% to 80% of its original size. Therefore, you will see significant I/O bandwidth savings and thus, better performance. On the other hand, Oracle also offers compression capability but it compresses out common values at the page level not on the table level. Thus, the compression achieved on Oracle database is far less compared to IBM DB2 Deep Compression.
Any enterprise will look for high availability as it is a critical feature in a database. Knowing this IBM offers High Availability and Disaster Recovery (HADR) in IBM DB2. HADR is a log record replication feature that provides high availability for server, software or storage failure, or disaster recovery for site failures. HADR is designed for quick failover, easy setup, and manageability. While, Oracle’s own users do not rely on Oracle RAC for availability, they build a redundant and idle site using DataGuard. You have to pay for the “idle” – CPUs, servers, and storage, but won’t benefit from that investment.
Better price-performance, better database compression, HADR: are these the only value proportion to buy or move to IBM DB2? No, IBM DB2 offers more values to the customers.
IBM DB2 offers new optional feature called DB2 pureScale. This feature reduces the risk and cost of business growth by providing unlimited capacity, continuous availability, and application transparency. DB2 pureScale allows you to have multiple database servers in a system that all share a common set of disks. So, now you can buy only what you need, add capacity as your needs grow. Tests show that the scale-out efficiency was above 95% for up to 65 members in the cluster and at 84% for 128 members.
Next is the IBM DB2’s pureXML technology, a superior technology compared to the Oracle Database XML storage capability. IBM DB2 store XML data natively in the same database as your relational data and do not force you to have a schema per XML column. Also, allow you to have multiple schema for the same XML column. Moreover, IBM is the only database vendor with detailed published XML performance results.
I was keeping the best for the last and I need to talk about this now: The IBM and SAP partnership. Strong partnership exists between IBM and SAP, joint SAP and IBM teams work on all levels of the product development. DB2 is certified by SAP within 4-8 weeks of its general availability (GA) date while Oracle does not have its new database releases certified by SAP until 1.5 to 2+ years after their GA date. All new DB2 features are designed to be 100% compatible and exploited by SAP directly. A joint technology roadmap exists beyond 2010.
I think it’s a right alarm at the right moment. It’s high time you look at the database options available in the market before making a purchasing decision. This might prove critical to your business in the long term. So, “RETHINKDATABASE” strategy is the way ahead.